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"Nip It in the Bud," is the fifth episode of Season 3. It aired on Netflix on February 8, 2019, along with the rest of Season 3.


Penelope catches Alex smoking pot at a concert. When Lydia develops a cough at the opera, she tries Dr. B's special lozenges.


Elena is seen watching the Overwatch League and cheering on her favorite team The Gladiators. Penelope and Lydia are sitting at the dining table. Lydia is working on an embroidery hoop while Penelope is studying.

Lydia calls Elena a nerd and says she doesn't get why she's watching a video game she's not even playing herself. Elena explains these are the world's top E athletes and Lydia expresses disinterest by asking who cares.

There is a knock on the door, and Leslie comes into the apartment saying he has two tickets to the opera. The Alvarezes seem disinterested by this offer. He asks Penelope if she wants to come with Mateo and she gestures towards her schoolwork and says she's completely swamped with disinterest.

Elena then says that maybe she can take the tickets and use them on a date with Syd. Lydia then tries to tell her dead husband Berto she's ready to go. She does not get a response from him and gives up.

Alex comes out into the living room asking Penelope if he can go skydiving. She gives him a look and he says he'll go to the outdoor concert he was invited to by his friend Dylan invited him to and then tries to walk off before his mother can say no. Penelope then informs him he's not going as he could get molested, trampled, or killed.

He pleads with her saying that it's Bud E. Fest, this really chill outdoor music festival. His mother tells him no as he could get trampled, molested, or killed. Alex then says Penelope never lets him do anything because she has a fear of him being molested. Penelope then asks if he's ever been molested. Alex reluctantly agrees he hasn't.

Penelope then starts to walk into the kitchen and Alex follows her saying there will be tons of security plus it's outdoors during the day. He tells her it's basically like a church picnic. Alex then follows her out of the kitchen and back to the dining table and asks how old she was when she went to her first concert and reminds her he is fifteen. She tells him she was seventeen when she went to her first concert, which was Lisa Lisa.

Lydia then asks what she's talking about, as she and Penelope went to Penelope's first concert when she was twenty-three and they saw Julio Inglesas.

Penelope then detracts her statement about seeing Lisa Lisa by saying she definitely didn't sneak out to see the concert because she was home sleeping in her bed like two pillows under a blanket. Alex then takes Penelope's hands and tells her he would never dream of sneaking out because he's a good kid who wouldn't doesn't keep secrets from his mother. Penelope then gives her son a doubtful look.

Lydia then asks if Alex wants to see a concert why doesn't he just come with them to the opera. Elena then reminds her that she is the one using the opera tickets.

Penelope goes to Schneider's apartment and tells him she needs to talk. He covers up a jigsaw puzzle he is working on and nervously tells her he's not doing anything. Penelope realizes it's a puzzle with a picture of her family. Schneider then says the only piece that's missing is him.

Penelope then apologizes for coming in saying that she's worried about Alex. Schneider then says once he gets the outline of his head, the face will be easy. Penelope tells him she is not referring to the puzzle. She explains that she let him go to a concert and now she's worrying that it was a mistake. Schneider tells her at some point she's going to have to start trusting Alex and it's not like she can spy on him. Penelope then gives him a look and asks "or?"

Penelope realizes the event is promoting marijuana.

There is then a cut to Schneider and Penelope at the concert. They make their way to the bleachers and try to spot Alex. Penelope tells Schneider that she put Alex in a red and white striped shirt so that she could spot him like Waldo in the crowd. They find him from their seats and realize he is vaping. Penelope then looks at the concert poster and realizes the event is promoting marijuana.

At the opera, Lydia, Leslie, Elena, and Syd find their seats on the balcony. Lydia asks if she would survive the fall from there. Elena thanks Leslie for getting them such awesome seats. Leslie puts his arm around Lydia and says it's a double date. Lydia looks around and asks who is the other couple, Elena and Syd are with not realizing Leslie was referring to her.

Syd then says they are excited as the opera is gender non-conforming. Lydia then says Syd and Elena make everything gay.

Once home from the concert, Alex tells Penelope she didn't have to drag him out from the concert. Penelope tells him she can not believe he was smoking pot. Penelope then asks how long he has been smoking for. Alex tells her he wasn't smoking, he was vaping. Penelope then sarcastically says then it's all good. He questions this and she yells no.

Penelope then questions how long this has been going on and Alex tells her it was his first time and last time. Alex then tells her how his friend Dylan's brother had it and everyone was trying it. Alex then says it was stupid and Penelope says it was stupid of her to trust Alex. Penelope then says she's very upset. Alex then tries to tell Penelope it's not as bad as alcohol and everybody drinks. He then tells her she smells like booze. Penelope tells him not to be cute and sends him to his room and tells him he's grounded.

At the opera, Elena says the opera is so long while Lydia comforts her. Leslie then leaves to use the restroom and Lydia starts coughing. Elena questions if she's OK. She then takes one of Leslie's lozenges and Elena asks if she's feeling better. Lydia then gets a goofy smile on her face.

Penelope is at her therapy group where she tells them about catching Alex vaping at the concert. She tells them that she was understanding but clear and firm and she believes Alex gets it now. The group then laughs at Penelope for thinking it was Alex's first time vaping, saying that is usually the response of teenagers. They then question if she'll search his room and she tells them she will now and if she finds any marijuana it's going straight down the toilet. The other women tell her not to be so hasty about it.

Schneider comes looking for Penelope to Photoshop himself into the puzzle and Penelope drags him into Alex's room where she has been searching for evidence of him using drugs. She tells Schneider she searched every inch of the room but wasn't able to find anything. Schneider then reveals the bottle of deodorant on Alex's dresser is fake and is where he was hiding the drug paraphernalia. Penelope then says she can't believe Alex lied to her about it being his first time.

Penelope then questions Schneider if he thinks Alex has a real drug problem. Schneider then says no and what Alex possesses is actually the weakest form of marijuana and the fact there is some left is a good sign. He reassures Penelope she is a good mother but Penelope questions this, as she feels like she has failed. Schneider then suggests this is just Alex being a teenager.

Lydia on Doctor B's lozenges.

Schneider then tells her about Leslie's lozenges and how they go right into the bloodstream and if you are not used to it and they cause you to giggle.

There is then a cut to Lydia giggling at the opera and saying she now gets why Syd and Elena see the opera as gay. There is then a cut back to Schneider and Penelope in Alex's room and Schneider says the lozenges make you paranoid. There is then a cut to Lydia ducking and sneaking around the balcony with her opera goggles and saying the Castros have found her.

Schneider then tells Penelope about a guy he knew who popped a lozenge at the movie theater and started talking back to the screen. There is then a cut to Lydia talking back to the actors on stage and Elena trying to quiet her. Leslie then realizes Lydia has consumed one of his lozenges. There is then a cut to Penelope thanking God no one in her family is using that stuff.

Later, Alex returns to his room with his clean laundry. He then sees that someone has discovered his fake deodorant and his drug paraphernalia is missing. Penelope then walks in with the drugs and asks if he's looking for them. Alex guiltily denies it.

Penelope then says she works hard for the family and Alex is out there doing that crap, expressing her disappointment. Alex tries to apologize but he's interrupted by Penelope who says he lied to her face. Alex says he had to lie otherwise Penelope wouldn't let him do it. Penelope then tells him he shouldn't be doing it and Alex protests saying it's not that bad and it's legal now.

Penelope then tells him smoking, drinking, and gambling are also legal but there are consequences for doing those things and none of those things are legal for him because he's fifteen. Alex tells her it's just a fun thing he does every once in a while and reminds her that he gets straight As. She tells him he won't for long if he's a stoner.

Alex tells her he's not a stoner and gives examples of successful people who smoke. Penelope then explains that for every successful case there are a hundred losers whose lives are going nowhere. Penelope then says she's disappointed in him because he's a good kid, a smart kid, and should know better.

Alex then says he's sorry he's not perfect like her. Penelope then tells him she's not perfect. Penelope then tells him she tried pot a couple of times and she gets the curiosity. She then explains that when you're a kid, it messes with your brain which is still developing. Penelope then tells him he needs to be especially careful due to the fact that he's Latino.

Alex questions this and she tells him a story about how when she was seventeen she and her friend Caroline were caught with drugs at the beach and she was dragged down to the police station. She explains the police let Caroline go with a warning because she was white, however, they arrested Penelope.

Penelope then says luckily a Latino police officer felt sorry for her and let her go but before he did he told her she couldn't do drugs again because it was a different situation for them as Latinos and he was right. Alex then expresses shock at his mother being arrested and says Lydia must have freaked. Penelope tells him Lydia doesn't know it happened.

Penelope then explains if a white kid like his friend Dylan did drugs all he'd have is a cool story. She goes on to elaborate it's different for Alex because he'd wind up in prison and his life would be over and so would hers because she couldn't bear to lose him like that. The two exchange a hug and Alex tells her he's sorry and will never do it again. Penelope then says she'd love to believe him but she will make him take a drug test someday and Alex promises her the results will be perfect.

As they come out from his room, Penelope tells Alex drugs can also cause gynecomastia. Alex questions what that means and she tells him it's when men grow breasts. Alex then tells her she should have just started with that and they could have just skipped the rest of the conversation. Alex then tells her not to tell Lydia as she can't have her disappointed in him too. Penelope promises not to tell her and she tells Alex to keep her pot story a secret as well.

Lydia, Leslie, Syd, and Elena arrive home from the opera, and Lydia is seen eating a bag of Cheetos. Elena guilty says they got banned from the opera.


  • This episode discusses substance abuse particularly the usage of marijuana.
  • When Penelope was seventeen she and her friend Caroline got smoking pot at the beach.
  • Lydia gets high on Leslie's lozenges leading to her, Elena, Syd, and Leslie getting kicked out of the opera.


Click here for Nip It in the Bud/Transcript




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