Here we are with Recapping One Day at a Time! We're at Episode 8 - One Lie at a Time. I am sorry for it being a day late - my computer was having trouble formatting my document and I had to type it all over again. But on with the episode. It seems as though the theme of the episode is all about dishonesty, and I'm guessing that the whole cast will have at least one secret or another to hide. Let's see what happens.
It seems as though Penelope has big plans for tonight, as she is all dressed up as if she has a very special date. Penelope tells her family that she is excited to meet this new guy. Let's just call this "Lie #1".
It appears as though Penelope isn't the only one who has plans as well. Lydia has plans to go to church for the evening. Hmmm...that sounds suspicious, especially since it doesn't look like this episode takes place on a Sunday or Easter weekend. Why don't we call this "Lie #2"?
Alex initially has plans to do a lot of stuff, but when Penelope realizes that Alex hasn't even started his homework yet, she makes him stay home, and Elena is forced to babysit him - much to her dislike. But Lydia seems to think that this is a good idea, as she can use the time to select which person she plans on taking to her quinces. Yep. I told you that Elena's quinces would be a season long event.
At least it's not too long to discover why Penelope told Lie #1. She's actually at a local community college with Jill, as she has taken Jill's advice and has enrolled in the female veteran support group that Jill told her about when she sold Penelope her car. To me, this is an important first step in her healing process, but she has to keep it a secret as Lydia is against all forms of therapy.
After the opening credits, it's time to meet the leader of the group named Pam and...
...oh my goodness! It's Mackenzie Phillips!!! For those who watched the original series, she played the role of Julie in the original "One Day at a Time". She even opens her introduction by joking about how everything is being remade at the movies! You know what would have been cool? If they named her character Julie. Hey, I wonder if Valerie Bertinelli will ever appear on this show?
Anyway, it seems as though Pam is doing a good job with leading the group, and we meet another member of the group, Ramona, who tells the group a fascinating story about how she sometimes mistakes rush hour traffic in Los Angeles for being out in the field at war. Yeah, she's going to be a handful to watch, I'm sure of it.
When it comes time for Penelope to share her feelings, it seems as though she's a little bit shy. Luckily, she has a loudmouth friend named Jill to crack open her tough exterior, and Penelope admits that she has a hard time accepting the fact that she is at a group where she needs to discuss her problems. Her reasoning being that they are Cuban, and in her family, they don't believe in therapy. She proves this by telling them a story about her cousin who wears her underpants outside of her clothes. Now, granted, this would be considered odd in most circumstances. But then again, I have to state that both Batman and Superman had no problem wearing their briefs over top of their tights. Just saying. At any rate, it seems as though this is going to be good for Penelope. So let's leave her for now and see what everyone else is doing.
Okay, unless the church that Lydia is going to is in Atlantic City, I think she's waaaaaay overdressed. Ah, I'm thinking this is the birth of where Lie #2 is going. But of course, Lydia's grandchildren don't seem to notice. Alex is too busy doing his homework, and Elena's binge-watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on her laptop.
Which I suppose is a good thing in retrospect because who should arrive at the front door of the Alvarez residence than Dr. Berkowitz in a fancy suit! Whoa! Somehow Lie #2 just got a lot more spicy and scandalous! Especially since it appears as though Lydia just doesn't want anyone to know that she's "seeing' Dr. B.
I say "seeing" because it appears as though Lydia has agreed to be Dr. B's strictly platonic escort to the theatre, since both of them like to go, but don't like to be alone. It's a good foundation for friendship at least, and Dr. B. insists that he is okay with whatever relationship they have. Awww...that's sweet.
Well, at least it is sweet until Lydia slips and falls. At first she is upset that one of her favourite shoes has the heel broken off of it...but when she tries to stand up and realizes that her ankle is hurt...amusingly she finds more pain in her broken shoe! Quintessential Lydia!
Back at the apartment, it appears as though Elena has informed Alex that she has chosen an escort for her upcoming quinces. It's a guy by the name of Josh Flores, which instantly makes Alex excited. Partly because Josh is considered to be one of the most popular guys at their school, and as a result, Alex feels the need to impress him. Though this kind of throws Elena's plan out the window. She purposely asked a popular boy in hopes of him saying no so she could get out of the date commitment - but since Josh said yes, she's pretty much stuck.
But there's still one thing that needs to be resolved. Elena's potential feelings of affection towards the same sex. Elena tries to explain to Alex that she doesn't really know if she likes girls, but she also doesn't really know if she likes guys either. She kind of explains her feelings to Alex using broccoli as a metaphor for boys and cauliflower as a metaphor for girls, but after working with fresh produce at my job eight hours a day, I could stand to avoid any and all vegetable references in this episode.
But this is where Lie #3 is born. Elena wants to see what sex she likes best, so she's invited Josh over to the apartment to do some studying. Yeah, like they're actually going to be looking at actual books. But she sends Alex to Schneider's while she hangs out with Josh - meaning that she and Josh will be alone in the apartment without adult supervision. Under no circumstance is this ANY good! But let's see what happens.
Back at the therapy group, Penelope is enjoying herself. In fact, she's enjoying telling personal stories from her time out on the field so much that she keeps the group twenty minutes past the time allotted! Whoops! But you know something, I don't think Pam cares. After all, the group is for sharing experiences.
And sure enough, after the group is over, Penelope breaks down in tears. But not because she's upset...she's actually experiencing joy over having a group of like-minded people with the same experiences she went through to vent to - people who truly understand her, are sympathetic and empathetic towards her. It's a truly remarkable scene, and I'm really happy for Penelope. This is truly the first big step she has made towards recovery, and she did it all on her own. Nicely done!
Interestingly enough, we see Dr. B. and Lydia at the clinic where Dr. B. and Penelope work after hours, as Dr. B. is tending to Lydia's foot. And it's here where we get to bear witness to another lie by Lydia - Lie #4, we'll call it. Man, how many lies are we going to have in this whopper of a tale? It all comes about when Dr. B. starts asking Lydia about her medical history, and Lydia casually mentions that she had a stroke a few years ago and didn't tell anyone! Um...er...WHAT?!? She kept the stroke a secret? How is that even possible?!? Even Dr. B. seems floored by this revelation.
Mind you, everything turned out well and she made a full recovery - which she proves by pretending she's either a French mime trapped in a box, or Madonna circa 1990. You know, I should still be typing out my disbelief, but I'm too busy laughing at Rita Moreno in this scene that I'll just let it go.
Truth be told, she's more upset at the fact that she has a hammertoe than she is at having lied about having a stroke! Um...yeah, let's see what everyone else is doing.
Penelope is still holding onto Lie #1, telling Elena on the phone that her date went well. Well, since she went to therapy and it went well, maybe we should change it to Half-Truth #1. But over on Elena's side, Lie #3 is burning so brightly you might need sunglasses to see the next scene.
Josh is sitting on the couch with Elena, and he seems to be really into her. To Elena's credit, she also seems to enjoy his company as well, though given how she has been having identity issues regarding her sexuality, I imagine that deep down inside she is a bundle of nerves. But Josh seems to make her feel comfortable. In fact, Josh actually confesses to Elena that he has had a crush on her all year and was hoping to go out with her! Cue more confusion for Elena and...
...well, you know, the fact that she kissed Josh certainly seems to have sparked a lot of internal conflict for Elena, who admits that the kiss wasn't horrible, and she goes in for another one. So, maybe Elena could be considered a bisexual? Either way, I think it's an interesting story that is sure to have some more twists down the road. And Isabella Gomez is playing the part with such sensitivity and maturity as well. It's really such a great show to watch.
And over at Schneider's, Alex is on Schneider's laptop looking up information on lesbians...which unsurprisingly is one of the autofill options on Schneider's Google Page! Fortunately, Schneider confiscates the laptop before Alex can find out some truly naughty information not fit for a twelve year old boy!
But it's here where Alex tells Schneider a truth instead of a lie because when Schneider tries to asks why Alex wants information on lesbians, Alex accidentally lets it slip that Elena has been questioning her sexuality - whoops!
And then Alex lets it slip that Elena is alone in their apartment with Josh which is an even bigger WHOOPS! In fact, Schneider grabs Alex and barges into the apartment in time to get a full on view of Elena and Josh trying to suck each other's lips off!
Naturally, Schneider tells Josh to leave the apartment, which he does - without taking his jacket! I sure hope it's not too cold outside! And it is here where all of our little lies become unraveled.
First of all, Elena is furious with Alex for not only telling Schneider about having Josh over, but about how she is questioning her sexuality, but Alex insists that it was all an accident and that it just slipped out. Schneider explains that the secret will be between the three of them - which could classify as Lie #5. Keeping track here? Schneider also explains that he only came over after Alex told him that she was alone with a boy...
...right at the moment Lydia and Dr. B. arrive. Whoops! Alex inquires about Lydia's limp, and Dr. B. and Lydia keep Lie #2 going by saying that she fell in church and she just happened to run into Dr. B. at their Catholic church because even though he's Jewish, he loves church. Um, yeah. That's a smooth save. Luckily for Dr. B., he retreats to the kitchen to fetch Lydia some juice so he can stop explaining himself to the obviously stunned Alvarez family. To Schneider's credit, he agrees to carry on Lie #3 somewhat and tries to tell Lydia nothing happened between Elena and Josh, but Lydia calls Elena a sex fiend. Ouch!
I suppose this would be a great time for Penelope to arrive home from her therapy group. When Lydia explains what happened, it becomes clear that Penelope is NOT happy and is about to tear a strip off Elena for lying to her...
...when she notices Dr. B. coming out of the kitchen holding a glass of apple juice. He awkwardly hands over the juice to Lydia, and this prompts Alex to tell Penelope that they met each other at church which at first causes Penelope to laugh about it. But then she notices that both Lydia and Dr. B. are in fancy dress and she puts two and two together, and well...
...yeah. There's that look! A look of shock and disgust all rolled into one! Penelope figures out pretty quickly that Lydia and Dr. B. went on a platonic date, hereby outing Lie #2 in all its scandalous glory. Well, as scandalous as the relationship between Lydia and Dr. B. could get anyway.
Alex tries to change the subject by asking Penelope how her date went, but before Penelope can answer, Jill arrives and tells Penelope that she left her cell phone in her car, which sparks a rather interesting reaction from the rest of the family.
What's even more hilarious is that Elena reacts with shock - even though she herself is going through her own sexuality struggles.
Jill tries to explain that they were at therapy together, but Penelope is still grasping at straws to hold onto Lie #1, so because of that, Jill hastily tells Lie #6 and states that therapy is actually the name of a new night club. Wow, even the guest characters are telling lies here and there.
After Jill leaves, Lydia goes on the attack and yells at Penelope for going to therapy, and Dr. B. tries to calm her down as she had a history of stroke. And with Penelope's reaction, I think it's safe to say that Lie #4 is out in the open with Penelope being rightfully stunned that Lydia would keep her stroke a secret for nearly fifteen years! Man, the family that lies together stays together, huh?
At this point, Penelope kicks Schneider and Dr. B. out so she can have a family meeting. Penelope is upset that Elena lied to her, to which Elena attacks Penelope and Lydia for lying, and when you stop and think about it, Alex is the only one who never told a lie this whole episode.
Elena apologizes for lying to Penelope, and even though Penelope still grounds her, she accepts the apology. Penelope also scolds Lydia for lying to her and schedules a full physical for her...but NOT with Dr. Berkowitz because she's now made that weird! Lydia is still upset with Penelope for going to therapy, but Penelope explains that it was a really good thing, and she needed to do it to help her heal emotionally. Once Lydia hears this, she even admits that she made the right choice. I'm thinking Penelope can really help Lydia become more modernized...well as modern as a Cuban immigrant can be - which will be the subject of Episode 9 that'll be posted next week.
But we conclude the episode with Penelope having a heart to heart talk with Elena about Josh, and Elena admits that she has decided to take Josh as her date for her quinces, and Penelope seems pleased that Elena seems to really like him. Of course, we all know that it's more complex than that. Time will tell what happens next. In the meantime, Elena's got a date for her quinces, which is good.
And Alex has swiped Josh's jacket, which is creepy. But that's the end of another great episode of "One Day at a Time". As always, here's some of the best lines from the episode. Enjoy!
ELENA: It's like...I've never tried broccoli. So I can't say for sure that I don't like broccoli.
ALEX: We had broccoli last night for dinner.
ELENA: It's a metaphor, Alex. Broccoli means boys.
ALEX: Oh, I see. But it's not like you tried girls before either. Sorry, I mean...I guess, cauliflower?
ELENA: That's because cauliflower is a lot harder to find. I mean, how many girls do you know like cauliflower?
ALEX: None. Although Finn is pretty sure Denise Falto does because she didn't want his Skittles. Skittles just means Skittles.
DR. B: Any allergies?
LYDIA: Allergies are not a real thing.
LYDIA: Allergies are not a real thing.
DR. B: All right. Uh, any history of serious illness?
LYDIA: Never. But if I ever get one, my Cuban blood will eat it and absorb it into nothing.
LYDIA: Never. But if I ever get one, my Cuban blood will eat it and absorb it into nothing.
DR. B: There's not a checkbox for that.
ALEX: Wow. I just typed in L-E-S and it filled in "bians" and then a lot of other stuff.
(Schneider runs and slams the laptop Alex is using shut)
ALEX: I'm just confused because Elena said she might like this dude, Josh.
SCHNEIDER: Wait a minute. Alex, are you saying Elena might be gay?
ALEX: Uh...no. Because it's a secret. She just said she might like girls, but she might like boys too. Don't worry. We already had the broccoli-cauliflower conversation.
SCHNEIDER: That's smart. But...what did your mom say?ALEX: She doesn't know. Nobody knows. You can't say anything. Elena will kill me.
SCHNEIDER: Okay, don't worry. I won't. Even though I have so many questions like when did she know? And what is the broccoli-cauliflower conversation?
LYDIA: You were in therapy?
PENELOPE: No, I was on a date with a woman!
LYDIA: Mentira! Therapy is for the locos. I told you that you would lose your mind taking those antiperspirants!