Morgan Pritchett
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Unanswered Questions from “One Day at a Time” Episode ‘The Death of Mrs. Resnick’

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The car-themed episode starts with Penelope and Elena taking Alex to his baseball game
Photo: Sony Pictures Television

Netflix’s One Day at a Time isn’t like other reboots you’ll find on the small screen. It’s more of a reimagining than anything, with a hilarious and relatable Cuban-American family at the center. The Alvarez clan deals with a variety of complex issues throughout the show’s two seasons, including mental health, sexism, immigration, racism, and much more.

As a newly single mother working hard to pay the bills, Penelope (Justina Machado) is constantly trying to teach her kids the value of a dollar. This is ever apparent in “The Death of Mrs. Resnick,” an entire episode dedicated to the loss of the Alvarez family car. Penelope experiences a slew of emotions throughout the ordeal, including dealing with the memories associated with the old car, the financial impact of needing a new vehicle, and the anxiety of going to a car dealership as a single woman.

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Penelope recruits Schneider to pretend to be her husband, hoping to get a good deal on a new car
Photo: Sony Pictures Television

While the episode ended on a good note, with Penelope saying goodbye to Mrs. Resnick and getting her much-desired pre-owned Honda CR-V, there were a few unanswered questions I wanted to address. If you happen to know the answer to any of these questions, let me know in the comments!


Cars and Cinema: Vehicles have always played big roles in television and movies


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Photo: Sony Pictures Television

What type of car was Mrs. Resnick?

As an automotive journalist, the first thing I wanted to know was what type of car Mrs. Resnick was. She was obviously a bit older and had quite a few miles on her at the time of her death, but there were no signifying badges on the car throughout the entire episode. Most TV shows remove certain logos to avoid paying licensing fees or to simply avoid the hassle of getting approval for use, but my sleuthing skills have determined that Mrs. Resnick was something of a hybrid between a mid-90s Ford Mustang (rounded spoiler) and a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV (large, low front bumper). Maybe Victor’s hobby was modifying the vehicle and he unfortunately ended up breaking it more than upgrading…

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It was tough for Penelope to say goodbye to the fond memories associated with Mrs. Resnick
Photo: Sony Pictures Television

While Penelope was on the phone with Hector the mechanic, it seemed that the cause of death for Mrs. Resnick wasn’t necessarily one simple thing. To be honest, there was a lot of duct tape and glue holding her together at the time of her passing (R.I.P.). However, it’s possible that the main reason the Alvarez family had to say their goodbyes was transmission failure. After Elena turned on the AC on that particularly hot drive in LA, Mrs. Resnick was kaput.

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Photo: Sony Pictures Television

Who sang it first?

One of the running gags in this episode is Penelope jamming out to the Toni Braxton hit “Un-Break My Heart” as her kids groan loudly. After Elena says the CD has been stuck in the car her whole life, Penelope quickly interjects that “it’s a cassingle.” (Fun fact: The cassette single Penelope is likely referring to has both English and Spanish versions of the song on it. Qué fun!)

Fans of the show Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be quick to note there was a season three episode (2016) where Jake, Charles, and Det. Stevie Schillens also belt out the classic 90s hit in a car. But not to worry; there’s no hard feelings between the shows for the similar scenes. B99 stars Stephanie Beatriz and Melissa Fumero are even set to appear in ODAAT’s upcoming third season!

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Photo: Sony Pictures Television

Did Penelope overpay for her new car?

Before Penelope even heads to the car dealership, she knows exactly what she wants: a pre-owned Honda CR-V with low mileage, no upsells, at the Blue Book price. (‘Cause she ain’t no punk!) When she arrives at Badillo Automotive with Schneider in tow as her fake husband, saleswoman (and fellow former soldier) Jill shows Penelope a 2012 Honda CR-V LX with low mileage and a five-star safety rating.

Because Penelope was able to use voice commands in the vehicle, it’s likely she did go with the LX trim of the CR-V, which has Bluetooth HandsFreeLink. Based on her Echo Park zip code and the features included on the CR-V, the KBB price is currently listed at $11,224, which is almost $850 less than the price tag on the car in the episode ($12,065). Did the CR-V have some additional special features for the higher price? Did the car’s value depreciate since the episode aired? Or did Jill lower the price for her new friend (outside of the $40 she gave Penelope for Mrs. Resnick)? We may never know, but the real question is… did Penelope download the “Un-Break My Heart” single or did she get the entire Secrets album this time around?

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Morgan currently resides in Dayton, Ohio, after living across the entire nation (seven different states, to be exact) and even in Germany for a few years. Originally a graphic design major, Morgan floated around and eventually found her calling in writing and editing after working in marketing for a few years. Her hobbies include: board games, knowing way too many song lyrics, playing video games, quoting pop culture, going to concerts, and watching sports. It is advisable to not give her coffee after 3pm. See more articles by Morgan.