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'United States of Tara': Let your freak flag fly

February 23, 2009 |  8:30 am

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It's parents' weekend at Tara's house, and there's nothing like a critical, slightly crazy family to bring out another alter. 

Tara and Charmaine's folks pull up in their RV to celebrate Charmaine's birthday and spend the weekend trying to convince Max that kids Kate and Marshall would be better off living with their grandparents.  Dad looks lovingly at his daughter Charmaine and declares, "She looks thin."  Mom chimes in, "Well, she barely eats, and when she does, she eats alone." 

That's enough to drive anyone to drink, and sure enough, Tara and Charmaine's first move is to the kitchen for the vino. Though Max has already popped a pill to deal with the in-laws, Tara declined, even though she is worried that Buck might make an appearance. "Let your freak flag fly," Max encourages his wife. He later runs her in circles around the yard to try anything to keep her from transitioning and leaving him alone with "these people."

Though there are fights and freak shows (who can erase the image of Charmaine flashing the family with her botched boob job?), the visit seems to go off without a hitch or an alter's appearance. That is till the last night, when Max wakes up to an empty bed. Searching the house, he sees a figure in a red rain poncho crouching above Grandpa, urinating on the bed. When Max whisper-shouts at her(?), the poncho-person takes off, outside into the night.

Is this a new alter?  Stay tuned.

-- Rebecca Snavely

Photo: Showtime

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