One Day at a Time Wiki

"I can't even imagine making this girl mad at me."
—Victor to Penelope just after Elena was born, What Happened

Victor Alvarez is a recurring character on the Pop TV Series One Day at a Time. He is portrayed by James Martinez.

Physical Appearance

Victor is a man with black hair, bushy eyebrows, a beard, and a mustache.

He is seen mostly wearing casual attire such as t-shirts, jeans, and shoes.


As a result of PTSD from serving in the war in Afghanistan, Victor has developed an addiction to alcohol and drugs. He also appears to have problems with anger management and comes across as aggressive.


Victor Alvarez is Penelope's ex-husband and the father of Elena and Alex, who works private security in Afghanistan.[1][2]

As a result of PTSD from serving in the war in Afghanistan, Victor has developed an addiction to alcohol and drugs. Afghanistan left him with bad knees, a bad back, and traumatic brain injury.

He appears homophobic and rejects Elena when she comes out to him, leaving her stranded for the father-daughter dance at her own Quinceañera in "Quinces."

After Penelope and Alex have a talk with him, it looks like he's willing to try to accept Elena being gay.

In Season 3, he’s sober and has his life together, as he’s ready to marry Nicole. He finally fully accepts Elena, allowing her to be the best woman at his wedding along with Alex as his best man. He even shared a dance with Elena at his wedding, trying to make up with her for not sharing a dance at her Quinces.

In Season 4, in the episode "Perfect," Elena alludes to Victor on her poster board with essay prompts for Yale in the orange section labeled as "My Dad Abandoned Me But Got Into Recovery So We're Cool Now."

In "Supermoon," Alex tells his girlfriend Nora how his parents' divorce "shook him up."


Season 1

In "Hurricane Victor," Penelope is making out with Ben when she gets a text from Lydia. She keeps telling Penelope to pick up Victor's favorite stuff because he is coming back for Elena's quinces. When Penelope doesn't respond, Ben gets a text from Lydia asking where she is.

They both wonder how she got his number. Penelope arrives home to find her family skyping Victor. Elena Alvarez asks Penelope if she has to hang out with Victor when he comes home. Penelope says yes that he's coming home just for her quinces.

Penelope asks Elena if she's going to tell him that she's gay. She says no. Lydia comes in and asks Penelope if she's going to talk to Victor. Penelope says no.

Lydia tells her that he's different and like he used to be. Penelope says that there is no longer "Penelope and Victor." Alex plays his piece in his cello recital for Victor. He wishes that he could be here and suddenly there is a knock at the door, its Victor. He came home and surprised them. Penelope is upset that he's here a week early because he didn't tell her. He tells her that he made reservations at a hotel but Lydia and Alex convince Penelope to let him stay at their apartment.

Victor has made breakfast. He has gifts for the kids: Alex gets a PlayStation 4 and Elena gets a doll. Lydia, Elena, and Alex leave leaving Victor and Penelope alone. Penelope asks what he's doing and Victor says that he's trying to be a decent person. She tells him about Ben and he's totally cool with her seeing someone else. Schneider walks in shirtless and Victor assumes that he's the man she's seeing.

They both laugh at that. Victor makes Schneider feel uncomfortable because he's upset that Schneider takes Alex to baseball practice. Schneider goes to leave but Penelope reminds him about the recital tonight. Victor tells him to come and Schneider reluctantly agrees. Later, at the recital, Victor tells Schneider that it's good what he's doing for Alex and that he should keep doing it.

He also reveals that he won't be working in Afganistan for too much longer. Alex runs out and tells Penelope that he doesn't have his instrument because his teacher got a flat. They have to cancel the recital but Victor tells them that they have to stall. He sends Schneider out to find the car while he and Penelope sing for the crowd.

They perform the song four times before Schneider comes back with the instruments. Alex performs for his family. After the recital, they go home and Victor gives Elena a gift: he donated money in her name. She's super happy about it and hugs him. They start to set up the PlayStation when Victor reminds Penelope of her date.

As she gets ready to leave, Penelope watches her family together. Victor goes after her and gives her the divorce papers. They end up kissing. Later, on her date, Penelope breaks up with Ben. She tells him that she has a lot going on right now and that it's not fair to him. Penelope goes home and watches Victor sleep.

He wakes up and asks how her thing was. She tells him that she broke up with her date. He tries to kiss her again and asks her to spoon. She tells him that she invented that move and that the last time they just spooned they made Elena. She concedes to spooning but smells beer on his breath.

They argue over him drinking and Penelope tells him that he needs to get real help. She tells him to leave and to go stay at the hotel he rented. Lydia walks out and he begs her to talk to Penelope in Spanish but she tells him no and asks him to leave. He leaves and Lydia hugs Penelope.

In "Quinces," Lydia, Penelope, and Elena go to visit the hall before the quinces. Doctor Berkowitz runs up and tells Penelope that the hall is an acoustical nightmare for his speech.

Penelope says that the speech is her thing so he doesn't have to say anything. Lydia asks the party planner where the dance floor is. She tells Lydia that she's standing on out which leads to Lydia telling her off in Spanish. Penelope tells the party planner that they want a bigger dance floor.

Elena practicing her father daughter-dance with Victor

Victor arrives because Elena invited him so they could practice their father-daughter dance. Elena tells Victor that she wants to tell him something. She tells him that she's gay and he laughs it off not believing her. Elena tells him that she's serious and that she was waiting for the right time to tell him.

Victor reacts badly and Penelope asks to speak with him. He tells her that Elena's confused and that he's only been gone a year and this has happened. Penelope tells him that he needs to support his daughter. Victor angrily says that he isn't okay with this and leaves.

Elena tells Penelope that it's her fault, as she feels she has ambushed her father with her coming out, and perhaps caught him off guard. Penelope then hugs and comforts her. She tells her that Victor isn't good with change.   

At her quinces, Then Elena walks out in a suit that upsets Victor. Elena steps out to the dance floor to have a father-daughter dance but Victor has left. Instead, Penelope goes up there and dances with her, reassuring her daughter she's got her back. Suddenly, Alex, Lydia, Schneider, and Doctor Berkowitz join them on the dance floor. Elena thanks them for making her have a quinces.  

Season 2

In "What Happened," in a flashback from 2001, Penelope is seen laying in a hospital bed waiting for the nurse Ariana. She enters and gives her her new baby daughter, Elena. Victor brings in a wheelchair for Penelope and the nurse tells them that they can't have sex for six weeks. She leaves and in walks Doctor Berkowitz, but Penelope doesn't know him yet.

He apologizes because he thought the room was empty and tells them that babies are great because they can't talk. Victor tells Penelope that her parents reinstalled the car seat twice. They both decide to have a safe-word, "FUBAR," for when they get fed up with them. They both look at Elena. Victor can't imagine her ever getting mad at him.

In the present, Elena rushes into the apartment upset that she caught Alex seeing Victor. Alex tries to apologize but Elena isn't having it. Penelope asks what happened and Elena tells him about Alex sneaking around. Penelope is upset because Alex lied to her. Elena is upset because she thought he had her back but apparently he doesn't. She tells him that she will never forgive him for this. She leaves the room.

In a flashback, Lydia and Berto are helping bring boxes up to Penelope and Victor's new apartment. Lydia is complaining about how her sister stole a mantle and Berto tells her that he'll buy her a new one. That right now they need to enjoy Penelope being a new mother. Penelope rolls in with the baby.

In the present, Penelope arrives at Victor's apartment yelling at him for allowing Alex to sneak around behind her back. Victor says that he has a right to see Alex. Penelope counters that he has a right to see Elena too. Victor knows that Elena is mad at him. He blames Penelope because she'd promised not to say anything about Elena being gay but they paraded it around at the quince. Penelope tries to explain to him how wrong he is when Victor stops her. Alex had berated him already. She asks if he's ever going to talk to Elena and he says yes. Penelope can't understand why he's doing this because he was Elena's biggest fan when Elena was little.

In a flashback, Penelope is breastfeeding Elena, when she turns on the TV. The newscaster is telling the audience about what's happening in New York. They all sit down and watch the broadcast. When it's over, Victor pulls Penelope aside and tells her that he plans on reenlisting. Penelope is upset because they had a plan. Victor explains that he was trained for events like this.

Penelope asks about Elena. Victor says he's doing this for her and that he has a responsibility to protect her future. Suddenly, Penelope decides to reenlist as well. She does this so that they can all be together. They turn and see Lydia and Berto on the sofa. Penelope says she doesn't know how she's going to tell her parents that she's reenlisting. Victor says that they'll understand because she is doing this for Elena.

Elena shows up at Victor's apartment and storms into the room. She gives Victor a piece of her mind. She thanks him for making her realize that people will hate her without knowing anything else about her because she's gay. But that she never expected Victor to do that. Luckily, she has an amazing mom to pick her up when she falls. She tells Victor that he's going to miss a lot of big events in her life because of this. He says he knows and goes to hug her. Gradually, she hugs him back.

In a flashback from 2004, Penelope is in the hospital holding a baby Alex. Victor walks in with Elena and they introduce her to him. She takes one look at him and yells that she hates him and that she'd wanted a puppy instead of a baby brother.

Season 4

In "Perfect," Elena alludes to Victor on her poster board with essay prompts for Yale in the orange section labeled as "My Dad Abandoned Me But Got Into Recovery So We're Cool Now."

In "Supermoon," Alex mentions to his girlfriend Nora how his parents' divorce "shook him up" and worries that he and Nora will meet a similar fate.

Notes and references