Culture / Entertainment

Transparent Episode 2 Recap: You Can’t Hate on the Internet

This episode begins right where the first episode ended, with Maura walking in on Shane Lynch and Monica who had been playing tonsil hockey:


Set a course for adventure, your mind on a new romance…

Maura and Tammy exchange pleasantries as you do when you walk in on your daughter committing adultery and/or you see your fuck buddy’s father dressed in women’s clothes. Maura asks about Tammy’s parents and she says they are still in Phoenix and Maura says, “It’s a wonderful town, Phoenix.” Meanwhile, Sarah still looks like this:


Shut your fly-hole, Sarah.

Sarah has no comments on the tourist industry in Phoenix but says, “Dad, what are you wearing?” Maura has something to tell her and Tammy thinks she’ll duck out for hummus but Sarah wants her there, proving Sarah’s a bigger lesbian than we thought. Maura tells Sarah people used to lead secret and “then, of course, the internet was invented.” Tammy jumps in at that point to add, “The internet. You can’t hate on the internet. It’s magic.” She is ridiculous but in a funny way this time so she can stay for now. Sarah asks Maura, “Are you going to start dressing up like a lady all the time?” And Maura says, “No, honey. All my life, I’ve been dressing up like a man.” And that powerful little piece of dialogue takes us to the opening credits.

When we return, it’s 1989 and Mort has a horrible pony tail but I forgive him because I had a spiral perm that same year. Professor Pfefferman walks into his office in the Department of Political Science, sits at his desk and takes out a colorful something. Is it a blouse? Is it lingerie? Is it something he borrowed from Rhoda Morgenstern?


It’s ok. Mary Richards irritated me too.

He looks at it longingly and then a student knocks on the door which brings him back from his scarf revery and us back to the present.

Sarah and Tammy are in the car, and Sarah is laughing that “What is my life?” kind of laugh and Tammy says that Maura was really brave and then Sarah gets a text from her husband that says that he picked up the kids and an extra lesbian. Yes, the spouses are having a playdate.


Someone is going to get caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

Josh feeds his glitter girls pizza and talks to them about their recording schedule and asks his lady lover if she can move her thing to a different time and she says she can’t and he’s all “But Important Recording Guy wants to record you!” and she’s all “Well, I’ll be busy getting an abortion!” Josh then saunters down the “Let me say all the wrong things” path by first asking if it’s his (it is) and then saying, “I get why you’ve been so fussy lately.” Every woman loves to hear that.

Ali is working out with her trainer and by “working out” I mean riding him like a hobby horse. Afterwards, they drink smoothies and try to think of a catchy name for their new sexercise program.


Ride me, cowboy! I mean ride ’em cowboy.

Back at the Casa de Cuckholds, Tammy and Sarah arrive to find Barb and Len grilling and drinking and braiding each other’s hair while the kids jump on the trampoline.


Putting the “tramp” in “trampoline”

Barb asks how the shopping went and Tammy says they were looking for tile and didn’t find anything. Digression 1: Luisa and I looked for tile in Portugal and she didn’t grab my boob once.

Tammy and Sarah meet up at the trampoline and look at each other longingly while their kids bounce like ping pong balls. Len says Barb loves golf and suggests they all go on a golfing vacation together, proving Len’s a bigger lesbian than all of the ladies put together.

Later that night, Sarah can’t sleep so she jumps in the car, picks up Tammy and they go to lookout point and start laying tile like union pros. Tammy talks about levitating cars and hanging from the sky and she annoys me but Sarah seems fine with the delusional sex talk because she yells “I fucking love you!’ as she finishes the grout.


The carseats avert their eyes.

abstractly Digression 2: Sarah had pillows and blankets in her car. Did she bring those just for this occasion or are they part of her emergency kit? Want to know what’s in the trunk of my car? A tire iron, an empty windshield wiper fluid container and an ice scraper. Hot.

At the LA LGBT Center, Maura tells her group that she came out to her daughter and everyone congratulates her. Afterwards, she asks a woman to get a drink and she says, “I got AA after this.” Then, she asks another (AA) and another (AA) and what’s a girl got to do to get a festive cocktail? As she’s walking out, she meets Davina and asks her out for a drink and instead Davina asks Maura over to her apartment for crackers. You take what you can get.

Len and Sarah are getting in the van and Len wants to know why the carseats were taken out and why the blanket in the car is wet and Sarah tells him she doesn’t like his tone and says, “Do you want to start a fight now or do you want to wait until after we drop the kids off at my mom’s?” Are these the only options? Because this sounds like the making of a terrible date night.

Josh and Ali are at the deli picking up Shelly’s usual order but Ali wants to add tofu schmear because her hobby horse told her that dairy is bad for her. She alternates between discussing her gas and asking Josh about his glitter girl’s upcoming abortion. I don’t care about any of it but I do want to know why the entire scene seems to be tinted yellow:


All the yellow with none of the mellow

Len and Sarah arrive at Shelly’s and fight while unloading the car. Josh and Ali arrive and take the kids in the house. Len turns to Sarah and says, “What? The forecast calls for tears?” Good one, Len! Then, he asks, “You gonna be like this all day?” which isn’t funny at all and then Sarah tells him about Maura.

Inside the house, Shelly is unpacking the food from the deli and wiping Ed’s mouth and then talking to her grandkids on the couch and she is everywhere. She does not stop. Ali asks about Ed and Shelly says, “I could die and be rotting in my casket before anyone notices.” Ali suggests she get some help with Ed and Shelly says, “Why can’t you help?” and points out that Ali doesn’t have a job. Moms are awesome!

Maura is at Davina’s place having wine and Davina asks about Maura’s kids. She tells her Sarah is “internalizing the whole thing and the next thing you know she’s going to have shingles.” She says that “Joshy” is the most successful of the kids and very image conscious. She says Ali is “out of the box smart” but can’t seem to settle on anything. Davina tells her that she lost all her family when she transitioned and, when you thought the moment couldn’t get worse, we hear sirens.

Shelly continues to flit about the apartment and cuts her leg on something and says her skin is thin and Josh kneels and cleans her cut while Ali looks at this big gaudy ring from her mother’s jewelry box.

Digression 3: The cut on the leg scene was like deja vu for me because my mom cut her leg on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and I had to kneel in the bathroom outside the gift shop and clean her leg while being ogled by tourists. Josh and I are influential in mothers, cuts and coumadin.

Apparently, the ugly ring belonged to an aunt who died in a concentration camp and Mort tried to propose to Shelly with that ring but she said, “No way!”

Meanwhile, Len and Sarah are still outside and Len says, “Your dad’s always been creepy.” Sarah is offended and they start to argue anew and then Ali walks through a gaggle of geese to bring them bagels. Sarah is not a fan of the tofu schmear and returns it to Ali as if this random park full of strangers and geese is a five star restaurant and her filet was overcooked. Ali heads back to the house and is swarmed by the geese who are all about the tofu life.


As long as it’s not fois gras.

Ali throws the plates down and cowers behind Len and Sarah while the rest of the family watches from inside and there is no way to convey the beautiful absurdity of this scene.

As the night comes to a close, Josh puts his niece to bed and lies with her under her dream light. It’s a sweet moment even if it does look mildly terrifying.


American Horror Story: Munchkin Mayhem

Meanwhile, the coroner is removing a body from Davina’s apartment complex and all the queers have assembled by the pool to watch.


There’s a party going on right here…

After the coroner leaves, Davina goes into the apartment of the dead guy, “a sweet old queen,” and tells Maura they all look after each other.

Josh is back with his glitter girl and making a case for keeping the baby, “We could go to the woods and you could get fat like a ripe peach,” but the glitter girl doesn’t want to be a peach. He takes out his aunt’s giant ring that looks like a pearl on steroids and says, “We should get married.” She is taken aback by the ugly ring and he explains that it was his aunt’s and, “I’m pretty sure she died in the Holocaust,” to which she replies, “Ew.” “Ew to the Holocaust?” Pretty much, “No girl wants to get proposed to with a ring that came from the Holocaust!” I think that might be true. He tells her to think about it. The proposal, probably not the Holocaust.

Meanwhile, Ali smokes some marijuana and then cuddles up on the couch to watch TV.


Come and knock on our door…we’ve been waiting for you…

We flashback to 1989 and see Mort leaving his office and throwing Rhoda’s scarf in the trash. He goes home and stares into the house, watching his wife serve the kids dinner. We come back to the present and see Maura standing there staring at the empty house and that’s the end of the episode.

Rating: 3 out of 5 juice boxes. I liked this episode but not quite as much as I liked the first one.

Favorite Line: Sarah: “Are you’re going to start dressing up like a lady all the time?” Maura: “No, honey. All my life, I’ve been dressing up like a man.”

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  1. Deborah Goldstein says:

    Laying tile is the perfect code for lesbionic activities. I’ll never look at grout in the same way.

    Can we talk about wet blanket for a second? I mean, I’m not saying it isn’t possible that a blanket could be soaked through the next day after laying tile, but really COULD a blanket be soaked through the next day after laying tile? Moist perhaps. Stiff possibly. But soaked through? Talk about your super soakers.

    • Vikki Reich says:

      I agree that “soaked” seems intense/excessive/exaggerated while wet seems more realistic. Maybe Len has a low threshold for blanket moisture or maybe Sarah struggles with incontinence.

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