After much speculation since the firing of Jeffrey Tambor from Transparent last year, creator Jill Soloway has finally confirmed that his character will be killed off in the final season of the critically acclaimed Amazon Studios comedy.
The upcoming fifth and final season will begin with the death of Tambor's leading character, Maura, and the rest of the season will follow the Pfefferman family as they deal with the loss, Soloway confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. (THR has reached out to Amazon.) A premiere date for the final season has yet to be announced.
"We were all in mourning in many ways, and we all had to process together,” Soloway said about the decision. “It was important [for the show] to go through all those stages. The show has always been a reflection of who we were and we were mourning our own narrative.”
Tambor?parted ways with Transparent following sexual harassment claims against the Emmy winner, who played the groundbreaking transgender character Maura Pfefferman since 2014. Upon his firing and after a subsequent internal investigation, the retail and streaming giant confirmed that Tambor would have no role in the final season.
Soloway later broke the news to The Hollywood Reporter that the fifth season would be the last for the Emmy-winning show.
"Hopefully it sets the Pfeffermans up with some sort of beautiful reclaiming," Soloway,?who identifies as non-binary and prefers the third-person plural pronoun "they," said at the time. "I think we're going to get there with some time."
Tambor was accused of sexual misconduct by his former assistant Van Barnes and co-star Trace Lysette, the latter who will appear in the final season. Until now, Soloway had not divulged their ultimate plan for how they planned to tie up Maura's story, only that they knew they couldn't "go back to a plain old season five."
That's why Soloway said that the series would end unconventionally and with a musical installment. "We were able to do something that I feel like is going to astonish and reward fans and was a way to take music and transform the family to be able to come together and have that kind of feeling of, in some ways, transition," Soloway said at the time. "The show isn’t necessarily ending, it’s transitioning — into a musical."?
Now, speaking to the Times, they say the musical treatment will be a way for the remaining characters — Shelly (Judith Light), Sarah (Amy Landecker), Josh (Jay Duplass), and Ali (Gaby Hoffmann) Pfefferman — to grapple with Maura's passing. "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,” said Soloway.
The musical series finale, titled "The Transparent Musicale Finale," will feature a number from Judith Light, Soloway says, which would follow up Light's scene-stealing performance from the season three finale. Light and Landecker will also sing a song about the power of maternal love called, "Your Boundary Is My Trigger,” and, when speaking about the episode in general, Soloway called the musical a "genderqueer Jewish fantasia." The episode will include many of the show's ensemble, including Alexandra Billings.
Later on Thursday, Soloway will make an appearance at the annual Women in the World summit in New York.
Transparent is one of several film and TV projects to move forward after the exit of a star amid the #MeToo era. For its final season, Netflix's?House of Cards similarly killed off Kevin Spacey's leading character after he was fired between seasons over sexual misconduct allegations.
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