United States of Tara

Season 1 Episode 2


Aired Monday 10:30 PM Jan 25, 2009 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
181 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Tara feels like she is unable to talk to her children about sex. In order to do so, she calls on one of her personalities named Alice.

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  • Far-fetched but very enjoyable.

    I really like the idea of this show. It's totally unrealistic and crazy but it's very entertaining. It can be really funny like with how this new alter Alice is so proper and how she washes Kate's mouth out with soap. I'm interested to see what other alters there are and how these current ones are developed.

    It also has potential for great drama as Tara causes problems in her families lives which she can't stop. It's quite tragic how Kate doesn't like her mother...looking forward to see that developed. I like Marshall as well even though he's not been totally developed. So yeah I really enjoyed this despite it's crazy concept.moreless
  • A good follow-up, but the episode name says it all.. just an episode dealing with the aftermath of the pilot.

    It appears (and mind you, I'm only getting this off of two episodes) that this show doesn't follow the typical serial format that Dexter, Californication (to some extent) and other shows on premium cable follow. There's not really a "season" plot, but more or less a montage of scenes dealing with this family and the dysfunctional mother. Last episode was great because it bounced all over the place, giving us insight into Tara's personality, as well as her alters' personalities, while also touching on how her disorder affects the rest of her family.

    I found that the episode flew by, mostly because the episode consisted of little more than a series of scenes with Tara interacting with her children, and then Alice interacting with each family member. Alice certainly is an interesting alter, and seems to enjoy the power she has while in Tara's body more than the other alters. It also gave Toni Collette another chance to flex her acting chops, proving she can probably take any personality and act the hell out of it. I also enjoy Max, the father, mostly because he's the kind of Dad everybody wishes to have. He seems pretty lax with almost everything that happens in his life, but John Corbett incorporates a little subtlty into his performance, hinting at the possibility of Tara's disorder getting under his skin a bit. Oh yeah, and Patton Oswalt's appearence in the episode was awesome.

    Overall, this was a great episode that seemed a lot slower than last week's. Hopefully next episode will have somewhat of a faster pace.moreless
  • We met another alter, called Alice

    In this episode of United States of Tara, the following happens. We open with a family meeting, during which they discuss what happened during the past week and what alters were out and on which days. We also learn that Tara has recently gone off of her medication and that is why her alters are back.

    We learn that Marshal and his English teacher are having differences of opinion in class. We are also introduced to another alter in this episode, her name is Alice and she is the perfect homemaker (think Martha Stewart and Bree from Desperate Housewives).moreless
  • In the second episode we meet the third and final alter so far. Her name is Alice and shes a perfectionist mother.

    In this episode we meet Alice, the perfect mother. This episode is kind of dull but it is interseting to meet the third alter.

    This so far is probably the worst episode of the season but still being the worst does not mean its bad! its still really good! This episode although may seem dull it really lets you learn about all of the characters and see them for who they are, its a great introduction to the series. You really learn alot about them, if you havent seen it you must especially if you have seen the other episodes.moreless
  • The second episode of Tara focuses more on the dramatic that the comic aspect of her personality, and introduces a new personality, Alice.

    I think the writers are making the right choice by not focusing entirely on the funny side of things with this issue, it is after all a very serious illness and if they were going to tackle it sensitively they would have to display the downsides in a dysfunctional family such as this. So in this episode we meet the 50s, stay-at-home mom personality of Tara, named Alice. Alice is very traditional and not well liked by her kids, especially her daughter, with whom she has a horrible fight in this episode. It's refreshing to see her daughter as something else than the typical, skanky, indifferent teenager. Here we see her as a hurt child trying to cope with everything going on around her the best way she can.

    Also there is some focus on the husband's problems with the multiple personalities, the couple's sex life in particular. Her husband is attracted to Alice but is not allowed to have sex with her, which is confusing and difficult for him.

    The second episode is still as interesting as the first, and lets the viewer in more details as far as the disease is concerned, the way it is brought about in the family's everyday life and the way they cope with it. Very good.moreless
Shiloh Fernandez

Shiloh Fernandez

Benjamin Lambert

Guest Star

Tony Hale (I)

Tony Hale (I)

Mr. Gershenoff

Guest Star

Hayley McFarland

Hayley McFarland


Guest Star

Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt


Recurring Role

Nathan Corddry

Nathan Corddry


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Tara: Having multiple personality is like hosting a kegger in your brain. Only you're passed out cold while everyone else is just trashing the joint.

    • Marshall: The walking stick represents Ethan's erection.
      Mr. Gershenoff: That's inappropriate, Marshall.
      Marshall: Excuse me, Mr. Gershenoff. I'm not an expert or anything, but I think I know my literary boners.

    • Tara: Sex can be bizarre when you first start doing it. I mean, naked people, weird body parts. Awkward as hell. And no one knows how to act. I just want you to know I've been there and we can talk.
      Kate: K, thanks.

    • Alice: Mr. Gershenoff, we all know what this is really about: being different. And you out of anyone must understand. Poor little Oral Gershenoff, sitting in the back of the class, with his funny hair and his funny name. Daydreaming about sports he'd never play and girls he'd never touch. You know, pandering to the football captains and the prom queens of today won't take away the pain of yesterday. They can't appreciate you now any more than they did back then. And taking it out on the weird kid won't help that weird kid (points to Mr. Gershenoff) in there. It's time to start loving, Oral.

    • Kate: I'm not a hardship. I'm awesome.
      Alice: You're a graceless ingrate.
      Kate: You mean a slut? A girl who likes boys? Who lets boys know she likes them? A girl who orgasms. Who moans and moans and screams in ecstasy. A girl who sucks and fucks. A girl with absolutely no backdoor shyness?
      Alice: That's it. I'm going to wash your mouth out with soap. (washes Kate's mouth with soap)

    • Kate: Dad, I hate it when she just swoops in here and acts like we can just talk about anything.
      Max: Well, she's your mother and she cares, so you gotta love her.
      Kate: You have to maybe, you married her. You chose that. But for me, it's just drama and weirdness.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Air Dates:
      Latin America: September 29, 2009 on Canal Fox
      Sweden: October 1, 2009 on Kanal 9
      Germany: March 3, 2011 on ARD

    • This episode is rated TV-MA for adult language and adult content.

    • This is the first episode where the opening sequence is used, which won the 2009 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Main Title Design". "Tara" and the two alters' names are found in the credits: "Tara" on the popup book cover, "Buck" on the motorcycle's gas tank, and ""T"" on her animated butt cheek.

      The song used is "You'll Be Fine" by Tim Delaughter, which was nominated for that same award for "Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music".


    • Marshall's Books: AIA Guide to New York City by Norval White and Elliot Willensky

    • Movie Mentions:
      Pandora's Box, a tale of the rise and fall of a woman filled with eroticism, was being viewed by Marshall on his laptop.
      • The poster of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a film about an evil doctor, was hanging on Marshall's wall in his room.
      • The DVD of Booty Tales, a porno movie, was picked up by Tara when she was cleaning the house.