Friday, October 28, 2016

What I’m Watching: Transparent

Transparent: Season 3, Episode 5 “Oh Holy Night” (B+)

This was a cool episode, one that brought everyone together for a religious event and allowed them to interact in a different kind of space. After freaking out during her spanking session in the last episode, Sarah was fully put back together as she bonded with a very kind and warm Len and then organized a totally awesome Hineni event. The way that this show is incorporating Judaism is really interesting, and though some things feel very inappropriate – like Maura’s recitation of the Mourner’s Kaddish in the middle of Havdalah – they’re acknowledged as such, and Moshav Band melodies and established traditions are much more smoothly integrated in a subtle and effective way. Leslie making a stink about the coffee coming from Israel was an interesting development in her relationship with Ali, and a very fitting point of view for her antiestablishment liberalism, and it’s unsettling to see how she showers Ali with compliments and emotion whenever they start to approach troublesome territory. I don’t think that relationship is fated to last long, and for the best, in my opinion. Josh was in bad shape after Rita’s death, and reuniting with Raquel was obviously very powerful, though it caught her completely off-guard. Ending with him watching a stripper who looked a whole lot like Raquel showed just how alone he feels, and the way that his family has reacted to him and to the news of Rita’s death didn’t provide him the support he needs. He and Raquel never made that much sense, but she’s just about the only thing left in his life right now.

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