Where We Left Off With Transparent Season 1, The Abridged Version

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
If you're psyched about binge watching the new season of Transparent (which goes live on Amazon Prime this Friday), but don't have time to go back and re-watch the entirety of the first one, stop worrying about calling in sick on Friday. We've got you covered on all of the most important plot points from the award-winning Amazon series, so you can enjoy Season 2 and still go to work this week. Read on for a fast-and-dirty episode guide — and don't forget to check out our Transparent Season 2 Binge Club! Happy streaming, Pfefferman fans. Season 1, Episode 1: Are You My Soul Mate? Meet the Pfeffermans: Mort (Jeffrey Tambor), Shelly (Judith Light), Sarah (Amy Landecker), Josh (Jay Duplass), and Ali (Gaby Hoffman). All you need to know is that they are all majorly self-involved messes in their own unique ways. Ali, the youngest daughter, is going through what seems to be an identity crisis: The episode opens with her critiquing her body and bemoaning how lonely she is. In her early 30s, she's still reliant on her dad, Mort, for money, and doesn't seem to have any shame about it. Middle kid Josh, who works at a record label, is sleeping with a very young musician he manages, and also a much older mystery woman. Sarah, the oldest, is married to Len and lives in Los Feliz with their two kids — but she's also attracted to Tammy, her old college girlfriend who has reappeared in her life recently. Shelly, the Pfefferman matriarch, and Mort are divorced; Shelly is married to Ed, who has lost the ability to speak. They live in Marina del Rey. This entire episode revolves around a dinner the kids are going to have with their dad, Mort, who is going to finally tell them he wants to live his life as a woman. But before he can do that, a smooching Sarah and Tammy stumble upon Mort in his feminine attire. End scene.

Season 1, Episode 2: How Utterly Parisian

So now Sarah and Tammy know about Mort, and Mort knows that Sarah and Tammy are stepping out on their spouses with each another. Tammy tries to bow out of this family moment, but Sarah won't let her, so Mort ends up delivering a coming-out speech to them both. Mort explains that he has been wearing women's clothing in private pretty much forever, and has felt like a woman trapped in a man's body. Sarah and Tammy drive back to Sarah's house, where both their spouses are hanging out in the backyard with their respective broods. Meanwhile, Josh finds out that his very young musician girlfriend is pregnant and going to get an abortion. And Ali is banging her trainer and trying to get a threesome going. Mort goes to a support group to talk about coming out to Sarah; for the first time ever, the erstwhile Mort introduces herself as Maura. (From here forward, we'll use only feminine pronouns to refer to Maura). Josh babysits Sarah's kid and realizes that maybe he wants one of his own: He asks his sort-of-girlfriend to not have an abortion, and also tries to propose to her with a ring from a great aunt who was in the Treblinka concentration camps.

Season 1, Episode 3: Being Alive Is Being Sad

Sarah tries to "bond" with Maura about queerness, in light of her newfound love with Tammy, and totally diminishes what her dad is going through. We also find out that Josh's older-lady love interest is actually his former babysitter from childhood, named Rita, whom he slept with during his teenage years. And guess what? The musician girlfriend does not want to marry him or have his baby. She also asks for a new band manager, which makes Josh mad enough to throw a chair. Maura comes out to Josh, who is generally pretty insensitive about it. Ali gets super high on "moon rocks" and sort of gets her threesome wish. Sarah leaves Len, but Tammy doesn't leave her family. Maura moves out of the family house in the Pacific Palisades and into a trans community apartment complex near her friend Davina.

Season 1, Episode 4: Punk-Rock Broccoli

Maura comes out to Ali, who ends up being the most supportive of the kids. Meanwhile, back at the proverbial ranch a.k.a. in Josh's bedroom, Ali's best friend Syd (Carrie Brownstein) and Josh are apparently going the no-strings-attached sex route. Maura is settling into her new apartment-complex life next door to Davina, who is helping her explore her feminine identity, and we find out where the name "Maura" originated. Tammy and Sarah are still going at it, but Tammy still hasn't left her partner, Barb. Sarah confesses the affair to Ali, who wants to know what Len thinks about all of this. Maura joins her daughters for brunch, and then the three of them head to a department store makeup counter for some pampering. Then, they all try to use the women's restroom, but Sarah accidentally calls Maura "Dad," effectively creating a fuss and further emphasizing how not-seamlessly this whole transition is going. Ali gets a haircut. Sarah stalks Tammy. Josh and Ali have a depressing dance party in their two-person circle of sibling loneliness. Season 1, Episode 5: Help Me Out Here

Josh has sex with a real estate agent who tells him how much money he could make if he sold Maura's house. Sarah and Tammy are still trying to figure out their relationship. Ali helps Shelly look for Ed, who has wandered away from the condo. Sarah hires Tammy's former stepdaughter, the babelicious teenage Bianca, to babysit the kids for the summer. Josh, Tammy, and Sarah bicker about selling the Palisades house, where Sarah is currently residing, love-nest style. Sarah and Josh join Ali's hunt for Ed in the marina but end up going for lunch instead to discuss Maura. Back at the Marina de Rey condo, Shelly opens the front door to find an attractive female rabbi named Raquel (played by the impeccable Kathyn Hahn) standing on her step — and immediately begins plotting to hook her up with Josh. Maura goes out to lunch and runs into a friend from her former life. She's trying to get comfortable being in public in her true identity. The kids arrive back at Shelly's house to find their mom and Raquel chatting. Josh and Raquel flirt it up. Shelly reveals that she's always known about Maura's trans identity. And eventually, Ed shows up with cotton candy and a boardwalk caricature drawing of himself surfing. Season 1, Episode 6: The Wilderness Josh tries to get Maura to sell the house so he can use some of the money to start his own record label. Maura writes him a check and tells him not to share this little secret with his sisters. Ali goes to Maura and asks if she will help her pay to go back to school for women's studies. Maura writes her a check and tells her to keep it a secret from her siblings. Sarah explains to the kids that Maura is in transition, and the kids are refreshingly sweet about it. Ali and Syd audit a feminism class together, and Ali develops a crush on the teaching assistant, who is a trans man. Josh tries to educate himself about what being trans actually means, but ends up on a trans sex-fetish site. Maura and Davina head to the Palisades house for Shabbat dinner with Sarah and the kids; it seems like Maura is getting more comfortable in her skin. She asks if Sarah would come to the community center to see her perform in a variety show with Davina. Before Sarah can commit, Len shows up and gets really mad that Sarah has exposed the kids to Maura without talking to him about it. Maura neutralizes the situation by giving the most beautiful little speech to Len about how he needs to get on board with the way things are changing — alluding both to Maura's identity and the shift in Len's marriage — or back off.

Season 1, Episode 7: Our Little Heathen

Ali dons a pin-up-girl look to attract the attentions of Dale, the TA at the feminism lecture; we also learn that, as a kid, Ali canceled her own bat mitzvah at the last minute, forever disappointing her mother but unknowingly freeing her father up to attend a cross-dressing weekend in the woods. Tammy is redecorating the Palisades house and systematically removing all of its most charming elements. No one is happy about this, really. Super-femme Ali goes back to Dale's house, which is hilariously a log cabin, and they have this uncomfortable dominant-submissive exchange that Ali is really into. After Dale shaves off all of Ali's pubic hair, they go pick out a dildo together. Sarah and Josh, on the other hand, go buy fancy weed together. Later, at Josh's house, he and Raquel are trying to get sexy, but guess who can't get it up? Josh leaves Raquel at his place to go to Maura's talent show, along with Ali and Sarah. Davina and Maura perform Gotye's "Somebody I Used to Know," and the kids are horrible audience members. In the midst of all of this, Ali and Dale try to put the dildo to use in the bathroom of the community center but can't get the packaging open. When the lights come up, Maura realizes that her kids have left their seats and totally missed her moment of triumph. She is so, so sad. Instead of going back to his home, where Raquel is making dinner, Josh returns to the Palisades house in a fit of rage and finds teenage Bianca hanging out. They get high and swim in the pool together, and for a second there, it seems like they're going to make out. Tammy intervenes before that can happen, though, and picks a fight with Josh. Dale and Ali are headed home in the car and Dale accuses Ali of only being into him because she's a trans "chaser," which may very well be true: When they get back to Dale's house, Ali realizes that all the butch decor she "saw" the first time isn't actually real. It was all in her head — what she wanted to see.

Season 1, Episode 8: It Was 20 Years Ago Today

Flashback: That weekend that Ali was supposed to have her bat mitzvah and Maura went to the woods? We finally get to see that lost-in-time adventure. It's the early '90s, and Shelly is ticked that Maura went away that weekend; college-age Sarah is home and adamantly against babysitting teenage Ali. Sarah hops on a bus to go to a protest instead of hanging with her sister. Shelly confesses to her own sister about then-Mort's predilection for wearing women's underwear — and she also keeps bringing up Ed during the conversation. Out in the woods, '90s Mort is enjoying the dawn of Maura. We also get a peek at Josh's early relationship with Rita, the much older woman he's sleeping with in 2014, who was also his babysitter back in the day. (Rita and Josh had a romantic relationship during his teen years that he calls love, but everyone else calls it statutory rape.) Back at home, 13-year-old Ali gets left alone and ends up hanging out with the bartender who comes to the house because no one told her the bat mitzvah was cancelled. The bartender ultimately takes Ali to the beach, where she ends up making out with a much older guy. Out in the woods, Maura is having a good time until she realizes that the friends she is with experience queerness and gender identity differently than she does. She has a fight with the first person she has ever truly come out to, and it ends their friendship.

Season 1, Episode 9: No Extreme Measures

In 2014, Ed is in a coma, and his death is imminent. Maura and Shelly are talking about what Shelly should do. It's clear that their relationship is more nuanced and deep than we've been led to believe. In 1994, Mort/Maura tells Shelly where she went over Ali's bat mitzvah weekend, and also asks if maybe Shelly would like to come along on another trip. Back in the present, Len and Sarah are getting flirty with one another and end up smoking pot and canoodling in bed together. Josh finally apologizes to Rabbi Raquel for abandoning her at his apartment the night of Maura's show. While Raquel is over at Josh's house, Bianca walks in the door: Josh tells Raquel that Bianca is actually living there with him for awhile, which obviously sets off an explosive argument, ending in Raquel and Josh having sex for the first time. In another corner of Los Angeles, Syd confesses to Ali that she's been sleeping with Josh. We get a deeper look at the women's friendship and how Ali has been a bad friend to Syd over the years. Syd also admits that she's had feelings for Ali since they were in middle school — an admission Ali handles poorly. Back in 1994, then-Mort comes out to Shelly as Maura for the very first time. It marks a key turning point in their marriage, which is already in a state of unraveling. In the present, all the kids are headed over to Shelly's house to say goodbye to Ed. Josh takes this opportunity to tell everyone he is in love with Raquel, whom he slept with not 24 hours earlier. While everyone is talking about possibly overdosing Ed on Percocet, he manages to get out of bed and attempt to flee the condo. Then we flash back to the '90s again, to the first time the kids met Ed. The final moments of the episode reveal that Ed has now passed away. Season 1, Episode 10 Finale: Dreamboat Annie Ed's passing is the centerpiece of the finale. Everyone — friends, family, Pfeffermans — is gathered at the funeral. Rita, Josh's older woman, is there, with a teenage boy. Everyone goes to the Palisades house to mourn. Generally, everyone is being kind and considerate of one another, despite some weirdness with how Maura fits in with the extended relatives. Even Sarah and Len are getting along swimmingly — that is, until Len tells Sarah that she can't have it both ways, and she balks. Raquel and Ali are covering the mirrors in the house together when Raquel starts telling Ali how much she likes Josh. Ali takes the opportunity to punish Josh for sleeping with Syd by telling Raquel how awful her brother is to women. Josh finds Raquel crying and tells her that he loves her and wants to spend their lives together. Josh assumes that Rita was the one who badmouthed him to Raquel and confronts her; she takes the opportunity to introduce him to the teenage boy she's with. His name is Colton, and he's Josh's kid. Sarah proposes to Tammy. Then, Ali badgers her mom about why they allowed her to cancel her bat mitzvah almost 20 years ago; Shelly blames it on the fact that Maura wanted to go to the woods with the cross-dressing gang. Ali confronts Maura in the middle of the shiva, with everyone watching, and Maura reminds her daughter that she's never accomplished anything noteworthy in her life because she relies completely on her parents. Ali has a temper tantrum and runs away. Shelly tries to make Maura feel better. After everyone leaves, the family — plus Colton — convenes around the kitchen table to dig into leftovers. Colton asks if they can say a prayer before they eat. And they do.

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