One Day At A Time: Season 3, Episode 1 “The Funeral” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Estrellia (Melissa Fumero), Mirtha (Gloria Estefan), Lydia, and Penelope raising their hands up.
Estrellia (Melissa Fumero), Mirtha (Gloria Estefan), Lydia, and Penelope
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One Day At A Time begins its 3rd season by putting an end to Lydia and her sister’s, Mirtha, beef. Also, Elena discovers she isn’t the only queer person in the family.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Phill Lewis
Writer(s) Debby Wolfe
Air Date 2/8/2019
Introduced This Episode
Estrellita Melissa Fumero
Pilar Stephanie Beatriz
Mirtha Gloria Estefan

You Are Not Alone: Pilar, Elena

Considering how difficult coming out was for Elena, learning she has someone in her family who is also queer? Oh, it’s like her birthday. However, with it being something treated as known but not talked about, this bothers Elena. After all, she is a lesbian Jesus. So, after pestering, trying to push Pilar to say she is gay, rather than just assume, Pilar reveals she is lesbian and even married, it is just the family doesn’t acknowledge it. However, later on, they find themselves forced to as Pilar reveals something else, besides converting to Judaism.

Attempts At Reconciliation: Estrellita, Mirtha, Penelope, Lydia

Mirtha (Gloria Estefan) reconciling with Lydia.
Mirtha (Gloria Estefan)

For 20 years Mirtha and Lydia have been fighting, and this has led to neither them, nor their children, having contact. This includes when Mirtha had a cancer scare, when Estrellita got married, her son growing up, and when Lydia had a stroke. But, with Penelope pushing it, Lydia attempts to have them reconcile during a family funeral.

At first, this works out well, and Penelope jumps right back in the saddle with Estrellita and talks about how much her letters meant to her, and so much more. However, then comes the issue of who should keep the mantilla now that it is found. Estrellita wants it since she got married and wants to sew her and her husband’s name into it. Penelope, while fine with Estrellita adding her name, wants it back since her kids are older.

This leads to the children going back and forth and Estrellita throwing a few low blows in the arguments. The kind which were unexpected and unappreciated. Especially since her comments on Penelope’s divorce and Elena were uncalled for.

It Was You All Along!: Estrellita, Mirtha, Penelope, Lydia, Pilar

But, low and behold, the piece of lace that Mirtha and Lydia have been fighting over wasn’t the family’s mantilla. Somehow, Pilar got a hold of it and has had it ever since. Leading to everyone being forced to recognize, without a doubt, Pilar is queer, married, and now is etched into the family’s prized memento.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How did Pilar get a hold of the mantilla?

Highlights

The Importance of Community – Elena & Pilar

Pilar (Stephanie Beatriz) explaining why it is fine with her that the family is kind of weird about her being married to a woman.
Pilar (Stephanie Beatriz)

While it was beautiful to see Estrellita, Mirtha, Penelope, and Lydia reconcile, the real highlight was Elena and Pilar. Why? Well, one scene. The scene in which Pilar broke down what it was like to come out, so strongly identify with being lesbian, until it was not a huge thing anymore. One of the reasons this was such a noteworthy moment is it showed someone who is comfortable being gay, but not feeling the need to insert it as a reason or prefix for all situations. It is one of the things which describes them but is far from the most prominent thing.

And when it comes to Elena, who has really hooked onto that part of her identity, almost as much as being Cuban, it seemingly put things into perspective. Leading you to wonder if Pilar was properly introduced earlier, how that could have changed things. Especially when Penelope was having an issue with Elena coming out.

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