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This is the transcript for "The Death of Mrs. Resnick," the sixth episode of Season 1 of One Day at a Time.<< Previous Transcript Next >>

Scene 1: Penelope's Old Car

Penelope and Elena are sitting in the front seat, Alex is in the backseat in his baseball uniform.

ALEX: Mom, I'm gonna miss the first pitch. Go faster! 

PENELOPE: Alex, you know Mrs. Resnick doesn't go faster. Unless we're going downhill, and then she might not stop. 

ALEX: We are so late. Just try.

Penelope speeds up, the car starts rattling.

ELENA: Mom, I smell gas.

PENELOPE: All right. (sprays air freshener) Now, you smell Hawaii.

ELENA: Maybe the car's mad 'cause papi stuck it with the name Mrs. Resnick.

PENELOPE: You know your papi named her after a hot teacher he had a crush on. 

ALEX: Yeah, but by now I bet Mr. Resnick's traded her in for a younger model. 

PENELOPE: That's not funny, papito. 

ELENA: It's not funny. Society treats middle-age women shamefully. I read a study online--

PENELOPE: Okay, who wants to hear some tunes?


Penelope turns on the radio. Unbreak My Heart starts playing on stereo.

PENELOPE: (singing) Unbreak my heart! Say you'll love me again! Don't leave me in all this pain, don't leave me out in the rain.

Elena turns off the radio, the music stops.

PENELOPE: Aw, right before the good part. 

ELENA: There is no good part. That CD's been stuck in this car my whole life. 

PENELOPE: Uh, excuse me? It's a cassingle. (car puttering) Why are we slowing down? (groans loudly) Who turned on the AC? (Elena's eyes widen) You know Mrs. Resnick can't handle that!

ELENA: I'm sorry, but it's 90 degrees and you won't let us roll the windows down. 

PENELOPE: Because then they don't go back up. And it's only a crime to leave children in a hot car if it's parked. I looked it up! (car rattling) (sighs) Great. Okay, guys. You know the drill. (Penelope fixes some things in the car) Por favor, Santa Francisca de Roma, ayúdanos. Uno, dos y tres.[1] 

The family does the sign of the cross, then Penelope restarts the car and the engine starts.

PENELOPE: (whoops and laughs) See? Mrs. Resnick's still got it. (engine sputtering) (sighs) (engine turns over) Ugh.'ll probably be 20 minutes before a tow truck gets here. So, what should we do to pass the time? Oh, I know. ("Unbreak My Heart starts playing on stereo) ...Unbreak my heart. Say you'll love me again. (Yelling) Everybody!

PENELOPE, ELENA, ALEX: Undo this hurt you caused when you--

Scene 2: Alvarez Living Room  

Lydia is sitting on the couch, cross legged with a mask on her face. Penelope, Alex and Elena come in. 

LYDIA: Oh, hello.

PENELOPE: What are you doing, Mami?

LYDIA: This is supposed to make your skin glow. It's called a shit mask. (all laugh) 

PENELOPE: Mami, "sheet". It's called a sheet mask. 

LYDIA: That's what I said, "sheet."

ELENA: So, would you say you are sheet-faced right now? (laughs)

PENELOPE: Ah! Stop...or the sheet will hit the fan. (all laugh) 

LYDIA: You are back so late, I decided to have a little me time. 

SCHNEIDER: Can you feel it working? Hey, guys. (sighs) Oh! (alarm beeping) (exhales) And... (Lydia and Schneider remove the sheet masks) We are 29 again. (both laugh) Where you guys been? 

ELENA: Mrs. Resnick broke down again and had to be towed to the mechanic.

PENELOPE: Hector's looking at it now. 

LYDIA: Oh, how is Hector? I feel like I haven't seen him for days. Did he ask about me? Oh, papito. What happened to your pants? 

ALEX: I ripped them getting out of the trunk. 

LYDIA: You keep him in the trunk now? 

PENELOPE: No, the doors got stuck again so we all had to climb out through the back. 

ALEX: It was terrible. Now the whole team calls me "Butt-Trunk Boy." They could've called me "Junk in the Trunk." It was right there. 

PENELOPE: (cell phone ringing) Oh. Oh, guys. This is Hector. Hector... Hector! Hello. Give me some good news. What? No! Okay, well, what exactly needs replacing? Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Okay, well, what about... Oh, huh. Uh-huh? (sighs and gasps) Oh, you saved the cassingle! (clicks tongue) It unspooled. (sighs heavily) It's okay Hector, thank you. Thank you. (Hangs up) Guys, Mrs. Resnick is...

LYDIA: Muerta.[2]

PENELOPE: I can't believe it. You know, your papi picked me up for our first date in that car. It was brand new. Only 60,000 miles on it. We drove Mrs. Resnick up the coast... and at sunset, your papi bet me $5 that he'd marry me. He even wrote our initials in a little heart on the bill. I still have it somewhere. 

ALEX: Aw, you never take us to Malibu. 

PENELOPE: That's what you got from that story? 

SCHNEIDER: Yeah, but the good news is that you're getting a new car, right? 

PENELOPE: Oh, sure, I'll just have the butler pick it up. 

SCHNEIDER: (laughs) Oh, butlers work at the estate. Chauffeurs pick up cars. 

LYDIA: Lupe, if you need money for a car, I am here to help. I will teach dance again! It is a gift that I have withheld from the world far too long. 

SCHNEIDER: She taught me how to salsa. She was amazing. 

LYDIA: I do it for the joy. (laughs) You owe me $30.

ELENA: Okay, well, why don't we take public transportation and reduce our carbon footprint?  It's the best way to save money, and besides, I don't want you to have to go into my college fund.

PENELOPE: (laughing) College fund? You see that dish of change by the door? That's your college fund. Well, not the quarters, 'cause I need that for laundry. 

LYDIA: Elena, mi niña, a family needs a car. In Cuba, my best memories are the long rides with my papi in a Chevy the size of this apartment. It was glorious. His beloved little daughter on one side and on the other, his beloved bottle of rum.

ALEX: That sounds dangerous. 

LYDIA: No, no, no, no, we didn't have seat belts then. We would just roll out quick. 

ELENA: Well, I'm going to take public transportation, you know, to help atone for the environmental devastation that my ancestors and their gas-guzzlers so cruelly left to this earth. 

LYDIA: Why does everything have to be a crusade that is also annoying? 

PENELOPE: Abuelita's right. We need a car, but we can't afford a car. Unless we get a crazy good deal, which means we're screwed, because... car salesmen are scary. 

ALEX: But not to you. You were in the Army! 

ELENA: Yeah, you're always saying that you're a badass!

PENELOPE: I am a badass! But I'm also kind of a scaredy cat, you know, because... (sighs) I never bought a car before, you know? That salesman is gonna see me coming a mile away. Then he's gonna do that thing where he talks to the guy. And then they're gonna say something about floor mats, and then, blah, blah, blah, I wake up in an ice tub because someone took my kidneys. I am a total stereotype. A woman that doesn't know anything about cars. It would be so much easier if Victor were here. I hate to say this, but this is husband work. 

ELENA: Okay, Mom, this is not just a car anymore. It is the symbol of the oppression that the bonds of marriage have placed upon you as a woman. (slowly) You can do this. 

LYDIA: So you are for the car now?

ELENA: No! But as a crusade, yes. 

LYDIA: Annoying. 

PENELOPE: Yeah, I can do this. 

LYDIA: Yes. 


SCHNEIDER: 'Course you can, you just need to do a llittle research. In the meantime, I'll take Alex to baseball. Gives me a reason to break out the athleisure wear. 

PENELOPE: What the hell is that? 

SCHNEIDER: It's workout clothes you cannot sweat in. 

Scene 3: Dr. Berkowitz's Office

PENELOPE: My car broke down yesterday and I have to get a new one. 

DR. BERKOWITZ: Oh, no, no, no. (stammers) I hate car dealerships. I went to buy my daughter an inexpensive car, and she drove off in a BMW! And then I had to buy it! Very hard to negotiate when the car's halfway to Vegas. 

PENELOPE: Well, I'm feeling pretty good, 'cause I spent all last night learning about cars. 

DR. BERKOWITZ: Oh! Oh! Can you tell me what "anti-lock breaks" are? I mean, why should they ever lock?

PENELOPE: (sighs) I believe you're talking about ABS. Which is just a system that allows the wheels to maintain tractive control during sudden stops! What? What? 

DR. BERKOWITZ: (laughs) Very impressive! Uh, do you know how to repo a BMW? 

PENELOPE: No, but I am very proud of myself, because this is my first big purchase without Victor. 

DR. BERKOWITZ: Yeah, girl! You don't need no man! 

PENELOPE: Ooh! Actually, I do. (scoffs) Apparently when a woman goes to a dealership without a man, they are quoted a higher price. So I was thinking, maybe you can come with me and pretend to be my--

DR. BERKOWITZ: Husband? 

PENELOPE: I was gonna say dad, but sure...

DR. BERKOWITZ: I am in! 

PENELOPE: Great! That's great! We're gonna go tomorrow, okay? 

DR. BERKOWITZ: I am out! I...I can't do tomorrow. 

PENELOPE: It has to be tomorrow. It's the end of the month, and it's the best time to negotiate. 

DR. BERKOWITZ: I'm sorry, I'm seeing my daughter for the first time in ages, and she's bringing her therapist, and lawyer and life coach. It's going to be so good to see these people I've been paying. 

Scene 4: Alvarez Living Room

Lydia is sitting on the couch. Penelope has a magazine in her hands.

PENELOPE: (to Elena) You're home later than usual.

ELENA: Saving the world takes time. You know... (sighs) I used all public transportation today. I went to school, I went to the library. I came home. Zero carbon footprint. 

LYDIA: (mocking) Zero interesting words.

ELENA: Come on, abuelita, I saw beautiful parts of the city, I talked to fascinating people, and I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. When's the last time you did that? 

LYDIA: (smacks lips) When I moved here as a 15-year old girl without my family and not speaking the language.

ELENA: Is that well ever gonna run dry?

LYDIA: They took our well! Anyways, I explored the city today, too,  when I was putting up my fliers, so I may teach the world to dance again. 

PENELOPE: There's a part of you that actually thinks the world stopped dancing when you quit teaching, isn't there? 


Elena leaves. Alex enters with Schneider.

ALEX: Mom, today was the best day.


ALEX: Everyone saw me in Schneider's Range Rover and thought I was a total pimp! 

PENELOPE: Mmm. Don't say pimp or you'll get grounded! 

ALEX: Seriously, Mom, his car is amazing! His seats warm up. You wouldn't think you want a warm butt, but you totally do.

SCHNEIDER: It's all the best parts of peeing your pants without any of the wetness. 

ALEX: You should've seen Schneider. The other parents were obsessed. 

SCHNEIDER: (chuckles) Connie Merkelson told me she's never seen anyone slice apples with such grace. Not gonna lie, she was  throwing me some red hot heat.

PENELOPE: Connie Merkelson is a gay lady. But...thank you for taking Alex. And actually, I have another favor to ask. 

SCHNEIDER: Okay, but with Connie...I think she might walk both sides of the street. I'm gonna stay on the case. 

They enter the kitchen.

PENELOPE: Tomorrow I'm gonna buy a car, and so that I don't get screwed, I need a male presence to pretend to be my--


PENELOPE: Really? You're older than me. I was gonna say husband. 

SCHNEIDER: Oh! A May-December thing. Gross, but okay. (sighs) So I know you've been doing your research. What's our play?

PENELOPE: You don't talk. 

SCHNEIDER: Arm candy. I hear ya.

PENELOPE: Yeah. I'm just gonna walk up to that salesman, I'm gonna look him in the eye, and I'm gonna say, "Here's what's up. You're gonna sell me a 2012 pre-owned Honda CR-V, low mileage, no upsell, for the bluebook price, or I will burn this building down!"

SCHNEIDER: (chuckles) Save that fire for the bedroom, babe. You're comin' on way too strong. 

PENELOPE: No, I gotta be tough. They gotta see that I ain't no punk.

SCHNEIDER: They also gotta see that you didn't just get out of a women's prison. Look, you know your stuff. Just throw in a little charm. For example, I have my own little secret weapon. (clears throat, drops a penn) Whoopsies! (clears throat again, bends over with his butt sticking out)


SCHNEIDER: (grunts) Guess who just got a large latte for the price of a small?

PENELOPE: I'm trying to buy a car, not impress a white girl with dreadlocks who likes flat asses.

SCHNEIDER: I'm just saying, I got tricks to get people on my side. What are you bringing to the table? 

Scene 5: Car Dealership Showroom

It's the next day. Penelope and Schneider are at a car dealership. Penelope is wearing an Army hat and shirt that says ARMY on it.

SCHNEIDER: Playing the veteran card is genius. 

PENELOPE: Hey! I earned this guilt. But, yeah, I kinda feel sorry for that salesman. (both chuckle)

SCHNEIDER: Beautiful lady veteran, you're gonna own this guy.

The saleswoman, Jill comes out.

JILL: Hey, folks. I'm Jill. Can I answer any questions for you?

SCHNEIDER: (Whispers) I got this! (He takes a very expensive pen out of the shirt he's wearing and throws it behind his back. It goes under a car) Whoopsie! Damn it, that's a Montblanc! (He climbs under the car)

PENELOPE: (to Jill) Oh, yeah...

SCHNEIDER: (grunts)

PENELOPE: (to Jill) That's my husband. I married him for his flat ass.

JILL: (to Penelope) I see you served.

PENELOPE: Yeah, I was an army medic in Afghanistan. Yeah... (groans loudly) (wincing) Ay, sorry, sorry! I sustained a shoulder injury in the field. It was a difficult time, but I'm proud to serve my country. 

JILL: I hear what you're saying.

PENELOPE: Thank you.

JILL: Sergeant Riley. I was a driver and gunner in Baghdad. Hooah!

They shake hands.

PENELOPE: (softly) Hooah.

JILL: (to Penelope) Pardon me a second. (to an co-worker eating donuts) Hey, Michaels, step away from the donuts. The customers need them and you definitely don't.

PENELOPE: (To Schneider) Schneider, she is not gonna give me any sympathy. She's more badass than I am.

SCHNEIDER: Yeah, I got bigger fish here, Penelope.

JILL: (to Penelope) Anyway, this Honda CR-V is an LX. It's got low mileage. Five-star safety rating, ABS--

PENELOPE: (to Jill) Which is better than EX, because it has smaller wheels and no fog lights, 'cause I ain't no punk! Oh, I'm sorry.

JILL: (chuckles) Somebody's been doing their research.

PENELOPE: You know what? I am a straight shooter. I tell it like it is.

JILL: Then why are you lyin' about that guy being your husband?

PENELOPE: What, what?

JILL: Come on! You served in the Army! You've been trained to rappel out of helicopters. And you're gonna tell me that you're married to that haircut?

SCHNEIDER: (still under a car) Do you guys have one of those grabber claw thingies?

PENELOPE: (to Jill) We're not married, I'm sorry. It's just that my real husband and I are actually separated and this is my first big purchase without him.

JILL: I get it. There's no reason you and I can't figure this out, just the two of us.

SCHNEIDER: Oh, God. Spider. Spider!

He stands up and leaves.

JILL: (to Penelope) I'm glad we enlisted and not him.

Scene 6: Alvarez Living Room 

Lydia is with Alex, who is sitting down at the dinner table. Elena walks in.

LYDIA: So, mi niña,[3] how was the crusade today?

ELENA: (sighs) Another great day on the bus.

LYDIA: (to Elena) Oh, which one did you take?

ELENA: Uh, the 60? 

LYDIA: That goes to Vernon? Oh, my favorite butcher is there. I once saw a woman rip the weave off another woman over a leg of lamb. It was me.

ELENA: (scoffs) Well, Vernon's library is much better than ours. My bus driver actually tipped me off.

LYDIA: (to Elena) Georgie, Miguel or Petros?

ELENA: Petros.

LYDIA: (to Elena) Petros only works on weekends.

ELENA: Sorry, it was Miguel.

LYDIA: (to Elena) There is no Miguel. I made him up.

She gets up in Elena's face.

ELENA: What are you doing?

LYDIA: What are you doing?

ELENA: Okay! I hate the bus!

ALEX: Whoa, what?

ELENA: I'm a fraud! I've been lying these past two days.

LYDIA: (to Elena) It's okay, we know!

ELENA: Public transportation is hard. The seats are small, it kind of smells...One time, I fell asleep and somebody stole my socks. They left my shoes! 

LYDIA: (to Elena) Mi vida,[4] it's not that bad. Just yesterday, I took the bus to the farmer's market and then I went to collect on some bottles that I had saved.

ELENA: Wait, so you used mass transit to shop for locally grown produce and then recycled? That's like triple fossil fuel savings. 

LYDIA: Mmm. 

ALEX: Oh, my God! Abuelita's greener than you.

ELENA: (chuckles) Well, Abuelita, I guess you're my new hero.

LYDIA: Ah, Elena... I've always been your hero.

ALEX: Abuelita, what's this? (Picks up poster)

LYDIA: That is the flier for my dance classes. I've been hanging them all over the neighborhood. 

ELENA: "Experienced Latina will make your body do things you didn't know it could?"

LYDIA: What? It's true.

ELENA: Abuelita, it's just the wording is kind of provocative. As is the photo! (Elena shows the photo, a picture of young Lydia wearing a revealing outfit)

LYDIA: (cell phone buzzing) Don't be ridícula.[5] (takes out her phone and gasps) Oh, look, I got 58 new messages. Wow! Oh, and I got a customer. His name is Bobby...and he wants... I need to get a new phone number. 

Scene 7: Car Dealership Garage Bay

Jill and Penelope enter the garage bay, where Mrs. Resnick is sitting.

JILL: Congrats on the new car, Alvarez.

PENELOPE: Oh, thank you, Riley. I like this last name thing. Brings me back to my old Army days. 

JILL: You know, sometimes I'll get in early and hang out with the mechanics just 'cause I miss the swearin' so much.

PENELOPE: I have kids. So I totally fudgin' get that. (both chuckle) But seriously, I feel like I got a really good deal.

JILL: Uh, you are a tough negotiator.

PENELOPE: In all fairness, you got a pretty great trade-in, girl. (She leans on Mrs. Resnick's driver side mirror, which breaks off. She fixes it by putting the duct tape back, but it falls off.)

JILL: I can't believe I gave you 40 bucks for that thing.

PENELOPE: Hey, it's got a full tank of gas. The fuel gauge is broken, so you're gonna trust me on that.

JILL: Now, just clear out all your personal effects and we'll get you squared away.

Jill leaves.

PENELOPE: (chuckles) Mrs. Resnick. I'm gonna miss you, old lady. (She walks to the back of the car and gets in, bumping her shoulder) Ah! ¡Ay, carajo![6] (groans) (sighs) (takes out an unspooled cassette tape) Toni... (inhales deeply) (sighs)

She starts to remove items from the glove compartment, but stops when she sees a $5 bill with the initials V+P on it. She gets teary-eyed. Jill knocks on the window.

JILL: Everything all right?

PENELOPE: I can't get rid of this car.

Jill tries to get the driver's side door open, and in doing so she makes the windows fall down with a loud thud.

JILL: I can see why. (Opens door) Talk to me, Alvarez.

PENELOPE: This was Victor's car. My soon-to-be ex.


PENELOPE: Got a lot of memories in here. We drove off on our honeymoon in this old lady. My son was probably conceived in the front seat or the back seat... or both.

JILL: Let's just say it was the back.

PENELOPE: (chuckles) He was a infantryman. He was a good one, too. (sniffling) (voice breaking) In fact... My husband was a really good man. He was so charming. And we were happy. You know, like one of those couples that other couples hate being around, 'cause it shows them how not happy they are? We were that couple. (chuckles)

JILL: I hate that couple.

PENELOPE: (laughs) He got sent on some difficult deployments, he saw some really tough stuff. He used to make people laugh. And after that, I can't even remember seeing him smile. He started sleeping late, then drinking... He wouldn't get any help. Then things got really bad. And it wasn't safe in the house. (sighs sharply) Until, finally, one night, I had to take those keys away from him, 'cause he told me that he was gonna wrap himself around a tree.

JILL: Mmm. That's tough. And I get it. I went through some stuff, too, when I got back. 

PENELOPE: I'm sorry to bring it up.

JILL: No, I can talk about it because I did get help. I'm in this woman's veterans group. Lot of swearing. You'll love it. (Penelope chuckles) The hard truth is if your husband's not trying to change, there's nothing you can do. Trust me on that.

PENELOPE: Leaving was the right thing to do. It's just hard to say goodbye.

JILL: I think it's time, Alvarez. 'Cause Mrs. Resnick kind of smells like a gas leak in Hawaii.

They exit the car.

PENELOPE: (laughs) (chuckles) Oh, man! I haven't talked to another soldier in a long time. This was really nice. 

JILL: Yeah. You should come to the group.

PENELOPE: Maybe I will. Yeah. Wait, wait? What's happening here? Are we becoming friends?

JILL: It's happenin', Alvarez.

Jill smacks Penelope on the back, making Penelope wince in pain and put a hand on her injured shoulder.

JILL: And you can stop milking the shoulder injury. I already sold you the car. 

PENELOPE: No, this is a real injury,

JILL: Oh, sorry. 

PENELOPE: No, it's okay. I'll tell you about it in the group. It'll be nice to talk to a bunch of lady soldiers. It's hard to find women who get me.

JILL: Oh, me, too. What is wrong with civilian women?

PENELOPE: I know, right? It's like (mocking) "Let's get mani-pedis." But I think we should totally get mani-pedis.

JILL: Mmm-hmm. I could use a fill-in like nobody's business.

PENELOPE: (chuckles)

Scene 8: Penelope's New Car 

It's another day. Alex, Elena, Lydia and Penelope are together. 

PENELOPE: Is this great or is this great? 

LYDIA: Look at us together as a family. It's just like growing up in Cuba. (chuckles, drinks Rum) ¡Salud![7] (grunts)

PENELOPE: I haven't even shown you guys the best part. Play my jam. (player beeps) Unbreak My Heart starts playing on stereo.


PENELOPE: (Singing) Unbreak my heart. Say you'll love me again. Undo this hurt that you caused. When you walked out the door. And walked out of my life. Come on, everybody!

ALEX and ELENA: Uncry these tears.

LYDIA: Baby, baby, baby!

PENELOPE: I cried so many nights!

LYDIA: Look what you did to me!

ALL: Unbreak my heart!



  1. Por favor, Santa Francisca de Roma, ayúdanos. Uno, dos y tres.: Please Saint Frances of Rome, assist us. One, two, and three.
  2. Muerta: dead (feminine form)
  3. Mi niña: my girl
  4. Mi vida: my darling
  5. ridícula: ridiculous (feminine form)
  6. ¡Ay, carajo!: Ay, damn it!
  7. ¡Salud!: Cheers!