Transparent Season 1 Episode 9 Review: Looking Up

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As Transparent Season 1 is nearing its close, the storylines are starting to crescendo. Although this show started off slow, with a lot of focus on character development, it is clear that the show is building up toward its season ending.

Transparent Season 1 Episode 9 was a compelling episode, that focused on several relationship pairings, and added to the dynamic layers that surround the Pferffman family.  

After all of this time, we finally got to see the former couple of Maura and Shelley interacting together. Their scenes were great in both the past and the present, and the events shown were woven together in a way that made sense and added depth. 

We got to see Mort revealing to Shelley that he likes to dress up as a woman, which turned out to be too much for Shelley, and she ended things. Years later, when Maura came to Shelley, dressed as a woman in public, she embraced it. They were both going through difficult times and it was easy for them to recognize that. 

Today, they are both in a much better place, with Shelley being able to accept Maura, and are able to share a laugh about the past.  Shelley's bluntness, as always, was on point and in full force.

So we got gay married before it was fashionable.


It was probably always going to be impossible for these two to make it has a couple, timing and Maura's secret were too big of obstacles to overcome, but I think they will be great as friends, parents and supporters of each other. This episode made me feel like these two have come full circle on why they separated, and I think it means the world to Maura to have a solid relationship with one of her family members. 

Josh and Raquel managed to repair their relationship as well, despite encountering another temporary snag, involving Bianca's and Josh's living/crashing situation.

Additionally, Josh accused Raquel of talking about having a family on the first date. I was glad when she shot him down on that one. We, the viewers, were all there for that conversation and that is not how it went down, it wasn't even a first date. 

The relationship between these two makes me nervous. It is obvious that Raquel is opening her heart up to Josh, making her very fragile at the same time. While being fragile in a new relationship is not inherently bad, I am just not convinced that Josh is ready for the committment. 

The third interesting relationship development was Syd, who revealed to Ali that she has feelings for her. Oh, and that she has been having exchanges with Josh.

Syd telling Ali about her feelings really surprised me, but after it happened I realized, I should have seen it coming. It was interesting to see Syd tell Ali how much she cares about her, but it was even more interesting for Syd to point out all the ways that Ali makes her feel terrible. When I thought about this, I realized it was somewhat true. 

I feel terribly constantly. Constantly. I just don't even exist in this. Like you are not listening to me. I don't understand. Stop yelling at me and making me feel bad about this.


Throughout the series, Ali has, in a way, ditched Syd on multiple occasions. Namely, with the ecstasy and at the school when she met Dale. To Ali's credit, she did not know Syd had these feelings for her, from her perspective, it was just her friend, who she did not have to be overly worried about offending in order to spend time with love interests. 

Ali did not look to be in a good place when she left Syd's place. She looked even worse when she stormed off from Ed and Shelley's apartment. 

Whenever we get a scene of the entire family together, we are never disappointed. Maura pointed out that the Pferffman children have not been very active in helping out their mother, and she is basically saying they are all self-centered and have the inability to notice things outside of themselves. Shelley has expressed the lack of help from her children as well. 

I could not help but wonder, where was Maura during all of this time? I know that she was on her own journey, but other people's lives don't stop either.  It just sees like she is pointing the finger a little too much. Then again, I have already mentioned in a past review how narcissistic all of these characters are.  I am not of the opinion that Maura is exempt from this. 

Ali then argues that no one seems to care what Ed wants, but she gets frustrated with her family and removes herself from the situation. Does it seem to anyone else like this was arguing to argue? Maybe that is harsh, but she did just walk away. 

At the end of the episode it is heavily implied that Ed passed on. I think we should be preparing to hold a nice Shiva for Ed and watch how the Pferffman's handle this. I can only imagine that it will involve snarky comments, a little bit of drama and really sweet moments. Oh, and the chance to see the Pferffman's being Jewish.

What we are like religious Jews?


What do you think of the developments of this episode? What did you think about Sarah and Len reconnecting? What did you think about Syd's confession? What was your favorite scene of the episode?

Feel free to comment and disagree with me in the comments below! 

Also, remember you can watch Transparent online via TV Fanatic! 

Looking Up Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (1 Vote)
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Transparent Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

You are a vaginal learner.


So we got gay married before it was fashionable.