Review: Transparent S1 E2

The Letting Go

“Are you saying you’re going to start dressing up like a lady all the time?”

“No honey. All my life, my whole life I’ve been dressing up like a man. This is me.”

This is a great follow up to episode one. In the pilot we saw Maura trying to come out to her children but unable to do so. She had planned everything but just couldn’t go through with it. But on episode two she couldn’t avoid it, yet it was still her decision and she came out on her terms. It was a gentle and carefully worded coming out that created so much empathy for Maura. The pride she feels for much of the episode is so well deserved.

Yet, this time we focus more on The Pfefferman kids and their respective conundrums. We see Sarah give in to temptation with her former flame, Tammy. Not only that, we see her struggle with the fact her father is, and always was, a woman. Meanwhile Ali, still directionless, finds comfort in the bed of her personal trainer. And Josh faces the real fear of being a father. Much like in the pilot, these children–and really they still deserve to be called children–are shown to be just as self-centered but slowly we are beginning to see past the cracks to what’s inside. There is no doubt they will all experience a profound change, and not only because they’ll have to adjust to addressing their father by her preferred pronoun.

We’re also beginning to see more of the LGBTI community when Maura goes to celebrate her coming out with newfound friend Davina (Alexandra Billings). Here we see how well the show can handle happiness and sadness all in the one take. While Maura looks through Davina’s room, and sees how beautiful an unrestrained life as a woman can be like, we are reminded of the price this can cost when Davina reveals all her family abandoned her after her own transition.

Special mention must also go to Judith Light who plays Shelly Pfefferman, Maura’s ex-wife and mother to the Pfefferman kids. She’s dealing with her own huge issue: taking care of a husband who has alzheimer’s. It’s clear she’s a strong woman but it’ll be interesting to see how this disease will impact on her throughout the series.

Once again it’s so great to see more and more diversity in modern TV shows, especially when they’re handled so well as they are in Transparent. This is definitely a show to keep your eye on.

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