“United States of Tara” mini-cap: Underground resistance


This week’s United States of Tara marks the midway point of the season — and marks a turning point for several members of the family. A storm most definitely is on the horizon.

Max decides that he likes talking to Dr. Shoshana Schoenbaum. So much so that they have started daily “sessions.” However, Max doesn’t know yet that Tara and Shoshana are co-conscious; he thinks Tara doesn’t know about the sessions.

That seems about to change, since, near the end of the episode, Tara repeated what Shoshana said to Max at the close of their session: “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

The light, though, might not be a great thing. A lot of secrets are hiding in this family — and exposing themisn’t going to be pretty. Take Kate.

She is spending a lot of time in her Princess Valhalla Hawkwind outfit, really getting into having an alternate identity — and an interesting new friend in Lynda Frazier. But Kate also is getting pretty dependent on Lynda, who seems to be her only friend. And being the Princess seems to be becoming more important than being Kate.

Her brother Marshall, on the other hand, is trying like crazy to embrace his true identity. But his girlfriend Courtney won’t let him. She knows he’s gay, but wants him to stay with her anyway so they can be a “celibate power couple.” (I always thought couples thatdidn’t have sex were called parents.)

At least Marshall still has his priorities in order:

The harshest secret about to come to light seems to be the one between Tara and Charmaine. We’ve been getting hints that Char is not as blithe as she appears. As the family takes shelter from the tornado, her exterior shows signs of cracking. First, she is afraid to go into the basement.

Then Shoshana confronts her about concealing the fact that her baby is Neil’s, not Nick’s. “Lying is a habit,” Shoshana says, “and we all know where it started.” I have a feeling it started in a basement.

Buck did make a brief appearance this episode, part of another remarkable Toni Collette performance. In the matter of a minute, we see transitions from Tara to Buck to Alice to Gimme to Shoshana.

This was the first time the family, other than Max, met Shoshana, but she’s already made an impact on each of them. The “tornado” has passed, but the storm is far from over.

What did you think of this week’s United States of Tara?

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