Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What I’m Watching: Transparent

Transparent: Season 2, Episode 9 “Man on the Land” (B-)

This was a weird episode, and that’s putting it mildly. The festival was quite the destination, and in many ways it was exactly what Maura, Ali, and Sarah needed. That said, they all got very different things out of it, and unfortunately it wasn’t a very happy ending for Maura. At first, she seemed to be completely happy save for the questionable contents of the nutloaf. But then the casual question asked by a stranger about whether she was trans made it very clear that she was not welcome there. Her later attempts to defend her presence didn’t go well, and the subsequent “man on the land” meltdown wasn’t pretty. It’s fair to assume that Anjelica Huston wouldn’t stop by this show without being prepared to play a substantial role, and I imagine Vicki will at least be a big part of the season finale if not a good portion of the third season. Ali felt more than comfortable, immediately ridding herself of the burden of her shirt and then showing up to Leslie’s reading, where she was able to drop the fact that she was now single. It seems inevitable that Leslie is going to move on from Ali soon, and that’s going to crush her now that they’ve finally gotten together. Sarah had the most transformative experience, nearly beginning a miserable meditation experience and wisely choosing instead to indulge her disciplinarian-inspired fantasy in a very welcoming context. I don’t quite understand the Nazi book burning tie-in, since nothing has been explicitly made clear and instead it just seems like a peculiar if intriguing parallel that needs much more context and explanation.

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