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The Best Episodes of Transparent

Updated February 5, 2018 294 votes 27 voters40 items

There are so many good episodes of Transparent, but which ones really stand out? Do you like "Man on the Land" the best, or is "Kina Hora" your favorite episode of Transparent? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of Transparent are, let's rank every Transparent episode from best to worst.

Debuting on Amazon in 2014, Transparent stars Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman, a retired college professor who comes out to her family as a transgender woman. The series is critically acclaimed, and has won multiple Golden Globe awards since its debut. Despite the warm reception the show has gotten, the show took a dark turn in real life when Jeffrey Tambor stepped down amidst allegations of sexual harassment. What will season 5 of Transparent look like without him? Hopefully Amazon can figure out a way to make it work, and we can continue enjoying this fantastic series.

Vote up your favorite episodes of Transparent, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one Transparent episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like.

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  • 1
    Season 2 Episode 9: Sisterhood - and the lack thereof - blazes like campfire at the Idylwild Wimmin's Music Festival. Maura makes a new friend - and has a rude awakening - while Sarah experiences liberation from an unlikely source. Meanwhile, Ali finds herself on an unexpected journey to the past.
  • 2
    Season 1 Episode 10: A funeral brings all the Pfeffermans together and reunites them with their past - Shelley and Maura with old friends, Sarah with her ex, and Josh with his teenage babysitter - who brings a 17-year-old boy. Just when they thought there were no more secrets, the family busts out a few more.
  • 3
    Season 3 Episode 8: Boyle Heights, 1958. 12 year old Maura's femininity causes a clash between her mother Rose and her grandparents, Haim and Yetta. Across town, 12 year old Shelly quits the school play and stops eating but won't tell anyone why. Flash forward to 1966, where 21 year olds Mort and Shelly carry on a secret affair.
  • 4
    Season 2 Episode 1: Transparent returns with Sarah and Tammy's big, white wedding. Maura and Ali are visited by ghosts from the past. And Josh and Rabbi Raquel can't hide their big news.
  • 5
    Season 3 Episode 3: Relationships are tested as the Pfefferman family gather for Maura's birthday. Sarah confronts Buzzy on temple board politics and Maura makes a big announcement, experiencing pushback from both Vicki and Shelly. The night culminates in a game of Sardines, forcing tense situations into tight spaces.
  • 6
    Season 3 Episode 10: The Pfeffermans escape their problems on land by taking a cruise together. Though the clan spends most of the cruise apart - venturing on their own journeys of self discovery - they ultimately find themselves coming together at the Seder that almost wasn't.
  • 7
    Season 1 Episode 8: In a flashback, Mort escapes with friend Mark (Bradley Whitford) to a cross-dressing retreat in the woods, and becomes captivated with a very accepting woman named Connie (Michaela Watkins). Left alone after cancelling her Bat Mitzvah, 13-year-old Ali finds trouble with an older man at the beach.
  • 8
    Season 1 Episode 1: An LA family with serious boundary issues have their past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone's secrets to spill out. Starring Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Gaby Hoffmann.
  • 9
    Season 3 Episode 7: Josh arrives in Overland Park and delivers difficult news to Colton. Sarah oversteps her boundaries with Raquel, putting the Hineni Seder in danger. A tough conversation with Bryna brings up some big issues between Maura and Vicki.
  • 10
    Season 1 Episode 7: Josh goes on a date with Rabbi Raquel while Ali explores her feminine side with a TA from Gender Studies class. The kids turn out for Maura's performance in a talent show, but her delight quickly turns to dejection.
  • 11
    Season 1 Episode 4: Maura finally comes out to Ali, and they join Sarah on a field trip to the mall - where they all get rude lessons in womanhood. Josh is forced to confront his past thanks to questions from Syd (Carrie Brownstein) about his longtime relationship with Rita.
  • 12
    Season 2 Episode 10: Maura experiences an unforeseen love connection and reconciles with her lineage - in the past and the present. Ali discusses her academic future with Leslie. Josh seeks a father's love in Buzz. And Sarah tries to tie up loose ends.
  • 13
    Season 2 Episode 7: It's Yom Kippur, and the Pfeffermans have plenty to atone for - Sarah tries to make amends with Tammy, Maura struggles to communicate with Davina, and Josh tries to make peace with Raquel. All of the atonement culminates at a break-the-fast party hosted by Ali and Syd, who are deep in a spiritual crisis of their own.
  • 14
    Season 1 Episode 2: Maura embraces her new journey, but nothing about life as a woman is easy -- making friends, finding a new community, and above all, coming out to her children. Sarah introduces her husband (Rob Huebel) to her ex-girlfriend Tammy (Melora Hardin). Josh pays a visit to his ex-babysitter Rita, as Ali gets closer to her trainer.
  • 15
    Season 1 Episode 3: Maura moves out of the family house and into a lively new apartment complex, just as Sarah needs a new home after dismantling her perfect life. Josh has to reconsider his sudden vision of starting a family, while Ali finds some new boundaries to cross.
  • 16
    Season 1 Episode 5: When Shelly's husband Ed goes missing, Sarah, Josh and Ali set out to find him, and instead find themselves lost in their past. Ali can no longer keep Maura's secret from Josh, which sends him into a tailspin. When Maura runs into a Pfefferman family friend she takes a stand for her new identity.
  • 17
    Season 1 Episode 6: As they struggle to come to terms with Maura, Josh looks for answers from a rabbi named Raquel (Kathryn Hahn), and Ali looks for answers in a Gender Studies class with Syd. Sarah is left to answer questions from her own kids, who meet Maura for the first time.
  • 18
    Season 1 Episode 9: Maura finds solace with ex-wife Shelly, and the two hatch a plot to help Ed realize his wishes. Sarah spends time with her ex-husband and begins to question their breakup, while Raquel finally breaks through to Josh. And when the entire family is summoned to Shelly's, they are in for a few surprises.
  • 19
    Season 2 Episode 2: Josh hosts a pool party for his new band Fussy Puss. The Pfefferman siblings are caught off-guard when Maura and Shelly arrive at the party together. Ali reconnects with her old friend Syd. And Sarah's past catches up with her.
  • 20
    Season 2 Episode 3: Josh and Raquel attempt domestic bliss in the Pfefferman house by asking Colton to move in. Maura takes Ali to UCLA to discuss graduate school where they meet feminist scholar, Leslie Mackinaw - Maura's old nemesis. Sarah has a run-in with Len and Barb, and begins a sexual fantasy life with a domineering figure from her past.
  • 21
    Season 2 Episode 4: Josh bonds with Colton, but it comes with a price. Sarah endures a disastrous school gala, feeling more like an outsider than ever. Ali and Syd are left with some questions after a visit with Grandma Rose - leading to a flashback uncovering the origins of Tante Gittel's ring. Meanwhile, Maura attempts to find more autonomy, but doesn't have the best luck.
  • 22
    Season 2 Episode 5: Maura finds community with Davina and Shea, inspiring her to re-imagine her past. Cultures clash when Colton's adopted family visits, and Josh is confronted with a tough decision. Ali finds herself even more drawn to Leslie at a New Moon Ceremony. Sarah tries to get her life in order by seeing a Life Coach, but opts for a different kind of remedy with Dr. Steve.
  • 23
    Season 2 Episode 6: Ali seeks advice from Leslie on her UCLA application, but finds herself getting a little too close. Josh unravels after he confronts Shelly about the past, while Sarah explores some of her sexual fantasies on a hard-won date night. Maura helps Davina get ready for Sal's return from prison and is faced with a harsh reality.
  • 24
    Season 2 Episode 8: In a flashback, Rose and Gittel are faced with an ultimatum. Maura learns more about the trans experience, and gets closer to Shea when she volunteers for a suicide hotline. Josh displaces his energy on his career, taking him down a reckless path. After a revealing dinner with Shelly and her new beau Buzz, Ali and Sarah decide to go on the road to the Idylwild Wimmin's Music Festival - with Maura.
  • 25
    Season 3 Episode 1: While working at an LGBT suicide hotline, Maura receives a distressing call from a young trans woman, Elizah. Afraid that Elizah will hurt herself, Maura goes on an odyssey through South Central LA to find the troubled teen and lands herself in the hospital.