Transparent Recap: The Wilderness
“Transparent” Season 1 Episode 6 “The Wilderness” is available for viewing on Amazon Prime since Sept. 26, 2014. The Pffeffermans struggle with dealing with Maura’s transition. Josh looked for answers from the rabbi, Raquel. Ali decided to take a Gender Studies class for a project she planned to do. Sarah explained to her young kids about what was really happening to Grandpa.
Josh (Jay Duplass) visited Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) at her place, the Shangri-La, and told him that he was dealing with stuff at work. So he’s planning on starting his own label using the money from the sale of the family house, which Josh had planned on flipping. His father agreed but said that this should be kept a secret between them. Maura was noticeably dressed as Mort, but Josh told him that he already knew.
Mort: Did your sisters talk about what’s going with me?
Josh: Yeah, I gotta say that they kinda made it seem like you were parading around town in a dress. But you look totally normal, except your ponytail is longer.
Mort: These are clip-ons.
Josh: I’m cool with it.
Mort: What do you make of all of this? You can say anything to me.
Josh: I get it.
Mort: You do? You can say anything. You can ask any questions.
Josh: Whatever people want to do behind closed doors, it’s their business.
Mort: Aaahh, closed doors.
There was a long awkward pause, and Josh asked to go to the bathroom. There, he saw that his father was really out in the open, as dozens of wigs and female items were all over his room. Maura was definitely not hiding behind closed doors.
Josh discussed this with his sisters the next day, convinced that their father was going through dementia. He was still in denial that Maura is real. He even tried to go online at one of those adult websites to talk to a trans woman, who thought that what he really wanted was cybersex. Much later, Josh sought to talk to Raquel (Katherine Hahn), the rabbi. But they ended up spending time together discussing about her. Josh was smitten.
Ali (Gaby Hoffman) announced to her siblings she’s returning to school. It’s not the first time she has done this, and Josh and Sarah (Amy Landecker) teased her about their dad paying for her new school shoes and clothes, as well as the registration. True enough, she asked her father for help about college, saying that it was because of her that she would like to take Gender Studies. Maura made her promise not to tell Josh and Sarah that she was lending her money. Maura also told her youngest she was participating in the “Trans Got Talent” competition at the LBTG community, and the kids had to come.
At the school, Ali met a trans man named Dale, who’s basically a bearded man with a vagina, and she was drawn to him. She wanted to interview him for her paper. He thought Ali was a lesbian.
Ali: Politically, I’m basically a lesbian. I mean, I’m all about privilege everywhere. I would totally love to be a lesbian, but I’m not a dyke. I’m really into dudes. Dude dudely dude.
Meanwhile, Sarah was explaining to her children that Grandpa was now a woman. One child innocently asked if Grandpa was doing any magic, changing from man to woman, and Sarah wasn’t sure how to go about talking to the kids further with Tammy (Melora Hardin, yet they had to do it because Maura was going to be visiting.
So Grandpa arrived with trans friend Davina, and Tammy showed what they have done to his old house. They also talked about adjusting their lifestyle to being more centered on mindfulness. Maura invited Sarah and her family to her talent show too.
While they were having dinner, Len, Sarah’s ex-husband, arrived early to pick the kids up, unaware that they had guests. This was the first time he saw Maura, and he’s slightly miffed that his ex-wife would do this with the kids without him, as they have agreed first. Sarah defended herself, but the argument just got worst as Len was already throwing insults at the LBTG in general. Maura put her foot down and told Len to snap out of it.
Maura: Lennard, I am so sorry. This was my fault. Honey, I should have taken you out to lunch, and we should have talked. But I didn’t do that. I’m sorry about the Mort and the Maura and the “he” and the “she.” I’m just a person, and you’re just a person. And baby, you need to get in this whirlpool or you need to get out of it.
Later, Maura talked to Sarah alone at the poolside, and she told her that she was giving the house to her eldest daughter. But she must not tell the Josh and Ali about it.
The episode also showed another flashback to 1994, where the couple Mort and Shelly (Judith Light) were having an intimate conversation about sex. Mort asked if he could wear his wife underpants during foreplay. Shelly agreed to this. As a couple raising three kids in the ’90s, the Pffeffermans were sure very much into each other still.
The flashback also featured Maura and Marcy (Bradley Whitford) in one of their hotel soirees. They were having lunch and looking over brochures of a trans conference happening soon, but the date of this event would coincide with Ali’s Bat Mitzvah.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/LFaraone