‘United States of Tara’ Recap: The Electrifying & Magnanimous Return of Beaverlamp

May 10, 2011 | 6:26am EDT

S03E07: Is it bad that I find this happy-go-lucky Tara a little weird? I mean, I’m happy for her and all of that, I want nothing more for the character to find peace, but once she does that, we’re out of United States of Tara. And this little oasis we’ve reached is just an odd place. We’re not used to seeing Tara happy and somewhat normal. It’s a little jarring and how odd is it that I’d rather see Tara cross-dress as a redneck than see her happy? Man, this show is messed up.

"And that is how you dine on the vagine." - Buck

This can only mean one thing! Things are about to get really messed up. Let’s take a look at the ending of the episode to see just how messed up things are about to get. We finally get to see for the first time this new alter that is causing so much trouble. We’ve heard it before but this is the first time we get to see it and it looks like its sole purpose is to cause as much trouble as possible (and by trouble, I mean bodily harm to Tara). Look at what it does to Tara; it removes her from the party surrounding her friends and then smashes a beer bottle to cut her upper arm. So not only does it harm her physical body, it takes her away from everything she loves.

As I theorized last week, I’m fairly sure this new alter is the personification of Dissociative Identity Disorder for Tara. Just as Alice is her maternal instinct and Buck is her masculinity, this new alter represents DID. Look at what it did; it took her out of her family and friends then hurt her physically. If that isn’t exactly what her disorder has done, I don’t know what it is. It also slips in when Tara is least expecting it while also being happy. I’m almost certain that alter slipped in when she had the knife and Tara didn’t realize it.

But what brought about this change? Well, it turns out that Hattaras isn’t as cracked up as he has led himself to believe. His one shining star of a patient (who thought he was a kite) wound up dead on a sidewalk after falling with a string tied to his ankle. This sends him on a major road to depression and he loses all faith in himself so he dismisses Tara. Her alter doesn’t come out because of this dismissal but it doesn’t help. And then her subconscious doesn’t take no for an answer. Buck sneaks away with her body and confronts Hattaras about it. Then Buck says something really interesting about this new alter, he’s looking for it while the alter is still looking for them.

This also goes along with something Tara noticed: she wakes up to find Sharsharma and Alice discussing watching over her. Now as Tara said, she has never seen the alters confer amongst themselves like that. Something dark is brewing and Buck was trying to warn Hattaras about it. But Hattaras is too smart for that and tricks Buck away by making him touch his/her earrings.

"You’re not here to talk about cheese." - Hattaras

So while Tara is about to undergo some big happenings, the rest of her family reaches some of their goals. Kate finally wins the guy from Wedding Crashers over despite the fact that he is divorced and has a kid. When their flight gets canceled they share a bedroom and a drive back. Pretty heavy stuff for a girl who just graduated high school, but then again her life hasn’t really ever made sense. Kate seemed particularly happy, unlike Marshall whose film is causing him all kinds of stress. He uses the opportunity to interview Max about why they had children and grills him with some really hard questions. Max doesn’t take too kindly to what Marshall was implying (that they only had Kate and him to help cope with Tara’s disorder) and Max stormed off in the most loving way possible. Then Marshall runs off to Lionel’s car for some good ole high school car therapy. It was a really touching scene and while I’m kinda bummed about how emo Marshall has become it has given us some incredibly heartfelt scenes these past few weeks.

But the kids aren’t the stars of the show this week! No, that belongs to Max as he gets his old rock and roll band back together for his birthday. Only things haven’t aged that well (a drummer with a colonoscopy bag) and his keyboardist is a raging 80s glam rocker that just wants to look fabulous and fuck around. And it turns out that Max can still kind of rock, surprisingly. I think he found a new drive from earlier when he went to talk to Hattaras. Max didn’t take too kindly to his wife being dumped and went to confront Hattaras about it. Turns out, Hattaras had some big truth bombs to drop on Max: Tara is never going to get better. Max had an absolute look of despair on his face when that truth sunk in and that why I think he just threw himself into this show. Max could sense what was happening and recognized the calm before the storm.

And yes, I think we can all feel it. We only have a handful of shows left in the season and things are going to get insane. Poor choice of words there, but you know what I mean.

Here's a tease at what's coming up next week:

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