Episodes: 36 (half-hour)
TV show dates: January 18, 2009 — June 20, 2011
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: Toni Collette, John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt, Brie Larson, Keir Gilchrist, Pamela Reed, and Fred Ward.
TV show description:
This TV series chronicles the life of a suburban housewife and mother of two from Overland Park, Kansas. Far from typical, she has dissociative identity disorder (DID). Her alternative personalities include the wild and flirty teenaged T, old-fashioned housewife Alice, and a Vietnam war vet named Buck.
Tara Gregson (Toni Collette) works as a mural painter. She loves her family as much as any mother and feels guilty putting them through such bizarre events. She endured sexual abuse during her time in boarding school. She doesn’t have memories of before or after the abuse but has been shown to have had DID before the abuse started. After a DID episode, she never has any memory of what her alter has done, yet her alters know everything about her. She occasionally goes through times of not taking her medication in an attempt to live without the help of drugs, but it’s then the other personalities show again.
Max Gregson (John Corbett), has a calm understanding of his wife’s disorder. They’ve been married for nearly twenty years, and it’s no longer a shock for him to come home and see one of her other alters at home. Their daughter, teenage Kate (Brie Larson), works in a family restaurant chain. Her gay younger brother, Marshall (Keir Gilchrist), is good-natured, likes classic films, and aspires to be a director. One of Tara’s alters, Buck, is homophobic which makes for an interesting family dynamic.
Tara’s sister, Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt), resents her for having always been the center of attention and believes the DID was a form of acting out. An incident with one of Tara’s alters caused Charmaine to lose her job at a mail-order vitamin company. She had breast augmentation surgery at the request of her first husband, and has now been left disfigured. Beverly and Frank (Pamela Reed and Fred Ward) are Tara and Charmaine’s parents, and would like Kate and Marshall to move in with them because of Tara’s condition.
Episode 36 — The Good Parts
Tara finally confronts her last surviving alter, Bryce. After jumping off the bridge, Tara has a confrontation with Bryce in her mind and “kills” him.
Max wants Tara to go to the institution in Kansas City, but she convinces him to let her go to the doctor in Boston that Hatteras recommended. Tara tries to get everyone to have one last family dinner before she goes but it doesn’t go as planned. Marshall is still angry with Tara and Max flips out when they ask him to make a speech. He screams and hurls the turducken at the wall. Kate tells Evan that although she would like to be with him, she must stay home in Kansas with Marshall while Tara and Max are in Boston for three months.
Meanwhile, Neil eases Charmaine’s fears about Houston, and she proposes to him. After jokingly refusing, he accepts. Marshall finally forgives Tara and visits a memorial for Lionel. As Tara is about to get into Max’s pickup truck to head to Boston, she sees T, Alice, and Buck silently sitting in the bed of the truck. They’re battered and bruised but definitely still alive.
As Max and Tara drive away, Tara embraces the future. She sticks her head out of the window to enjoy the warm sun and moving air. She transitions (she does the long blink) into Buck, then Alice, then T, and then herself, letting all of her alters also “embrace the future.”
First aired: June 20, 2011
What do you think? Are you sorry that United States of Tara was cancelled? Are you satisfied with the last episode?