In the Alvarez family living room, Lydia is feeding Alex slices of an orange. She then wipes his cheeks. Penelope then scolds Lydia, saying Alex will never learn to do anything for himself if she does everything for him. In unison, both Alex and Lydia declare they are fine with that.
Lydia then protests on Alex's behalf saying it's been "torture" for him since he has been imprisoned in the house. Penelope then pointedly corrects her saying he's grounded. Lydia then says it's unfair he's been imprisoned in the house since all he wanted to do was spend time with some girl named Mary Jane.
Alex says it's fine and he needs to learn his lesson. Penelope then asks her son if he got started on the list of chores she gave him. Lydia then responds she is almost done with all of them.
Elena is at work at her job as Schneider's assistant handyman. She is working on a power switch. Schneider asks her if she is done as they have eight more units to get to that day. He then tells her that the green wire is extra and she doesn't need to connect it to anything. She then points out that's the wire that trips the breaker when there is a power surge. Schneider gets a look of realization on his face and tells Elena to carry on. She gives him a sarcastic nod.
Schneider walks over to the dining table where Penelope is studying. She asks him why he is so stressed and if his aromatherapist is out of town. Schneider then tells her that's not helping and that he's worried about his father's visit. Penelope then says she is really curious to meet his dad. Schneider then says the main reason he's stressed is he hasn't seen his father since before he got sober. Elena then points out Schneider thas been sober for eight years.
Schneider then says he is not his father's favorite child and his father refused to come back to America until it was great again. Penelope responds by saying she thinks his father is going to want to take out her earrings and punch him in the throat. Schneider agrees but asks the Alvarezes to roll with it saying all he wishes for is just to get through this and give his father as little as possible to criticize. Schneider then says that's the reason he put his blood, sweat, and tears into fixing the building.
Elena rolls her eyes and says she was the one who did all that. She then continues to say Schneider made her patch the drywall because he had just gotten a manicure. Schneider then defensively says his father says you can tell the quality of a man by the health of his cuticles. Lydia then says a real man does not know what a cuticle is.
Schneider then says his real "Ace in the Hole" is Avery as his father will love her because she's rich and beautiful but he won't want to date her because she's over thirty. Schneider then tells them not to make fun of his childhood nickname Goldie which is short for Golden Boy. He explains he got the nickname because he was a bed wetter.
Later, in the living room, Alex and Lydia are getting ready to do laundry. Lydia then says she is excited to do laundry with Alex like they are besties. He then says he's excited too and then with realization asks what happened to him. Schneider knocks on the door and is seen wearing a suit. Penelope then asks him since when does he knock on the door and dresses like "American Psycho." Schneider then says he always knocks for tenants as a courtesy seeing that he's a landlord and presents his father Lawrence Fitzgerald Schneider.
Penelope then smiles and shakes Lawrence's hand saying it's very nice to meet him. Lawrence then guesses Penelope must be Avery which Penelope shakes her head no to. Schneider then clarifies Penelope is his tenant and Avery will be arriving soon. Lawrence then expresses relief about this and shakes hands with Alex and Lydia.
Lawerence talks to Lydia in Spanish and tells him his Spanish is very good. Lawrence then says Escobar was an old friend and it's a shame what happened. Lydia looks shocked at this. Alex then introduces himself and complements Lawrence on his suit. Lawrence then thanks him saying a little boy like Alex made it. Upon hearing this Penelope gets ready to take off her earrings and punch Schneider's father in the throat. Schneider restrains Penelope before she can do so.
Lawrence then looks around the apartment and comments that this is what a typical unit looks like. Schneider makes a mad dash to switch off the lights and his father says that's much better. Schneider then gestures towards Alex and Lydia saying it looks like they were about to check out the new top-of-the-line laundry room. As they leave he reminds them not to give him the rent late.
Schneider's father then says he brought his son something. He opens the box he has had in his arms saying it is a bottle of Don Julio Real. Schneider, clearly uncomfortable, says that's very thoughtful of him but reminds his father he is now sober. Schneider puts the box down and hesitantly says it's still alcohol.
There is then a knock at the door. Schneider then says that must be Avery at the door and his father will love her. Schneider opens the door and Avery enters the apartment. Lawrence says that's more like it. Penelope once again gets ready to attack Schneider's father but is once again restrained by Schneider. Avery and Lawrence start talking to each other and it is revealed Lawrence knows Avery's father.
Penelope then looks confused and asks if what they were saying in their conversation was even English. Schneider then tells her it was "cha-ching-lish" as he leaves the apartment.
In the laundry room, Lydia and Alex comment on the replacement of the old machines and state that everything looks very different. The dryer plays a tune and Alex tells Lydia that Schneider programmed them that way so people would know when their clothes were dry. Lydia then tells the dryer not to quit its day job.
Lydia walks over to a washer and dumps her laundry into the machine. She then asks Alex where to put the quarters. Alex then explains she needs to pay with her phone. Lydia then tosses her phone in the wash as well commenting on how dumb it is. Alex gives her a look and takes her phone back out. Alex then says she'll get used to it.
Lydia then finds cash in Penelope's pockets and comments that she never empties them. She then proceeds to steal the cash. Lydia pulls out a vape and drugs from the laundry basket and questions what they are. Alex nervously says it looks like a pen and catnip. Lydia sniffs the small zip-lock bag and says it's drugs in Spanish. Alex then adamantly says he believes someone has been writing letters to a cat. Lydia says she recognizes it as a vape as she has seen it many times on "Caso Cerrado." Lydia then comes to the conclusion that Penelope is addicted to weed. Alex then yells out in shock and Lydia comforts him.
In the hallway, Schneider tells Penelope he was showing his father the new sconces. Lawrence the compliments Schneider on the renovations and calls him son—both of which make Schneider happy. Schneider's father then leaves after getting a call from Dick Cheney.
Inside the apartment, Penelope says Lawrence was almost not awful. Schneider then exclaims that Lawrence loves the building. Elena then asks what Lawrence liked the best and Schneider tells her he took credit for her work because it's his father. Schneider then says his father loved Avery, saying she'd make a great first or fifth wife. Elena questions how that is a compliment.
Schneider goes on to explain the cycle of marriage in wealthy society cycles back to breeding and Elena says she's tired. Schneider then says his father thought it was ingenious that he picked the neighborhood he did because property values have gone up. Elena, sounding concerned, explains that's not a great thing—it's gentrification.
Schnider tries to tell her that everything is worth more. Elena explains that property values go up for the owners but the businesses and working-class people get pushed out of their own neighborhoods because they can't afford to pay rent anymore. Schneider excitedly says that's the best news of all because they will be tearing down the apartment and replacing it with condos. He is confused when he realizes Elena and Penelope are not as excited as he is.
Penelope then asks if he's serious. Elena then calls herself the "white devil" realizing her work contributed to gentrification before running to her room.
Penelope, sounding hurt, tells Schneider she thought he was only trying to get through this and is confused that he is now selling the building. Schneider says he knows but Lawrence said some things that made a lot of sense to him and it's a new project they could work on together as father and son. Schneider then tells her he's been waiting for this his entire life.
Penelope counters this by saying a bunch of hard-working families are going to be out on the street and sarcastically says she's glad Schneider and his daddy have a little project to work on. Schneider then questions why she's so mad and this will be great for her as she can own her own home. He goes on to say the monthly payments will be the same. Penelope explains she doesn't have enough money for a down payment.
She then points out she buys Target furniture that she bought at Goodwill. Schneider then tells her to get one of those loans where she doesn't have to put anything down and you only have to pay interest. Penelope then asks him if he means the loans that broke America. Schneider asks when that was. He then asks if she can get a special loan seeing that she's a veteran. Schneider then asks if the army gives out houses and says they should give her a house. Penelope then says Schneider has no idea how the world actually works.
She goes on to say this will really affect her family. She then says Schneider obviously doesn't care. Schneider then says of course he does but he has to do this. Penelope then says Schneider can learn Spanish, pretend he is part of the family, and eat dinner but when it comes down to it he is the man and the Alverez family are just his tenants. Schneider tries to apologize but Penelope says he's his father's son and angrily tells him to get out.
Schneider looks at her in shock and tries to talk to her but she tells him she means it and wants him to leave. Schneider looks at Penelope again sadly and then leaves.
In the laundry room, Lydia talks about how she will yell at Penelope for taking drugs. Alex finally admits it's his weed and the reason why he's grounded, a reference to when Penelope caught him with weed at a concert in "Nip It in the Bud." He explains he asked Penelope to keep it a secret from Lydia. He then says he didn't want to let Lydia down. Lydia gives Alex the silent treatment as she folds her clean laundry.
In the apartment, Mateo helps Penelope with her finances. Penelope then asks if she can afford to buy the condo. He tells her even with her VA benefits she'll still be stretched pretty thin especially with Elena going off to college next year. Penelope then says they can't afford to live in Echo Park without rent control. She says they are going to have to me, the kids will have to switch schools, and she'll have a six-hour commute to work.
She then suggests they can live in the car because Lydia is small and she'll start pumping Alex with coffee now so he doesn't have another growth spurt. Mateo tells her to calm down, saying she is actually in pretty good shape. He then brings her back to the dining table so they can look at her expenses. He then asks if she always sees herself living with her mother and Penelope says yes because they are Latinos. Penelope then says she could kill Schneider for doing this.
Mateo then says he gets why Penelope is mad. However, he says he sees how little rent she pays and how much the neighborhood has changed and asks her if Schneider ever raised her rent. Penelope then says not since they moved in. Mateo then says Schneider is a saint if he never raised their rent in seventeen years.
Elena walks back in the apartment declaring she has taken down the man by loosening the sconces and writing "colonizer scum" on the wall in chalk. Penelope then tells her to go back outside and wipe it off. Elena then heads back out to remove the writing from the wall.
In the laundry room, Alex is still trying to get Lydia to speak to him. She finally does and gives him a hug and tells him how she has also done marijuana. She then admits she got high on Doctor Berkowitz's pot lozenges on accident and it was stupid. The two then agree to never to abuse substances ever again. Lydia then starts crying saying she and Alex keep secrets from everyone else but not from each other and this is the first time she has kept anything from her.
Alex reassures her that he will still spend time with her even though he is growing up.
Penelope goes over to Schneider's apartment and he invites her in. Schneider apologizes saying he doesn't know what to say. Penelope then says it's his building and he caught her off guard. She admits it is a good business decision and if the shoe was on the other foot she would have done the same thing. Penelope then says she knows Schneider can't push his father away because of their friendship.
Penelope says she understands the value of family and reassures Schneider that the Alvarezes will be OK and so will their relationship as friends. Penelope then tells Schneider he doesn't need to try so hard to be the man his father wants him to be because the man he already is fine the way he is.
Lawrence walks in and says he got an appraisal on the units and realizes it's much higher than he thought it would be. Schneider then tells Lawrence he is not going to take the building condo. Both Penelope and Lawrence look shocked by this. Lawrence then says Schneider is screwing up the one thing he has done right in the last twenty years. Schneider then says the building is filled with people he cares about and people who care about him and he does not want to screw that up. Schneider then says he has enough money and doesn't care about that.
Lawrence then says he sent Schneider to school in America so he could forget that polite Canadian crap and learn some decent values. His father says he's given him everything but Schneider has been a constant disappointment and he has put Schneider through rehab three times. Schneider tells him if he were a better father he would know it was actually five times.
Schneider then says Lawrence has not given him everything as he never once told Schneider he loved him. Lawrence then says he officially gives up on his son and Schneider kicks him out of the building. Once he's gone Penelope says that was amazing and asks where Schneider's newfound confidence comes from. She then invites him over for dinner as she leaves.
Outside, Elena is unscrewing the sconces and Penelope stops her saying they are staying which Elena is grateful to hear. Schneider looks through the peephole to see if Elena and Penelope are gone. He then locks the door. He opens the box containing the Don Julio Real and takes it out. The episode ends with him looking the bottle crying.
Click here for The Man/Transcript
- Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez
- Todd Grinnell as Schneider
- Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez
- Marcel Ruiz as Alex Alvarez
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Leslie Berkowitz
- Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera
- This marks the first appearance of Schneider's father, Lawrence.
- This episode reveals Elena had a hermit crab named Fabuloso who Lydia accidentally killed.
- Lawrence saying Escobar was an old friend may be a reference to Pablo Escobar who was a Columbian drug lord.
- This episode discusses the gentrification of poor neighborhoods and how it affects those communities.
- This episode also discusses drug use, substance abuse, and vaping.
- This episode shows Schneider's alcoholism and how his father may have been a catalyst for him ending his eight-year sobriety.
- This episode continues the storyline "Nip It in the Bud," where Penelope catches Alex with drugs at a concert.