Recap

‘United States of Tara’ Recap: Wheels

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Apr 19, 2011 | 8:16am EDT

DAMN. Two weeks in a row with amazing endings? United States of Tara is killing it. But since I believe in saving the best for last, let’s get the less exciting stuff out of the way first, shall we?

‘This is all your fault and that giant skull of yours.’ - Char

(I would have a clip showing the rest of the cast, but Showtime seems to think Nurse Jackie is the same as USoT. Go Showtime!)

Char finally has her kid. Turns out that Char doesn’t trust her around the kid after T nearly popped the baby out in a parking lot. Kind of a bitch move, but I understand why she did it. Neil was ecstatic about being a father, but that soon dissolved when he realized he won't be sleeping anymore. Not exactly the most groundbreaking discoverery, but fuck it, it’s Patton Oswalt and he made it hilarious. Turns out he also named the kid “Wheels.” Not Wheels, but “Wheels” with the quotes. Bad-ass, he is. Marshall was grossed out by the baby and turns to his gay friends for support. Turns out gay support is a threesome. Gays are smart.

Remember how Kate ditched the whole Japan trip? Turns out she camped out in the airport and met a rather wise baggage guy. While in the middle of an existential crisis that most people have after they’ve graduated college and had kids, she decides that becoming a flight attendant will solve all of her problems so she asks for a job application. We get some insight about growing up with a DID mom. Apparently all the alters gave “the talk” to Kate in their own very special ways. If they ever do flashbacks, I hope that scene is there because it sounds hilarious.

‘I’m crazy. I’m fucking crazy.’ - Tara

Now the good stuff! I wasn’t expecting much from the episode in terms of Tara towards the beginning. And even in the middle, for that matter. Hell, up to the point where she enters the conference room in her mind, I didn’t see where this was going. Tara takes the easy way out of everything and tries to see if she can get her test for Mean Old Mister Professor Doesn’t Believe In DID Eddie Izzard. He won’t have any of it (as he should) which just stresses Tara out further. Max has enough of it but I’m not quite sure why he snaps at her for taking the test. Maybe he’s just reached his breaking point and the whole school thing set him off. But whatever. That sparks Tara.

And we go into her head. Literally. We’ve seen Tara interacting with the alters more this season and this was a full blown meeting of the minds. Tara finally mans up and tells them flat out that she is in charge, but she does the really smart thing and listens to them. Now, I’m no psychologist, but I’m pretty sure the alters are just extensions of Tara’s personality and desires that manifest themselves in real personalities. By listening to them and hearing what they want from life she’s acknowledging her subconscious and helping her heal herself. It was a powerful scene and I felt proud of her for doing it.

But then we see what really happened. Tara took the test and had a complete melt down in front of everyone. Her hair was akimbo, she mutilated her arms, scribbled on the desk and hundreds of papers. And it seems like Gimme took a big bite out of a pen. Her plea to Dr. Hattarras to help was so heartfelt and pathetic it was gut wrenching. An incredibly emotional scene that was beautifully performed. Izzard combined this look of fascination, incredulity, belief, shock, terror and sympathy all in one look. It seems like he has come around. And to think all it took was one mental breakdown for him to believe.

I almost wish we could see Tara’s breakdown but I’m afraid that the kind of performance that would take would be seen as comedic. Toni Collette is a great actress but I don’t think any sane person could ever hope to portray that. Besides the way they did was so absolutely perfect, I don’t think we even need to see it. Our own mental projection of what might have happened is much worse/crazier than anything the show runners could hope to capture. It was absolutely perfect.

So now that we have Dr. Hattarras on our side it looks like things could get really interesting. We’ve had two weeks of things being thrust upon us, now it seems like we’re going to see the consequences of that. It should be awesome.

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