I have a sort of fantasy about this show, where I keep sticking with it even after everyone has stopped watching, recapping, or talking about it, and it suddenly gets AMAZING and I’m like “Slow and steady wins the recap race!” But so far, even though episode four (“Inspiration”) had Real Tara the whole time and only an alter flashback and (spoiler) evidence of a possible act committed by an alter, it was still ridiculous. Sigh. Let’s go.
Tara catches Max masturbating in the shower. Okay, that’s a plot that’s done in movies and on TV all the time. American Beauty, much? For anyone under the age of 75, this doesn’t seem like a conflict. But she makes a joke, calling it “Gentleman’s Time,” and this joke is repeated several times because she keeps being worried about it. “Gentleman’s Time” is not going to happen. Stop trying to make “Gentleman’s Time” happen.
Tara makes a friend — her sister’s coworker at the Amway Vitamin Pyramid Scheme company who has hired her to paint a terrible pastel mural on her wall for some reason. Here is Tara telling her shrink about her new friend. Notice that the shrink talks about Tara’s (faaake) condition as being a “system” that was “set up” to “protect” Tara from the trauma that happened in her life that she doesn’t remember:
“Well, smell me!” What? Who would say that to their shrink?
Later, Tara’s sister casually mentions that Tara’s trauma was “She had sex with someone at boarding school that she didn’t want to have sex with.” Sure. I don’t want to dismiss the trauma of having had sex with someone at boarding school or anywhere else that you didn’t want to have sex with, but if this is true, why doesn’t Charmie tell her all about it? This episode is all about how Tara can’t remember, but hasn’t she had people around her who will remember for her? Was I allowing my eyes to unfocus while staring at the wall next to the TV when they told us that Tara grew up completely alone, raised by wolves? (I’m legitimately asking: that happens a lot with this show.)
Anyway, its also really messed up that the daughter teases the son about his crushes in front of their parents, but I can’t express it better than Claire Zulkey over at The AV Club, so here’s what she said:
I guess we’re supposed to know that the family is cool and liberal but it would seem just gross though if Marshall were straight and Katie were talking about him chasing pussy in front of her parents.
Exactly. Katie’s jokes are not a step forward for mankind. They’re just gross.
Anyway, at least this episode ended with a genuine mystery: Tara’s new friend’s mural is vandalized with the words “Yuppie Cunt” and Tara was the only one with the key, so she’s served with a restraining order. So did one of her alters do it? And what does that have to do with Tara’s trauma?
One thing is certain: by the end of this season, Max will have sex with one of the alters, and the brouhaha over it will be boring. (My guess: Alice, and she gets pregnant, but that’s so “duh” by now that maybe they’ll throw us for a loop. But almost certainly not.)