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October 7, 2015

'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 8 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted May 17th 2011 9:20AM
Toni Collette['United States of Tara' - 'Chicken 'n' Corn']

After weeks of mystery and speculation, we finally caught our first glimpse of the dangerous Bryce Crane last night, and he was every bit as terrifying as we've been anticipating. This episode is the first true step into one of the darkest storylines 'United States of Tara' has ever tackled, and it was impressive to see how effectively the show managed to build suspense and palpable menace.

Elsewhere, Max faced his fear of flying in the hope of being a supportive dad for Marshall, but ended up undermining his son's confidence instead, while Kate met Evan's obnoxious son Monty, who made his feelings about his dad's younger girlfriend perfectly clear.

Even Charmaine got a little development, realizing just how much she missed Neil (shocker!) and making the serious mistake of entrusting Tara with the baby in her sister's fragile state ...

I had such dread building up in my chest when Dr. Hatteras discovered that Tara -- or Bryce -- had taken Wheels and run away; I knew the show wouldn't go so dark as to actually harm the baby but, for a moment, I couldn't shake that visceral reaction.

And though Bryce stopped short of killing one child, he apparently managed to somehow "kill" Chicken, since Tara could no longer feel the young alter inside her. Toni Collette created such a compelling new character that she somehow made herself almost unrecognizable even in her own clothes -- Bryce was far more intimidating than good-natured Buck, and everything from his gestures to his expressions were masculine and undeniably chilling. The ripped-up bunny rabbit toy was a perfect (and strangely horrifying) symbol for the destruction of innocence in Tara both as a child and now with what he did to Chicken.

At least Tara's newest crisis helped to pull Jack out of his tailspin and put him back on the case -- I loved watching Eddie Izzard master the soothing tone of a therapist out in the cornfield with Tara: He sounded half psychologist and half hypnotist in that moment.

Charmaine discovering Jack and Tara in her home and assuming an affair was also hilariously done, and when Charm isn't being insufferable, she can always be counted on to inject humor into a scene.

Perhaps the second most meaningful plotline this week was Max journeying to New York with Marshall. John Corbett did an excellent job of thoroughly conveying Max's deep and abiding fear of flying, and his freak-out provided a perfect backdrop for Marshall's ongoing issues with his parents this year. He's tired of having to take care of them when they should be the ones protecting him, but it didn't stop him from holding his dad's hand and offering comfort when things really got rough, as is the Gregson way.

Kate and Evan continue to be adorable -- I loved their fake-fancy dinner at the airport restaurant, where they brought their own tablecloth and candles to set a romantic mood. Even though Monty is hell on two feet, the pair still make a great couple, but will Kate be put off by the third wheel?

'United States of Tara' airs Mondays at 10.30PM ET on Showtime.

What did you think of Bryce and his plan to kill Tara? Do you think he's really capable of destroying her alters? Share your reactions below.

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Julio Juri

Love this season, it's way better than season two! So, Bryce is an alter based in Tara's molester, so the other alters are based in other persons? Let's see... Alice is similar to Mimi, Tara appeared when that pretty confusing rape in college occurred, Shoshana is an alter based in the real Shoshana... and Buck? Or maybe all alters are defenses against the sexual abuse and Buck is the one who makes Tara feel safe, T is the one who allows Tara to enjoy sex. ALice is the one who keeps everything moral and clean and Shoshana comforts her...
I guess we'll have to keep guessing...!

May 17 2011 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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