I will say this about Tara (the character, not United States of Tara): she may be crazy but she is a good mother. Unlike her mother, who we get for another dose in this episode, Tara works with her children and usually acts in unselfish ways (when she can help it). She’s genuinely trying to to control her problem so she can be there for family. Seeing Tara like this gives me hope that she’ll be able to work through her problems. Of course, after the coda, it’s going to be one hell of a job.
The catalyst for this episode was the return of Tara and Char’s mother. We’ve dealt with her before, but never alone like this. Honestly, whenever she first appeared it felt like Darth Vader was approaching. I know Patton Oswalt has seen enough movies to know how dangerous it is to appear before the Big Bad like that, but he was desperate - he and Char need the money. And the way she looked at the baby? I would’ve been afraid for the child. It was like she wanted to devour it whole. But alas, their plan backfired. Their mom is broke and she used them to see her granddaughter. What a bitch, right? But like she said, they used her, only she got what she wanted.
Best line of the night goes to Oswalt (again) commenting on how many boobies were at the baby store. That’s fairly genius of him. I wish ten-year-old me had been that smart.
‘If you’re not nervous, and it’s not hard, then it’s not worth it.’ - Tara
Anyway, on to the core family! Kate seems to have settled into being a flight attendant and has already worked up the courage to use her charming good looks to bribe the strangers on her flight with booze. The young one has learned fast, but all is not well. Her repeated advances on Todd from Wedding Crashers have not been reciprocated. Has she lost it? She stuck her neck out for the dude but he didn’t nibble! I’m confusing my metaphors slightly, but dear sweet Brie Larson. You have most definitely not lost it.
‘If you can’t make it, I’ll wait.’ - Max
Marshall’s film has taken a drastic turn and begun focusing on his family now. He and his new boytoy (Still don’t know his name. Does it matter?) are making a stop-motion animated opus about his parents. They’ve found an old video showing his parents before Kate was born. This new perspective on his parent’s life shocks him to the core. He doesn’t understand his dad and why he stuck around; it doesn’t make sense to him. It seems that Marshall wants to bail (even though he has generally been the rock of the family) but has to know what is keeping his dad around. The answer is simple: Max loves Tara. That finally breaks through and he sums up the show perfectly, “It’s not a monster movie. It’s not a dysfunctional family. It’s a love story.”
And to completely change the tone here, I bet Patton Oswalt loved his flashback body.
‘So fine is the top? That’s all you want is fine? No better than fine?’ - Dr. Hatteras
But then some crazy things happened with Tara this week. Eddie Izzard laid down some hard truths in a way that hasn’t been said before on the show (which would mean that it hadn’t been said before in the world of the show). Tara has had major success with the alters lately. Buck came and took care of some crows, T got her out of a confrontation with her mom, Alice stood up for her. Tara seems pleased with herself, but Hateras isn’t having it. He knows that she is only one person and repeatedly tells her this. “You’re not seven people. You’re just you,” he keeps saying. He keeps telling her that she is the one in charge and SNAP. The Chekov’s rat trap he set off catches a HUGE fucking rat.
Symbolism? Pretty much.
And then we finally get conclusive proof of another alter when Hateras listens to his tape from the session. But the line that was said came when he caught the rat. Did Tara imagine that rat being caught? It could very well be imagined or the tape could come from a different session, doesn’t really matter. What does matter is what was said. The line is repeated from the first episode this season "you will not win." Could it be the sudden noise-slash-death snapped the alter into reality?
Also, let’s learn what we can about this alter from what little she said: “You will not win.” Breaking it down: She says “you” which means she is referring to someone outside of herself. Whether it's Dr. Hateras or Tara, we don’t know. But considering how it came out in the office, I’m going to assume the alter is against Dr. Hateras' help (which also means he is on to something!). Then the alter says “will not.” Obviously this means the alter is going against something but the future tense shows this is an ongoing struggle. The alter is fighting and will continue to fight. If the alter had said “you aren’t winning” it would’ve struck a completely different tone. And an unfortunate Charlie Sheen joke. The final word “win.” This is interesting. Win. It seems to imply that the alter views this as a game, leading me to believe the alter is a younger version. Alice wouldn’t say this is a game. T might, as would Buck, who is very immature. So it seems we have an antagonistic young person who thinks this is all a game. But what’s the game? Since the only thing Tara wants to change is her disorder, could this new alter be the personification of DID? And also, considering the ominous mood that played over the tape recorder, this is an angry young person playing this game. Something very troubling is stirring within Tara. The rest of the season is going to be craaaazy.