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After two seasons, Transparent viewers are well aware of Sarah Pfefferman’s (Amy Landecker) penchant for self sabotage due to narcissism. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that her latest attempt to figure it all out goes awry.

When the Emmy winning Amazon series returns for season 3 Friday, we’ll find Sarah living at home with her ex-husband Len (Rob Huebel) and giving co-parenting and cohabiting a try; they live together, but they’re allowed to see other people. This season, Sarah will also be diving further into her Jewish faith, which will lead to her deepening her friendship with Rabbi Raquel (Kathryn Hahn) and partnering up with her on a project.

“I think she feels like she has a certain enlightenment that comes this year,” Landecker tells EW. “In typical Sarah Pfefferman fashion, it doesn’t necessarily go well because she can’t seem to do anything without destroying it, but she tries!”

She continues, “I think that Sarah’s ego gets the better of her and her own personal desires for things to go a certain way sort of makes it that her friendship [with Raquel] kind of, unfortunately, doesn’t go so great because of her own need to control.”

There’s definitely more to her friendship with Raquel than just exploring her religion. First, it’s also her way of getting back at her siblings, Josh and Ali, who are closer than ever since they started living together in their family home. Remember, at the end of season 2, Josh tells Sarah she can do anything but turn to Raquel.

“I think part of her motivation is that everybody else has got a pair and she wants her own pair,” says Landecker. “She doesn’t have her own person and so part of that is to take Raquel.”

But Landecker feels Sarah also wishes she could be like Raquel because people like her and accept her. “They reference in season 3 how she was never included, never made it on the team. I think she’s felt somewhat excluded and too much for everybody her whole life, and I feel like Raquel is the one that everyone wants to be around, everyone wants to be with her, everyone aspires to that kind of genuine kindness that she has. I think Sarah would love some of that, but unfortunately, she doesn’t come from a family that has that kind of legacy,” says Landecker.

Outside of her character’s journey, Landecker is excited for viewers to see where the show takes Judith Light’s character, Shelly, this season, especially in the finale, which finds the Pfeffermans taking a cruise together. From the sounds of it, the season finale is the quintessential Transparent episode.

“Judith Light will make you laugh and cry [in the finale]. This is an incredible year for her and I just had a blast watching her,” she says. “The whole thing is a great metaphor for the whole show. It’s just like transformation and narcissism meet each other for a great laugh and a good cry.”

Transparent season 3 is available on Amazon Video starting Friday, Sept. 23.

Episode Recaps

This half-hour drama by Jill Soloway follows the lives of the Pfefferman family, where nothing is as it seems.
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