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Katy Keene Episode Five Recap: A World Without Climate Change

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On Katy Keene episode five, our young heroine realizes that dumping her boyfriend in the middle of cuffing season was a strategically poor move RE: getting back into the dating scene, but it’s great for increasing productivity. It’s a polar vortex in New York because we’ve moved to the magic land where climate change doesn’t exist, but the heat is up in Katy’s apartment… and the claws are out. This week has high key sucked on, like, a national level (elections are stressful, we’re all gonna die of coronavirus, etc), and Katy Keene episode five has the bad vibes to match. Get ready for 40 minutes of roommate squabbles that will give you PTSD flashbacks of that one time you got caught “borrowing” your roommate’s yogurt from the fridge and she didn’t talk to you for three weeks.

Katy Keene Episode Five Recap: WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

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Katy Keene episode five opens as Katy is using the ten-degree temperatures of New York City to justify cocooning in her apartment instead of hopping back into the dating pool. Katy makes great use of her free time by perfecting her portfolio for Parsons, but she’ll need more than a few hot looks to secure a full scholarship. Luckily, she works for the gatekeeper of the fashion world, Gloria. Gloria isn’t thrilled with the lack of cohesion in Katy’s designs — a rookie mistake anyone with a Project Runway obsession could have seen from miles away. Gloria’s willing to write Katy a letter of recommendation if Katy agrees to make her a last-minute gown for an event… in the middle of a polar vortex… and Gloria has to like it. No biggie!

Josie confides in the great Andre de Shields that Mr. Cabot gave her enough money to record four songs for her EP, but she hasn’t cashed the check or told anyone else about it. While she decides whether to sell her soul, the Cabot Twincest story leaks to the Daily Herald. Alex believes Josie isn’t their anonymous source, but they need to find out who is before Mr. Cabot goes on a warpath. Josie signed an NDA worth millions, but like most of us who sign NDAs, she told all of her friends everything immediately. Josie’s pretty sure gossip columnist Pepper was the anonymous source. Our Clout Queen doing something anonymously? Um, signs point to no.

Jorge ran into his mother dressed as Ginger, and he’s super freaked out that she might have recognized him in drag. Jorge’s coming out was not the liberal fairytale that ends in a hug and a few awkward comments at Christmas — he was kicked out of his house and taken in by Katy and her mother. Ugh, tears! He’s worried if his mother learns about Ginger, it will be World War III all over again. So, World War IV? It’ll be World War V any second now with these roommates at each others’ throats. Josie’s totally convinced Pepper’s a liar (and, like, she *is*), someone turned up the thermostat to a million degrees, and Jorge managed to break Katy’s sewing machine trying to alter a gown because he’s the literal worst. And he doesn’t even apologize! Then, he manages to belittle Katy’s passion while still not apologizing!! Jorge can’t finesse a new sewing machine, so he tries to win Katy over by singing Aida (which we’ll unpack later), and it works. He should not have gotten off the hook this easily.

Josie discovers that Pepper hasn’t been living at the Palace Hotel. In the theme of discovering things, Jorge finds Josie’s check from Mr. Cabot and goes on the attack because she hasn’t been paying utilities. Heat makes people do crazy things, and the entire apartment is at each other’s throats.
Lucy Hale delivers a very well-acted (and earned) emotional breakdown, and everyone takes some time to cool off (literally… their thermostat is still broken). Pepper asks her editors at the Daily Herald for the name of the anonymous source, which was obviously Xandra. How this wasn’t Josie’s first guess is beyond me. Josie asks Pepper why she’s being so secretive about her financial situation, and Pepper reveals that her wealthy father has frozen her accounts. In exchange, Josie explains her situation with Mr. Cabot (and her burgeoning feelings for Alexander) to Pepper, who suggests she take the Faustian bargain. The pair hug and make up, and Josie agrees to keep Pepper’s cash flow problem to herself, no NDA required. Thank God! I hate it when bad b*tches fight. Josie tells Alexander about Xandra’s betrayal, but all is forgotten when Alex reveals that he’s converted the record store’s basement into Josie’s dream recording studio. She tells him about Mr. Cabot’s money for the EP (but not the strings attached) and rekindles their romance.

Jorge and Katy make up, too. Homeboy hasn’t learned *anything*, but family forgives. And Jorge is Katy’s family. Jorge encourages Katy to look into the box of her mother’s things that she’s been avoiding, where she finds fabric that her mother had been saving for a special occasion. Katy’s friends rally around her and inspire her to follow her own vision instead of what she thinks Gloria wants, then the Core Four work together to sew Gloria’s garment by hand. Jorge comes out to his mother as a drag queen after his heart to heart with Katy, and they have the classic “I love you no matter what” television moment, but she cautions him that his father wouldn’t understand. Together, Jorge and his mother get Katy a new-old sewing machine from his abuelita, a step in the right direction of Jorge being not-the-worst. Gloria does love Katy’s dress, but she’s going to wear a Donna Karen gown instead. Katy still gets the letter of rec, though, along with a hint that her mom’s sewing machine was actually given to her by a member of Lacy’s staff, the mysterious L.L. The plot thickens… except L.L. is obviously a Lacy, right?

Most CW Moment

Katy forgiving Jorge for being a selfish, whiny person through the healing power of song. Eck.

Katy Keene Episode Five: Weirdest “New York” Moment

When Katy left the apartment without tights or a parka in so-called ten-degree weather.

How We Feel

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The CW

The real heroes among us know that a layer of thermal tights, a few vodka shots, and access to coat check makes going out in the middle of winter a perfectly viable option — and anyone in NYC knows the weather hasn’t gone below 30 in nearly two months. Is Katy Keene a climate change denier? The closest thing we got to a polar vortex this year was a squall that lasted fifteen minutes and was more confusing than it was dangerous. Although to be fair, if I spent less time going clubbing in the middle of winter and more time working towards my goals, I’d probably be John Mulaney by now. Or, like, a hot young female version of John Mulaney… Anyway, Katy’s probably got the right idea, but it’s really not that cold.

If Gloria’s such a Big Deal in the fashion world, why does she work as a personal buyer at Macy’s? Her 72 Questions parody was a *chef’s kiss* touch, but I really don’t understand how hierarchy works in Katy’s world. Or money, TBH. Pepper is somehow *dependently* wealthy despite having a million jobs and more clout than the mayor, Gloria is the Queen of Fashion, and Alex has enough money to create a recording studio from scratch but not enough to fund Josie’s EP without his dad. It quite literally doesn’t add up.

Jorge asks Katy to make him an Aida costume for his drag show, and I was hoping to God we were not thinking of the same Aida. Is there not already an unwritten rule that Aida should only be played by black people? I really thought we didn’t have to say “Don’t Do Aida If You’re Not Black” but apparently we do. Ashleigh Murray singing it was great. Adding in a bunch of questionable Motown-inspired dance moves then having Lucy Hale take the lead from Ashleigh might be a hate crime. If you want to pay homage to Aida, there are at least four black characters on this show, one of whom was recently nominated for a Tony. Meanwhile, if you need to give Jorge, Katy, and Pepper a moment, there are a million musicals about white women getting sh*t done — Mamma Mia, 9 to 5, Legally Blonde — and a handful about Hispanic women getting sh*t done — West Side Story, In the Heights, other stuff probably — so why Aida? I hate it here.

Jonny Beauchamp is a welcome diverse addition to the CW universe (and television in general — Upfronts still look like a country music festival in Finland), but a Puerto Rican person dressing up as the Nubian princess Aida feels like something a small Floridian theatre company would think was OK. I’m officially declaring that Katy Keene is doing its LGBTQ characters as dirty as Riverdale has been. So far, Jorge has committed career suicide, mistaken a six-month-long Grindr fling for a relationship, and now he’s doing AIDA?! This isn’t as bad as Kevin’s gay cruising/tickle porn/cult indoctrination trifecta, but at least Kevin has a good personality.

Katy Keene Episode Five FAN REACTIONS

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