'Transparent' to Kill Off Jeffrey Tambor's Character in Series Finale
After months of speculation, creator Jill Soloway confirms that Transparent’s central character, Maura Pfefferman (played by Jeffrey Tambor), will be killed off in the series finale.
The revelation comes after Tambor was fired from the Emmy-winning Amazon series following allegations of sexual misconduct, forcing the show to write off his character for the fifth and final season. (The actor has denied the allegations.)
In fact, the final episode will open with Maura’s death, Amazon confirms to ET. “When the time came to bring the Transparent journey to a close, it was clear that saying goodbye to Maura was our path forward,” Soloway said in a statement.
As previously reported and confirmed by ET, the show will end with a musical, which Soloway revealed will “dramatize the death of Maura in an odyssey of comedy and melancholy told through the joyful prism of melody and dance.” They continued by stating that they hope it will pay tribute to the character’s impact on the television landscape. “As we reflect on the process we began so many years ago to bring Maura Pfefferman to the screen, we hope this tribute to the meaning her story brought to the public consciousness also marks a moment in time where art-makers recognize the importance of trans actors playing trans characters.”
As for the reason why Transparent is ending with this untraditional format, Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke said earlier this year it was the only way to properly end "a special, incredible show,” with Soloway later adding: “There is no way to go back to a plain old season five and try to repair by going back.”
Described by Soloway as “Jesus Christ Superstar mixed with La La Land mixed with Flight of the Conchords with something more Jewish thrown in,” Light previously told ET the two-hour finale “is a brand-new template for a movie musical that has not been seen this way before.”
In the episode, Light, who portrays Maura’s ex-wife and Pfefferman matriarch, Shelly, will perform the original number, “Your Boundary Is My Trigger.”
With filming wrapped on the series, Light reflected on Shelly’s trajectory, which has seen her struggling to find her voice and coming to terms with her sexual abuse as a child, giving the actress plenty of buzzy material -- from a much talked-about orgasm to a show-stopping cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket” -- to work with during the show’s first four seasons.
“I love this character. I loved her from the moment I began to play her,” said Light, who earned two Emmy nominations for the role. “There are places in me still that are sad to see her go and I think that’s so for a lot of people. But as we’re talking about death and dying, things have to come to an end. And this is that end.”
While Maura will be absent from the show’s finale, the remaining Pfefferman family -- Sarah (Amy Landecker), Josh (Jay Duplass) and Ali (Gaby Hoffmann) -- will all be featured as they pick up the pieces and move on. Also returning for the finale are fan favorites, Kathryn Hahn as Rabbi Raquel Fein, Alexandra Billings as Davina, Trace Lysette as Shea, Cherry Jones as Leslie Mackinaw, Tig Notaro as Barb, Melora Hardin as Tammy Cashman, and Rob Huebel as Len Novak.
A release date for the finale has not been announced, but Transparent is expected to return in the fall.
“Everything changes, and we are grateful to make art that will live on as a bridge from this era to the next,” Soloway concluded. “As the world transforms, so does the Pfefferman family. Transparent is not ending, it is transitioning into a musical, becoming itself over and over again.”
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