United States of Tara – Episode 2-2 Review

After a somewhat disappointing season premier, “Trouble Junction” helped get the show back on track and even addressed some of the problems from the premier. Although, some characters still acted completely stupid – I’m looking at you, too-smart-for-school Kate.  Overall, it was more of a set-up episode for the season to come, but it had some great moments and an unexpected little twist at the end.

The episode opens with Tara coming home from Pammy’s (Chasing Amy‘s Joey Lauren Adams), she has lost time and is confused. But before she has a chance to process what’s happened, Charmaine is sitting on her doorstep to announce her engagement. Charmaine asks to move in, in an attempt to revirginize herself for her marriage. Mark my words, no good will come out of this.  When your first reaction after getting engaged is to move out, regardless of the reason, your heart is not with your fiancé/fiancée. Regardless, it will be an interesting new dynamic with Charmaine under the same roof.

Despite Tara’s objections, Max makes an offer on their neighbor’s house. Tara calls it, now that she is better, Max needs something new to fix. It was interesting to see Max completely tune Tara out when voicing her concerns about buying the house – while this house is something for Max to fix, it is also the catalyst that breaks Tara.

Lionel is back, as stereotypical as ever, but Marshall has had enough of his obnoxious behavior.  Marshall calls Lionel out and says he’s the reason people don’t like gays – pushing it in their faces and making gays look like a joke.  Marshall rebels against Lionel and his sexuality and goes back into the closet by making out with fag-hag, Kimmy.  I don’t know, Ugly Betty‘s Justin did the same thing this season.  It is a shame that these young kids who were secure in their sexuality now have these “going back in the closet” storylines.  But it is early in the storyline, so hopefully it will be handled well.

Kate is intrigued with one of the women she is trying to collect debt from – an illustration of a Viking vixen.  That’s right, she actually thinks the woman looks like the comic the woman drew. That’s like expecting Todd McFarlane to look like Spawn or Bob Kane to look like Batman. Really, Kate? She tracks down the artist, Lynda P. Frazier (played by Oscar nominee, Viola Davis), and (surprise, surprise) she’s not a Viking.  No, she is a middle-aged African American woman who has no problem smoking pot in front of a minor.  Lynda is obviously going to be a major part of the season, but her introduction seemed a bit forced.  Kate did collect some of Lynda‘s $30,000 debt – so, there you go.

The strength of the episode is with Tara coming to terms with the alters’ return. Tara runs into Pammy at the market and realizes that Buck slept with her. Tara breaks down.  She is on her meds but cannot control her alters. She does not want to tell Max and worry/disappoint him. For the first time, she is all alone.  Tara tries to fight Buck over control of her body, but Buck takes control and goes to Pammy’s house, apologizing with a rose for Tara’s earlier rudeness.  Tara wakes up the next morning in Pammy’s bed and hastily leaves. In an I-didn’t-see-that-coming twist, Pammy has a couple of young daughters.  Will Buck carry on an actual relationship with Pammy? If so, how will that affect Max and Tara?  It’s a storyline I am interested to see play out.

For the most part, I like where the story is going and think “Trouble Junction” has set up what could be a very interesting season.  I know we are only two episode in, but I’m anxiously awaiting the return of the rest of the alters.  And Kate, go back to school.