Hold, Please is the seventh episode of season one of One Day at a Time.
While navigating her way through an endless maze of red tape with Veterans Affairs to make a medical appointment, Penelope reaches her breaking point.
Penelope Alvarez is doing laundry when Lydia Riera and Elena Alvarez are arguing about Elena picking a boy to be her escort. She is on hold with the VA. Jill Riley arrives and tries to get her to go with her to the street fair. Penelope tells her she can't because she's on hold with the VA. Schneider arrives with Alex Alvarez and his friend. They've returned from a baseball game. Lydia comes into the family room sighing because Elena is being dramatic about picking an escort. Penelope tells her not to worry that she'll pick someone. She cringes as she pulls her shoulder. Alex's friend asks what happened and she tells him the story about how a palette of surgical gloves fell on her shoulder. He thanks her for her service. Alex asks for money to go to the street fair. She tells him to grab ten dollars from her purse. Alex tells her that they need at least twenty to have fun. Schneider tells them that his band is reuniting to play at the fair that afternoon. Penelope finally gets through to the VA but they hang up on her. She calls back and finishes her bag of cheetos while she waits. Schneider comes back to the apartment with Lydia and Doctor Berkowitz holding his eye. His guitarist threw a decorative anchor at him. Schneider tells them that that's why they broke up in the first place. Penelope asks what Doctor Berkowitz is doing here and he says he decided to take a half day too. Penelope goes with Schneider to his apartment to help clean his eye, leaving Lydian and Doctor Berkowitz alone. He thanks her for inviting him to the street fair. She asks him if he wants coffee and he says sure so she gets up to make it. But before she does she remembers that she has to take her pills. He thanks her for reminding him because so does he. Penelope comes back and asks what they're doing. Lydia says just doing drugs before they leave to go back to the fair.
Penelope finally gets through on the phone but, instead of reaching Jolene, she gets Tad. Penelope tells him that she just wants an appointment with a chiropractor. He tells her that she needs a referral from a doctor before she can set up an appointment. She says she has one and Tad asks if she can fax it over. Penelope leaves to go find a fax. She leaves Elena in charge of the phone. Alex comes back to steal some of his mom's pills to sell. His friend threatens to get him off the group chat if he doesn't. Alex grabs the pills but before he leaves Elena walks out so he hides in Lydia's room. Elena talks to the phone telling it that she doesn't even know if she likes boys so how can she pick an escort if she likes girls. Alex suddenly makes noise and Elena finds him in Lydia's room with the pills. Elena tells him that he's going to get grounded and that he's gonna turn into a drug dealer. Alex comes to that realization as well and puts the pills back. Elena asks if he heard what she was saying and Alex say it won't saying to anyone. He also says that nobody would care anyway what she likes. They finally get taken off hold and Elena pretends to be her Penelope as they try to stall until their mom gets back. Penelope comes back and the kids leave to the fair. Jolene is supposed to help Penelope get an appointment but she has to leave to catch her bus so she tells Penelope to call back on Monday. This pisses Penelope and she tells the woman off. Jolene puts her on hold again so she throws the phone. Luckily, Jolene takes her off hold and tells her that she gets an appointment for next Monday. Penelope celebrates and sits down on the sofa. She can hear Schneider's band from her apartment.
- Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez
- Todd Grinnell as Schneider
- Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez
- Marcel Ruiz as Alex Alvarez
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Leslie Berkowitz
- Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera
- Haneefah Wood as Jill Riley
- Thomas Barbusca as Finn
- Lori Alan as Jolene (voice)
- Mike Ivy as Tad (voice)
- Sonnie Elahna as VA PSA (voice)
- Brigitte Erickson as Pain Management Operator (voice)
- Emily O'Brien as VO Operator
- Penelope's shoulder injury happened in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2004 when a pallet of surgical gloves fell on her shoulder.
- Schneider was in a yacht rock cover band in college called Full Sail.