|“||The thing with being single in New York when it's ten degrees below zero outside? It forces you to stay indoors and focus on yourself. For me, that was perfecting my portfolio for Parsons fashion school. With the application deadline looming, it was time to pick my three most heart-stopping outfits to submit.||”|
SECRETS REVEALED – With Katy trying to get into fashion school, she knows she needs a recommendation letter, so she turns to Gloria who puts her to the test in making her the ultimate dress in exchange, putting the pressure on Katy. Forced to stay inside because of the polar vortex, tensions grow high when Josie and Pepper get into a fight and Jorge breaks Katy’s number one rule. Meanwhile, Josie is torn about the deal Alexander’s dad made her, especially after what Alexandra shows her.
Since breaking up with KO, Katy has found herself with more time to perfect her portfolio for Parsons fashion school. With the application deadline looming, it is time to pick her three most heart-stopping outfits to submit. So, Katy, Josie, Jorge, and Pepper try on numerous outfits. It was Katy’s mom's dying wish to study fashion design, but she had put that in the backseat until now.
Even if Katy is accepted, the only way she could afford to go is through a full scholarship. The last recipient got a hand-written letter from Tom Ford. Pepper suggests that Katy get Gloria to write her a letter of recommendation, as she’s the gatekeeper of the fashion business. An incoming polar vortex has New York City on standby for the next 24 hours. It threatens to shutter transport, close roads and businesses. Katy suggest they take this opportunity to stay in, huddle under the covers and watch TV. Jorge reminds Josie that she still owes him for the cable bill. Josie has been working double shifts at both her jobs, but she’s still struggling. Not to mention, she’s never even turned the TV on, so Josie asks why she should have to pay for the cable. Jorge remarks that was "very Marci of you." Josie asks who Marci is, but he doesn’t reply. Josie assures Katy that her three outfits will fit right in at Lacy's.
The following morning, Katy approaches Gloria with the her outfit submissions for Parsons in hopes that she’ll agree to write a letter of recommendation. However, Gloria is unimpressed with Katy’s designs. There’s no cohesion or focus. With the Young Fellows Ball approaching, she tells Katy to make her a dress within 24 hours and if she likes it, she’ll write the letter. Gloria writes down her body measurements and tells Katy to keep them to herself, otherwise she’ll be burned along with last season's unsold collection.
Katy assists Francois in dressing the mannequins. She believes that Gloria is merely setting her up to fail. Just like she did for the personal shopper position. Francois advises Katy to trust herself. He then tells her to go home and work on her design. He’ll finish bundling up the mannequins on his own.
Jorge, dressed as Ginger, crosses paths with his mother while leaving the building. However, she’s unaware of his drag queen lifestyle, so Jorge hides his face as Luisa gets closer. Luisa asks if she needs any help. Ginger tells her no and leaves.
Josie and Chubby go into the basement of the shop in hopes of finding a space heater as it’s only getting colder. He reveals to Josie that the basement used to be a recording studio. A lot of famous musicians recorded there. Chubby’s used to have an indie label. He asks if Josie has decided what to do with the money Mr. Cabot gave her to record her EP, specifically four songs. Josie hasn’t cashed the check yet. She hasn’t even told Alex and her friends. Mr. Cabot basically wants to use her to date Alex, which she isn’t comfortable with. Chubby tells Josie that no one has made it in show business without paying a price.
Alexander arrives at Chubby’s to confront Josie with the Daily Hail’s headline "Kissing Cabots!" Detailing his past romantic relationship with Xandra. It’s from an anonymous source, and they suspect it’s Josie, however, she insists that she didn’t leak the story. Alex believes her. However, They need to find out who did. Josie signed at NDA and now Alex’s dad is on a warpath. Josie concludes that Pepper is the source.
Katy returns to the apartment as the storm worsens. Jorge reveals how he left the house as Ginger and crossed paths with his mom. He ran out before she could say anything. Jorge wouldn’t usually risk leaving broad day as Ginger, but the venue he was heading to didn’t have a dressing room. Katy tells Jorge that Gloria agreed to write her the letter of recommendation only if she impresses her with a dress, which means that Katy has to put Jorge's Aida dress on hold. However, Jorge needs it for his act at Molly's Crisis tomorrow night. Katy retorts that Jorge has so many acts. Not to mention that she’s already at a disadvantage as the fabric store was closed, so she has to use whatever they have in the apartment. Josie arrives and informs Katy and Jorge of her latest troubles. The Cabots suspect that she leaked the story about Alex and Xandra being a couple, but Josie believes it was Pepper. Pepper arrives soon thereafter. Josie accuses her of being the Daily Hail’s source.
Katy watches Gloria’s interview 83 queries with Gloria Grandbilt to hopefully gain some sort of inspiration. However, Katy doesn’t come up with much initially.
Pepper insists that she didn’t leak the Kissing Cabots story, however, Josie only told the three of them, and Pepper is the only one on the Daily Hail’s payroll. Josie fears the Cabots may sue her. Katy intervenes. She tells Josie that Pepper is the most fiercely loyal person she knows. Jorge then discovers that they have no food. Katy suggests heading down to the bodega, but all of Washington Heights got there first, according to Josie. Jorge then gets a call from his mother, who he fears recognized him as Ginger, so he ignores her call and asks Pepper to go downstairs for recon. Josie wonders what would happen if Jorge’s parents found out the truth. Jorge explains that when he told his parents he was gay, they froze him out. They didn’t talk for months, and they’re still healing from that. Telling them that he’s now doing drag could break them again. Jorge thanks Katy for her and her mom taking him in all those years ago. Katy says it was the best year of her life. They used to stay up all night and sing show tunes. Jorge then asks Katy once again if she could find the time to make his Aida gown, however, Katy’s too preoccupied with Gloria’s dress. Josie and Jorge suddenly feel the apartment heating up.
Katy continues to watch Gloria’s interview, where she finally gains inspiration. She takes a bath and sketches her design, ignoring Jorge's distress calls.
The radiator is broken. Jorge changed the dial so that the pipe wouldn’t freeze, but someone turned it up and broke it. Pepper returns with good news. Luisa suspects nothing as far as she could tell. She also brought back some homemade empanadas. With the apartment getting hotter, Josie suggests they go to Pepper’s hotel room, but she claims to have lent her room to Mable, the pigeon lady in Central Park, who Pepper brings a sandwich to every morning. She had nowhere to go, so Pepper allowed Mable to have her room for the day.
Having grown impatient, Jorge tries to sew his gown himself, however, he breaks Katy’s sewing machine in the process. Katy reminds Jorge of her one rule; never touch her sewing machine, which she got from her mother. She reminds Jorge, Josie, and Pepper that she’s got less that 24 hours to impress Gloria with a dress. Her future depends on it. Katy grows upset and tells them all to get out her room.
Jorge, Josie, Pepper exit Katy’s room. Jorge attempts to fix his mistake by buying Katy a new sewing machine from the shop down the street. However, it is extremely cold outside. Pepper warns him against it, but Jorge would rather risk his life to fix his wrongdoing than have Katy upset with him. Josie reminds Jorge of his mother, so he decides to sneak out the back. After Jorge leaves, Pepper goes to check on Katy.
Katy is very upset with Jorge and his selfishness. If she doesn’t finish the design in time then her dream will go away. Thanks to Jorge, she now has to sew the dress by hand. She then finds the perfect fabric for Gloria’s dress in Jorge’s Aida dress. Katy tears it apart despite Pepper’s warning. Katy states that she’s made Jorge dozens of dresses with fabric she bought, with money that she earned, so she only sees it as fair. Katy declares that not only will she make Gloria the best dress she’s ever worn, she will hand sew Jorge a new Aida dress. Katy continues to watch Gloria’s interview only to find out that Gloria despises the exact type of dress that Katy intended to design for her.
Josie calls the Palace Hotel posing as Pepper. She learns that not only is Pepper unwelcome at the hotel, she has an outstanding bill that the police have been made aware of. Pepper enters the room and Josie asks where she is living if she isn’t staying at the Palace. Josie suspects that if Pepper is lying about where she is living, she could be lying about the article. She promises not to tell anyone but demands answers. Jorge returns after failing to buy Katy a new sewing machine, as the shop was closed. He fears Katy will never talk to him again. There’s nothing he can do to fix this. He can’t just sing Aida and make it better. With that, Josie, Jorge, and Pepper come up with an idea.
Josie, Jorge, and Pepper interrupt Katy as she sketches her design and perform a musical number from Aida. Katy joins in and the four of them sing and dance in the apartment. They are interrupted by a knock at the door. It’s Jorge’s mom. Luisa enters the apartment to bring the sauce for the empanadas that Pepper had brought up. She asks about Jorge, who Katy claims is at Bernardo’s. In actuality, Jorge’s locked himself in the closet. Inside, he notices Josie’s bag and a check sticking out. Luisa notices that the apartment is getting increasingly hot and inquires about the radiator. She offers to have Luis to come down to take a look, but Katy assures him that they’re fine and rushes Luisa out.
Jorge exits the closet. Josie rekindles her argument with Pepper. However, Pepper insists that she’s not the source. This time, she refers to Josie as Marci. Pepper reveals that Marci was the last girl who slept on the couch before Josie, claiming that she’s just a long line of girls sleeping on the couch for her first few months in New York. Josie questions if this is true., if this is really what the girls think of her as she thought they were friends. Katy assures her that they are. Jorge interrupts and reveals the check for $20,000 that he took from Josie’s bag, which she got from Mr. Cabot. Josie explains that she hasn’t decided if she’s going to deposit it yet. She didn’t tell them because every time she looks at it, it makes her feel like she’s being used.
Jorge confronts Katy after discovering that she destroyed his Aida dress. Katy explains that it was a dress that she designed and sewed with fabric she paid for. Katy has sewed over one hundred outfits on her machine for Jorge free of charge, and the one time she tries to do something for herself, he ruined it. Katy calls Jorge selfish. He knew how much that machine meant to Katy and her mom. Every piece of clothing that Katy has ever made was on that machine. But Jorge doesn’t get why it’s so important because even though he’s way too scared to, he can walk down the stairs and talk to his mom while Katy cannot. He broke the last part of her mom that Katy has left.
Pepper proposes a truce with Josie. Pepper just got off the phone with some editors from the Daily Hail. She cashed in a few favors in exchange for the source of the Kissing Cabots leak. The tip came from Tuxedo C. Sebastian. It’s an alias. Sebastian is the name of Alexandra Cabot’s cat, meaning Xandra leaked her own story. To what end, remains unknown. Pepper hopes with this information, Josie will trust her. Josie is still curious about Pepper’s outstanding debt at the hotel. Pepper reveals that the Palace booted her because her credit card was declined after her father froze all her accounts, as he doesn’t approve of her life in New York. Josie’s mom feels the same way about her being in New York as well. Pepper swears that she would never sell out one of her girls and gives Josie a hug. Josie reveals that the check is to fund her first EP. In exchange, Josie has to "look after Alex." Josie hasn’t told Alex yet. She promised Mr. Cabot she wouldn’t. Josie feels awful. The more she pushes Alex away, the more she cares. Pepper tells Josie that all opportunities come at a price. She then asks Josie to keep her cash flow dilemma a secret.
Jorge enters Katy’s room and asks to approach her bed. He wonders how far she has come along with Gloria’s dress. Unfortunately, Katy hasn’t gotten far. One of the last things Katy’s mom said to her was that she wants Katy to go to school so that she may have a better life. She thought that when she died that Katy could use the insurance money to pay for Parsons, but it barely covered the medical bills. And Katy’s angry about that. It’s not an emotion she likes to associate with her mom. Now, Katy feels all alone. Jorge reminds Katy that she isn’t alone. She has him, Josie, and Pepper. He reminds Katy of just how much she’s accomplished. And that when she’s sitting on top of the world, it’s going to feel so much sweeter because she worked for it. Katy and Jorge have been friends since they were kids. She recalls how coming out was rough for him, but his parents will find out about Ginger eventually. Katy advises Jorge to tells his mother the truth. She then apologizes to Jorge for blowing up on him. Everyday that goes by, she feels her mother fading away even more. And all she has left of her is a box with her belongings that Katy’s afraid to open in fear of having an emotional breakdown. Katy’s simply trying to find a way to hold onto her. And so, Jorge tells Katy its time to stop avoiding the box.
Katy grabs the box with her mother’s belongings from the closet and goes through it with Josie, Jorge, and Pepper. Inside, they find photos and other sentimental items. Josie says that Katy’s mom was a classic beauty, much like Katy herself. Katy recalls how men and women would always stare at her mom like she was a magical creature. Inside the box, Katy also finds fabric. Her mother planned to use it, but then she got sick. Josie suggests that Katy use it to make her garment for Gloria. Jorge tells Katy to make something that would make her happy and her mother proud. Pepper and Josie add that she should make her strongest suit with her style in mind. Without a sewing machine, Katy is forced to sew the dress by hand with help from Josie, Jorge, and Pepper.
The following day, Josie meets with Alexander at Chubby’s and reveals to him that Xandra is the leak. Alex apologizes for his sister’s actions. He’ll understand if she wants nothing to do with him. However, before Josie makes any decisions, he takes her into the basement to show her the recording studio that he’s put together. Josie reveals to Alex that his dad offered to find her EP with a $20,000 advance, but she doesn’t know if she should cash it. With or without him, Alex tells Josie to cash it. Josie then kisses Alex.
Katy brings her sewing machine to Lacy’s to have Francois have a look at it. Unfortunately, it’s too old for him to repair. He asks who gave it to her. Katy replies it was a gift from her mother. Francois informs Katy that the sewing machine model was manufactured exclusively for Lacy’s staff. The seamstresses used them. Her mother either worked there or knew someone who did.
Jorge/Ginger comes out to Luisa. for the very first time. She questions what this means. Jorge explains that he’s a drag queen, and he performs at Molly’s Crisis. Luisa is almost speechless. Ginger reminds her of herself at that age. She says that she knew it was Jorge who she passed in the hallway. She accepts Jorge for who he is. However, Ginger would be too much for Luis and tells Jorge to keep it their secret. He then asks his mother for a favor for Katy.
Gloria is impressed with the dress Katy designed for her. She sees focus and inspiration in it. However, she won’t be wearing it to the gala as she initially planned because she just received an exquisite custom gown. She commends Katy on a job well down though and writes the letter of recommendation.
Katy returns to the apartment to find that Jorge has replaced her sewing machine. He couldn’t afford to buy her a new one, however, he got the next best thing. An older sewing machine that belonged to his abuelita. Jorge apologizes and promises to never touch her sewing machine again. Katy then reveals to Jorge that she got the letter. Also, Francois told her that her mom’s sewing machine was manufactured specifically for Lacy’s staff. She wonders what else her mom hasn’t told her. On the sewing machine gifted to Katy by her mother is an engraving that reads "For Katherine, Love L.L."
- Lucy Hale as Katy Keene
- Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy
- Katherine LaNasa as Gloria Grandbilt
- Julia Chan as Pepper Smith
- Jonny Beauchamp as Jorge/Ginger Lopez
- Lucien Laviscount as Alexander Cabot
- Zane Holtz as KO Kelly (credit only)
- Camille Hyde as Alexandra Cabot (credit only)
- Katy Keene Cast feat. Lucy Hale, Ashleigh Murray, Julia Chan, and Jonny Beauchamp - My Strongest Suit
- Scene: Katy, Josie, Ginger, and Pepper break out in song and dance in the apartment.
- The Japanese House - Landslide
- Scene: Katy and her friends go through her mother's box of belongings.
- Gryffin & Slander ft. Calle Lehmann - All You Need To Know
- Scene: Katy, Josie, Jorge, and Pepper hand-sew Gloria's dress.
- The episode title comes from Gordon Lightfoot's 1967 song of the same name.
- Although credited, Zane Holtz (KO Kelly) and Camille Hyde (Alexandra Cabot) don't appear.
- Xandra's cat, Sebastian, is mentioned for the first time with the alias Tuxedo C. Sebastian. In the Archie Comics, it was her familiar cat, but she was a disaster at casting spells against Josie.