Penelope worries about changes she sees in Alex, who gets in trouble at school. Elena wonders if others are misidentifying her based on her appearance.
Penelope is at Alex's game with Schneider, Lydia, and Elena. They are about to eat when they realize they have no napkins. Penelope sends Schneider and Elena to get some. Schneider goes to the snack stand and orders a diet coke and napkins in Spanish.
He tells Elena that he's been taking Spanish classes so that he could be a better member of the family. The guy behind the counter refers to Elena as Schneider's daughter and asks if she would want anything, but he says that Elena isn't his child.
They go back to the stands and Alex makes a good hit. The Alvarez's and Schneider celebrate. After the game, they go home where they celebrate Alex. Alex gets upset and tells them to shut up.
Alex tells them that they embarrass him at the game and that he hates the Spanish song they made-up about him. Schneider tells him that he needs to appreciate their support. Alex tells them that none of the other parents do it and to stop calling him Papito. Penelope says that its tradition to call him Papito. Alex however, tells them to stop it, or else they can't go to his games anymore. Penelope wonders what's gotten into Alex and Lydia says he's making the turn from cute kid to a moody teenager.
Doctor Berkowitz tells Penelope that it's so much easier when they're grown. Penelope says it's been rough. Berkowitz tells her to treat him like an adult whenever she can and that her baby boy is turning into a man. Penelope tells him that that's great advice. Penelope starts crying because of it and starts to think about him growing up, getting married, and leaving her. Doctor Berkowitz asks her to please don't tell Lydia he made her cry. Penelope knows she's acting crazy.
Penelope gets a call from the school and finds out that Alex punched another student from another school. She goes to pick him up and takes him home where she yells at him for being a jerk. She tells him that it's not okay to punch people. He tells them that he punched the kid because he told Alex to go back to Mexico. Penelope tells him that it's not okay and that she's going to call the school.
Penelope learns that this isn't the first time it's happened. Schneider says that they need to call somebody like Oprah and that they'll know what to do. Penelope feels for Alex. They start talking about racism and how it's still prevalent. Lydia says that she was called a Spick when she was younger and how being called that made her feel very alone.
Elena says that she's been lucky and never been called anything. Penelope says that's because Elena and Alex are different shades of color. This upsets Elena because she's been passing as a white person and getting to use the privileges of white people. Elena says that she's going to go through her whole life never having been oppressed. Penelope tells her that oppression isn't the goal that they are striving for equality and peace. Penelope goes to talk to Alex. Elena asks Lydia if she can teach her more Spanish.
Alex apologizes for hitting that kid. He tells her that he wants things to go back to the way they were and that he's suddenly different. He doesn't want to be different. Penelope asks if that's the reason why he doesn't want them to go to the baseball games anymore. Alex says he's proud to be Cuban but yes. Penelope says she gets it. Penelope tells him that she wishes she could tell him he'd never be called a slur again but that's unrealistic.
She tells him that there is one thing that stops racism. Penelope takes them to have ice cream. Elena orders hers in Spanish. They start calling her Blanquita. At first, she hates the new nickname but then realizes she finally has her own nickname and likes it.
They start to sing again and a white man comes up and tells them to keep their voices down. Penelope and Lydia go after to tell him off because he stereotyping them. They return to the table and continue to sing as he and his wife leave.
Elena stays back and tells them that they're a Cuban family going to an American home. One of the store's customers says that they can't believe Anne Hathaway stood up for those Mexicans. Elena turns and leaves upset from being referred to as Anne Hathaway and Mexican.
Click here for The Turn/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
- Whilst she talks to Alex about his nickname "Papito," she says her family calls her relative Conrad "Macho" because he sang "Macho Man" when he was four, referencing Randy Savage "Macho Man," a famous wrestler in the 1980s.
- Penelope's nicknames are "Tata," "Lupita,","Lupe," and "Yoyi."
- Lydia's nickname is "Pucha."
- Elena is given the nickname "Blanquita" in this episode.
- This episode discusses racism.