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'United States of Tara' Season 3, Episode 10 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Jun 7th 2011 4:45AM
United States of Tara cast['United States of Tara' - 'The Train Wreck']

When a literal "train wreck" pales in comparison to a metaphorical one, you know you're having a bad day. But two crises for the price of one is just another day at the office on 'United States of Tara,' and as we approach the series finale, things are escalating far past a little harmless attempted murder by shellfish. Bryce Craine has made himself nice and cozy inside Tara, and he clearly doesn't intend to leave without a fight.

Toni Collette's physicality is revelatory -- she's never looked more unattractive than she does as Bryce (and I mean that as a compliment), unafraid to look unglamorous and even a little monstrous at times for the sake of the character.

I truly hope she receives some awards recognition for the show's last season; the role has been a true tour de force for her, the likes of which most actresses will never encounter.



Keir Gilchrist has also given an understated but impressive performance over the last few episodes; his dissatisfaction with his mother's condition and his own circumstances has been slowly brewing all season, but we're finally starting to see the toll that Tara's instability is taking, and every new outburst is driving a deeper wedge between mother and son.

They say that the only thing worse than hate is indifference, and it's heartbreaking to see Marshall feeling apathetic about whether Tara is herself or one of the alters during such a stressful time in his life, let alone his resignation after Bryce destroyed his room and his prized record collection. He seems to think that his mother is past the point of being helped, but seeing him finally cry and mourn Lionel was a positive step, as was his decision to get the hell out of dodge when it became clear that the Bryce situation wasn't getting resolved any time soon.

Although Bryce is doing his best to drive everyone away and leave Tara isolated (it certainly worked with Neil and Charmaine following Bryce's revelation about Wheels), it seems that Max is determined to weather the storm to the bitter end -- his loyalty is both utterly romantic and hopelessly misguided, since the only way Tara can truly be rid of Bryce is to face him herself. As Hatteras said earlier in the season, everything felt easy with the alters and their contract because she wasn't really trying; confronting Bryce is the hard thing, the painful thing, and she's been shying away from that with pills and denial for the past few weeks to no avail.

As Tara's life unravels, Kate's only seems to be gaining stability; she fearlessly opened up about her kooky home life to Evan, and after a baffling detour into break-up territory as the couple struggled to define itself by legwear, she seemed to realize that she's old enough to have her own problems instead of constantly dealing with her mother's, sweetly inviting Evan (and his nightmarish son by proxy) to become her problem instead.

Bryce might have the mindset of a 14 year-old (although he doesn't act like it) but his lack of hesitation or remorse over poisoning Hatteras isn't something that Max should take lightly -- where do you think he'll go from here? How will Tara reassert her control? We only have two episodes left to find out.

'United States of Tara' airs Mondays, 10:30PM ET on Showtime.

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA

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June 11 2011 at 5:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Piecar

Clearly, just the scumbag salesmen are watching anymore.

This episode was stupid. The Alter is smashing everything and they just let it go? It's foolish. The show is out of gas and deserves to be cancelled. I love Tara and Max, but jeepers whiz.

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