UNITED STATES OF TARA “Train Wreck” Review

UNITED STATES OF TARA "Train Wreck" Season 3 Episode 10 (3)

UNITED STATES OF TARA “Train Wreck” Season 3 Episode 10 – How can the Gregsons survive Bryce? When Lionel dies and Marshall needs comforting, Tara swipes her powdered pills away. Unfortunately (which is a word I find myself using an awful lot when discussing United States of Tara) before she can get back to snorting her medication, Bryce Crane takes over and unlike Tara’s other alters, he seems to have no intention of letting go of his new body.

The way the writers handled Lionel’s death was just wonderful. There was no hint of manipulation. It just happened. And Keir Gilchrist was so fragile as Marshall goes from empty shock to anger at his mother. She has to hog the problems in the house. Nobody else is allowed to live a life of their own: everything they do has to be in consideration of what is best for her, even as she’s simultaneously ripping his bedroom to shreds, even as she’s reading out a note from a dead loved one, mocking him cruelly. Both the Gregson children have defended her, and they’ve both tiptoed around her, but in this episode it seems like they’ve finally snapped. They have to live their own lives, and that means separating themselves from their mother. Kate asks Evan to be her problem, and Marshall tells his father that he intends to go. Or rather, his father realizes that Marshall has to go. Alone in the basement, mourning his best friend, Marshall’s dad comes down not to comfort him, but to ask him to help out with the family shitstorm brewing above.

Tara’s entire family are distancing themselves from her. After Bryce reveals that he took Wheels on a bus ride, Neil puts his foot down. He cannot endanger his baby, and that means that Charmaine has to let her sister go. My favorite moment in the episode was the bit where Charmaine accepts the reality of the situation: that her sister is ill, too ill to be looked after, and for the sake of her family she has to cut ties with Tara. Reaching that conclusion she holds Wheels and promises that she won’t let anything happen to he. It’s something, as Max pointed out earlier, parents have promised their children from the beginning of time, only to break that promise soon and often.

And that leaves Max with Tara. And what will come from that? Therapy does not work. Medication does not work. Family love does not work. The only solution left is possibly institutionalization. Can Max do this? And where will that leave him, in a house with no children and no wife, and only memories of a loved but broken life. How can he move on from there? Because Bryce Crane seems determined to destroy the Gregsons, and at least in this episode, he seems to be doing a pretty good job.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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