“Transparent” recap (1.10): Why Do We Cover the Mirrors?

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As the last episode of this first season of Transparent begins, (which was just officially renewed for a second season!) we’re treated to a beautiful rendition of Heart’s “Dreamboat Annie” by Bianca (Kiersey Clemens) and Margeaux (Clementine Creevy of Cherry Glazerr). Poor Ed has passed away, though I’m not totally sure it was at the hands of Shelly and Maura—he got out of the house and perhaps went his own way. I’ve been to many a Jewish funeral where there are various traditions. We cover the mirrors during a shiva—a Jewish mourning in one’s home, to take away the vanity of checking in on our appearances, our mundane concerns about the reflection of our image. In other words: At a shiva (which by the way, means “seven”—the number of days of intense grieving) death should be mourned without vanity, without concern for self. Can the Pfefferman’s be one with this tradition?

The stage is set at the cemetery and everyone has gathered to pay their last respects to Ed. The pallbearers gather around to carry him onto the plot, but Tammy decides it looks a little heavy for one of the girls in the back after giving up a spot to Len, so she wedges in behind Ali, who shoots her a look, like, “Are you kidding me, Tammy?” I want to know how Tammy grew up and why she’s such a go-getting overzealous butch about things sometimes. Maura and Davina show up with the service already in full swing, in A WHITE LIMO. An ‘80s style white limo. I feel like this is a scene from Sister Act II. But once again, per usual, I love Maura’s candor and her ability to just softly enter any scene with a wave and an a simple, “Hi, everybody.”

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The casket is lowered and Josh and Shelly take to the shovels to toss some dirt in the hole (another Jewish tradition). Josh leans in and asks his mom if everyone is looking at Dad, but Shelly doesn’t give a shit—“Does it matter?” She asks, followed by her quick, brassy goodbye to her longtime lover. “See ya, Ed!” I can’t help but laugh.

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Syd finds Ali kneeling down by some tombstones after the service ends, attempting to cut her tie. She explains to Syd that it’s a Jewish tradition, to cut one’s tie at a funeral. Syd offers to help Ali cut it, and they continue sitting there after in awkward silence. They both see Josh over yonder with Rabbi Raquel, his newest “I’m in love with you” girl. And Ali asks Syd if Josh ever told him he loved her. Syd goes off on a monologue about serial killers wanting to see that certain look of fear in your eye, comparing the concept of death to Josh’s ideas of love. But Ali is over this topic—she claims she doesn’t care anymore. But that doesn’t mean she wants to have Syd come to the shiva. She isn’t sure what to do with Syd yet.

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