Caution: Mild spoilers below for the upcoming season.
At the end of “Transparent” Season 2, Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor) stares out over a bleak seascape next to her formerly estranged mother.
She’s not the only character who ends the season giving a fresh start to old relationships: Sarah (Amy Landecker) reconnects with her ex-husband and explores some newly unearthed desires, while Josh (Jay Duplass) is last spotted sobbing over the metaphorical death of his father. And Ali (Gaby Hoffman), after finally finishing up her undergraduate degree to pursue graduate studies, weighs an offer to be either a teaching assistant or a lover to gender studies professor Leslie.
Season 3 of the Amazon series, which chronicles Maura’s coming out as trans and the resulting impact on her family, promises more transitioning. In its trailer we see Maura requesting that her children call her not the amalgam of “Mom” and “Poppa” (”Moppa”) they’d been using, but “Mom.” Speaking to The Huffington Post, series creator Jill Soloway explained how not everything goes according to plan ― especially for Maura.
“She spends this season attempting to get her body in alignment with her mind, and, because of her age, she realizes that she really can’t,” Soloway said. “That it’s not going to be that simple, that she can’t go down the path of the kind of medical processes that she wants.”
The newest season, which debuts Friday, Sept. 23, opens on the transitioning Pfefferman volunteering at an LGBT help center. As she tries to soothe callers in danger of self-harm ― one, in particular, much younger than herself ― she reveals how she’s become more, but not completely, comfortable in her own skin. A medical transition could change that, but it won’t be so easy for Maura to figure out who she wants to be, given “what’s possible when you’re 70,” Soloway said.
We pointed out that such a plot direction sounded pretty sad, for what is ostensibly a comedy.
“Yeah, ‘Transparent’ is always a little sad,” Soloway agreed.
Season 3 of “Transparent” debuts on Amazon Prime Friday, Sept. 23.