Note: The following review contains spoilers for all aired episodes of United States of Tara, including the most recent, “To Have and to Hold.”
Five thoughts about last night’s episode:
1) I don’t trust Kate’s new boyfriend, Zach. He seems to have an agenda, trying to turn her against her family, dropping in clues that he thinks her mother’s potentially dangerous. Kate trying to change herself for him is another example of the characters searching for identity this season, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
2) Poor Neil!
3) The trip to Mimi’s brought out some very, very interesting clues. T’s freakout upon meeting Mimi’s husband (?) is a fantastic misdirect, because at first it seems clear that, aha, it was a rape, after all, that fractured Tara’s mind, but it turns out that it isn’t so simple. This guy wasn’t even at Mimi’s when Tara and Charmaine lived (not stayed, but lived, at least for a short while) there. What is more likely is that this guy, for whatever reason, reminds Tara of someone else, perhaps her father, much like the next door neighbor’s house reminds her of this house, which she also made into a sculpture. Mimi’s words that the kids who were brought to her often suffered severe abuse at the hands of their parents are extremely eerie. It makes sense that Tara and Charmaine’s parents would have to be hiding something truly enormous for Tara to break into pieces over it, literally.
4) Chicken. It is absolutely fascinating that, for the first time, we have evidence that Tara had an alter at an extremely young age, though it also seems that Charmaine didn’t realize Chicken was an alter at the time. Amazing performance from Toni Collette, as per usual. You actually think of her as a five-year-old in a woman’s body.
5) Marshall kissing Lionel is a surprise but it makes sense. He’s been so drawn to him and has been trying to impress him so much lately while simultaneously being frustrated by him that it makes sense that attraction lay underneath it all, though I’m not sure if this is “love” so much as further exploration. Kissing his eyelids, like Lionel imagined the man from the park did, was romantic and sweet, and slightly awkward in that teenage-boy-discovering-his-sexuality way. Another perfect moment of a so-far-as-close-to-perfect-as-you-can-get season.