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'United States of Tara': An alter pattern emerging?

February 15, 2009 | 11:49 pm

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Whodunnit?  The family begins an investigation into which alter earned Tara her first restraining order by defacing the mural on ex-best friend Tiffany's wall.  Marshall and Kate watch the home videos Tara and her alters make while Tara and Max listen to Dr. Ocean diagnose the latest altercation.  Not only is a real friend a threat to the alters, it appears one of them wanted to be out in the world.  "Now my alters have alters," Tara says sarcastically. 

"Most women don't have a clue to how much (aggression) they're carrying," Dr. Ocean explains.  Minutes later, as Tara and Max discuss the graffiti, Max appears to disregard Tara's belief that someone else did the crime.  And just like that, it appears Tara stuffs her frustrating and aggression and T comes out to deal.  Can we start to detect a pattern in what triggers different alters? 

Charmaine and Max head out on a road trip to track down T, and Max keeps working on the clues.  When he asks Charmaine about Tara's roommate at boarding school, in the hope that someone might have been around "whenever whatever happened, happened," Charmaine can't quite recall the unusually tall roommate's name.  She does recall, however, that though Tara went to prep school, Charmaine went the public route.  "Don't know what I did wrong," she says with jealousy?  Anger?  Aggression?  "You didn't do anything wrong," Max tells her.  "Maybe."  Is Charmaine dropping a clue?  Was she involved in Tara's trauma?  Or is she, too, blocking something?  Or am I just trying too hard, hoping to see signs? 

What do you think?  What triggers the different alters to emerge? 

-- Rebecca Snavely

Photo: Showtime

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