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'United States of Tara': Not a bad booby-buddy

March 1, 2009 | 11:05 pm

Buck_charmaine_hair_400 Buck came back.  It seemed terrible timing, triggered by Max quizzing Tara about her childhood memories.  Buck came out to play just as Max left to take sister Charmaine to see Dr. Pete for her elective, reconstructive breast enhancement. 

When Buck arrives post-op as Charmaine's stand-in "booby-buddy," Charmaine keeps up her insistence that Tara is just playing the part.  Referring to Buck as Tara, Charmaine asks her to "just stop."  As Charmaine's drugs kick in (Diablo Cody notes on her Twitter commentary that she knows "OxyCONTIN is 'hillbilly heroin,' not oxycodone. But y'know ... creative license") she begins to relax a little, and starts to see Buck, not Tara.  To talk to Buck.  To bond with Buck?  As Buck performs the post-op booby-buddy job of washing Charmaine's hair, she reminisces about when Tara would wash her hair when they were little girls.  And just as Buck emerged with questioning about her childhood, Tara returns with a real memory. 

I wish Cody had twittered more about the theme of "being yourself," but it seems the live commentary is more about behind the scenes/insider info, e.g.:
"FYI, Tricia Brock directed this ep. She was our one and only female director last season, and she did a fabulous job."  Kate gives Marshall relationship advice, seemingly garnered from reading "The Rules" in Charmaine's bathroom.  "Don't ever be yourself," she warns.  "It's the kiss of death." 

And while Charmaine seems to be coming around to accepting the reality of Dissociate Identity Disorder, and accepting Tara for who she really is, alters and all, we get a glimpse that more drama may be about to unfold.  As Max, freaked out by the poncho goblin who pisses on people, begins to explore Tara's past without her knowledge, I wonder if things, and the new alter, might take a darker turn. I, for one, get very nervous hearing a therapist state, "I think having a professional and a loved one working in tandem can be very productive."

-- Rebecca Snavely

(Photo courtesy Showtime)