"United States of Tara" Aftermath (TV Episode 2009) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Tara begins to wonder if people really want her around when she's just herself. She tries to talk to her daughter Kate about sex but she clearly wants to avoid the subject. When son Marshall tells her that his English teacher may phone to talk about a disagreement they had at school, he decides that he would like his Dad take care of it. As a result, another of Tara's personalities makes an appearance. This time it's Alice, a old-fashioned housewife who bakes and irons clothes and the like. Her straightforward manner does solve several problems however.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Open with a Tara video vignette where she talks about being frustrated with picking up her alters.

    During a family meeting Tara is filled in on what happened during recent appearances by 'T' and Buck. Afterward Max tells Tara the family knew the alters would return when Tara went off her medication and they realize without allowing them to surface they can't figure out why she turns to them.

    After glancing at his bed, Tara asks Marshall if he's doing okay. He tells her he's been having problems with an English teacher, Mr. Gershenoff, who didn't appreciate Marshall pointing out a phallic reference in a piece of literature. Marshall tells her not to get involved.

    Tara tries to start a dialogue with Kate about sex. Kate is uncomfortable with the situation, telling Max after Tara leaves the room that such attempts at parenting are just "drama and weirdness." In the hallway Max and Tara commiserate about Kate being an "evil" teenager. Max and Marshall tell Tara that they think Max (and not Tara) should handle the situation with Mr. Gershenoff.

    At the mall Tara tells Charmaine she's upset that Marshall didn't want her involved with his teacher. Tara mentions that Marshall wet his bed, something he hasn't done in several years. Added to Kate's behavior, Charmaine thinks the kids are "responding to trauma," mistakenly referring to Tara's condition as schizophrenia.

    While working on landscaping job, Max's buddy/co-worker Neil (Patton Oswalt) suggests they go to a concert.

    Still out, Tara runs into several mothers from Kate's school. Tara mentions making something for a bake sale, and the women say they weren't counting on her help, bringing up the run-in with Kate's boyfriend. After Charmaine chastises Tara for not sticking up for herself, Tara's face goes blank and she begins to speak with a different cadence.

    Petula, a friend of Marshall's, coincidentally refers to the Mr. Gershenoff as a "conservative bed-wetter," which appears to make him nervous.

    Max leaves the job site to attend the parent-teacher conference with Marshall's teacher. Neil calls him co-dependent for shouldering too much of the parenting load.

    We see Tara in the kitchen, cooking while wearing a 50's era dress and apron. She shows up at school with the cake and an old-fashioned hairstyle, referring to herself as Alice.

    As Max's conversation with the teacher begins to get contentious, Alice walks into the classroom. She gets a dead read on Mr. Gershenoff and clears up the matter almost instantly.

    Out at a restaurant Marshall and Max congratulate Alice for saving the day. After Kate asks when Tara will return, Alice said that Tara wasn't equipped to handle the family at the moment and "I think you need me right now." After Alice refers to the Benjamin incident Kate leaves the table.

    Alice meets Kate in the bathroom. Alice tells Kate that Tara loves Kate very much and is worried about her being sexually active too early. After Alice calls her a "graceless ingrate," Kate begins graphically describing her enjoyment of sex. Alice then rubs hand soap into Kate's mouth. The sound of Kate yelling brings Max and Marshall into the bathroom just as Kate pushes Alice away. Max goes to Alice's defense, prompting Kate to storm out of the room.

    Marshall follows Kate outside the restaurant. Kate tells her brother, "I want out." When Marshall asks what she means, Kate walks back into the restaurant and asks a manager for a job application.

    Back at home Alice walks into Marshall's room and confronts him about wetting the bed. She tells Marshall it's not his fault, that "lots of debonair men throughout history have had their peccadilloes." Alice adds that she hopes someday to be there all the time.

    Max apologizes to Kate for Alice's behavior. He gives her a photo album that Alice made using family pictures Kate had been keeping. Looking at her baby pictures with a younger Tara seems to pacify Kate.

    After stopping her from ironing a pair of his jeans, Max suggests to Alice that she refrain from disciplining the children. Alice refers to Tara's IUD as "Satan's Tree," just before Max rejects her sexual advances. Max stares at briefly at Alice, who asks him what's wrong. "Nothing," he replies, "just looking for someone."

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