Saturday, September 27, 2014

REVIEW: 'Transparent' - Maura Struggles to Talk with Josh While Sarah Breaks Things Off with Len in 'Rollin'

Amazon's Transparent - Episode 1.03 "Rollin"

Maura moves out of the family house and into a lively new apartment complex, just as Sarah needs a new home after dismantling her perfect life. Josh has to reconsider his sudden vision of starting a family, while Ali finds some new boundaries to cross.

Maura and Sarah both had their separate reactions to Maura coming out as a woman. And now, they come together again and Maura gets the first sense of confirmation from Sarah that she is indeed happy for her. That is wonderful to see but it hurts too. As the two are packing up Maura's house for the move, Sarah wants to be talking about herself and is unaware of how some of the things she says effects Maura. She is obsessed with Tammy now. She's all that Sarah can think about. She describes it as "falling in love" which is something that Maura has never really experienced. Maura did what she was suppose to do when she was younger by getting married and having a family. But she didn't do that out of love. She did that because it's what societal convention said to do. It's a comment that Sarah throws out as a general idea that would receive universal understanding. But to Maura it doesn't and Sarah doesn't pick up on it. She continues by saying that two people shouldn't have to talk in order to know what's going on with the other. And yet, she didn't know what was going on with Maura - a person she has deep love for.

And yet, Sarah helps set up another coming out experience for Maura by inviting Josh over. But Maura just can't go through it. She is afraid of how her only son will react to the news that he doesn't have a father in the traditional sense anymore. With the girls, it's easier because she is transitioning into that gender. With boys, it could be seen as taking something away from them. In a family where the children are so selfish, Josh possibly couldn't deal with that. He gets so happy at the prospect of his father dating a much younger woman. Josh is dealing with his own troubles at work - getting fired and pleading to his artist/lover to keep the baby and marry him. But he's still there for Maura. Would he still be there if he knew the truth about her? I don't have a clue. Everyone will react to this news differently and the series is setting it up in a way that Maura reveals herself one at a time to her children. That's immensely satisfying right now while still opening up many roads to explore after the truth is out there.

Then, there's Ali who's off in her own world trying to initiate a threesome with her trainer and his roommate. It's quite the progressive idea that she is the one trying to make this sexual act happen instead of the men in her life. It makes the story about her and makes her seem unlike any other character on television. Unfortunately, she just can't stop talking after taking the drugs and insinuates that the guys secretly want to have sex with each other. That gets her kicked out which then leads to a wonderful sequence of her being driven home by an Armenian driver. She's high and it's awesome seeing her react to the window, where the guy comes from, the candy that he provides for his passengers, etc. It's all so nice but then she also apologizes for all the genocide in his home country. Hysterical and poignant. That basically describes Ali. But more importantly, Maura's on her way over because she needs to come out to two of her kids and Ali happily welcomes the idea of seeing her dad - while also high.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Rollin" was written by Bridget Bedard and directed by Jill Soloway.
  • Back in 1992, Maura is looking at some pornographic magazines and strikes up a friendship with fellow surveyor of the subject Mark. Casting Bradley Whitford in the role suggests there's much more to this plot point than originally meets the eye.
  • "This isn't us, this is me." That's the line that Sarah uses to justify breaking up with Len. He believes going to therapy will help them with their problems. Understandably it could. But it couldn't stop her from being a lesbian if that is truly her honest self.
  • Josh throwing a chair at the window and it not breaking was pretty funny.
  • That's a creepy amount of letters between Rita and Josh. They fill up four cereal boxes! That's weird.
  • Tegran: "Being alive is being sad." He is a very observant man!