“United States of Tara” mini-cap: Thin ice

Tara is totally Bucked.

After her realization last episode that Buck’s having a full-blown affair with Pammy, Tara is devastated. She has been really enjoying the experience of having a fairly happy family life, dysfunction and all.

I love the fact that Tara and Max are more comfortable with Marshall being gay than with him fooling around with a girl. Even better, when Tara discusses Marshall’s sexuality with her sister, we get the revelation that Charmaine was a L.U.G. (Lesbian Until Graduation). She had a girlfriend named Gretchen, “who was very proud of her vagina.”

Charmaine also answers the eternal question of why straight women go gay: “That’s easy. Menopause. Oprah did a whole show about it.” This series is nothing if not educational. Charmaine says that she’s going to go gay when she’s ready to start eating carbs again. I don’t know about you, but I’m saving up my free fries coupons from Mickey D’s.

Tara isn’t sure just how much time Buck and Pammy are spending together. But she decides that the best way to fix the situation is to break up with Pammy — by imitating Buck. Once again, Toni Collette‘s acting brilliance shines. I mean, here’s Toni playing Tara impersonating Buck, and the difference between that and Toni playing Buck is clear as a bell.

Tara tries to explain her disorder (“Have you seen Sybil? It’s like that.”), but Pammy responds like any straight woman who is in what she thinks is a lesbian relationship but is really an affair with another straight woman’s male alter. She’s pissed.

She also isn’t ready to give up Buck and follows the Gregsons on a family outing (ahem) to the ice skating rink where she grabs the microphone from the DJ and declares her love for Buck — and Tara, too, since that’s part of the package.

Tara has never before lied to Max about transitioning and he loses it. The kids, who both are stoned, sort of shrug it off. And Tara is left alone — at least as alone as a person with DID can be.

The episode ends with one of the most powerful scenes of the season, as Buck takes over, goes into the men’s room, and has a breakdown of his own.

I don’t know what’s next for Pammy and Buck, but we’ll keep you posted if anything happens. What did you think of United States of Tara this week? Do you expect Max and Tara to work things out?

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