“United States of Tara” mini-cap: Art house

Monday’s United States of Tara episode seemed a little uneventful until I watched it a second time. But a few key scenes seem to be setting the stage for the kind of upheaval that might shake up the Gregsons for good.

First, though, a Moment of Charmaine. Last week, Max told Neil that her baby is his, not her fiancé Nick’s. She was livid at the time, but has had a change of heart.

Charmaine’s a mess, but she can put on a tank top and read me a “pome” any time.

Tara has been spending a lot of time with Lynda P. Frazier, working on a piece for an upcoming art walk. Tara took the “Liar box” that Courtney made for Marshall and is turning it into a house — a very detailed house. Lynda notices that Tara seems to be following a design of some sort, but no plans are evident.

Lynda’s observation that Tara’s personalities come together to make art seems to be right on the money, given the fact that no alters have made an appearance since Tara started her project.

But I think that we can be pretty sure that “somebody” is telling Tara how to make the house. (And I suspect the fact that the house is a façade covering the “box of lies” is not coincidence.) The bicentennial flag, which, as Lynda points out, took as much time to create as the entire rest of the house, is, I believe, an important clue.

Combine the flag with Tara’s phobia about the fireworks at the close of the art walk and all signs point to July 4, 1976 being a very bad day.

Max is not impressed with Tara’s art, but her signature is another matter.

Oops — Tara Craine is her maiden name. That’s the proverbial straw and Max loses it.

Max’s question raises an interesting conundrum: Could Tara herself be an alter? Or, if an alter very close to Tara’s primary personality emerged, would Tara know it?

Think about it: Tara didn’t transition through the entire episode, despite the presence of several triggers: confrontation, anger and the fireworks. What if Tara Craine is an alter, one who does all the things Tara feels she has given up for her family?

Equally interesting is where Max goes when he storms out of the art show.

Yep, Pammy is back. But I have a feeling that this time she and Max won’t be talking about Buck.

BTW, Penny Marshall directed this episode. We don’t see nearly enough of her these days.

What did you think of this week’s United States of Tara? Do you think Tara Craine is a new alter? Why did Max go see Pammy?