United States Of Tara: "Doin' Time" 
B+

United States Of Tara: "Doin' Time" 

B+

United States Of Tara

"Doin' Time" 

Season 2, Episode 5

 Ahh, I see what you are doing right now United States of Tara.  Transitioning is not just meant for people with Dissociative Identity Disorder.  We are all transitioning, all the time, you see? My eyelashes are thirsty. No seriously though, this seemed like the episode where most of the key players seemed poised for some sort of personality or allegiance-switch. 


We picked up from where last week's episode left off, with Max walking in on Shoshana's appointment.  She offers to talk to Max and tries to get him to do an exercise, expressing his feelings about Tara to a chair.  Too overcome by the "what the fuck"-ness of the situation, Max is unable to speak, so to make things extra weird and ironic, Shoshana offers, "You want me to be Tara?"  Overcome, Max threatens to commit Tara but is interrupted by the cops pulling up to arrest him for beating up Sully, which all causes Tara to transition back to herself.

I really like the relationship between Kate and Marshall: the actors and writers capture well the fact that the siblings mostly enjoy hanging out but still can't help needling one another, especially often in the interest of looking after each other.  Marshall expresses concern about Kate's weed-smoking and he calls her out on her bullshitting on how Princess Valhalla Hawkwind is...mumble mumble...postfeminist. She calls him right back out on, "Are you, or are you not a homo?"  After the cops take Max away, Kate grows somber and depressed as she reflects upon how fucked-up the family is, and Marshall tries to lift her spirits by wondering whether Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima are married to one another. "No," says Kate morosely. "Aunt Jemima's married to Uncle Jemima."

Marshall's still trying to sort out his sexual situation and not doing it incredibly gracefully.  Afraid of telling Courtney he's gay, he tries the old standby that he needs "space," and she starts to cry. "Just kidding," he says miserably. "You can be bi but you don't have to be with everyone," Lionel later advises. 

Unfortunately for Marshall, Kate's only around to help him as long as Lynda isn't returning her calls. Kate makes a Princess Valhalla Hawkwind video on Youtube and, grounded, waits on tenterhooks all day to hear back from Lynda about it, giving her time to bond with her brother. Once Lynda's phone is recharged however, Kate's attention is turned away from her confused little bro to her cool new pal.

For the second time so far this season we saw Tara talking to one of her alters, as Shoshana appears in Tara's car as she follows Max to jail.  She crashes the car and she and Shoshana talk out the situation: Tara is supposed to rescue Max as he has done of her so many times, but she doesn't want to bail him out for fear of being committed.  Shoshana generously offered to cancel the rest of her "appointments" to discuss the memories of the two little girls Tara has been having.

Who's the biggest mess in the family? I still vote Charmaine, who finds out that Neil is probably the father of her baby, but still wants to marry (or at least have wedding photos with) Nick.  Tara is admirably non-judgmental when she finds out, and, based on her conversations with Shoshana, asks Charmaine if she remembers a woman named "Mimi" from their childhood (Charmy doesn't).  Meanwhile, unaware that he's got his little rectangular mozzarella baby growing inside the woman she loves, Neil takes Max out for a consolation brewski.  Is there only one bar where Tara and Max live? If I were Max I would try not to go to the one where the bartender tells me what my wife's vagina tastes like.  Then again, Max was being a douche by "tipping" her for not making his life more complicated.

After he gets out of stir, Max and Tara have it out again, with her telling him that Shoshana has suggested to him that the only reason they're together is her sickness, so he needs her to be sick. The two sleep separately but nobody actually sleeps as Tara/Shoshana slips over to the Hubbard house to hold office hours for Max, who asks her to promise not to tell Tara what he tells her.  Again, we see Tara in the same scene as one of her alters, only in this case she's on the other side of the door to the office.

So we'll see where things go from here: I'm curious to see where Lynda and Kate's relationship will go especially, and I think I'm ready for Alice or T. to make an appearance too.

--I thought it was interesting that after Kate's "girls who suck and fuck" monologue last season she seemed so on the fence about the merits of sex in tonight's episode. Maybe she’s taking on Valhalla Hawkwind’s celibacy.

--I thought it was random--but funny--that Neil used Bridget Jones' Diary as a touchstone when having his man-to-man with Max.

--"Madonna's biceps make me nervous." Me too, Lionel.

--If you'd like to see Kate's Valhalla Hawkwind video, go here.

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