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Roots is the fourth episode of Season 2 of One Day at a Time.


Elena is horrified to learn that her grandmother doesn't vote. Penelope teaches her son all her tricks on how to save money at the movie theater.


Penelope is on the phone with Max when Alex walks in. He asks for money to go to the movies and Penelope gives him ten dollars. Alex says that that's not enough. Schneider arrives with Lydia, who had tripped over the sidewalk and hurt her arm.

She tripped because the roots of a tree had lifted the cement. Lydia suggests they go cut the roots of the tree with her machete. Elena tells her that Prop U could help her fix the cement but she has to vote. Lydia tells her that she doesn't vote.

Elena tells Penelope this and Elena asks how could she let this happen. Penelope says that she knew about that already and how she only votes every four years. Elena convinces Lydia to vote in the next election.

Alex and Penelope go to the movies where Penelope shows Alex how to save money. Elena studies with Lydia so that she knows how to vote. Lydia pretends someone is at the door to get out of it. Elena is excited to take Lydia to vote but Lydia pretends to not be able to walk so that she doesn't have to go.

Schneider says he has a wheelchair upstairs that they can use. They go to get it but Lydia locks them out instead. Penelope uses her key to get back in and they find Lydia trying to escape on the fire escape. Penelope asks Lydia why she doesn't want to vote.

Lydia reveals that she isn't a citizen. Penelope asks her why she hadn't become a citizen and Lydia says that she was busy. Elena tells her that she'll help her become a citizen but Lydia says no.

Alex and Penelope go to the movies again but get caught by the usher and are forced to leave the theater.

Elena talks to Lydia about becoming a citizen. Elena is worried that Lydia will be deported if she doesn't become a citizen. Lydia says that she couldn't become a citizen because then she'd have to renounce her Cuban citizenship. She says that becoming an American citizen feels like giving up.

However, she tells Elena that she'll think about becoming a citizen. Schneider says that he's going to take the test too. Alex tells Penelope that he needs to get a job so he can buy his own snacks. Elena tells them that Prop U passed and asked where Lydia was. Lydia is seen on the balcony smoking a cigar and reading the US citizenship book.


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  • Lydia later becomes a citizen in "Not Yet".
  • When Lydia says, "I like to be in America," it references Moreno's performance in West Side Story, also Penelope says, "I know you do" like one of the other girls in the film.
  • Penelope says that she is a Hufflepuff, which references the Hogwarts houses in Harry Potter.
  • This episode discusses the importance of voting.

Episode Guide