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VictorI just got out of the army—I'm strong
BertoI escaped Cuba—I'm stronger
―Moving in

What Happened is the 8th episode of Season 2 of One Day at a Time.


Penelope recalls Elena's birth in 2001, and how an unexpected turn of events drastically changed the life plans she and her husband had made.


In a flashback from 2001, Penelope is seen laying in a hospital bed waiting for the nurse Ariana. Ariana 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 Leslie Berkowitz, who Penelope meets for the first time.

Leslie 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 states that he 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, saying that he is allowed to see his father but he can't go sneaking around behind her back. 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.

Lydia comments that she had a sister that she didn't talk to for twenty years because she did something unforgivable. Penelope tells her that she probably can't remember what it was and Lydia says that her sister knows what she did. 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 mantilla 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.

Lydia once again makes a case for her to pierce Elena's ears. How can they tell she's a girl if they don't? Penelope says no because it's her daughter so it's her decision. Schneider strolls in and gives Penelope the keys to the apartment. He sees Elena and asks how he's doing proving Lydia's point. Schneider asks Penelope if she's single but she tells him that she is happily married.

She comments that she's exhausted and Schneider tells her to get a nanny. Penelope says no because Cubans don't do that. Berto and Victor return with more boxes when Penelope realizes that some of them have Lydia's name on them. Her parents then propose that they move in with her to help out with the baby. Victor asks what's wrong with that and Penelope said she wanted to be the first who didn't live with her parents. Finally, Victor convinces her to let them stay. Lydia promises to stay out of her hair. Penelope goes to pick up Elena and realizes that Lydia had gone ahead and pierced her ears.

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. A horrific news report about a terrorist attack happening in New York City and the Pentagon (9/11) plays on the TV. 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.

Elena meets Alex in 2004

Alex is looking through a drawer for batteries when he finds the missing mantilla. He shows Lydia who quickly takes it away and hides it. Elena and Penelope come home. They thank Alex for helping them talk to Victor. Elena forgives Alex and Penelope says she is happy that the two of them are talking again. That they've always been so close.

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 says that she'd wanted a puppy instead of a baby brother.


Click here for What Happened/Transcript


Main Cast

Recurring cast


  • George W. Bush as himself (archive sound; uncredited)
  • Katie Couric as herself (archive sound; uncredited)


  • Actual news audio from Katie Couric was used when Penelope turned on the news to hear about the 9/11 attacks.
  • The flashbacks in this episode take place on August 7, 2001, during Elena's birth, the day Penelope and Victor moved into the apartment, and September 11, 2001, when Victor and Penelope decided to reenlist in the army.
  • The mantilla subplot with Lydia's sister continues in the season 3 episode The Funeral.

Episode Guide