When a supermoon appears in the night sky, all the Alvarezes and their significant others discover an elaborate romantic setting, fit for a marriage proposal. Who is it for? Only the moon knows!
The Alvarez family is 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.
On the roof, Schneider is stapling a poster that reads "Together Forever." Avery comments on how beautifully the roof is decorated. Schneider says he really outdid himself. Avery then says if she wasn't already pregnant she would tell Schneider they should make a baby. Schneider combines their names and says he can't wait to see their little "Schnavery." Avery tells him she hates that term for their child, but she loves him.
Schneider then tells Avery he loves her too and he's never been happier in his life. Avery agrees with this. Schneider says that's crazy because he literally has one of everything. Avery tells him she has three of everything and however said rich people can't be happy hasn't met them.
Schneider then tells her how ten years ago he was scared to let anyone else in and if someone had told him he'd be sober with the love of his life he would not believe them. Avery reassures him she is there for him and will stay forever.
Schneider says he has one thing left to do which is clean up after himself. Schneider grabs his tool bag and Avery gets the tape measure. Before they head back downstairs Avery tells him he did a great job on the roof and they are going to love it.
After Schneider and Avery leave, Syd and Elena are seen on the roof. Syd says they love it, especially in the light of "the exactly-the-same-size-of-every-other-night moon." Elena then starts to say scientifically speaking the actual name of the supermoon is perigee-syzygy which Syd says at the same as her. Elena then tells Syd she loves it when they talk nerdy to her. The couple then kisses.
Elena then says it takes a load of stress of her and she is happy they are going to be staying together through college. Elena then says she's now even more excited about going to Yale. Syd then says they can't wait till they are at the equally prestigious Quinnipiac University also known as the "Yale of Connecticut." Syd then comments on how beautiful the night is.
Elena says she wonders who decorated the roof and that she is glad they get to use it. They sit at the table and Elena says it is like recycled romance. Syd says that's hot. Elena then asks Syd if they should watch the new episode of Batwoman. Syd enthusiastically says yes to this, saying they love the idea of Ruby Rose in a bat suit. This leads to the two of them discussing their crushes.
Elena asks Syd who else they have crushes on. Syd replies that they have crushes on Ellen Page, Halsey, Samira Wiley, Hermione Granger. Elena is amazed that those four names came to Syd right away. Syd then returns the question asking who Elena's crushes are. Elena says hers are Emma Gonzales, Janelle Monáe, and Tanya the barista. Syd then questions who Tanya is.
Elena then explains Tanya is the cute coffee barista downstairs and Elena only likes her because she provides her with coffee. Syd appears uncomfortable, saying they thought they were talking about celebrity crushes, not people that they actually knew in real life. Elena then tries to smooth things over by saying she probably likes Tanya because she gives her coffee and probably just has a crush on caffeine. They both comment on how mature and evolved they are because of how freely they can talk about their crushes, but things are now in an awkward situation and are no longer romantic. They then hear footsteps and go to hide because whoever set up the romantic scene would be angry because Elena ate the chocolate hearts before Syd arrived.
Alex arrives on the roof with Nora. Elena and Syd quickly hide under the awning so they won't be seen. Nora then says it's so romantic and she can't believe Alex did all this for her. Alex then tries to lie and say he did do all this. Nora tells him to relax, saying she knows there is no possible way he could afford all of this. Alex then apologizes, admitting that he only brought her here to look at the moon.
Nora then reassures him she doesn't have to do anything for her besides being nice to her and tell her she's pretty. Alex then remarks that his mom knows how to get chicks and Nora questions this. Alex then tells her it's nothing and she's one of the coolest, prettiest girls he knows. She tells him that works and they kiss.
Elena then yells out for them to hold it. She and Syd then reveal they were under the awning the whole time. Elena then tells Alex and Nora they were never here and Syd tells them to enjoy perigee-syzygy as they leave. Alex then says he doesn't know those people. Alex then asks where were they and the couple continue to kiss.
They then sit on the outdoor loveseat and kiss for a few seconds and then suddenly Alex gets up and says he doesn't want a divorce. Nora asks what he means. Alex tries to cover this by telling Nora sometimes he says weird stuff. He gives the example of how two months ago, the In-N-Out cashier said "Have a good day," and he said "thanks, mommy." Alex then says he really freaked that dude out.
Nora then asks him to tell her what's really going on. Alex then tells her that he is freaked out about sex, marriage, and divorce. Alex then goes on to explain that his parents' divorce was traumatic for him and really shook him up. Nora then tells him she gets it and she points out not every marriage ends in divorce.
Alex agrees saying his abuelos were madly in love. He then tells Nora how Lydia still goes on dates with her dead husband. Nora says that it is both really sweet and really creepy. Nora tells him there is nothing to worry about seeing that they only just started dating and they are definitely not having sex. Alex questions this and Nora says Alex said he didn't want to have sex. Alex tells her he is good now and she tells him he's cute. They then cuddle on the loveseat.
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.
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 of 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 they'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.
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 them and starts to say his own words for Berto but Penelope tells him they are done, as she puts her hand on his shoulder.
- Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez
- Todd Grinnell as Schneider
- Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez
- Marcel Ruiz as Alex Alvarez
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Doctor Berkowitz
- Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera
Click here for Supermoon transcript.
Notes and references
- This was the last episode filmed before the show went on hiatus due to COVID-19 concerns.
- The scientific name for the Supermoon is perigee-syzygy.
- The story of what happened when Lydia and Dr. Berkowitz went to Cuba is revealed. Lydia didn't end up spreading Berto's ashes in Cuba because it wasn't home anymore to either of them and Cuba was not the same as she remembered it from her youth. Berto's ashes are finally spread on the rooftop garden as a symbol for the life he and Lydia created in America and his love of gardening.
- Alex expresses worry that he and Nora will end up married young and divorced like his parents. He admits to Nora that Victor and Penelope's divorce really shook him up.
- This episode also shows that Nora is Alex's first serious relationship.
- Elena and Syd discuss their crushes in this episode; Syd's crushes include Ruby Rose, Ellen Page, Halsey, Samira Wiley, and Hermione Granger. Elena's crushes include Emma Gonzales, Janelle Monáe, and Tanya the barista.
- It is revealed that Elena got accepted into Yale and Syd got accepted into Quinnipiac University.
- This episode explores breaking traditional marriage and relationship roles. Penelope and Max decide they are content in a "non-marriage" where they are allowed to spend a couple of months apart at a time. This is so that Max can do a job he loves while still being in a relationship with Penelope. This also works out well for Penelope who made a promise to herself never to get married again or have children. The two agree that they are content spending as much time together as possible whenever Max is back in town.
- It is also possible Penelope still has the emotional scars from the aftermath of her divorce from Victor and why she is so adamant about not getting re-married.