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 Date2/8/2019
Introduced This Episode
EstrellitaMelissa Fumero
PilarStephanie Beatriz
MirthaGloria 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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Check Out Other TV Recaps


Season/ EpisodeSynopsisDirector, Writer, and Introduced ActorsTopics & Focused Characters
Season 3, Episode 1 “The Funeral”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.
Director(s)Phill Lewis
Writer(s)Debby Wolfe
Air Date2/8/2019
Introduced This Episode
EstrellitaMelissa Fumero
PilarStephanie Beatriz
MirthaGloria Estefan
  • You Are Not Alone: Pilar, Elena
  • Attempts At Reconciliation: Estrellita, Mirtha, Penelope, Lydia
  • It Was You All Along!: Estrellita, Mirtha, Penelope, Lydia, Pilar
Season 3, Episode 2 “Outside”Toxic Masculinity and consent are taken on, and while the episode is too short to address the problem fully, it hits the topics as hard as they can to make it count.
Director(s)Pamela Fryman
Writer(s)Mike Royce, Gloria Calderon Kellett
Air Date2/8/2019
Introduced This Episode
ScottEric Nenninger
  • Finsta: Alex, Scott, Penelope, Elena
  • Toxic Masculinity & Consent: Lydia, Alex, Elena, Penelope, Syd
  • It Could Happen To You: Lydia, Alex, Elena, Penelope, Syd
Season 2/ Episode 1 “The Turn”What begins with addressing Alex going through puberty, and the attitude which comes with that, becomes a conversation on racism and colorism.
Director(s)Pamela Fryman
Writer(s)Gloria Calderon Kellett, Mike Royce
Air Date1/26/2018
  • Episode Focus: Living In Trump’s America | Penelope, Alex, Lydia, Elena, Schneider
Season 2/ Episode 2 “Schooled”Penelope is growing tired of being some kind of supermom and superwoman, leading to her doing something which shocks the family a little bit.
Director(s)Pamela Fryman
Writer(s)Becky Mann, Audra Sielaff
Air Date1/26/18
  • Episode Focus: It Takes A Village To Make Progress | Penelope, Alex, Lydia, Elena, Dr. Berkowitz
  • Subplot 1: Shut Up Meg, I Mean Elena| Elena, Penelope, Lydia
Season 2/ Episode 3 “To Zir, With Love”Romance becomes a possibility for Elena and Penelope, but complications may keep them from happiness.
Director(s)Phill Lewis
Writer(s)Sebastian Jones
Air Date1/26/2018
Characters Introduced
MaxEd Quinn
SydSheridan Pierce
DaniGabrielle Elyse
  • Episode Focus: Everybody Needs Somebody, Sometimes | Elena, Penelope
Season 2/ Episode 4 “Roots”As Penelope teaches Alex to have fun on a budget, Lydia reveals a shocking secret to the family.
Director(s)Phill Lewis
Writer(s)Dan Signer
Air Date1/26/2018
  • Episode Focus: For The Love of Cuba! | Lydia, Elena, Penelope
  • Subplot 1: What Snacks You Got? | Alex, Penelope
Season 2/ Episode 5 “Locked Down”What may seem like your usual hijinks episode, minus political topics, veers towards gun control.
Director(s)Phill Lewis
Writer(s)Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit
Air Date1/26/2018
  • Episode Focus: A Hero Can Be a Man or a Gun | Lydia, Max, Penelope, Schneider, Dr. Berkowitz, Alex
  • Subplot 1: Awkward. | Elena, Syd
Season 2/ Episode 6 “Work Hard, Play Hard”In a rather uneventful episode, without any serious hot topic, the importance of work and communication is focus.
Director(s)Pamela Fryman
Writer(s)Andy Roth
Air Date1/26/2018
  • Episode Focus: Hard Work Pays Off – Eventually | Alex, Elena, Penelope, Lydia, Schneider
  • Subplot 1: Max Isn’t The Only One Who Wants Something More Serious | Dr. Berkowitz, Lydia, Alex
Season 2/ Episode 7 “Exclusive”As Lydia and Penelope DTR their respective relationships, Elena finds out Alex’s devastating secret.
Director(s)Pamela Fryman
Writer(s)Debby Wolfe
Air Date1/26/2018
Characters Introduced
EsmeIvonne Coll
  • Episode Focus: You Can’t Own The Milk Without Buying The Cow | Lydia, Penelope, Max, Dr. Berkowitz, Schneider
  • Subplot 1: Guess Who’s Back? | Alex, Elena, Victor
Season 2/ Episode 8 “What Happened”In a flashback-heavy episode, we see the early weeks of Elena and learn if she and her father can possibly reconcile.
Director(s)Phill Lewis
Writer(s)Sebastian Jones, Andy Roth
Air Date1/26/2018
  • Episode Focus: 2001 vs 2017 | Victor, Elena, Penelope, Alex
Season 2/ Episode 9 “Hello, Penelope”With so many things in life going so well, Penelope decides to stop going to group therapy and taking her meds, leading to her being reminded why she needed those two things in the first place.
Director(s)Phill Lewis
Writer(s)Michelle Badillo, Caroline Levich
Air Date1/26/2018
  • Episode Focus: Happiness Makes Up In Height What It Lacks In Length | Max, Penelope, Lydia, Schneider
Season 2/ Episode 10 “Storage Wars”As we come towards the end of the season, it starts to lose its pep as we get used to its formula.
Director(s)Kimberly McCullough
Writer(s)Becky Mann, Audra Sielaff
Air Date1/26/2018
  • Episode Focus: On This Episode of Hoarders | Lydia, Penelope, Elena, Schneider
Season 2/ Episode 11 “Homecoming”As Elena and Alex’s homecoming dance comes around, Max reveals something which could mess up his relationship with Penelope.
Director(s)Pamela Fryman
Writer(s)Michelle Badillo, Caroline Levich, Debby Wolfe
Air Date1/26/2018
Characters Introduced
NikkiJolie Jenkins
EmmaHannah Jelinovic
Sister BarbaraGeorgia Engel
Ms. WallaceCeleste Pechous
  • Episode Focus: Things Are Getting Serious | Max, Penelope
  • Subplot 1: I Was Used | Schneider, Alex, Max
  • Subplot 2: We Need New Friends | Syd, Elena
Season 2/ Episode 12 “Citizen Lydia”As Lydia and Schneider take their citizenship test, Penelope tests the waters when it comes to the possibility of having another child.
Director(s)Gloria Calderon Kellett
Writer(s)Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Dan Signer
Air Date1/26/2018
  • Episode Focus: The End Of The Line | Max, Penelope, Lydia
  • Subplot 1: I Want To Be An American | Schneider, Lydia
  • Subplot 2: Emoji Battle | Elena, Alex
Season 2/ Episode 13 “Not Yet” [Season Finale]In the season finale, we get a strong reason to wonder will they or won’t they when it comes to the fate of Lydia.
Director(s)Pamela Fryman
Writer(s)Gloria Calderon Kellett, Mike Royce
Air Date1/26/2018
  • Episode Focus: What You Mean To Me | Penelope, Lydia, Alex, Elena, Dr. Berkowitz, Schneider, Berto

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