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This page is about the first episode of the first season of One Day at a Time. For the theme song of the same title, see This Is It (Theme Song).


"This Is It" is the first episode of season one of One Day at a Time. It aired on Netflix on January 6, 2017.

Plot

Penelope tries to convince her feminist daughter Elena to have a traditional quinceañera to celebrate her fifteenth birthday and to honor her Cuban roots.

Recap

Penelope Alvarez is examining a patient named Carl. She tells him that his blood pressure looks good. She then tells him they are going to do the thing where he lies to her about basic health questions. She asks him how many alcoholic beverages he consumes per week and he replies that he has two, maybe three.

Penelope then questions why she is lying to him and she asks if he would also like to lie to her about smoking. Carl tells her he stopped smoking. She tells him the mouthwash works but she guesses he smells like Virginia Slims. He tells her they make his hands look bigger. She tells him she's not going to write that down and Doctor Berkowitz will be here in a minute.

Carl notices a photo on her clipboard and questions what it is and if it's from Halloween. Penelope then responds the photo was taken closer to Christmas. He questions why she is wearing army clothes. She tells him camouflage was all the rage in Afghanistan. Carl inquires if she went to Afghanistan for Christmas. Penelope tells him she'll give him a second to figure it out. With realization, he figures out she was an army vet, who went to Afghanistan.

He starts to ask her some more questions but she cuts him off with a response saying she never killed anyone, it was hot over there, and he is welcome for her service. Carl then questions if her husband was also a badass soldier and she tells him he was. Thinking her husband died over there, Carl apologizes. Penelope apologizes saying her husband was a badass soldier but he's still alive and does Private Security in Afghanistan, as they are separated. Carl attempts to ask her out, but after finding out she has kids, he decides against it. Penelope then remarks that this was fun, putting an end to the awkward conversation with Carl.

Penelope goes home to her apartment to her family where she intends to cook dinner. She arrives home with the groceries and asks for her son Alex, who is sitting on the living room on the sofa with headphones on and his laptop to help. She throws a package of paper towels at his head which finally gets his attention. She tells him he knows she has a bum shoulder and needs the extra help. He picks up a grocery bag with one hand while still keeping his headphones on and carrying his laptop in the other hand his eyes still glued to the computer screen which shows a pair of sneakers he's interested in buying.

Alex sets the groceries on the dining table and returns to his place on the sofa. His annoyed mother sarcastically thanks him and says next time she'll Skype him as she walks towards the dining table.

Penelope's mother Lydia dramatically opens the curtains. She sighs and says they have a problem as she puts her hands on her hips. Penelope then says the hipsters have discovered Porto's and the line around the block is like the freakin' Apple Store now.

Penelope's daughter Elena comes out from the hallway calling for her mom. Elena enters the living room where Lydia says she doesn't like her anymore. Elena retorts that she does not care if her grandmother likes her anymore. Penelope says it sounds like they are both on the same page. Lydia then tells Penelope that her daughter does not want to have a quinces.

Penelope, sounding disappointed, then says they already booked a room. Penelope then says she found a great band, and then says it's actually a DJ, and then finally admits it's just her brother with an iPod but it's a really good playlist of songs.

Elena angrily then says she researched the history of quinceañeras and found out they are totally misogynistic. Lydia then questions why Penelope lets Elena read. Elena glares at this and her mother says that she knows she's a monster, she lets her daughter do math too.

Elena then says she made captain of the debate team but all Lydia wants to talk about is throwing a quinces. Lydia says Elena has to have a quinces otherwise they won't know she's a woman. Elena says that Lydia missed it, she was twelve and it was during gym and ironically it happened during first period.

Lydia also points out that if she doesn't have one then she is throwing away her Cuban heritage. Elena says that only the bad parts and she doesn't want to be paraded around for the men of the village like a piece of property for two cows and a goat. Lydia then says "Someone thinks they're worth a lot."

Penelope then asks what century they are both living in. Penelope tries to convince her that it's just a fun party and she should just relax. Penelope then goes on to say she'll have a little too much wine and embarrass her while she sobs during her toast. Lydia will dance inappropriately in front of one of her guy friends to which Lydia dramatically says she can count on it. Elena says she's not doing it.

Lydia then calls Elena a scoundrel in Spanish and says Penelope needs to do something about her. Elena then questions what that means. Lydia then retorts that Elena does not realize she is being insulted in Spanish. Elena says she'll learn to speak Spanish when Lydia learns to speak English.

Lydia then goes up to Alex and tells him his sister doesn't kn0w the Spanish word for scoundrel which they both laugh at.

Alex asks for her credit card information; so that he can buy sneakers for school. She tells him that he can only buy one pair of sneakers when he asks for five pairs. Alex tries to argue that he's in middle school now and how he looks is important. She tells him he can buy a forty dollar pair of sneakers. He asks if they're poor to Penelope tells him that they're fine, and yells for all of them to gather for family dinner. Lydia, Alex, and Elena all of them share a look, and Penelope learns that they already ate. Penelope is upset but concedes that they will begin family dinners next week. The kids tell her that sounds good.

Lydia then asks Penelope if she's really going to eat the sad-looking meat. Penelope says she bought it, so she's eating it. Penelope then tells Lydia she needs to let her establish her own traditions. Lydia then says she agrees and they should talk about Elena's quinces. Penelope then says she doesn't want to force Elena to have one and she wants to handle it right. Lydia then says a father would really make sure his little girl had a quinces. Penelope then asks if she really wants to go there as she holds the meat hammer.

Lydia then says that when Victor (Elena and Alex's father) comes back they can work it out. Penelope then says when the family all moved in together Lydia said she would go away when Penelope asked her to. Lydia finally takes the hint and heads to her room. Penelope aggressively pounds the meat as Lydia heads to her room talking in Spanish. Once Lydia has closed her curtain Penelope sneakily eats the dinner that was cooked by Lydia. Lydia then calls out that she's welcome from her room.

Schneider, their landlord, comes over to fix Penelope's sink. He is seen wearing a mustache. Penelope tells him he's forty and looks stupid. He pulls it off revealing it's fake and says he wouldn't actually grow a real one until he knows people like it. She then asks if he's here to fix her sink and he tells he will have it fixed by tonight. Schneider He then asks her what her mom is cooking for dinner and she comments he's been eating at their house a lot lately.

He gives her a package of pills that he found in her trash and asks if everything's okay. She says, that they are antidepressants Dr. Berkowitz gave her, but that she isn't going to take them—and doesn't want her mom to find out about them. Lydia greets Schneider before calling Elena to come to the family room. She shows Elena Penelope's quinceañera album. This leads to Penelope challenging Elena to a debate. They each pretend to be the other and talk about the reasons why they are for or against having a quinces. Elena then brings up a whole bunch of reasons Penelope hadn't thought of which works against her. Penelope wins, which means Elena will have a quinces. This causes Elena to storm off, yelling in Spanish.

At work, Penelope talks with Doctor Berkowitz, the doctor she works for. He asks if she ever took the antidepressants he prescribed her and she says no. She gets an alert on her phone, notifying her that Alex had ordered multiple shoes, instead of just the one pair. At home, Penelope scolds Alex for ordering shoes.

He asks if she gets money from his dad, and she says yes—but not a lot. Penelope makes it clear, that she is the provider of this family. She tells him, that they are going to return the shoes. Elena walks in and shows Penelope that she got a D on her test. She purposefully failed, because now that she's having a quinces she doesn't need to be smart. This upsets Penelope, and she sends Elena to her room. Before she leaves, Elena asks her; isn't Penelope always encouraging her to be independent, so why is she getting punished for doing just that?

The whole situation upsets Penelope, who goes into the kitchen and pulls out the antidepressants. She tells Lydia, that she's going to be taking them from now on. Lydia tells her that she doesn't need those pills, that what she needs is a husband. Penelope goes off on her, asking Lydia did she think that Penelope wanted to do this alone and without a partner. She says no, that all she wants is for someone to hug her, and tell her that they got her. Lydia takes her daughter into her arms and reassures her that she's got her.

Penelope goes to see Alex telling him that he doesn't have to worry about being the man of the house. She also gives him a pair of shoes that he bought that were under forty dollars. Penelope then goes to tell Elena that she doesn't have to have a quinces, but that if she pulls that crap again with her school work, that she's going to put her tiara on Elena and post it to Instagram.

Penelope says that in reality, she was making the quinces about her so that she could prove that a single mom could pull off such a big party. Elena says, that she's been looking for a good reason to have a quinces and that that's a good reason. She agrees to have a quinces. This makes Penelope happy. She tells Elena, that she'll use the photos they take, to scare her children. Elena declares that she isn't having children. Penelope goes to bed and soon after Lydia comes to spoon her.

Cast

Main

Guests

  • Erik Griffin as Carl

Trivia

  • Elena is made captain of the debate team.
  • The jokes about Schneider's mustache are in reference to the original Dwayne Schneider from the original One Day at a Time series and the mustache that made him easily recognized.
  • Schneider mentions getting his five years sober chip.
  • The Alvarezes have lived in their apartment for ten months.
  • According to their uniform polos, Alex and Elena attend St. Bibiana Academy.
  • Elena is shown reading a book by or about Dorothy Parker and has pictures of Sonia Sotomayor and Hillary Clinton pinned to her wall.
  • This episode shares the same name as the This Is It Theme Song.

Transcript Link

To read the transcript for "This Is It", click here.

Episode Guide

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