One Day at a Time Wiki

"I can assemble a rifle in thirteen seconds. I'm a total badass."
—Penelope, This Is It

Penelope Francisca Alvarez (née Riera) is a central character on the Netflix Original Series One Day at a Time. Her full name is Penelope Francisca Riera Calderon Leyte-Vidal Inclán Ruiz Maribona de Alvarez.

She is portrayed by Justina Machado.


Penelope has a quirky, confident, fun, and outgoing personality. She likes to joke around a lot and have a good time. Due to being a military vet she often refers to herself as being a "total badass."

She loves her children Elena and Alex and is seen to have a kind yet no-nonsense parenting style, though she is generally accepting of who their individual personalities and who they are as people. She emphasizes the importance of them having an education and learning valuable life-skills such as saving money.

Even after getting a job as a nurse practitioner, she's still shown to be cautious about spending money and has a scarcity mindset as pointed out by Schneider in "Penny Pinching."

In the episode "Supermoon," she reveals to her boyfriend Max on the roof that she has no intention of getting married again even though she is deeply in love with him referring to him as the "husband she never wants to marry." She tells him that she doesn't want to risk someone coming into her home and risk tearing her family and kids apart.

They happily agree to a non-traditional relationship where Max can still do his job, which he loves and spend a couple of months away at a time. Also, when he is back in town he and Penelope can spend as much time together as possible.

This may also show that she still has emotional scars from her divorce with her ex-husband Victor.

Physical Appearance

Penelope is a woman with wavy light brown hair and brown eyes.

Her attire mostly consists of scrubs due to being a nurse practitioner. Outside of work, she is seen in casual outfits such as floral print blouses, t-shirts, and jeans. For date nights she usually wears a black jumpsuit.

In "The Politics Episode," an animated version of Penelope is shown with brown eyes, dark pink lips, wavy brown hair with long bangs framing her face.

Her attire consists of a light green collared shirt, navy capri leggings, and teal flats.


Penelope Francisca Del Carmen Riera Inclán Ruiz Maribona is the mother of Elena and Alex as well as the daughter of Lydia. Currently, she works as a nurse practitioner (NP). She was formerly a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army, where she was deployed as a medic in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne, subsequently hurting her shoulder.

Because of her experiences as a soldier and being a single mother, she struggles at times to feel like she belongs.

Penelope accepts that she needs the anti-depressants, that were prescribed to her. Penelope admits, she isn't sure she believes in God, which Lydia struggles to accept.

She is a "soon to be divorcée" of Victor, the father of both Elena and Alex. She went to school, to become a nurse practitioner. That's where she met Max, her new boyfriend. She eventually breaks up with him, since he said he wanted kids. Penelope didn't, and couldn't take that away from him. After breaking up with Max she starts dating Mateo a buddy of hers. She works as a nurse practitioner under Dr. Berkowitz.


Season 1

In This Is It, Penelope an army vet and nurse, who went to Afganistan is examining a patient named Carl. It is revealed Penelope is separated from her husband who is still in Afganistan and does private security there. Carl attempts to ask Penelope out but then decides against after he learns she has kids.

Penelope returns home where she learns her daughter Elena does not want to have a quinceañera.

Lydia, her grandmother, asks Elena how are they supposed to know when she becomes a woman if they don't have a party. She also points out, that if she doesn't have one, then she is throwing away her Cuban heritage. Elena says that only the bad parts. Penelope tries to convince her that it's just a fun party but Elena goes to her room.

Meanwhile, Alex, Penelope's son, asks for her credit card information; so that he can buy sneakers for school. She tells him that he can only buy one pair of sneakers and he asks if they're poor. Penelope tells him that they're fine, and yells for all of them to gather for family dinner. The three of them share a look, and Penelope learns that they already ate. Penelope is upset but concedes that they will begin family dinners next week. Upset, she goes to cook her own dinner but instead sneakily eats the one Lydia made.

Schneider, their landlord, comes over to fix Penelope's sink. He gives her a package of pills that he found in her trash and asks if everything's okay. She says that they are antidepressants her doctor gave her, but that she isn't going to take them—and doesn't want her mom to find out about them. Lydia greets Schneider, before calling Elena, to come to the family room. She shows Elena Penelope's quinceanera album. This leads to Penelope challenging Elena to a debate. They each pretend to be the other and talk about the reasons why they are for or against having a quince. Penelope wins, which means Elena will have a quince. This causes Elena to storm off.

At work, Penelope talks with Doctor Berkowitz, the doctor she works for. He asks if she ever took the antidepressants he prescribed her and she says no. She gets an alert on her phone, notifying her that Alex had ordered multiple shoes, instead of just the one pair. At home, Penelope scolds Alex for ordering shoes.

He asks if she gets money from his father, and she says yes—but not a lot. Penelope makes it clear, that she is the provider of this family. She tells him, that they are going to return the shoes. Elena walks in and shows Penelope that she got a D on her test. She purposefully failed, because now that she's having a quince she doesn't need to be smart. This upsets Penelope, and she sends Elena to her room. Before she leaves, Elena asks her; isn't Penelope always encouraging her to be independent, so why is she getting punished for doing just that?

The whole situation upsets Penelope, who goes into the kitchen and pulls out the antidepressants. She tells Lydia, that she's going to be taking them from now on. Lydia tells her that she doesn't need those pills, that what she needs is a husband. Penelope goes off on her, asking Lydia did she think that Penelope wanted to do this alone and without a partner. She says no, that all she wants is for someone to hug her, and tell her that they got her. Lydia takes her daughter into her arms and reassures her that she's got her.

Penelope goes to see Alex, telling him that he doesn't have to worry, about being the man of the house. She also gives him a pair of shoes, that he bought that were under forty dollars. Penelope then goes to tell Elena that she doesn't have to have a quince, but that if she pulls that crap again with her school work, that she's going to put her tiara on Elena and post it to Instagram.

Penelope says that in reality, she was making the quince about her so that she could prove that a single mom could pull off such a big party. Elena says, that she's been looking for a good reason to have a quince and that that's a good reason. She agrees to have a quince. This makes Penelope happy. She tells Elena, that she'll use the photos they take, to scare her children. Elena declares that she isn't having children. Penelope goes to bed and soon after Lydia comes to spoon her.

In "Bobos and Mamitas," Lydia and Penelope are sleeping in bed when Penelope wakes up from a nightmare. Lydia comforts her, and Penelope asks if she's wearing makeup. Lydia says yes, because what if she runs into someone in the middle of the night, or she dies in her sleep.

She gets up and goes to make breakfast, after making sure Penelope knew how she wanted her face made up if she did die. Penelope takes an antidepressant pill. Penelope then rushes out to work, telling them that they have to hurry because she has a staff meeting to get to. Penelope is excited about the meeting, because she made a spreadsheet, and that she's going to make it rain data.

At work, Doctor Berkowitz takes attendance at the meeting, even though there are only four of them. Penelope tells them about her idea to stagger appointments, to expedite wait times, but Scott disagrees. Penelope tries to get her point across, but Scott shuts her down. The meeting ends with nothing changing, leaving a very frustrated Penelope.

Schneider arrives at the apartment and tells Lydia that he has a salsa emergency. He asks if she can help him learn how to dance for a date. She teaches him how to dance, and asks if she's in love with this girl. He says no, that love isn't even real. She tells him how she met her husband and he says that he met this girl at a BBQ.

They continue to dance when Penelope and the kids arrive. They too join in on the dancing. After, Elena complains, about how nobody put their food in the compost bin. Penelope tells her that her day was just as bad. Elena says it's sexist the way her coworker talked over her. Penelope says that real sexism is being in the army. Elena tells her that sexism is more subtle now. Penelope says, that if she got bent out of shape, every time a man said something stupid—Elena wouldn't be here. Elena tells Penelope that she needs to call Scott out.

Doctor Berkowitz shows up and begs Penelope to come back. She negotiates her pay to be thirty-three dollars an hour and she agrees to come back. They hug.

Season 2

Season 3

In "The Funeral,"  Elena and Alex sitting solemnly with Lydia on the couch. Penelope comes in with pizza, celebrating the fact that she bought one and got two free. Penelope then questions if they hate pizza now or was it the song. She asks them to please say pizza because she felt that jam really worked. The three of them don't respond. Lydia then says that Tía Ophelia is dead.

Penelope says that that is terrible and asks who she is again. Elena comes over and says that they can't remember either. Elena then asks if she's the tía who always wears yellow. Penelope says no, that's Tía Big Bird. Alex then asks if she's the one who always finds new ways to insult you. Penelope makes a face and rolls her eyes saying that's Tía Bitchy. Penelope then asks if none of them can remember who she is.

Schneider comes in and is upset over Ophelia's death and calls it a tragedy. He says that they danced all night at Elena's quinces. Schneider then says Ophelia had scarlet fever as a child and lost her right eye. Coming to a realization, Elena says she was the tía with the eye patch. Alex then calls her Tía Jack Sparrow. Penelope then says she called her Tía Blackbeard but then that got confusing because there is another Tía who had an actual black beard. All of them laugh at this except Lydia who bangs on the table they then apologize crossing their chests.

Penelope says that at least they will get to see the family at the funeral and names of some of them. Lydia says that it will be good to see everybody, except La Diabla, who is her younger sister, Mirtha. Schneider then asks about Tía La Diabla and Elena explains she is Lydia's little sister, Mirtha. Penelope points out that Lydia has been mad at Mirtha for twenty years over a stupid mantilla. Alex starts to point out that Lydia has it, but she interrupts him calling Mirtha a liar. Alex then starts to ask if Lydia had the mantilla the entire time but she cuts him off saying she rightfully accused Mirtha of having it all these years because she does.

She then tells Alex to go fix his hair and then messes it up. He runs off screaming. Schneider asks what a mantilla is, and Elena explains that it is a lace veil that is passed on from bride to bride in the family and the couples' names are stitched into it. Lydia then says it's a Spanish tradition and that's why they will never speak to Mirtha or her family ever again. Lydia then asks Penelope if she's right and Penelope tells her no and that this feud between the two sisters ends now.

Penelope then tells her the reception after the funeral will take place in their home. Lydia then questions La Diabla being at her house and says she will never make it past the cross. Penelope says the only things they are burying is the feud and Tía Amelia. The rest of the family and Schneider correct her to say her name is Ophelia. An agitated Penelope then says "whoever."

Lydia then asks how Penelope can not take her side, saying family is everything, and she has to hate her sister. Penelope then says she is sick of this old lady beef and that cost her the relationship she had with her best friend, Estrellita. Schneider then says that Estrellita is Mirtha's daughter and Penelope's cousin. Penelope then threatens to tell the whole family that Lydia had a stroke if she doesn't end the feud with Mirtha.

The family is entering the funeral. Lydia and Alex are hug Tía Bitchy and another woman, while Penelope and Elena are greeted by Tía Bitchy. Tía Bitchy asks if Elena still has the one eyebrow and says Penelope must be enjoying her mother's tostones, taking a jab at her weight. They walk away and Elena asks if that was Tía Bitchy. Penelope says yes, and Alex comes rushing over with a red kiss mark on his cheek. He says that he needs to hide from all the Tías, and Lydia comes over. Elena points out Tía Pilar who is with Susan, and that she's always wondered if she's gay. Lydia says that Elena thinks everyone is gay and that Pilar is just eccentric and gives examples of this, saying she lives with her roommate Susan.

Pilar and Susan are seen being affectionate and Elena and Penelope give Lydia a look and Lydia walks off.

Elena then questions Penelope about Pilar. Penelope explains to Elena that Pilar is definitely gay but nobody talks about it they usually just make a gesture throwing their hands back implying it. Elena then tells her that is so offensive and someone needs to in the family needs to accept Pilar and shepherd her out into the light. Alex walks up to them and asks "like a lesbian Jesus?"

Elena then says she loves that because she has long hair, and is a really good carpenter, and she looks good in Birkenstocks. Penelope then shakes her head telling Elena nobody looks good in Birkenstocks. Penelope then says it would be rude to ask and advises Elena not to and Elena reluctantly agrees to this.

Lydia's sister Mirtha walks into the room wearing a veil on her head. Both Penelope and Lydia see her walk in. Lydia says that La Diabla herself has arrived with her lizard eyes, vulture claws, and grey roots. Mirtha removes her veil and dramatically and says she's here. She walks up to Ophelia's open casket and says she can finally rest in peace. Lydia then says she could take on Mirtha.

Penelope then reminds Lydia she said she was going to apologize. Lydia then walks up to Mirtha and gives her a hug. Penelope then goes up to her cousin Estrellita and tries to talk to her and catch her up on her life. Estrellita reminds her they are not allowed to talk due to the feud between their mothers and it's not safe. Penelope then explains she talked Lydia into smoothing things out with Mirtha and they will be able to hang out like old times.

Just then, Mirtha comes by and walks past this saying if Lydia gets close to the coffin, she will push her in. Estrellita then says "really?" Penelope then says no and says she doesn't know what just happened but the feud will end that day. She takes Estrellita's hand and says they will be together again. Penelope then starts to walk away and Estrellita pulls her back, telling her not to make promises she can't keep. She then tells Penelope she loves her curls and always has and will. The two then embrace by holding hands and putting their heads together. Penelope then tries once again to confront Lydia about Mirtha. Lydia tells her this will all be over soon which Penelope doesn't like the sound of.

Penelope then sees Lydia stuffing the mantilla in Ophelia's casket. Penelope then questions if she had the mantilla the whole time. Lydia then points to Ophelia and says no she had it. Mirtha then walks up to Ophelia's casket and says Ophelia was the only one who understood her. Mirtha then picks up the mantilla and calls Ophelia a thief. Lydia pretends to look shocked and asks if Ophelia had the mantilla the whole time.

Penelope gives Lydia a look and says that it makes sense. Lydia then claims Ophelia had her eyes on it for a long time, until 1952 then she had her eye on it. Mirtha then says all these years she blamed Lydia. The two sisters then grudgingly make up both saying they'll never actually say they are sorry out loud. They then hug.

Penelope goes up to Estrellita and says they are back. They then hug and laugh and Estrellita says there is so much to talk about. Estrellita catches Penelope up on her life and the two hug.

Penelope and Estrellita are seen dancing in the kitchen. The two do their improvised choreography for Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation video. Estrellita then questions if it's weird that they are dancing at a funeral. Penelope replies it's a Latino funeral, it would be weird if they weren't dancing. Estrellita then says they didn't always nail it but they sold it with a confident face. Penelope adds it's also the face they used to sneak into R-rated movies.

Estrellita then asks her if she remembers what they do after this. Penelope then says they steal wine coolers from their parents and kiss magazine pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio. The two then high-five and Penelope pours some wine. Penelope then says she forgot how much fun they had together and Estrellita tells her those were the best years of her life.

Penelope then tells Estrellita she saved all the letters she wrote her while she was in the army because they mean a lot. Penelope tells her there were a lot of really rough nights when she was in the army and she would read one of the letters and it felt like Estrellita was right next to her making her laugh and she felt a little less alone and telling her everything was going to be OK.

Estrellita then says with tears in her eyes she can't believe she has her best friend back as they share a hug.

Later, Lydia says she wants to kill Mirtha for telling a story about her cancer. Penelope tells her cancer is scary. Lydia tells her Mirtha only had a mole the size of a tic-tac and the whole story is exaggerated. Penelope says Lydia can tell people about her stroke. Lydia's pride, however, will not allow her to let the family know about her stroke. Lydia then says she is surprised Mirtha is not singing.

Mirtha then starts singing a song dedicated to Ophelia and Lydia buries her face in her hands. Lydia then says she sings like a donkey and goes to approach Mirtha. Mirtha then invites Lydia to sing with her. Lydia tells her she doesn't think she can sing as beautifully as she can. The two then start singing together.

Lydia and Mirtha hold hands and finish their song and everyone applauds. Penelope then tells Estrellita she is glad the stupid mantilla crap is behind them, Estrellita agrees and asks where the mantilla is, saying she wants to get her and her husband Juan's names stitched into as they didn't have it at their wedding. Penelope takes it out of Lydia's purse and asks if she will give it back after.

Estrellita then asks if she's getting remarried. Penelope says she might but she wants to save it for her kids as they are the next oldest in the family, so it makes sense. Estrellita asks "does it?" Penelope then questions what she means. Esterellta elaborates saying that doesn't make sense because Elena is gay and Penelope retorts saying her son Flavio is super gay, a comment that clearly does not sit well with Estrellita. Flavio then makes a comment on the apartment walls in the apartment being yellow. This then leads to the two women fighting over the mantilla and Estrellita says Penelope and Victor's names should be removed as they are divorced.

She retorts that Penelope couldn't keep Victor tied down so neither should the mantilla. This comment causes Penelope to look away in shock. Schneider then says that was nasty and says Monica is no longer Tía Bitchy, Estrellita is. Monica then questions who calls her Tía Bitchy.

Mirtha then tells Lydia to tell Penelope to let go of the mantilla. Lydia then yells out that she had a stroke. This temporarily distracts Estrellita who lets go of the mantilla. Penelope and Lydia look at the piece of lace and realize there are no names stitched in it.

Mirtha then reveals she knew Lydia stuffed a worthless piece of cloth in with Ophelia instead of the real mantilla, saying they are Cubans, not ancient Egyptians. Estrellita then questions who has the real mantilla and Lydia says it's obviously with Mirtha. Mirtha then calls Lydia a liar in Spanish and Lydia retorts that Mirtha walks around like her hair color is natural.

Mirtha then counters she can salsa without breaking a hip and demonstrates this. Lydia admits Mirtha is light on her hooves and says she would like to demonstrate what the step would look like when one does not have feet like a chupacabra and then proceeds to demonstrate the dance move while vocalizing merengue music. Mirtha then asks her to admit she has the mantilla.

Pilar comes up and says she and Susan used it at their wedding and she has it. She then pointedly tells the family they were all at the wedding which confuses them because they had not realized the event was a wedding. Lydia even goes so far as to say she thought it was an affectionate barbeque. Penelope then says they should at be ashamed at themselves for fighting over nothing. Lydia finally admits she had a stroke and she and Mirtha makeup and apologize to each other.

Penelope then says just because they have their differences doesn't mean they will stop being family. Estrellita then proposes a toast to Ophelia and says at least she was alive to see the president make America great again. Everyone else looks uncomfortable and the episode ends with Penelope saying "I'm, sorry. What?"

Season 4

In "Checking Boxes," in the opening scene, the Alvarez family along with their friends are getting ready for movie night when Brian, a census taker knocks on the door. Penelope slams the door on his face but then Elena tells her that the census is important because it determines federal funding, congressional seats, and Latino representation.

Penelope lets Brian back in, and she helps him learn about the family and their relationships for his form. Lydia tries to claim that she is the head of the household but Penelope insists she is. Each member of the family and their friends introduce themselves. Brain subsequently leaves saying he needs to make his rounds to the other building tenants.

Later, Penelope is watching a movie in her bedroom and Lydia enters, telling her that she was wrong that she needed a man. Then she tells her that reminds her of Lydia's aunt Chuchi, who, after her fiancé left her, swore off love and spent the rest of her life lonely and having nobody. This makes Penelope scared that she's going to die alone, which she discusses the next day at her therapy group. The group thinks Penelope misses Max and all of the other members point out she brings him up frequently, referring to him as her best relationship. Penelope then says it's not that.

Ramona sets Penelope up on a date with a guy she works with, but the whole time she keeps having visions of Max shirtless in place of her actual date and it causes her to act strangely in public.

After her bad date, Penelope comes to Schneider for advice, who thinks she should reconnect with Max. She tells him she will visit the hospital Max works at and try to reconnect with him. Schnider tells her that he and Avery decided to move in together, and Penelope congratulates him.

Penelope goes to Max's hospital where he works, but a nurse there tells him that he no longer works there. He now works at a Doctors Without Borders group in Indonesia.

Back home, Alex and Elena talk with Penelope as she tells them that even though she is independent and strong, she still wants a boyfriend. Both of her kids express their support for her being a strong woman who still wants to date. Then, Alex surprises the whole family by revealing he has a girlfriend named Nora, much to Lydia's chagrin.

In "Penny Pinching," the episode opens with the Alverez family having dinner with Alex's new girlfriend Nora in a restaurant. Nora tells them it's nice to finally meet all of them and thanks Penelope for dinner. Penelope replies that it's not everyday Alex gets a new girlfriend. Sounding somewhat agitated, she adds even if that day was four weeks ago.

Alex apologizes saying he didn't know what he was so worried about. A jealous Lydia then questions how Nora met her grandson. Nora then tells them the story about how she went up to Alex and complimented him on his sneakers. Alex says he responded with a head nod and the two have been dating ever since.

Elena then comments that it's much easier being straight. Lydia then inquires if Alex has said "I love you" to Nora and says Alex said it to her. Penelope then says Elena is gay, Alex is a catch, and Lydia is making everyone uncomfortable. Penelope then adds they need to place their orders before 6 o'clock to get happy hour prices. Alex and Nora are caught making out behind the menu by Penelope, who then scolds them. Everyone then proceeds to place their orders.

After dinner, Nora is telling a story in Spanish indicating her grandfather hates the Red Sox. Lydia finally comes around and admits she loves Nora. Penelope then refers to her as a "freaking delight." Lydia comments that it's nice to be around a young Latina who speaks Spanish. Elena protests she can speak Spanish and Penelope protests that she's young.

Elena then questions if she can see the Overwatch League. Lydia questions if that's where nerds play video games and Elena informs her the word "nerd" is no longer considered an insult. Lydia retorts that it's not meant as a compliment. Elena goes on to say her two favorite teams The L.A. Gladiators and The Shanghai Dragons are playing.

Penelope agrees to loan Elena the car as long as she doesn't tell her about the game afterward and she makes sure to drop everyone else off at their errands first. Elena then excitedly declares it to be the best weekend ever as she gets to see the Overwatch League Finals and make an itinerary. Nora tells her she's hilarious and Alex tells her Elena isn't joking.

The server Bryce then arrives with the check. Elena sees it and tells her mother not to freak out. Penelope says the words "don't freak out" usually cost her money and cause her to freak out. Nora once again thanks Penelope for the dinner and says she was nervous at first but wound up having a fun time getting to know Alex's family.

Penelope gets shocked after she reads the bill. She then goes over to Bryce and demands happy hour prices instead of the full prices. Bryce tells her he put them in the system after 6 o'clock. Penelope then says they ordered their meal before six. The server explains that's when they were put into the system and shrugs. Penelope mimics Bryce's shrug and questions what he means by that. She then asks if he thinks she's a millionaire who can afford full-price pot stickers and reiterates it's happy hour.

An embarrassed Alex tells Nora his mother is not usually like this. Elena then says she is always like this. Penelope then demands to speak to the manager and Bryce tells her he is the manager. Penelope then expresses disbelief that the server is the manager. Penelope asks if Bryce thinks it's her first time complaining in a restaurant. Bryce tells her he doesn't but he finally agrees to give them happy hour prices. Penelope then says Bryce can get a better attitude and apologize. She then turns to Nora and tells her it was lovely to meet her.

The family returns home and Alex tells Penelope she embarrassed him in front of his new girlfriend. Penelope then questions if Alex wants to impress Nora by acting like a big shot who is irresponsible with money. Alex then says he wants to impress his girlfriend by not letting her believe he has a crazy mother. Elena then says now Alex is not being realistic as she leaves the room. Lydia says if Nora breaks up with the family she will never forgive Penelope as she closes the curtain to her room.

Penelope then tells them all to relax and she was fine. Alex says he understands the value of saving money but then was not the time or place to be threatening the server. Just then Schneider slides from under the couch saying that he agrees with Alex.

A startled Penelope then says she is used to him coming through the door unannounced but she is not used to him coming from under the furniture. Schneider then tells her he was fixing the janky couch because Penelope is way too cheap to buy a new one. Schneider then tells her she's making better money as a nurse practitioner and she can afford the new couch. Penelope admits it's true, but she still needs to be careful how she spends it and has a fear of going broke.

Schneider tells her she has a scarcity mindset and points out the couch has rips, lumps, and he uncovers a leak and points out that couches aren't supposed to have leaks as they are not hooked to plumbing. He then tells her that the sofa is crying.

Later, In the Alverez living room, Penelope declares it the perfect Sunday. She opens a bag of Cheetos and gets ready to watch TV. Just as she sits down, however, the couch breaks in half. Penelope then says out loud that isn't good.

At the furniture store in "Penny Pinching"

At the furniture store with Schneider, Penelope says she does not want a new couch. Schneider then tries once again to reassure her she can afford it. Schnider then tells her he knows she didn't want to spend money frivolously so he chose the store with the funniest name. A sales associate name Shawn welcomes them to So-fa So-Good. The name causes Schneider to laugh.

At the furniture store, Schneider tells Penelope as he pets the couch that it's not going to hurt her. Penelope proceeds to pet the couch with skepticism. Schneider then asks which one she wants to take home. The sales associate Shawn shows up asking if he can help and Penelope snaps at him saying she is not ready for his help.

Penelope finally finds a couch that feels right and that she can imagine being in her home. Schneider then congratulates her on her new couch purchase. Penelope then laughs and then throws up on a rug. Schneider says he guesses they will be buying the rug as well.

At home, Penelope is enjoying the new couch and tells Schneider she has made peace with money. Schnider asks if he can put the old couch in the Alvarez Family Museum. A confused Penelope tells him the Alvarez Museum is just a few knick-knacks displayed in the hallway. Schnider then says it's definitely not an empty apartment on the sixth floor called the Alvarez Museum Norte. Penelope then says she's too happy to be creeped out.

Just then, the rest of the family arrives home with Doctor Berkowitz. Elena tells Penelope not to freak out. Penelope tells her she doesn't need this today as she just barfed on an area rug. Elena suggests that she sits down. Elena finally tells her that they finally got to the game and the parking lot was full, so she parked on the street, and it's important to know that at this point in the story, they were ahead eight dollars.

Penelope presses Elena further and Elena tells her while they were in the game, the car was broken into and the window was smashed. She goes on to say which is probably how the pigeon got in. Elena then says she doesn't know what he ate but it did not agree with him. They chased the pigeon away but they probably should have closed the car door first because it got hit by a scooter. Elena continues saying the guy on the scooter was fine. Elena finally gets to the point and says the window was smashed because she had left her laptop on the backseat and was stolen.

Penelope then tells her it was a really dumb mistake and Elena had been lectured many times about leaving valuables in the car in plain view.

Later, in the kitchen, when Elena is washing dishes Penelope apologizes for getting so upset. Penelope continues to explain where she is coming from: she has never had a good relationship with money. Penelope explains there was a time they lived with Lydia because they couldn't afford to pay rent after Victor left. Penelope then says they are always one catastrophe away from being broke. However, this situation is not a catastrophe and she can loosen up.

Elena then tells her mother about the system for saving money she had created when she started working for Schnider and the spreadsheet she created on her laptop. Elena says she will work extra shifts for Schneider to make up for this situation.

In the living room, Lydia is sitting on the new couch and Alex, Penelope, and Elena enter the room. Elena then questions if the new couch makes the TV seem smaller. Alex then says if they're buying a new TV, they are going to need to splurge on surround sound. Lydia adds they should also get a state-of-the-art soft-pretzel carousel. Penelope proceeds to cry on the couch. The episode ends with Elena pointing out Penelope's tears just bead and roll right off the fabric of the new couch.

In "Boundaries,"  Penelope in her therapy group, telling them about how Alex walked in on her masturbating and that he was traumatized. She explains Alex had gone out with Lydia and Elena but had forgotten his phone at home, which is how he caught her. She asks them how she should approach talking to him about it, but they all suggest that she doesn't. However, Penelope insists on doing so because she wants him to know that masturbation is perfectly normal and healthy.

When Penelope comes home, she finds Alex at the table doing his homework and tries talking to him about what happened, but Alex really does not want to, draping the same knitted orange Afghan over his head that he did in Season 1 during the episode "Sex Talk."

Lydia overhears them and fights with Penelope over whether masturbation is okay or not. Lydia thinks masturbation is horrible, sinful, and dirty while Penelope thinks it's a perfectly fine expression of human sexuality. Elena enthusiastically chimes in with her two cents about the health benefits of masturbation. Alex says that this is not a normal conversation a family should be having and that families need boundaries. Penelope counters this insisting that there is no such thing as privacy from your mother.

Later, Lydia is in a restaurant on a "date" with an engineer named Danny, however, she catfished him using Penelope's pictures. She interviews him to see if he is a good suitor for her. He says he actually thinks it's sweet and that he is close and talks with his mother every day. Lydia says he is her top contender.

When she comes home, Elena tries to talk to Lydia about the female orgasm and tries to give her a book about self-pleasure, but Lydia throws it in the trash. Penelope enters and Lydia tells her that she set up a Tinder profile for her. Schneider comes in and says he helped her. Penelope then gets angry about how her mom invaded her privacy and meddled in her love life. She decides that maybe Alex is right and that the family may need some new boundaries. Lydia and Penelope have a big fight while Schneider watches and Alex leaves.

The next morning, Penelope sees the kids eating and Lydia is standing in front of her room. Penelope tries asking how Lydia slept, but Lydia refuses, saying that Penelope said she wanted privacy. Then Dr. Berkowitz opens the curtains to her bedroom in a bathrobe, poorly acting, saying that they caught him leaving in his "post-coital glow." Lydia says she knows they have a lot of questions but she will not answer them because Penelope wanted boundaries. However, Penelope knows that they are acting, and says it was "the world's worst breakfast theater" and then she leaves for work.

After work, Penelope goes to Schneider's apartment to talk about how crazy Lydia is being. Schneider points out Penelope's hypocrisy because she wants boundaries between her and her mom, but none between her and her son. Penelope realizes they were both doing the same thing and goes back to her apartment.

She walks in on Lydia, pretending to talk on the phone to Dr. Berkowitz, saying that she is "late." But Penelope notices that the "phone" is actually the remote to the TV. Penelope apologizes to Lydia, saying that understands that she meddles in her life it's because she loves her. Lydia said she would do anything for her happiness. Penelope decides they are back to no boundaries except she is putting locks on the doors. Lydia says she met the most perfect man at the grocery store but was told by her daughter not to interfere in her love life, so she said nothing. A knock at the door is heard and Lydia then asks “or did I?”

Penelope is angry at first, saying she knew her mom would never respect her because of boundaries. When she opens the door, she is shocked to see Max is there, saying he is back from Indonesia. Max comes in and tells Penelope she ran into her mother at the grocery store and Lydia overshared about a lot of things. They both admit they missed each other. They start kissing and Schneider walks in and is also happy to see Max is back and tries to high-five Penelope, who swats his hand away and grunts trying to indicate she wants to be left alone to continue kissing Max. However, Schnider misunderstands and thinks she is sharing his enthusiasm for Max's return.

In "One Halloween at a Time," the episode begins in Max's bedroom. Penelope and Max are lying in bed and Penelope questions if they have gotten better at sex since getting back together. Max then replies they have to give credit to the knee brace she gave him as it is a game-changer. Penelope then laughs at this, saying they should get ready for Halloween.

Max then jokingly suggests they should blow off the whole costume thing. He then says Penelope is already a sexy nurse. She gives him a peck on the lips and jokes back that's demeaning, as she is now a nurse practitioner.

Max then says he can't wait. He walks to the restroom and flirtatiously tells Penelope he has to give her something in the shower. Penelope sits up in bed and while gazing into the distance gives thanks to God for that knee brace.

Penelope walks into the apartment. She sees the costumes Schneider and Avery are wearing and asks if they are supposed to be Little Bo Peep and a messed-up sheep. An annoyed Schneider tells Avery they are going back to the apartment. Penelope then retorts it's a Halloween miracle to get Schneider to leave her apartment.

Elena then says she and Syd are going to go be leaving. Penelope compliments them on their costumes saying they are a lot better than last year's toxic drinking water and tumor costumes. Syd then says they bummed out a lot of people in the senior center. Penelope then tells them bye as they leave.

Lydia then notices Penelope smiling and looking happy and comments on it. She then asks Penelope if she enjoyed her walk. Penelope then questions what she means. Lydia insinuates she knows that Max and Penelope were having sex by saying she knows they were doing "the hanky-panky" when she should have been home helping to prepare for Halloween.

Penelope then says she and Max were being innocent by knitting sweaters and reading the Bible and she has no idea what Lydia is talking about. Lydia then questions her daughter about what's wrong with her as she would have broken Max down like a cardboard box if she had been in Penelope's position. She then hands Penelope the jack-o-lantern and tells her to put it outside. Penelope takes it from Lydia and says she'll do that.

Penelope then opens the door to see a guy with gray hair kissing someone. Penelope then calls the guy a creep and tells him to take it elsewhere. The guy turns around, it turns out to be Alex and Nora. Alex greets his mother.

Penelope then exclaims at the sight of Alex's hair. She then questions what his costume is. She asks if it's Anderson Cooper, Billy Idol, or Steve Martin. Alex says he doesn't know who any of those people are. Nora then asks if Alex looks like he could be in a boy band. Penelope retorts "Yeah, Boyz II Old Men."

Alex then finally says this isn't his costume and he dyed his hair. Penelope then demands how he could do that without asking her and if it's permanently dyed. Alex tells her he did ask her if on Halloween he could dye his hair silver. Penelope then says using the word "Halloween" in that sentence is misleading.

Lydia then gasps at the sight of her grandson asking what he's done and says he looks just like his abuelo. Lydia then says excitedly she will put Alex in his suit and they will dance. Alex then admits he thinks he made a big mistake. Penelope tells him that he did and they'll talk about it when he gets back from trick-or-treating.

Alex then announces he has grown out of trick-or-treating. Penelope then questions why he didn't tell her that last year was his last year. Alex then questions how could he tell her last year was the last year if he didn't know until this year. Penelope then says he's a wise old man and should figure it out.

Alex then questions if he can go to Nora's house as her parents are having a party. Nora then tells Penelope she'll have Alex home in time to take his arthritis pills. Penelope says that's a good one but to make sure he's home in time to spoon his grandmother.

Everyone is gone but Penelope and Lydia. Penelope answers her phone. Max is calling and she asks what he's wearing. Max is seen wearing orange rubber gloves. He then explains it's he's wearing rubber but not in a fun way, as he was just cleaning his bathroom.

Lydia takes the trash out, but a hole rips in the bag and she starts picking stuff up. Penelope then tells Max she can't wait to see him. Lydia then picks up a pink box and it winds up being a pregnancy test. Max then tells her he can't wait to see her and tells her he is on his way over. He then questions if Penelope has enough candy. Penelope says she's positive they do and Lydia mistakenly thinks she's referring to the pregnancy test, believing her daughter is pregnant and she can't hear Max over the phone. Max then once again asks Penelope if she's sure and he could pick up candy on the way if necessary.

Penelope then says she is 100% sure, causing Lydia's jaw to drop. Max then asks if Penelope wants to come over to his place instead of handing out candy all night and Penelope asks what does he think she'll do, leave the basket outside. Lydia then puts her hand on her chest in disgust. Penelope then says that's not how she was raised.

Later, Penelope, wearing her costume, opens the door to Max, who is wearing his costume. They are dressed as the characters Sandy and Danny from Grease. They perform a dance move from the film. Max then asks if it's weird that he's really attracted to Penelope even though she's technically dressed as a high-school girl. Penelope then says every teen in that movie was pushing forty. Instead of zits, they were worried about liver spots. She then gives Max a kiss.

Avery enters, wearing a drag racer costume. She then announces the house of Schneider. Schneider then enters in a drag queen costume. Avery and Schneider do a dance move. Schneider then asks once again if they get it. Max then guesses they are a drag race. Schneider thanks him and says it's more of a history lesson in heels. He then states the full title is "Drag Race—A Drag Queen Started Stonewall." Penelope finally getting it says it's cute. Avery then tells her not to say that. Schneider then asks if she thinks he tucked and taped for cute. Penelope then points out he's in a dress. She then says he tucked and taped for nothing.

Schneider then says cute's for losers. He explains that the previous year, he went as the "Hang in There" cat. Schneider then says he got nothing out of it. He almost gave up for good but then he looked in the mirror and something inspired him to keep going. Schneider declares it's back to the drawing board and leaves. Avery explains he actually draws stick figures on a board, she then says it's very sad. Avery then says she can fix him as she leaves.

Penelope then says it's time for them to get romantic with wine. Someone then knocks on the door. Penelope and Max then get excited over the first trick-or-treaters showing up. Max answers and Doctor Berkowitz enters wearing his Beast costume from Beauty and the Beast. Lydia opens her curtain, wearing a Belle costume. Penelope then compliments them on doing a couples' costume. Lydia then says she never saw the movie. She thought it was about a beautiful woman and her pet dog in a tuxedo. She then asks to see Doctor Berkowitz in the kitchen.

Lydia goes to the kitchen with him. When they are out of sight, Lydia shows him the pregnancy test. Doctor Berkowitz then gets on one knee. He then says he will raise the baby as his own. Lydia then says the baby is not hers. Relieved, he says he can't raise a baby.

Lydia then tells him she thinks Penelope is pregnant. Doctor Berkowitz then asks if Max knows about this. Lydia says she thinks that is what they are talking about right now. Closing the shutter, she says they deserve privacy. She then says they're not going to get it, but they deserve it.

In the Alverez living room, Penelope closes the door. She then declares once the thirty-year-old Spongebob comes around, it's time to close up shop. Max then says they did it and says he had fun. He then thanks Penelope for having him over.

Penelope then says when Alex said he was done trick-or-treating, she realized a part of her life was ending, but—she guesses another part is beginning. Max says it sounds like they should make a toast. Penelope then says they should toast to new beginnings as they clink glasses.

Lydia then comes in and says Chardonnay is not for babies. Penelope then asks what she means and what is happening. Lydia then accuses Penelope of being pregnant. Max also questions this. Penelope denies this. Lydia holds up the pregnancy test. Both Lydia and Max ask her to explain. Penelope once again states she isn't pregnant. Doctor Berkowitz then questions if no one is pregnant. Lydia then says somebody is pregnant, according to the trash.

Penelope then questions Lydia finding a pregnancy test in their trash can. Lydia then questions if it could be Elena's and if she fell off the wagon. Penelope then says no, she really loves the wagon. They conclude it must be Alex's.

Penelope and Max are standing on the front porch. Penelope knocks on the door, then rings the doorbell. Nora's parents, Melba and Ramón answer with a bowl of candy.

Going back and forth between Spanish and English Penelope explains she is Alex's mother. She then reminds Melba they have spoken on the phone a couple of times. She then tells Melba it's meet her in person.

In Spanish, Melba introduces her husband Ramón. She then introduces them to Max who tries to introduce himself in Spanish. Penelope tells him not to do that. Penelope then calls out for Alex.

Alex then questions what Penelope is doing at Nora's parents' house.

Penelope explains she is Sandy from Grease and tells him they need to talk about the pregnancy test, showing it to him. Melba then says she and her husband would love to be part of that conversation. She then calls out for her daughter saying she'll be out in a minute.

Alex then questions why she is showing him a pregnancy test. Penelope then says they found it at home.

Nora comes out. Melba then questions what she was doing at Alex's house that day. Penelope asks for an explanation. Alex says it's not his and Nora's. She then tells him they found it in the trash. She then questions if it's not hers, and it's not Lydia's, nor is it Elena's, therefore how is it not his.

Alex then insists it isn't his. Penelope asks what other explanation is there. He then says he and Nora never had sex so therefore it's impossible. Penelope gives him a hopeful look and presses him further asking him once more if he and Nora had sex. Alex once again says they didn't have sex. Nora then confirms they only did over the shirt stuff and then Penelope apologizes to Nora's parents for how their first meeting went.

Penelope, Alex, and Max arrive home. Penelope then questions Elena if there any way the positive pregnancy test is hers. Elena asks how many times does Penelope want me her to come out. Elena then points out she would need a man for a pregnancy to happen. Lydia says she thinks the Virgin Mary would clap back. Elena reiterates she is not pregnant. Syd says for a second they were convinced Elena was actually pregnant, as she is a saint. Penelope then says the test has to belong to someone and didn't just appear by magic.

Schneider and Avery enter with fog coming from the hallway, Avery is dressed as Daenerys Targaryen and Schneider as a dragon from Game of Thrones. Everyone is impressed and they all clap. Schneider says not to compliment them seeing that they came in second. He then exclaims they lost to Elton John. Doctor Berkowitz questions who was dressed as Elton John. Scheider then explains the real Elton John was dressed as Garfield eating lasagna and they lost to him. Schneider then says that it was adorable.

Avery sees Penelope holding the pregnancy test and asks where she found it. Penelope then asks if it's hers. Avery nods. Penelope, Elena, Syd, Alex, Lydia, and Dr. Berkowitz give her a group hug and Elena and Lydia congratulate her. Schneider not understanding asks why they are congratulating her, seeing that they lost the costume contest.

Avery laughs while crying. Schneider tells her not to cry and hang in there. Avery walks over to him, teary-eyed. Avery then tells him she wasn't sure how he'd react so she threw the test in the trash. He asks what she's saying and she tells him she's pregnant. Schneider hugs her and smiles. She asks if it means he's happy. He tells her that he is. He asks her if she's happy and Avery says she is. They kiss. Schneider then says this is so much better than an iPad mini. Lydia says they are here if Schneider and Avery need them and she adds they will. Alex says he is going to be a tío, Elena says she will be a tía, and Syd says they will be a tí-x.

The episode ends with Penelope saying this calls for a celebration. Then to Alex, she says "Hey grandpa! Will you take us all out for ice cream? Let's keep the hair. It's silver but the jokes are golden."

In "Perfect," the episode begins in the Alvarez living room where Elena is working on a tri-fold poster board covered with color-coded index cards. Lydia is seated at the dining table. Penelope enters the room and then asks her how her essay for Yale is going. Elena hesitantly tells her she has narrowed it down to a few options.

Penelope suggests mailing the whole board and Elena tells her the website said specifically not to do that. Elena then says she can't believe how well rounded she is and asks if she's too interesting. Lydia tells her no.

Elena then explains how each color represents a different aspect of her life that is essay-worthy. Like red is "Growing Up Cuban," orange is "My Dad Abandoned Me But Got Into Recovery So We're Cool Now," and purple is just general gay stuff. She goes on to explain that "General Gay Stuff" is also her ranking in the lesbian army.

Alex enters and asks how the planning is going for his quinces. Penelope questions what he's talking about. He elaborates, saying since Elena had a quinces, obviously, he would also be given a party to celebrate his coming of age, especially since the Alvarez home is a house of gender equality. A confused Penelope looks at Lydia and asks again what Alex is talking about. Alex then says if it's too much trouble to have a quinces, could he just have cash instead.

Penelope with a newfound realization realizes all her son wanted was money. She then goes on to say she thought Alex was "woke" but realizes now he is broke. Penelope then says she actually loves the idea of throwing Alex a quinces. Alex questions this. His mother explains that he would think the day is about him but in reality, Penelope can show what a great mom she is to other people.

Penelope then tells Alex his scam to obtain money didn't work and he played himself. She then tells him they are going through with the plan to throw him a quinces. Lydia then gets excited with a day focused on her grandson while Elena gets excited by the idea of breaking gender roles and have a quinceañero. Penelope then says she wants a mother-son dance and Lydia says she wants a "mistaken-for-his-mother-son dance."

The entire family starts singing "Quinces, papito, quinces!" in celebration and excitement. Alex finally breaks down and tells them to stop it and he doesn't really want a quinceañero. Penelope then tells him this isn't really about him anymore. The family starts singing again. Alex finally blurts out the confession he just wants five hundred dollars. A shocked Penelope gasps hearing the amount and questions what he needs it for.

Lydia then asks Alex what he's thinking, asking his mother for so much money. She then offers to give it to him. Penelope says she would love to see Lydia pull five hundred dollars from her shirt. Lydia says she will take it out of her savings account. She just needs to grab her map and a shovel. Alex apologizes for asking. He then subsequently leaves and Penelope asks if she should be worried about that. Lydia laughs saying she does have money and pulls out a ketchup packet from her shirt and says it's a ketchup packet.

In the Alvarez apartment, Alex enters the living room. Penelope dramatically opens the curtains in a similar fashion to the way Lydia normally does it. She then welcomes her son home. Alex is startled and screams. Penelope then says she understands why Lydia opens the curtains in such a fashion, as it is a real power move.

Alex then inquires what his mother was doing back there. Penelope says that she will be the one asking the questions. She then asks why he needs five hundred dollars. She explains she Googled "What does a teenage boy need five hundred dollars for?" and it auto-filled with some really disturbing stuff. Alex then tells her he's over it. Alex tells her she'll think it's stupid. Penelope presses him further until he admits he needs it for a fashion design class.

Penelope then starts laughing. Alex tells her he knew she'd think it's stupid. She then says she's just relieved they don't have to give Elena's room to a Komodo Dragon. She then tells him she thinks it's great. She then asks Alex why he didn't simply just tell her that. He explains it's because it's not academic and he figured she might think it's a waste of money.

Lydia does the motion of opening her curtains only to realize they are already open and says it is a waste of money. She then questions who opened her curtains and Penelope tells her they were already open. Lydia looks suspicious at this. Lydia then asks Alex why he wanted to pay for classes when he couldn't just ask her to teach him for free, seeing that she is the best seamstress to learn from. Alex explains he wants to learn street style.

Lydia then responds that she knows the streets and then asks how she gets to the farmer's market. Alex asks for his mother's help. Penelope then says she's not going to make Alex go through what she went through with Lydia. Lydia then says "Excuse me?" Penelope then reminds her of the time she wanted to take a hip-hop class.

Lydia then says she did teach her. Penelope then says there are no castanets in hip-hop. Lydia then says if there were it would be popular. Lydia then tells Alex to imagine them wearing matching homemade street outfits. Alex says he is definitely imagining it.

Penelope then tells Alex he can take the class. However, she's not giving him the money. She goes on to explain she is investing in the future of fashion, which is him. She goes on to say she can't wait to see him on Project Runway. Not as a contestant, but as a judge. Penelope then enthusiastically says she's going look "fly as hell," so she's in!

Alex then tells his mother she's the best. Alex leaves and Lydia is surprised. Lydia then says she needs to mend her broken heart with a thread and needle. Penelope then tells Lydia to do what she needs to do and she's made up her mind, Alex is taking the class. Penelope dramatically closes the curtains and says she loves this. Lydia then questions what's going on.

In the Alvarez apartment, Alex enters the living room. Penelope dramatically opens the curtains in a similar fashion to the way Lydia normally does it. She then welcomes her son home. Alex is startled and screams. Penelope then says she understands why Lydia opens the curtains in such a fashion, as it is a real power move.

Alex then inquires what his mother was doing back there. Penelope says that she will be the one asking the questions. She then asks why he needs five hundred dollars. She explains she Googled "What does a teenage boy need five hundred dollars for?" and it auto-filled with some really disturbing stuff. Alex then tells her he's over it. Alex tells her she'll think it's stupid. Penelope presses him further until he admits he needs it for a fashion design class.

Penelope then starts laughing. Alex tells her he knew she'd think it's stupid. She then says she's just relieved they don't have to give Elena's room to a Komodo Dragon. She then tells him she thinks it's great. She then asks Alex why he didn't simply just tell her that. He explains it's because it's not academic and he figured she might think it's a waste of money.

Lydia does the motion of opening her curtains only to realize they are already open and says it is a waste of money. She then questions who opened her curtains and Penelope tells her they were already open. Lydia looks suspicious at this. Lydia then asks Alex why he wanted to pay for classes when he couldn't just ask her to teach him for free, seeing that she is the best seamstress to learn from. Alex explains he wants to learn street style.

Lydia then responds that she knows the streets and then asks how she gets to the farmer's market. Alex asks for his mother's help. Penelope then says she's not going to make Alex go through what she went through with Lydia. Lydia then says "Excuse me?" Penelope then reminds her of the time she wanted to take a hip-hop class.

Lydia then says she did teach her. Penelope then says there are no castanets in hip-hop. Lydia then says if there were it would be popular. Lydia then tells Alex to imagine them wearing matching homemade street outfits. Alex says he is definitely imagining it.

Penelope then tells Alex he can take the class. However, she's not giving him the money. She goes on to explain she is investing in the future of fashion, which is him. She goes on to say she can't wait to see him on Project Runway. Not as a contestant, but as a judge. Penelope then enthusiastically says she's going look "fly as hell," so she's in!

Alex then tells his mother she's the best. Alex leaves and Lydia is surprised. Lydia then says she needs to mend her broken heart with a thread and needle. Penelope then tells Lydia to do what she needs to do and she's made up her mind, Alex is taking the class. Penelope dramatically closes the curtains and says she loves this. Lydia then questions what's going on.

Later, in the living room, Elena walks in with her poster board. Penelope once again questions how the essay is going. Elena then says she's got nothing as she opens the poster to see it disorganized and with more cards placed erratically. Penelope then says it looks great and she's just a ball of red yarn from away from cracking this murder case.

Elena then explains she stayed up all night writing fifteen different essays only to discover that all of them sucked! She explains she needs Yale to fall in love with her and this will just make them file a restraining order. Penelope then reassures her it will be fine.

Elena freaks out further and says she should just get her GED and start backpacking! She then says maybe she should just go back to her first idea about how she wants to put the "I in environmental." Lydia retorts that she thinks Elena put the "mental in environmental."

Elena then says she can't even tell if that's a good idea or not. She then closes her poster. She then says she's fine and chaos is part of her process, She then leaves.

Alex walks in and greets Penelope and Lydia. Penelope then questions how his fashion class was and when does his line come out so she can buy it a year later at Nordstrom Rack. Lydia then asks him to explain what the strangers taught him. Penelope encourages him to show them.

Alex then says it's just a simple pair of shorts and it's his first project so they shouldn't get too excited. Penelope then tells him the shorts are really good. Alex thanks her.

Penelope then says she knew he was crushing it and her investment is paying off already. Penelope then asks Lydia if Alex did a great job. Lydia responds that she wouldn't call it a "street style." Penelope then tells Alex to keep up the good work and that she would like him to make her a skirt for his mother next week, the woman who made this all possible. Alex tells her he'll see what he can do as he leaves.

Once he leaves Penelope says to Lydia she's got to admit, this is pretty good. Lydia then says she admits nothing and it's obvious he got his talent from her. She then notices the label says "Made in China." Penelope then realizes and says Alex lied to them. Lydia then says it's worse than she thinks the shorts are dry clean only.

Later, in Alex's room, Penelope enters and once again tells Alex what a great job he did and the shorts look just like something you would find in a store. Alex then says the effort to make the shorts took a lot out of him and he's going to take a nap. Penelope then says Alex thought of every detail even the recept catching him in the lie. Alex then gets up in alarm and asks if Penelope really found the receipt. Penelope says now she doesn't have to as she caught him in the act.

Alex then apologizes and says he can explain. Penelope tells him he better explain because he lied to her. Alex explains he quit the class and got a refund. Penelope then asks why he didn't just tell her that and she wouldn't force him to go if she hated. Alex then tells her he didn't hate it, he loved it. He explains he was bad at it, so he quit. He then explains he bought the shorts so he could avoid the conversation.

Penelope then asks if his plan was to keep buying clothes until she showed up to a fake graduation looking fantastic. Alex then admits that was the plan. Penelope then says he should relax it was just one class and it's OK not to be perfect. Alex says that Elena, Penelope, and Lydia have all accomplished things and he's just a dude with a great smile.

Penelope tells him he's good at lots of stuff. Alex then says he's not good at fashion. He goes on to say that everyone else in his class made a pair of shorts and he spent the entire duration just trying to thread the sewing machine. Alex then says he figured if he wasn't good at it, it's better not to do it.

Penelope then tells him the best thing is to persevere and not quit. Alex then questions this saying she already told him he could quit. She explains that was back when she believed he hated it. Penelope then tells him she expects him to work until he's miserable. She then asks Alex if he believes she will love him any less if he isn't perfect. Alex says he'd rather not find out and she apologizes for making him feel that way. She then reiterates that learning is a process and he tells her he'll go back to the class.

Elena enters the room confused and acting crazy. She says she heard voices and asks what's going on. She then leaves saying the voices aren't coming from the room.

Penelope then says "Is this fire out? 'Cause mama's got a real inferno over there." She then leaves the room to follow Elena.

In the Alvarez living room, Lydia is putting up a sign that says "LYDIA'S CURTAIN. DO NOT TOUCH." She clears her throat so Penelope sees it. Penelope then questions if Lydia really thinks a sign is going to stop her. She then says she is parking in a loading zone right now.

Alex enters wearing a jacket he made. He tells them class was great and he really made the jacket himself this time. Penelope gives her encouragement and says that's how he can get better. Lydia then tells him if she cannot be his teacher, she will be his model.

Elena comes in and says she finally wrote the perfect college essay and her adviser said it was the best one she's read in years. Penelope congratulated her on this and they are all killing it. She tells Alex she's a little bummed at not having a quinceañero. Mostly because she was looking forward to the mother-son dance. Penelope starts some music. Alex then says he guesses she deserves this one dance.

Penelope then says he's going to make her one of these cool jackets. The jacket's sleeves fall off when Penelope touches them. Penelope then says she can also rock a vest.

Lydia then runs from the window and tells Penelope she is getting a ticket. Penelope runs out of the apartment. Lydia then says there is no ticket. The episode ends with Alex and Lydia then dancing to music.

In "Supermoon," the episode begins with the Alvarez family sitting at the dining table. Alex sighs loudly and Penelope asks him what's wrong. He tells the family it is his and Nora's three month anniversary and he wants to take her out somewhere nice. The family "awws" at this. Alex then asks for forty bucks, which his mother says no to handing him a twenty instead.

Alex protests this saying he wants to do something big and special for Nora. Elena then sarcastically says heterosexual people use grand gestures to cover up for their lack of bad communication.

Penelope then takes the twenty dollars back form him saying girls don't need all that, he just needs to be nice to her and tell her she's pretty. Lydia then asks if she can go and say something if Penelope's done giving bad advice. Lydia then tells Alex that night is a super moon. She then gives him the advice that Alex should just take Nora's hand and look up and let the magic of the supermoon do the rest.

Elena then explains the supermoon is just a regular moon that's in its closest position to the Earth's orbit, making the lunar disk look larger than usual. Lydia then says the supermoon makes people do romantic gestures.

In the Alvarez living room, Elena is reading on the couch. Alex enters the apartment and heads towards the hall. Elena then asks if she's looking at a man now. Alex then says to Penelope Elena is being mean to him. Elena then tells him to sit next to her and Alex does. Elena then tells him it's cool he set up the roof for Nora. Alex tells her he wasn't the one to set up the roof. Elena then questions who it could have been and Alex guesses it's for a marriage proposal.

Penelope walks in eating chocolate pudding. She then tells her kids that pudding can last for a year and she is going to buy it in bulk. Penelope then tells them Max is coming over and he is excited to show her the moon. Penelope then says she told Max it was just a moon. Thinking their mother might be proposed to by Max Elena says she's not sure about how she feels about Penelope going up to the roof to look at the moon and Alex says this may be the last time Penelope may get a chance to look at the moon.

Penelope leaves and Elena says she's freaking out that Penelope is being proposed to on the roof. Alex tells her that Max makes her happy when Elena asks how he feels about it. Elena then says Max maybe the best choice as far as cis-white men go.

Penelope then re-enters and Alex questions if she will go to look at the moon wearing sweatpants. Penelope then questions if there is some sort of supermoon dress code. Alex says there isn't but advises her to put on a little lipstick instead of the pudding she stole from the earthquake kit. Penelope tells him she'll replace it.

Elena then says a woman shouldn't have to dress up just to satisfy a cultural ideal created by men for men. Penelope then says exactly and Elena adds that tonight is an exception. Max shows up at the door and asks Penelope if she's ready to go. She tells him she is. Alex tells Penelope she has his and Elena's blessing and Elena tells him he's the best white guy. Both Penelope and Max stare at the kids like their crazy.

Max and Penelope are then out on the roof. Penelope then sees the decorations and says they look nice. Then with sudden realization, she realizes Max may have set all this up for a marriage proposal. Penelope then out loud says no. Max starts to say something saying while she thinks the set up that night is perfect for a marriage proposal she's not interested in getting married again.

Max then tells her that's cool and she comments that he bounces back fast.

Max then tells her he didn't do all this and he wasn't planning on proposing. He was saying all he wanted was to get some with Penelope under the light of the supermoon. Penelope says that she likes his idea and they should do it. Max then questions why she put on a "one-woman show" and said no to his non-proposal. Penelope explains that she loves him very much but she made a vow not to get married because she didn't want to put her kids through the pain of divorce again. Also, she can't have someone come into her home and risk having it torn apart again.

Max then tells her it's OK and he understands. Penelope then says he's so sweet and charming. Also, he's great with her family and drives her crazy. He is perfect for her and the husband she never wants to marry. Max tells her that's something he never thought he would want to hear. Penelope laughs and they kiss.

Max and Penelope in "Supermoon"

Penelope then asks Max it's not like he wants to get married anyway with his job requiring him to travel frequently and therefore having to be gone a couple of months at a time. Max then tells her they need to talk about his job.

Max then explains he needed to get out of the city because everything there reminded him of Penelope and then he fell in love with his job. He then asks Penelope he can't promise her when the job will end and she tells him that's her dream. Max then tells her it's his dream also splitting his times between his two loves Penelope and dysentery.

Penelope then laughs and kisses him. She then says Max is her supermoon. Every couple months, he comes around and lights things up. Max then stands up, gets on one knee. He fake proposes to Penelope, saying "Penelope, will you agree to never live together, never take my name, never file joint taxes, but hang out with me a lot when both of us want to?" Penelope says she hates that they're on the same eye level but gives him an enthusiastic yes.

Elena and Alex are back on the roof thinking she is saying yes to an actual proposal. They congratulate Penelope and welcome Max to the family. They then join in a brief group hug. Elena then asks if she can be Penelope's person of honor and Penelope says she and Max are not getting married. Alex questions if it was the sweatpants. Penelope then explains she and Max love each other very much and they are deeply committed to each other but we're never getting married. She emphasizes the "never" and Max says they get it.

Elena then questions who did it if it wasn't Max and if it wasn't them then who did it because something romantic is going down. They hear footsteps and Penelope says someone's coming. Alex explains they should hide. Alex runs towards the awning but Elena stops him due to there being a giant spider in there.

They hide behind a big solar panel. Lydia and Dr. Berkowitz come out on to the roof. Lydia tells the doctor she has waited so long to do something, it is unclear what she is referring to. Penelope, Max, Alex, and Elena are seen under the solar panel looking very concerned. Doctor Berkowitz says he's glad too and asks Lydia if she's sure he's ready and she tells him she is.

Penelope then quietly asks if they should just jump off the roof. Lydia then asks the doctor to take the top of something and Penelope peaks out and sees Dr. Berkowitz struggling to open something. Thinking Doctor Berkowitz and Lydia were about to have sex on the roof Penelope yells for Lydia to keep her top on.

Lydia and Dr. Berkowitz scream. The others get up from under the solar panel. Lydia then questions what Penelope is doing and not scare an old man like Leslie like that!

Penelope sees Dr. B. holding a gold-colored urn and asks if those are her father's ashes. Doctor Berkowitz tells her he is struggling to open the top. Schneider and Avery join everyone else on the roof. Schneider says he heard voices and asks if they are starting. Lydia then says she was about to call them to come up on the roof. She then tells Schneider, the roof is perfect and thanks him for helping the doctor decorate. Schneider then says "there is nothing we Alvarezes won't do for each other."

Penelope then questions what is going on as she thought Lydia and Dr. Berkowitz scattered her father's ashes in Cuba. Lydia explains that was the plan. But after they got there, she couldn't do it. It was not the same Cuba that she remembers from her youth. Everything was still there, but it wasn't home anymore. Taking the hands of Elena and Penelope, she goes on to explain Berto wanted his final resting place to be at home and she realized that wherever they are is home.

Penelope then tells her that's beautiful. Lydia then explains that it was Dr. Berkowitz's idea to spread Berto's ashes in the rooftop garden. He then explains ever since he met Lydia, she always spoke so lovingly of Berto's perfect zucchini. At first, it made him uncomfortable. And then he realized she was talking about Berto's garden and thought this is the place he should be.

Penelope says Berto loved coming up here. He stayed for hours, planting flowers, growing vegetables. Even at night, she'd find him working up here and she knows in her heart that this is where her father would want her to be.

Lydia hands Alex the urn. He tells his grandfather he is always told by Lydia that he reminds her of Berto. Alex says he gets it and knows Berto was a good looking man. He then says he will try really hard to live up to who he was. He scoops some ashes and drops them into the garden.

The Alvarez family burying Berto Riera's ashes

Elena takes the urn, looks up at the sky, and solemnly says she wishes her grandfather could see her now. She goes on to say she knows he was old-fashioned. But she knows he loved her and would have accepted her and it makes her miss him even more. She scoops some ashes and drops them into the garden and tells Berto she loves him.

The urn is passed to Penelope. Penelope, with tears in her eyes, says she misses her father everyday but she sees him in Alex's smile and Elena's spirit, and therefore he is always with them and takes her turn scooping some ashes in the garden.

Lydia takes the urn and sits at the edge of the garden and says there is nothing she wouldn't do for Berto as she takes her turn scooping ashes in the garden. She tells Berto he can rest now, he is home, and she'll see him tonight.

The episode ends with Elena, Alex, Penelope, and Lydia embracing each other. Schneider approaches and starts to say his own words for Berto but Penelope tells him they are done, as she puts her hand on his shoulder.

Penelope as she is portrayed in "The Politics Episode."

The Politics Episode

Penelope, Schneider, Alex, and Elena are in the living room. Lydia comes in from behind the curtain with her phone and says Chago's daughter Margarita is getting baptized, and they're all invited. Everyone else gets excited over the news. Penelope then says the baby's real name is Alice but her nickname is Margarita because that's how she got made.

The Alvarez family spends the episode discussing strategies of how to get through the possibility of the Reyes family staying with them,as it is revealed they are coming early, illustrated through fantasy sequences. This is a concern due to the Alverezes being more liberal and the Reyeses being more conservative and the clashing view points causing tension between the two families.

There is a recurring gag where Alex receives money from Juanito Reyes any time Alex says something he likes.

The episode ends with Penelope saying she wishes they didn't have to talk about this, but now she knows she can. The Alvarezes hear a knock at the door. Lydia asks if they were expecting someone and says she had a little rum holding up the bottle. Penelope then says she knows the Reyeses are nuts but they are family and the Alverezes love the anyway, despite their different beliefs.

The Reyeses are seen standing in the hall having a similar conversation, saying they know the Alverezes are crazy liberals but they love them anyway.

Penelope opens the door and everyone greets each other and the Alvarezes, Schneider, and the Reyeses embracing in a group hug.

Memorable Quotes

Penelope's quinceañera photo

Mami, no!” (When Lydia pushes her over and climbs into her bed, as a result of her spooning her.)

Well, they don’t want them. Clean it, Papito” (To Alex when he has a box of candy planned for Dr. Berkowitz’s birthday party.)

“She’s been here most of the week. Can she only survive in this apartment’s atmosphere?” (To Elena when she doesn’t want her to send Carmen home.)

”Alex, you know Mrs. Resnick doesn’t go faster. Unless we’re going downhill, then she can’t stop.” (To Alex when he tells her to drive faster to his baseball game.)

”And you, when you get a stroke and don’t die, you tell people.” (To Lydia when she tells her she lies even more than she does.)

"Oh My God! Stop saying what I'm trying to say! You mansplaining, microaggressive, bobo cabron!" (To her coworker who is presumed to be sexist)

"You better check your tone." (To Alex when he gets picked up from school by her for an incident)

"His class went on a field trip to the observatory, and he punched a kid from another school." (To Elena and Lydia, telling the story about how Alex got suspended from school)

You know? I've had it with you and your teen crap. I'm not raising a jerk." (To Alex, scolding him for the school problem)


  • Penelope is seen wearing a wedding ring for most of Season 1 but never again in the following seasons.
  • The episode "Nip It in the Bud" reveals that she snuck out to her first concert at twenty-two and it was Lisa Lisa.

Notes and references

In "Penny Pinching," at home, Penelope is enjoying the new couch and tells Schneider she has made peace with money. Schneider asks if he can put the old couch in the Alvarez Family Museum. A confused Penelope tells him the Alvarez Museum is just a few knick-knacks displayed in the hallway. Schneider then says it's definitely not an empty apartment on the sixth floor called the Alvarez Museum Norte. Penelope then says she's too happy to be creeped out.