A woman with severe black hair and bangs, a woman you might recognize, in a flowy social worker outfit, stands outside Tara's cell. She's paid Tara's bail, and Kenya tells her to pull it together before letting Maryann Forrester in to speak with her. "I'd like to help you, if you'll let me." Tara asks if she's "some kind of social worker," and she grins, thinks, and agrees. "Yeah, that's about right. Kenya knows me. I'm in and out of here all the time, working with people in your position." Tara's question is not so much a question: My position. "Mm," Maryann nods. "DUIs, minor assaults, public drunkenness. You know, those times when things go just a little too far?" That's where she lives, in the places where we go too far, in the times that we forget ourselves. If Jessica was born of Bill's need to atone, and comments on it, then Maryann was born of Tara's need to see real magic in action. To be transformed.
"It can happen to anyone. And I expect you have your reasons?" Tara admits she has reasons, not that she can name them beyond one word, "Nancy," and she immediately turns down Maryann's offer of a ride home. "Well," she sort of laughs, "They gave me your address. And you can't walk there, it's too far." Tara shakes her head, knowing she'll come up with something, and in any case she's not going home. She has no home. She's not going there, she got kicked out. "You don't have anywhere to go? No family, no friends?" Both question and manipulation, but also a confirmation: Nobody will miss you? "I don't want them to see me like this..." She puts on her best friendly, grateful, conversation-ending polite smile. "It's okay. I'll think of something." Maryann sits in the bunk just across: "Tara. I'm sure you've barely slept or eaten. What if you come to my home? Just till you get things figured out."
Tara's getting a weird vibe, but Maryann laughs again: "No no, there's plenty of room. I do this all the time. It's sort of an informal halfway house... You can shower, you can wash your clothes, you can let me feed you. Then you can go on your way and my conscience will be clear. Hm?" It's informal, and halfway. She doesn't lie, this one. And I'm not operating from a spoiler place, because there aren't any spoilers at this point, and this character is radically different in the books and I have no idea what Maryann Forrester's agenda is, but I do think that Tara is headed exactly one place, which is past the crossroads and past her historical pain and right on into the very fucking madness, and that the only way out is through, so these are educated guesses having less to do with the books and more to do with the fact that it's my job to think about this shit.