The final season of “Switched at Birth” is drawing to a close but the series finale isn’t the only huge episode headed our way. Reaching 100 episodes is a huge mile marker for any TV show, and this one will be particularly poignant since it also marks the beginning of the end for Freeform’s groundbreaking series.
Screener caught up with Lea Thompson to chat about the 100th episode, titled “Memory (The Heart),” and her pivotal role as director.
“It just snuck up on us, and then when it snuck up on us is when they said we’re not doing any more, so it’s really been like a rollercoaster of emotions,” Thompson says. “I think we’ve done a lot of great work. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of the last ten episodes … I’m really honored that they let me direct it, the 100th [episode]. We’ve had a great time. We’ve had a great run, and it’s been very civilized and kind and a great experience these five years.”
Directing the 100th episode is as big of a responsibility as it is an honor, and we have no doubts that Thompson will wow us both in front of the camera and behind it.
“[Directing] is really great, and it’s so fun for me.” Thompson says. “It just makes me fall in love with the show over and over again and fall in love with the actors. Each one of them, I get to fall in love with again as I’m directing them. They’re such skilled and kind and professional people.
One of those people is, of course, fan favorite Gilles Marini.
Marini played Angelo Sarrento, Daphne’s (Katie Leclerc) father and Bay’s (Vanessa Marano) biological father. Angelo died after a crashing his car into a tree in Season 3, and hasn’t been seen on the show since. Luckily, he’ll make a very touching reappearance in the 100th episode.
“It’s really nice that they figured out a way to have Gilles back,” Thompson says. “Our audience loved him, and we love him. He’s wonderful.”
As you might imagine, this milestone is bound to be incredibly sentimental and moving, and Thompson has a word of advice for viewers: bring Kleenex. “This one was very emotional,” she says. “Everyone gets to cry. It’s like a ten hanky show.”
“Switched at Birth” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.