"I just wish I could get away like you do." -KateThere are episodes of "Tara" where I feel completely engaged by the characters and their interactions with one another. Then there are episodes like "Possibility" that feel a little listless -- possibly because so much time was spent on Kate, the character I find least interesting -- and as I watch them, my inner comic book geek takes over my body and starts trying to quantify exactly what makes Tara Hulk out, and what turns her back into Bruce Banner.
The common thread for the appearance of the alters is stress, but it tends to be a specific kind of stress relating to loss of control. Last week, for instance, she became Alice after she found out Max and Dr. Ocean were having meetings without her. Here, she transforms (briefly) into T when Kate makes it clear that they're not going to have the fun mother-daughter bonding trip Tara had in mind, and that Kate's not going to listen to Tara about stepping away from the pharmaceutical salesman(*). Kate's rebelliousness in particular seems to be the trigger for T's emergence, as T tries to act out all the things (flirting with the salesman, getting a tattoo) that Kate has been talking about with Tara.
(*) I don't know what the production schedule on this episode was, but I have to assume it was done after the new "90210" came on the air, given Diablo Cody's unabashed "90210" fangirl status and the casting of Ryan Eggold as Kate's pharma object of desire. I only wish Ken Marino had gotten more to do as the other salesman, but at least his Starz! show "Party Down" premieres on Friday.
Meanwhile, this is the second time we've witnessed the transformation from alter back to Tara. The first time, it came during a moment of complete calm, as Charmaine told a story from Tara's childhood, which definitely fit the Hulk/Banner mold. This time, though, the extreme pain of the tattoo needle wakes her up, when you would think that pain would instead trigger the reverse change -- or, possibly, trigger a transformation from one of the female alters into Buck. But instead, Tara comes back, and even gets through a more innocuous tattoo session -- which fulfills Tara's hope of a mother-daughter bonding moment, after all -- without the alters surfacing again.
Outside of the Gregson women's road trip, we finally get some movement on the Marshall/Jason story, as Marshall takes the honorable path of getting Jason drunk so he can seduce him -- and apparently finding success. We don't know yet whether this was just drunken experimentation -- Jason sure looked uncomfortable saying goodbye to Max later -- or a sign that Marshall wasn't just wishcasting the idea of Jason playing for his team, but we did see Jason wake up and actively kiss Marshall back. So there's that.
Meanwhile, after getting chewed out by Tara, then encouraged by Neil(**), Max tries to go forward on his quest to find the mysterious Trip, only to be foiled when he finds himself face to face with one of Trip's brothers. This is a story that could use some forward movement soon, if only so Max can realize that finding this guy and getting to the bottom of what happened isn't going to come close to "fixing" Tara.
(**) That scene, with the wrangle line and the appearance of The B.S. Lady, is the first of two really good Patton Oswalt scenes on TV this week; Friday's "Dollhouse" will have the other.
What did everybody else think?