United States of Tara 2.2 – Baby, I’m Your Man

Okay, I admit it: when I ended last week’s blog by suggesting the possibility that there might’ve been sparks between Buck and the bartender, I’d already seen Episode 2.2, so I knew full well that it was going to be kicking off with a shot of the two of them in bed together. I have to imagine that many a viewer laughed at the sight of Tara offering up a “what died in my mouth?” face, given the obvious implications, but in my case, that quickly gave way to surprise over the fact that it wasn’t Tara. It was Buck. Have we ever seen Tara wake up with an alter in control? If so, I can’t remember it. I have to presume that this is an occurrence of note, as opposed to simply being an excuse to let Buck look proud of himself. Either way, Tara quickly took over again, returning home to find Charmaine unabashedly flashing her new engagement ring.

It’s so hard to maintain excitement for Charmaine, given Tara’s history of fucking up everything in the lives of her family, but her enthusiasm is so freaking infectious. Still, the idea of Charmaine staying at Casa de Gregson is clearly going to make for some rough going particularly given that Tara can’t even remember what lies she’s spinning about her past whereabouts. Also, in Charmaine’s hesitation to believe that she’s actually found a good man who truly loves her, she offered up a comment that struck me as possibly relating to Tara’s condition: “We were raised to believe we should eat dog shit, so you get used to dog shit.” This is presumably a metaphor rather than a description of their actual childhood, but it strikes me as telling. It may, however, not have anything to do with Tara at all. It may just mean that Charmaine’s so used to expecting the worst from her relationships that she’ll end up sabotaging this one because she can’t believe she’s good enough for it…and I thought that before she started obsessing over the engagement ring to an unhealthy degree.

As the father of a daughter, I couldn’t believe Max’s remarkably muted reaction to Kate’s work attire – specifically, the length of the skirt – but when you consider how much he’s seen in his time with Tara, I guess it’s hard to shock him anymore. Plus, why discourage her from being excited about going to work, right? Man, I am having way too many flashbacks to my time as an employee of Portfolio Recovery Associates with this debt-collection storyline. To my knowledge, no one that I worked with ever attempted the crapshoot of an in-person collection, but it certainly paid off for Kate, and you have to respect her ballsiness. Like her, I too am intrigued by Lynda P. Frazier – played by Viola Davis, late of “Law & Order: SVU” – and can’t wait to see where this will lead.

Marshall, meanwhile, continues to hang with the gang from the Fruit Bowl, who are trying to figure out a name for their student organization that’ll also give them a snappy acronym. I’d ask if the term “frienema” existed prior to this episode or not, but I don’t think I really want to know. (The groans and grimaces that accompanied the definition of the word were totally warranted. Definitely a TMI moment.) Even though we know he’s prone to succumbing to peer pressure, I’m glad to see Marshall being comfortable enough to join the organization while still continuing to offer up opinions that don’t mesh with those of Gay Power Guy…sorry, I mean Lionel. Seriously, though, I’ve got plenty of gay friends, but after two episodes of watching Lionel in action, the words that came out of Marshall’s mouth could well have been mine: “You ruin it for gay people, Lionel. I mean, you do. You ruin it. You make being gay something no one would ever want to be.” Fair enough, maybe that’s why Marshall found himself succumbing to the charms of his classmate Courtney (Zosia Mamet). I’ve always said that Ouija boards were nothing but trouble…

Back into the Hubbard house we go, this time for a moving rendition of Air Supply’s “All Out of Love.” Remember the comment I made last week about how Max didn’t seem to notice the signs that Tara was clearly affected by this suicide? I’m going to backpedal on that, mostly because this scene served to convince me that his brain is tuned to a station where the format is all Max, all the time, most likely as a defense mechanism to deal with everything going on around him. (I did notice, though, that he glanced at Tara when the realtor made her “crazy people” remark.) It makes me wonder if this’ll result in Tara admitting to the return of the alters sooner than later. I’m a little surprised that Max unabashedly bid on the house with Tara standing right there, without even allowing her the opportunity to discuss it, but he probably figures that, for all he’s put up with, he’s got a little bit of wiggle room in the relationship. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s just going to dive headlong into the restoration process like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand.

Well, that certainly was an awkward grocery store encounter with Bartender Babe, wasn’t it? I thought it was interesting that Tara pointedly avoided explaining any part of her situation, even though it certainly would’ve been easy enough to just say “I’m married” and be done with it. Perhaps that’s the result of an internal tug from Buck…? Speaking of that guy, I thought the effect of having him trail Tara up the steps was uber-creepy, and the music cue was invaluable as well. Earlier in the episode, when Tara went into the closet at the Hubbard house, I thought sure someone else was going to come out, but, no, that didn’t happen ’til after the dinner scene. It was more than worth the wait, however. (“Oh, baby,” indeed.) Ah, and there’s the waking realization we were missing earlier, now with the added bonus of getting to meet Pammy’s kiddies. Awesome! I was surprised, by the way, when Pammy admitted to Tara that she’d never been with a woman prior to their, uh, coming together the previous evening, but there’s a first time for everything, I suppose.

In closing, I’d just like to say that, if I hadn’t restrained myself, the title of this blog would’ve been “Your Fucking Face is the Fucking Gay Size.” Failing that, it would’ve been “Ballsac!” Anyone want to bet on how long it’ll be ’til CafePress.com starts stocking shirts with either of those phrases on them? I mean, hell, you can already buy thongs that say, “I’m a T!”


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