No Mass is the third episode of season one of One Day at a Time.
When Lydia disappears after a heated argument with her daughter about religion, the smooth running of the household falls apart in her absence.
Lydia Riera is making breakfast for the kids when Penelope and she argue over having a picture of the Pope in the kitchen. Penelope Alvarez arrives home to have dinner with her family an Schneider and Elena Alvarez's friend Carmen. Penelope suggests that they take a hike the upcoming weekend because she misses seeing them since she's been working so much. She asks if they want to go Sunday but Lydia interrupts her and tells her that Sunday's are for church. Penelope tells her mom that she's the mom so she gets to make the decisions and should be able to decide whether they go to church or not. Lydia goes to her room and says that if she's not going to listen to her or appreciate what she does for the family then she isn't going to do it anymore.
The next day Penelope has to cook breakfast for the family. When Alex Alvarez can't find his pants, Penelope concedes and says that Lydia has won. But when they go to her room to get her she's gone. They go to see Schneider and learn that she spent the night there but that she left early that morning. Penelope is about to leave work to head home when Schneider calls her and tells her that Lydia still isn't home. This worries Penelope because Lydia is never not home for the kids. Doctor Berkowitz asks where a devout Catholic woman would go after an argument about religion. Penelope finds Lydia at church. She tells Lydia that she may have overreacted last night but that Lydia needs to give her more space to parent. Lydia starts to cry and tells her not to put her in a nursing home. Penelope tells her that she'd never do that because Lydia is the glue that keeps the family together. They start to leave when Lydia learns that Penelope still doesn't want to come to church on Sunday, so she decides to stay.
At home, Schneider has made dinner for the family. Lydia finally comes home and Schneider pushes everyone out of the way to get to her first. They ask where she's been all day and she says she's been praying because Penelope doesn't want to go to church. Penelope says its because she isn't even sure that she believes in God. Lydia says that God exists because she prayed every day for him to keep Penelope safe while she was in Afganistan. Penelope and Lydia hug and Penelope agrees to going to church only on major holidays. Penelope tells them that while Lydia finds comfort in God, some people find it in other places. Like how when she was in Afganistan she saw Serena Williams playing on the television and thought to herself that if Serena could do it then she could too. She says that that was what comforted her and that everyone has something that inspires them.
The next morning Lydia makes breakfast and puts a picture of the Pope and Serena Williams up on the fridge. Penelope sees it and gives her mom a kiss. Lydia takes a coffee to Schenider before joining the family at the dinner table.
- Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez
- Todd Grinnell as Schneider
- Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez
- Marcel Ruiz as Alex Alvarez
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Leslie Berkowitz
- Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera
- Ariela Barer as Carmen
- Reid Cox as Stick Girl
- Eve Sigall as Birdie
- Penelope admits she isn't sure she believes in God.
- Lydia went to church and prayed every day for years while Penelope was deployed.
- During Penelope's speech about inspiration, it is suggested that Lydia is inspired by her faith, Penelope is inspired by Serena Williams, Alex is inspired by John Cena, Elena is inspired by Sonia Sotomayor, and Carmen is inspired by death.