Sunday, February 10, 2019

REVIEW: 'One Day at a Time' - Penelope Has a Surprising Reaction to Victor's New Relationship in 'A Penny and a Nicole'

Netflix's One Day at a Time - Episode 3.11 "A Penny and a Nicole"

When her ex-husband introduces the family to his new girlfriend, Penelope feels unexpectedly resentful and comes to a realization about Mateo.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's One Day at a Time.

"A Penny and a Nicole" was written by Sebastian Jones & Debby Wolfe and directed by Phill Lewis

There is a significant role reversal to several of the men in the lives of the Alvarez family at the moment. Victor returns and has managed to clean up his act completely. He is sober now. He's also happily engaged to a woman named Nicole. Moreover, he is trying to be a better and more supportive father to Alex and Elena. He appears to be doing everything right even though the family is still very hesitant to believe that he is completely better. Too much damage has been done for it to all be fixed in one visit. However, he's in an emotionally healthy place right now and nothing seems to be threatening his sobriety. Conversely, this episode confirms that Schneider has fallen off of the wagon. It's not obvious. That way it truly hits Penelope hard at the end when Victor tells her that he believes it to be true. He doesn't have any proof. He just sees all the tricks as a recovering addict himself. That too should present as a reason for the audience to trust Victor now because we also understand that Schneider felt this temptation and more than likely gave into it after standing up to his father. Now, Penelope has to investigate to see if she should really be worried about Schneider. Of course, Victor is in no position to say that he doesn't want Schneider hanging around the kids anymore. He still hasn't earned that trust to be a part of the parenting decisions. But again, it's enough that should worry Penelope. When Schneider and Lydia return home from this dinner, they had a good time and walked away with the understanding that everything is good now. Sure, Dr. B was a mess because of the undercover work Lydia tasked him to do. But there is never any follow up to that. Instead, this episode is mostly about establishing some of the plot points for the final portion of the season. Schneider is off the wagon and Victor is getting married. Victor asks his children to be his best people and they say yes. Moreover, it's simply hilarious that Nicole looks very similar to Penelope. That's a visual the show actively plays into - especially once it's known that Nicole is played by series co-creator Gloria Calderon Kellett. That shows where so much of the influence for Penelope has come from all along. But it also highlights how Nicole is a distinct new character. One who may be getting all of the benefit of Penelope's hard work when it comes to Victor. As such, Penelope is very resentful of that. She doesn't want to get back together with him. She just wishes that he would suffer more because of all of the pain and anguish he forced onto her. She was so strong in leaving him. Her decisions helped make him into the man he is today. He has simply turned his life around very quickly. Everyone has to be onboard with that too because it appears to be something that will stick. It's just hard for Penelope because of how intimate the betrayal and pain actually was. This also forces her to accept that what she has with Mateo is nice but it's not the passionate love that she craves for out of a romantic relationship. The spark just isn't there between them. That means the show has no problem splitting them up. In fact, it creates a situation where Mateo may get back together with his ex-wife just to prove to the audience that there really should be no hard feelings about any of this. That's just a little too convenient though.