Joey Soloway (previously known as Jill) approaches the Jewish story as one of perpetual wandering—between identities, between bodies, between realms of belonging. While Transparent is as arguably concerned with relationality and interdependence as untethered individualism, in the series’ tense opposition between wandering and stasis, Soloway privileges the expansive, open-ended identity of wandering over the narrowly proscribed monolithic identity that accompanies rest or arrival. Looking back on how the series has evolved, its emphasis on loss, confusion, and unsettled indeterminacy occurs most emphatically in Rabbi Raquel’s evocative words launching the third season as she struggles with a sermon about Passover. At one time or another the series revisits or otherwise evokes the ruptures of Genesis, the sense of felix culpa that accompanies all human exiles; from the Garden, Abraham’s Lech Lacha (“Get you gone from your country and from your birthplace and from your father’s house”), the expulsion of Ishmael into the desert, the narrative of Ruth the Moabite, each offering richly circuitous terrains, repetitions of wandering, wryly underscored in the uncertainties and scrambled destinies of the Pfefferman tribe.

You do not currently have access to this content.