The fate of Transparent—and Maura Pfefferman—has been revealed.
In a new interview with the L.A. Times, Jill Soloway, creator of the Emmy-winning Amazon series, confirmed that Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) will die off-screen, and the upcoming two-hour finale movie will focus on the Pfefferman family’s grieving process. “We were all in mourning in many ways, and we all had to process together,” said Soloway. “The show has always been a reflection of who we were, and we were mourning our own narrative.”
The musical, which is being called The Transparent Musicale Finale, will star series regulars Judith Light, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Gaby Hoffmann, and will feature guest stars including Cherry Jones, Tig Notaro, Alexandra Billings, and Trace Lysette, who are all returning to the series one last time.
“People say when they’re making musicals that there are moments when the characters have to sing because they can’t put something into words. I think it’s the same thing with what our show went through, we felt like we needed a different way of looking at the family. And we did it through song,” Soloway explained.
Soloway and their sister, Faith, have been working with trans performer Shakina Nayfack on the music for the finale, describing it as “Jesus Christ Superstar mixed with La La Land mixed with Flight of the Conchords with something more Jewish thrown in… a little Yentl.”
Last year it was announced that Transparent would be ending with the fifth season after Tambor was fired from the series. In 2017 Tambor was accused of sexual harassment by former assistant Van Barnes. Shortly thereafter co-star Trace Lysette also levied accusations against the star. After an internal investigation, Amazon decided to part ways with Tambor.
“I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me,” Tambor said in a statement to Deadline. “I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow castmates.”
“In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have never been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon,” he added. “Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set. As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself. I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak.”
Back in March 2018, Jay Duplass, who plays Josh on the series, told The Daily Beast how he thought the series could continue without Maura’s story:
“For me, Maura is about Jill’s parent, who transitioned from being a man to being a woman,” said Duplass. “But Jill, themself, has been going through this transition where Jill is moving to a place that I think is more representative of where non-gender conformity is going, which is not a binary state—‘I was a man, now I’m a woman.’ Gaby’s character Ali is now embodying that more immediate, more imminent journey. So, from a creative standpoint, I don’t think any of us feel like it’s a dead end without Maura.”
No premiere date has been announced for The Transparent Musicale Finale, but it will most likely drop on Amazon in the fall.