For three seasons, members of the Pfefferman family in Amazon’s award-winning series “Transparent” have grappled with who they are and where they’re headed in an ongoing search for love and acceptance.
In season 4, which started streaming Thursday night on Amazon Prime Video, Maura, Ali, Sarah, Josh and Shelly literally travel across the world to further their quest to understand issues of gender, family, politics, sex and more.
The series from creator Jill Soloway has won eight Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes over the years. Season three nominees — including two-time best actor winner Jeffrey Tambor — were shut out at last Sunday’s Emmys.
After binging season 3 in less than a week to prep for the new season, I made it through three episodes in order to get a glimpse of where everyone is and where they’re headed so I could share that with you before you do your own binging.
— Transparent (@transparent_tv) September 22, 2017
Let’s check in with each Pfefferman (some spoilers if you’re behind on previous seasons):
- Maura: She’s headed to Tel Aviv, Israel, to speak at a conference — and set the stage for most of the season being shot there. After ending last season with disappointing news that she would not be able to transition further through surgical procedures, she’s got a new love interest, named Donald. Episode three ends with a startling revelation after people in Israel ask her if she’s familiar with a popular TV personality who shares her last name.
- Ali: No sign of last season’s love interest, Leslie, other than through a difficult-to-read poem about Ali in The New Yorker. Ali is renting the family house via Airbnb to a strange German family. She throws in a visit to a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting, but soon she’s off to Israel with her MaPa. She quickly gets to work via new friends on immersing herself and witnessing the cultural and political divide in the region.
- Josh: It’s clear he’s heavier — and actor Jay Duplass even tweeted that’s there is 30 percent more “Josh-bod” this season. His mom has moved in with him, creating another layer of stress, and he’s definitely still haunted by the shocking death of Rita last season. Josh joins his sisters in better understanding his own sexual addiction.
- Sarah: Things have heated up at home with her ex, Len, and the two of them feel like they’re discovered some new parenting technique that could lead to a book. A meeting with a former teacher of one of her kids is already inspiring her — and fueling the sexual energy we’re used to from this character.
- Shelly: After coming into her own last season and re-discovering her creative energy, she’s no longer dating and has ditched her condo to live with Josh. She even takes up improv at Upright Citizens Brigade to channel more of her hunger for the stage.
It won’t be long before everyone heads to Israel to join up with Maura and Ali. Season 4 features 10 episodes.