“Transparent” recap (2.7): The Book of Life


Across town in Maura’s turret, Davina’s fresh-out-of-prison boyfriend Sal is making conversation like he’s a butcher behind a deli counter. He thinks Maura could come up with some “feminization” goals for herself, like forehead reconstruction, fat transfer and 500ccs in the titty area. Maura is clearly dumbstruck by Sal’s vulgar suggestions on the subject of her body. Later, she tries to tell Davina about the incident, proposing Davina deserves way better. But to Maura’s shock, Davina comes to Sal’s defense and advises Maura to find a new place to sleep if she doesn’t like it. It’s an intense moment between Maura and Davina—Davina doesn’t come from the middle-upper class, white-privileged life that Maura experienced for decades in the Palisades. Maura doesn’t know Davina’s life experiences or her reasons for being with a guy like Sal.

After Shelly drags Josh to Yom Kippur services with her, it’s crystal clear that Josh and Raquel are over. He hasn’t mentioned the breakup or the loss of the baby to anyone yet. Syd and Ali continue to walk on eggshells around each other as the guests begin to arrive for their dinner. Syd is frazzled over limes, but really it’s that she’s panicked over whether Ali wants to be with her or not. The knee-jerk continues to rear its head. No time to fuss, though. SYD’S MOM IS FRENCHIE (Didi Conn). Missed your midterms and flunked shampoo! Is it just me or do all lesbian couples get into a mild to moderate to severe spat just moments before a party they’re hosting begins? Shelly brings Buzz from the Temple (played by Richard Mazur, also known as Vada Sultenfuss’s dad from My Girl) and Maura shows up at the same time. Shelly flaunts “Buzzy” in Maura’s face, to prove she’s over Maura moving out. Mhmm, Shelly. Sarah and Josh saunter in—but Josh hides out by the vinyl upstairs to avoid his parents.


Now that we’re all gathered, it’s time to say the blessing, though everyone is curious about Raquel’s absence. Sarah stuffs a piece of deli meat into her mouth—the highest holy day, indeed. Ali gives a sweet speech about the Book of Life—today being the day we apologize for whatever we’ve done to get our names signed and sealed into the Book so that we can live another year. She says she’s sorry, for anything she’s done. Here’s looking at you, Syd.

After some time, Josh finally comes out with the truth about him and Raquel, and the baby. Shelly loses it. Josh loses it over Shelly losing it. Ali watches on in horror. Maura tries to connect across the table to Josh, “It’s okay to be sad. It’s sad.” Josh retorts that he doesn’t need Maura’s permission. What Josh needs is Maura’s apology for lying about baby Colton—on some scale and in some way that Maura couldn’t possibly dole out enough of to Josh. Still, we can see it glimmering in Maura’s eyes: She’s so fucking sorry, and she loves her son despite all the bullshit he’s going through.

Yom Kippur brought everyone together to break fast and break bread. But Sarah didn’t get that king-size candy bar forgiveness she wanted, nor Ali, or Josh—they all sit with some common guilt, dealing with it in their own ways. Unforgiven. There’s a weird moment at the end of the episode—and it’s not just Josh binge-eating everything in sight at the grocery store. It’s Ali and Syd at the kitchen sink cleaning up the night. I’m pretty sure Ali breaks a glass in the sink, just as the scene cuts to Josh. Did you catch that? Five days after Yom Kippur comes the next holy Jewish holiday, Sukkot. Lucky for Sarah, Sukkot is basically the Sativa to Yom Kippur’s Indica.

It’s a holiday of rejoicing—when the children of Isreal wandered through the desert. Which Pfefferman children are about to wander far and wide?

Next time on Transparent, we go to the Idyllwild Wimmin’s Music Festival. Check back next Friday for a fresh recap and follow me on Twitter @the_hoff.

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