'United States of Tara' Series Finale: Goodbye, Gregsons
Monday, June 20, 2011
The series finale of United States of Tara wasn't intended to be
the last episode ever, but it worked perfectly as one. After a season
where Tara's new abuser alter Bryce terrorized her family and killed her
other alters, the finale wrapped up the storyline and gave Tara and her
family the chance to fight back.
The finale started with another great fantasy sequence as Tara water boarded and "killed" Bryce, freeing her up to move on and get some help. But moving on wasn't as easy for the rest of her family. Tara's long-suffering husband, son and daughter have had to put up with a lot from her. As her son Marshall said, Tara couldn't solve everything in 36 hours before she left for Boston to get some serious help, but the finale was about putting the characters in a place where they're willing to accept the situation and move on.
Marshall's movie about his family revealed that Max may be the real center and not Tara, and the finale illustrated that point by giving him fantasy sequences where he screamed about how messed up the situation is. That all led to my favorite scene in the entire series, the Turducken Breakdown where Max finally gave voice to all of his frustration and anger.
For me, it was the most important moment of the entire series because it allowed him and everyone else to move on. He wasn't angry at Tara, just the situation, and after Max and the rest of his family bottled up their emotions for so long, letting them all come out in one explosive dinner scene allowed the Gregsons to acknowledge that their lives aren't easy so they could start to heal the wounds.
That sentiment was echoed by all of the other characters. Marshall gave up caring about his mother's problems, but a trip to Lionel's memorial helped him put everything into perspective. Kate found love with Evan, but it also helped her to realize that she needed to stay behind and help her little brother. And Charmaine finally agreed to marry Neil.
The problems of season 3 weren't solved, but the healing process began, and it all led up to a sweet goodbye as Tara and Max drove off to Boston so she could get real help. We may never know exactly what happens, but United States of Tara did a fantastic job of ending on an optimistic note. The worst is behind them, they all survived, and now they can move forward.
The Gregsons learned to love the ride, and after three seasons, I loved it too. I wish United States of Tara wasn't canceled, because now the show seems to have settled into a nice rhythm, and I can only imagine what else was to come.
(Image courtesy of Showtime)