"Is Joel Gretsch going to be back as Tara's therapist next season?" -Me, August '09For a while, I assumed the mystery surrounding the new therapist was one of those Clooney-returns-to-"ER" deals, where the actor had enough clout (and enough disinterest in hype) to insist his or her casting not be announced in advance. Then I came to the end of "You Becoming You," and I understood exactly why Cody wanted/needed to keep this particular secret: because the "new therapist" was actually Tara's newest alter, Shoshana, modeled on gay neighbor Ted's real therapist Shoshana in New York.
"No, Tara will have a new therapist." -Diablo Cody
"Oh? Who'd you cast?" -Me
"I can't tell you yet. I promise I'll tell you when I can." -Cody
"Back in the summer, you said you couldn't tell me yet who will play Tara's therapist this season." -Me, January '10
"I still can't tell you." -Cody
"Nope. I'll tell you when I can." -Cody
Of course, sometime between January and now, either Cody or someone at Showtime who outranks her decided to not keep it entirely a secret. Shoshana has been in a lot of the promotional art, and after I watched this episode a few weeks back I saw a couple of interviews with other "Tara" producers that gave away some details about the character, but not necessarily that Tara's psyche created her in lieu of finding an actual therapist. Still, I'm glad I got to be fully surprised. I assumed Tara was lying to Max about talking to the real Shoshana, but only to get him off her back after the Pammy fiasco, so I was nicely dumbfounded when Max walked in on the reality of the situation.
But because Shoshana only appears briefly (while I've seen several more episodes), I'm going to set her aside and focus on some other parts of "You Becoming You," other than to say my eyebrows raised very high when I got a good look at the very Alice-like dress and red heels being worn by the woman in Tara's flashback.
Marshall's storyline continues to maybe the show's strongest blend of comedy and angst, and always wonderfully played by Keir Gilchrist. The Gregsons have always treated Marshall's sexuality as something that's understood but never really addressed head-on, and therefore it felt right that he should finally come out of the closet to his dad in the wake of his failed attempt to prove his heterosexuality with Courtney. Max's completely unruffled response to the announcement - "Good. So, you want anything?" - was a very John Corbett moment at a point in the season where Max is becoming less Corbett-like, and it turned out to be exactly the reaction Marshall needed. He needs to be accepted, but he doesn't really want to talk about it, and certainly not with his parents.
Charmaine, meanwhile, is pregnant, and after she and Tara started talking about the date of conception, my first thought was, "So, it's Neil's baby, right?" Whether it is or it isn't, I hope this story leads to more Patton Oswalt. And Kate's car trouble leads to the first of what should (if the writers were paying attention to how good Viola Davis is with what's so far a tiny part) be many meetings between Lynda and Tara.
What did everybody else think?