“Transparent” was released on Amazon Prime last Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. All ten episodes of the show are now available to subscribers, and we will be doing a recap of the episodes this week and next. Read on.
“Transparent” Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot” opened with Ali Pfefferman (Gaby Hoffmann) going at her day alone before meeting up with her best friend (played by Carrie Brownstein) at the park. She told her that her next grand idea would be to make a tabletop book inspired by “Are You My Mother?” except hers would be “Are You My Soulmate?” Immediately, we get a sense that Ali is someone bright and witty, but she doesn’t have a hold of her life.
Then we saw Josh Pfefferman (Jay Duplass), who woke up that morning next to a lovely young blonde. She belonged to the all-girl indie band named Glitterish, and as Ali met the girls later that day at her brother’s house, she called on him for only dating younger girls who should be drinking juice boxes, the treat for children.
Lastly, we’re also introduced to Sara (Amy Landecker), the eldest sister with kids in private school, a housekeeper and a husband who just leaves the house without saying goodbye to his family. Sarah dropped off her kids to school that morning and ran into her former lesbian lover, Tammy (Melora Hardin). They had a civil exchange and arranged for the kids’ playdate. In Sarah’s past life, she and Tammy were pretty serious to the point that they even considered adopting Mexican babies.
The Pfefferman kids all received a call from their father, Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) that day, inviting them for dinner as he had something to tell them. Ali thought it would be about her dad’s engagement to Marcy. But Josh thought it’s a cancer, and that their dad should give them their inheritance already — you know, for tax purposes.
They arrived at Mort’s house, and as Sara prepared the food, the other two glazed over Mort’s record collection where Josh and Ali found an old Jim Croce’s album. They reminisced about that time Ali was four years old and she married Jim Croce. Then they sat down for dinner with Sarah doting on her father, even wiping the barbecue sauce off his face. This elicited a reaction from her other siblings, who called on Sarah’s uptightness. Why can’t she let her father eat messy? Mort was starting to think this dinner was a big mistake.
It was time to make his announcement, but as their father hesitated, the children all talked together assuming it was cancer. Mort hesitated some more and then finally said he’s not sick, but he was selling the family home. Would Sarah and her family want to have it? Josh became furious that his father would think of Sarah first when he could flip the property and profit from it. Ali too was pissed because Sarah already had her sugar daddy; she didn’t need another one. Besides, where would their father be living? The children bickered in front of their dad, and then the accusations came out: Sarah had what she needed, so all she does is do yoga all day; she doesn’t need another house. Meanwhile, Ali can’t handle money or a job, so she cannot have a house, and Josh only went on inappropriate dates with young women.
Josh announced he had to leave for a show, but the truth was, he spent the night in some old woman’s house. While everyone thought Josh was only into young girls, he was secretly finding comfort, literally in between the legs of a mother figure.
Anyway, after dinner, Mort gave his youngest a check, and Ali promised that this would just be a loan.
Mort: I’m always happy to help you out when you’re in trouble.
Ali: I’m not in trouble, I’m —
Mort: You know, out of all my kids, you’re the one. You can see me most clearly. Probably because we share the depressive gene.
Ali: I’m not depressed.
Mort: Boy, it is so hard when someone sees something you do not want them to see.
When the kids left, Mort called someone on the phone and said he couldn’t tell his kids. He changed into a housedress, let his hippie hair down and in an instant, Mort became Maura.
The next day, Sarah had a conversation with her husband, Len (Ron Huebel), about the dinner and then also told him that she might be spending the day with that lesbian friend of hers from college. Josh came home late but still had sex with his young girlfriend, who had no idea where he spent the night. Ali went to visit her mother who told her not to believe whatever their father said, and Maura (Mort) went to a group therapy for the LBGT.
There, Maura confessed that she wasn’t able to come out to her kids.
Maura: I made a commitment here last week that I was gonna come out to my children, and I didn’t do it. Because it just wasn’t time, you know? But I will, and it will be soon. And I promise you, I promise you. They are so selfish. I don’t know how it is that I raised three people who cannot see beyond themselves.
Then we got to see a vignette of scenes with Josh working with Glitterish, but deep in thoughts — what was he reflecting on? We got to see Ali stark naked in front of the mirror, not happy with what she saw, and then later, working out with a personal trainer whom she wanted to give her some discipline. We got to see Sarah, who invited Tammy to check her dad’s house. Since Tammy was an interior decorator, maybe she could give Sarah some ideas?
No one was at her father’s house, but Sarah and Tammy went in anyway and checked the place out. Then things went a surprising turn. Sarah and Tammy began kissing each other in Sarah’s father’s bedroom, unaware that her father just arrived. He caught them lip locking, but it was Sarah who was more surprised to see her father dressed in women’s clothes with make-up on. All Maura could utter was, “Hi, girls,” then the episode faded to black.
— Amazon Video (@AmazonVideo) September 26, 2014
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/LFaraone