|“||My love, you're treating liking two people as if it were some big moral quandary, but it really isn't. Take me, for example-- I've made it perfectly clear to both Raj and Didi that I'm seeing both of them.||”|
Pepper is close friends with Katy, Jorge, and Josie. To them, she was a well traveled, high profile, New York City socialite, but in reality, she was a con artist who made her way by scams and other dishonorable means. However, she has since sworn off that life and denounced all illegitimacy, dedicating herself to the Pepper Plant and the rise of young artists.
- 1 Character Description
- 2 Early Life
- 3 Throughout Katy Keene
- 3.1 Season 1
- 3.1.1 Meeting Josie
- 3.1.2 Planting the Seeds for the Pepper Plant
- 3.1.3 Scamming with Ms. Freesia
- 3.1.4 The Rodfather Part 2
- 3.1.5 Confronted by Josie
- 3.1.6 Manipulating Raj
- 3.1.7 Investment in Kiss of the Spider Woman
- 3.1.8 Pepper's Birthday Bash
- 3.1.9 Who is Hannah Melvey?
- 3.1.10 Exposing Lester Darin
- 3.1.11 Meta Gala
- 3.1.12 The Truth Comes Out
- 3.1 Season 1
- 4 Physical Appearance
- 5 Personality
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Gallery
- 10 References
A New York City "It Girl" who is at the epicenter of all things trendy. As the funny, magnetic life of the party, she dreams of opening her very own version of Andy Warhol's Factory. But behind all the outrageous noise, no one quite knows where she gets all her money — or if she even has any.
Despite claiming that she grew up well-off and privileged in London, Pepper was actually born and raised in New York City. As an infant, she was left at the Palace Hotel and later adopted by the doorman. She continued to live in the same building and eventually met Ms. Freesia. Most days, Freesia would find Peppa doing her homework in the lobby of the Georgia Hotel. And one day, Ms. Freesia invited her up for tea, and they’ve been like family ever since. With Ms. Freesia's teaching, Pepper eventually learned how to successfully con people out of money.
At some point, she met Hannah Melvey and got married. Eventually, Pepper betrayed Hannah in Morocco and stole $30,000 from her.
Throughout Katy Keene
At a local nightclub, Molly's Crisis, Pepper runs into Katy and her new roommate, Josie, who compliments Pepper’s bag, which she reveals was made by Katy. Pepper just got back from Art Basel with Childish Gambino, lining up investors for her top secret project that she can't breathe a word of until her financing is in place. Josie asks what it is that she does. Pepper just gave a TED talk on the feminist power of SnapChat. She wrote this week's Modern Love column in the Times. And earlier this year, she shot an Indie with Lupita Nyong'o and Kristen Stewart. In other words, Pepper is the most connected person in New York, and she will introduce Josie to everyone that's anyone, Katy adds. Kathy's boyfriend, KO and who works as a bouncer at the nightclub, joins them. He asks if Gloria gave her the job. Katy tells him not yet. Gloria is making her sweat for it.
Katy, Josie, and Pepper hit the dance floor. Jorge, under the stage name of Ginger Lopez, performs on stage in the dress Katy designed for him.
The next day, Pepper, Josie, Jorge, and Katy pour drinks and celebrate Katy’s win at work with Prince Errol Swoon. Pepper spent last Easter with him on his yacht in Mykonos. They’re certain she’ll get the personal shopper job now, but she doesn’t want to jinx it, so Katy changes the subject to Josie, asking if she found a job. She didn’t, but she met Alexander Cabot, who works for a record label and wants to meet tomorrow after Josie sends him one of her songs. Josie met him at Washington Square Park, where he heard her singing with a busker. Pepper explains that the Cabots are in the same mentions as the Astors and Rockefellers. They own everything. Katy doesn’t want Josie going alone in fear for her safety and offers to accompany her. Josie insists that she’ll be fine; "I am from Riverdale. It is the murder capital of the world." Still, Katy wishes to join her as her manager if nothing else. She even makes Josie a dress.
Katy returns home, where she tells Josie, Jorge, and Pepper that not only did she not get the promotion, Gloria has exiled her to the stockroom. Jorge tells her to quit, but Katy needs the job. Besides, she’s wanted to work at Lacy's since she was a little girl. Her mom always dreamt of having her dresses sold there. Josie points out that there lies Katy’s problem. Her real dream is to have her clothes sold at Lacy's. Jorge recalls Katy admitting that when they first met, that she wanted to be a designer. While this is true, Katy informs them about KO’s offer. He wants to move to Philadelphia, so he can train at a world famous gym. Pepper can’t believe she would move away in pursuit of KO's dream, at the expense of her own. Jorge announcers his decision to give up Broadway. He’s tired of being rejected all because he doesn't fit into their little box. His friends, however, support him and suggest to try again. Katy also offers to make him an outfit for the second call.
Katy, Josie, Jorge, and Pepper pre-game at the apartment. Katy had an epiphany earlier today. She no longer wants to work at Lacy’s, so tomorrow she’s quitting. Josie encourages Katy do what’s best for her, but tells her not to move to Philly. As for tonight, they’re going out, but first they stop by Lacy’s, where they try on shoes and various perfumes. However, Katy is caught by Francois as she attempts to sneak away. She claims that she left her wallet behind. She notices that he’s upset and asks what’s wrong. Francois reveals that the client, Comme des Filles, threw out his concept for the window. Now, he has until sunrise to figure out a new way to display three evening gowns.
The following morning, Katy, Josie, Jorge, Pepper, Francois, Gloria, and Mrs. Lacy convene outside Lacy’s, where a crowd has gathered for the annual unveiling of their new store windows. They pull up the curtain and reveal the window, filled with Katy’s designs. The crowd applauds, and Mrs. Lacy is speechless. Francois informs everyone that it was Katy’s idea, and for her hard work, he’d like to offer her a job in his department. It’s low pay and long hours, but she’ll be rewarded for her talents. The job comes with one condition. He’s not letting her work for him forever. She has nine months with him before he wants her out in the world designing.
Later that night, Josie performs at Molly’s Crisis, as Katy, Pepper, and Jorge/Ginger cheer her on from the crowd.
Planting the Seeds for the Pepper Plant
Katy reveals to Josie, Pepper, and Jorge how KO’s proposal was interrupted by who some are calling the Alphabet City Bandit. Pepper asks to write about it in her weekly column at the Daily Hail. Jorge wonders if Katy was going to say yes to KO’s proposal. Katy isn’t sure what her answer would’ve been. She couldn’t bring herself to say yes. Josie asks if Katy loves KO, which she replies that she and KO have been together since high school, neglecting to answer the question asked. Jorge advises Katy to lock KO down while she has the chance, but Josie sees the ring getting stolen as fate. It buys Katy some time to do some soul searching to determine if KO is the one.
Pepper is greeted by Didi. She compliments her hair. Didi informs Pepper that she has a car out front waiting for her. Pepper tells Didi that she’s headed to Café des Créatifs as she gets one step closer to her dreams.
Pepper meets with an important client at the cafe. She pitches the idea of a modern day version of Andy Warhol’s Factory. "The Pepper Plant." A place where emerging artists can collaborate and party. Chad admits to loving to party and asks Pepper if she would like to do some coke in the bathroom. Pepper turns him down, focusing back on her idea. His backing could help produce the greatest art of this generation. She’ll need him to provide eight million dollars though. He tells her to lock down a location, and then they can talk.
Pepper meets with a realtor to purchase thirty-five hundred square feet warehouse. She sees the condition that it’s in and blood on the wall and further inquiries about the building. The realtor assures her that no one is living in the building nor has anyone been stabbed. They’ll have to do a bit more clean up than Pepper hoped for, but she agrees to rent for eighteen thousand, but it’s a firm 25k a month, the realtor explains. However, Pepper knows the realtor’s clients and that they’re going through a gruesome divorce with infidelities on both sides. Pepper informs the women that she also writes a column for the Daily Hail. She then reproposes her offer of eighteen thousand.
Pepper informs Didi that she secured the warehouse for The Pepper Plant. She requests that Didi order them up a bottle of champagne to her room so that they can celebrate. However, Didi tells Pepper that the manager, Dmitri, tried to charge the card that Pepper has on file, which was declined again. Unfortunately, Pepper doesn’t have any money after paying the rent deposit for the warehouse. Pepper insists that she’ll pay, Likely to wire him the money from Hong Kong in two days. However, Pepper’s keycard has been deactivated. She’s locked out of her room until she pays her bill of sixty thousand dollars. Forced out her own home, Pepper gives Didi three hundred dollars to get her laptop and her bags. Pepper will text her an address for where to bring them.
Pepper celebrates with Katy, Josie, and Jorge after finally finding a space for the Pepper Plant. A place where creatives like themselves can congregate to make magic. Josie then tells them how Chubby’s Record Shop is closing next week. What it need is someone who can save it, Pepper comments. Josie does know Alexander but that would mean getting entangled with the Cabots. She remarks those siblings are more drama that Cheryl and Jason Blossom. If it all goes to hell, at least Josie has them to comfort her. Jorge then reveals that he’s leaving New York. He booked the role for Jefferson. Perhaps after a year or two, it could lead to a role in the Broadway production. And the bus leaves tomorrow. Pepper takes this opportunity to ask if she can sublet his room while he’s gone, claiming that a pipe burst in her room at The Palace. Jorge gives her the room and invites them to attend Ginger’s farewell performance at Molly’s Crisis.
Pepper, Katy, Josie, and Alexander watch as Jorge/Ginger performs on the stage. Jorge/Ginger becomes overwhelmed with emotion and runs backstage. Katy, Josie, and Pepper follow him into the dressing room. He explains that while performing, he looked out into the crowd at Katy and became undone. Josie surmises this is about Broadway. Jorge/Ginger explains that he’s wanted to be on Broadway since he was a kid. If he’s going to give up his life in New York, it has to be worth it. He feels as if he’s running away and taking the easy way out, which isn’t him nor Ginger. So, Jorge decides to stay. He recalls giving Pepper his room, but she tells him not to worry about it. She’ll simply check into her room at the Waldorf. KO arrives and tells Katy that they caught the Alphabet City Bandit. He plans to go to the station to see if they found the ring. However, KO will have to go alone as Katy promised Francois she would work the overnight shift and help him finish the window.
With no money and no place to stay, Pepper has been forced to live in her rented space. She makes several calls in hopes of getting in contact with Chad Gekko, but he was arrested for drug possession and no longer works at the bank. Didi then arrives with Pepper’s belongings. She barely got her stuff through the service exit without being seen. Dmitri called the cops, and he’s faxing Pepper’s picture to every hotel in town. Pepper insists that she’ll pay the bill given the time. She promises that in a couple of months her warehouse will be legendary. She then kisses Didi.
Scamming with Ms. Freesia
Pepper is woken up from her sleep at the sound of the buzzer in her rented space. It’s Willcat Builders, a construction company who Pepper has hired to renovate the space. She wants a stage, as well as a dance floor. But first, she asks them to install a heating system. For $20,000, they’ll start on Monday, provided that they’re paid upfront, which Pepper remarks won’t be a problem.
Pepper, Josie, and Jorge learn from Katy that Alexander came by Lacy’s and purchased a sexy robe for someone special. Josie insists that the gift isn’t for her, as she and Alex are keeping it casual. Unbeknownst to Josie, Friday is Valentines Day, the same day that Alexander proposed that she come over. Jorge surmises that Alexander wants to get serious with Josie, which she is not looking for. Josie fears that Alexander may distract her from the reason she came to New York, to write the next great American song. Josie explains that she wants to play something fresh for Alex on Friday night, but she’s screwed.
Jorge asks Pepper what she has planned for Valentine’s Day, to which she replies that "I don’t do romance." But, she did have sex on Saturday. Speaking of which, Katy questions Jorge about Buzz Brown, who they still haven’t met. He’s been seeing Buzz for the past year. What started out as a Grindm hookup, has turned into a long term relationship, that Katy remarks has never left the bedroom. Pepper adds that he should be showing Jorge off, noting hiding him. Josie proposes that Jorge invite Buzz to see him perform at Molly's Crisis. However, as Jorge explains, they can’t be out in public until he’s out at his job. KO interrupts with a yellow top, asking who it belongs to. Josie claims the shirt and takes it. They then notice that the kitchen is full of smoke. KO is preheating the oven to make them lasagnas. Unfortunately, Jorge’s clothes are in the oven. He tries to pull them out and burns his hand in the process.
Afterward, Pepper, Katy, Josie, and Jorge reconvene in the living room, where they discuss the fireman that Jorge was flirting with. This incident made Jorge realize that life is short, and so, he’s decided to ask Buzz out on a real date. As KO attempts to fix the mess he’s made in the kitchen, Katy catches a glimpse of Josie and Jorge rolling their eyes. Jorge explains that while he loves KO, Katy didn’t even bother asking if he could move in. And now Jorge’s parents, also their landlords, are on his back about it. Katy then tells KO to join them, as they continue their conversation about the fireman. KO tells them how one of the firemen tells his daughter how much he loves her everyday in case he never sees her again.
Pepper arrives outside an apartment building, where she is greeted by the doorman. Pepper notices that the Jackmans are back together. The doorman informs her how Mrs. Jackman found out about her husband’s lover, and then he found out about hers, and they called it even. A proper cheat truce. The doorman invites Pepper to grab a bite to eat with him, but she’ll have to take a rain-check as she has a date with Ms. Freesia, who greets Pepper at the door. She tells Pepper that the board wants to ban Peterbald cats, the specific breed that she owns. Also, the IRS is looking into a house that she flipped in Yonkers. Ms. Freesia inquires about the space Pepper purchased. Unfortunately, Pepper can’t bring in any artists until she’s had the heat installed. And to make matters worse, her primary investor has disappeared to San Tropez. Pepper is hoping that Freesia will break out her black book. She presumes it’s the same rate as before, five hundred a meal and no funny business. Ms. Freesia is always willing to help Pepper, but she’s disappointed that she hasn’t been able to move beyond these hand to mouth payouts. She wanted Pepper to be playing with the big boys by now.
Thanks to Ms. Freesia, Pepper, disguised in a black wig, escorts multiple men out on lunch dates. During which time, she meets a man named Richard. She removes the wig and reveals to Richard how she’s a grad student at Columbia, who was cut off by her parents. She has to graduate, otherwise they’ll cancel her visa, and she’ll be sent back to Heathrow. She claims to need $20,000 to cover her last semester. He agrees to give Pepper the money but only if she does something in return.
Pepper calls Richard and tells him that she’s game. But she won’t just meet him at a hotel. She’ll text him where to go. Pepper then calls Katy, and asks her to get her inside the Lacy’s event.
Pepper attends the Lacy’s event with Richard. She picks out a $6,000 suit and tells him that it’s perfect for him. She then encourages him to buy a watch as well. Richard purchases Pepper a very expensive pair of earrings. He says that he she can make it up to him later in the Empire Suit he booked for them at the Carlyle. They can watch the sunrise from Central Park while in the bed. Richard then spots his wife, Alisha, as she enters the store. Pepper called her at her publishing company. She told Alisha that she was Richard’s new second assistant and that he had epic Valentine’s Day plans for her. Pepper tells Richard just how fantastic his wife is and how she deserves to watch the sunrise over Central Park. And Pepper deserves the $20,000 without selling herself off. So, she takes the items that Richard paid for a leaves just as his wife approaches.
Pepper, Josie, Jorge, and Katy meet at Molly’s Crisis. Katy reveals that she and KO got into a huge fight and he isn’t answering his phone. Jorge tells Katy to be grateful that KO showed up at all for her, as Buzz didn't come for him. The girls each take a shot, and Josie reveals that Alex got the robe for his sister. Josie tells them how she hasn’t hand chemistry with someone like this since Archie Andrews. Katy asks which would Josie rather have: a boyfriend or a music career. Josie admits that having both would be messy, so she’ll have to draw some boundaries. The girls take another drink. Katy then tells Jorge how she’s sure that Buzz will be there at any minute. As Jorge/Ginger performs on stage, Katy, Josie, and Pepper watch from the crowd. Katy and Pepper are going to kill Buzz for missing Ginger’s performance. Josie adds that she’ll bury the body in Riverdale, where no one will find it. Katy then starts to cry as recalls all the joyous moments spent with KO.
Jorge joins Pepper, Josie, and Katy and informs them how he’s single. They assure him that one day he’ll find the guy right for him. Pepper encourages him to pursue the fireman from before. Josie then asks about KO, who Katy still hasn’t heard from. This is the first time that Katy has ever felt like she might lose him. If she wants to keep him, Josie tells Katy to do something big and make room for each other.
Pepper arrives at Lacy’s to return the purchase she made with Richard the night before. All except the watch, which she decided to keep. She asks for cash return. Amanda approaches and asks if Pepper wasn’t pleased with her purchases. Pepper claims that she’s been rather ambivalent lately. Pepper is given her refund of $20,897 and leaves. Amanda tells the clerk to call her next time he sees Pepper.
Pepper gifts the doorman outside of Ms. Freesia’s building with the expensive watch that Richard purchased. She then heads off to Washington Heights in search of the fireman that she saw Jorge flirting with. Pepper, Josie, Jorge/Ginger, and Katy arrive at Engine 141. They’ve brought sandwiches for the firemen to show their appreciation for saving their apartment. Bernardo arrives Ginger personally thanks him and asks him out for drinks.
The Rodfather Part 2
Its been a week since Katy and KO broke up, and Katy has been feeling depressed, which hasn't gone unnoticed by Pepper, Jorge, and Josie. They’re worried about her, and so they propose a girls night out. They even brought Katy a brand new pair of sparkly red heels. Still, Katy isn’t up for a night out. Instead, she plans to throw herself into work.
Pepper shows Raj around her rented space, soon-to-be named the Pepper Plant. Raj is roommates with KO. Raj is looking to rent Pepper’s space to use it as a filming location. He’s working on a thesis about the intersection of organized crime, homo-eroticism, and American cinema. Pepper tells him to keep it low profile as it’s unpermitted. Raj then reveals he can only pay Pepper half of what they talked about. Raj’s crew then starts to bring in the furniture, including a red couch, that Pepper asks to keep in exchange for allowing Raj to film in her space. Pepper then learns that Raj is shooting a gay porn, and the title of his erotic film is "The Rodfather Part 2."
Pepper gets a call from Katy, who asks if she knows Guy LaMontagne, which she does. They were both on the same 30 Under 30 list. They indulged in edibles during the photoshoot. Katy asks Pepper to help her track Guy down. Pepper agrees to help and tells Raj that she has to leave and asks him to keep an eye on the loft.
Pepper Jorge, and Katy support Josie as she prepares to meet with Mr. Cabot. They’re all very impressed with her outfit. Katy asks if Pepper has heard back from Guy, which she hasn’t. Katy explains how her job is on the line. Should she fail to convince Guy to design a line for Lacy’s, she’ll be fired. Jorge then asks about his outfit, as he feels self conscious when he’s around Bernardo. Whenever he’s with Bernardo, he feels the same insecurities he used to feel when he was growing up with his brothers. Josie, Pepper, and Katy assures Jorge that he’s perfect and encourages him to invite Bernardo out. Josie, Jorge, and Pepper try to convince Katy to find a new man, but she refuses to entertain the notion. She’s more focused on her work. The four of them then start to sing and dance.
Josie calls Katy, Jorge, and Pepper to inform them that she learned from Alexandra that Guy LaMontagne will be at Studio 34. Luckily, Pepper can get them in. Pepper, Katy, Jorge, and Josie arrive outside of Studio 34, where Josie informs them of her discovery that Alexander and Alexandra were high school sweethearts. Josie tells Pepper that she signed an NDA, and therefore, she can’t write about this in her column. They circle around the back of Studio 34, where hey’re greeted at the backdoor by Claude.
Once inside, Jorge spots Bernardo and goes to join him. Pepper, Katy, and Josie devise a plan to lure Alexandra away from Guy. Josie remarks that Alexandra can’t resist a chance to insult her, so she passes by Guy and Alexandra, gaining the latter’s attention. As Alexandra follows behind Josie, Pepper takes this opportunity to introduce Guy to Katy, who she begs to hear Katy our.
Katy drinks her sorrows away along with Pepper, Josie, and Jorge after failing to convince Guy to sell with Lacy’s. Just as Josie suggests they go home, KO arrives and sees Katy from across the club. Pepper then gets a call from Raj, alerting her that a neighbor saw what they were filming through the window and called Pepper’s landlady, who’s threatening to shut them down. Pepper comes up with a plan, starting with instructing Raj to bring the wardrobe rack into the hall.
Pepper arrives at her loft, where Raj worries that he’s losing filming time. Pepper is confronted by the landlady, who scolds her for shooting a porn film in her space. She warns Pepper to shut the production down before she calls the police. Just then, Jorge and Bernardo, disguised as police officers, arrive and assure the landlady that they’ll shut it down. Raj then asks Bernardo if he acts, as he’d be great for his next film. Bernardo turns him down, as it is Jorge who is the actor, but Raj isn’t interested. Jorge then tells Bernardo that he wants to end the night with his girls, leaving with Pepper.
Pepper and Jorge meet up with Josie and Katy at Brunetti’s pizza shop. Josie gets a call from Mr. Cabot’s office. He’s requested to see her at his club tomorrow morning. Katy then reveals that KO quit Molly’s Crisis for her. Even post-breakup, he’s still the greatest guy in the world by Katy’s account. Katy then spots Guy as he’s walking to his car. She tells him that his work was overrated.
Katy calls Josie, Pepper, and Jorge to inform them how she threw up in her handbag, on her dress, and her coat. So, Guy gave her his coat. She ran to the bathroom to clean herself up and by the time she came back, he was gone. Josie tells Katy, who’s laying down in the display window bed, to come home. Katy assures them that she’ll be home shortly but ends up falling asleep.
Pepper and Raj review the film. Raj admits that he was never making an art film. He has a lot of student loans, and porn pays well. However, what he really wants is to be a great filmmaker. Pepper tells Raj that she can see it. With the right music and editing, they can spin the film as experimental erotica. Pepper and Raj then kiss.
Confronted by Josie
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.
Pepper is accused by Josie of leaking the story of Alex and Xandra previously being in a relationship. 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.
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 discovers that Pepper is no longer welcome at the Palace Hotel and questions why. 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.
Pepper, Jorge, and Josie 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.
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.
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.
Katy celebrates her submission to Parsons at Molly's Crisis with Pepper, Josie, and Jorge. Katy always pictured sharing this milestone with her mom. She even imagined she was there at the mailbox with her. Katy also wanted to share this moment with KO, but she can’t. Josie, Pepper, and Jorge encourage Katy to pursue other men. However, KO is the only man Katy has ever been with. Katy then asks about Josie’s EP. There’s a listening party that Alex planned at Chubby’s, but Josie still hasn’t told him that her contract stipulates that she babysit him. Rival drag queen Deveraux enters Molly’s Crisis and alerts Jorge that the Miss Washington Heights Pageant has been moved to Molly’s. Winner gets prime time. The most lucrative time at the bar.
After having casual sex, Raj makes breakfast for Pepper. His Nanima’s secret recipe. He hasn’t seen his grandmother for a few years. They had a falling out. After his parents split, Nanima wanted him to come back to India with her and his mom, but Raj wanted to stay and become the next Spike Lee. She even tried to bribe him with an early inheritance. Didi stops by unexpectedly considering that Pepper has been avoiding her calls. She was fired from the Palace after they found out that she was helping Pepper. Pepper claims that she recently came into a new business relationship and is expecting a big pay day. She promises Didi that she will pay her back.
Katy shares her discovery with Pepper and Jorge that KO is possibly dating Xandra. Pepper questions exactly where Xandra touched KO, and Jorge concludes that they must’ve met at Studio 34, as KO works there now. Katy can’t believe that he’s moved on so fast. Pepper points out that this is a sign that it’s time for Katy to move on. Pepper proposes that Katy ask out Will Buckingham, the photographer for the royal photoshoot. Josie arrives and reminds them that her mom is on the way. Moments later, Sierra arrives and greets Josie with a hug. Josie then introduces her to Katy, Pepper, and Jorge. Sierra asks them to fill her in on everything that’s going on.
Raj films another scene at Pepper’s place. She proposes that Raj reach out to his Nanima, but he is reluctant. Pepper never had the best relationship with her family and sometimes it pains her how much she misses them. She’d hate for Raj to feel the same way, adding that life’s too short to hold grudges.
Pepper, Katy, Jorge attend Josie's listening party. Josie asks to talk to a drunk Alex in private, but he gets unruly and confronts Josie about dating him just because his dad paid her to. Pepper, Katy, Jorge, Chubby, and Mr. Cabot watch as this unfolds. Katy stops Josie from chasing after Alex and reminds her that this is her night and not to let anyone ruin it. Chubby welcomes Josie to the stage. Josie and Chubby then proceed to sing in front of the entire party.
Katy returns home and tells Pepper and Jorge how her kiss with Will was the worst she’d ever had. Pepper recalls her date with Jared Leto, who only gives butterfly kisses. Jorge then inquires about Raj, who Pepper insists that she’s not dating. Their relationship is strictly casual. Pepper then gets a call from Raj. Katy worries that she might not be cut out for the single life, but Jorge reminds her that she hasn’t been single for long and that she’ll have to kiss a few frogs if she wishes to find her prince. There’s a knock at the door. Katy assumes it’s Pepper, but it’s Prince Errol.
After another casual hook up, Raj tells Pepper that he’s been thinking about his Nanima and what Pepper said to him. He’s considering reaching out to her, but he doesn’t know what he’ll do if she rejects him again. Pepper admits that she had an ulterior motive when she suggested he make up with his family. When she heard about his inheritance, she thought that he might invest in her Pepper Plant. However, it would be unconscionable of her to betray his trust. Raj likes that Pepper is relentlessly passionate. Admittedly, he’s done some shady things to get films made and made some shady films. All he asks of Pepper is that she not lie to him.
The Washington Heights Pageant commences. Pepper, Katy, Prince Errol, Josie, Sierra, and Luisa watch from the crowd. Sierra tells Josie how she was in the East Village every weekend in her twenties. She’s plenty familiar with drag. Francois/VeeVee Humble asks Deveraux the first question. She then asks Jorge/Ginger the same question, but Jorge/Ginger rushes off the stage.
For the talent portion of the pageant, Francois/VeeVee Humble welcomes Jorge/Ginger back to the stage. Katy, Prince Errol, Pepper, Josie, Sierra, and Luisa cheer her on as she sings before the crowd. Deveraux tries to mess up her set, but Jorge/Ginger continues her performance, much to the crowd’s amazement. However, despite her best effort, Francois/VeeVee Humble announces Deveraux as this year's Miss Washington Heights. Later, Katy, Prince Errol, Pepper, Josie, Sierra, Jorge/Ginger, and Luisa take to the dance floor.
Pepper calls Didi over to inform her that while she doesn’t have her money, she is willing to offer her a job at the Pepper Plant. She even offers a week’s salary in advance. She values Didi’s friendship and doesn’t want to lose her. Didi remarks that people like Pepper came in and out of the Palace all the time. She accuses Pepper of being a con artist, but she accepts the job under one condition; Pepper has to teach her everything she knows.
Investment in Kiss of the Spider Woman
Jorge flaunts his Spider Woman inspired dress, designed by Katy, to Francois and Pepper. Jorge explains that "Kiss of the Spider Woman" is the perfect showcase for his drag and Broadway careers. Between Katy’s costumes, Francois’ direction, and Pepper’s press connections, Jorge’s musical is bound for success. Jorge’s vision is to adapt the show and play both Molina and the Spider Woman. Additionally, he asks Pepper to help finance the musical. Pepper proposes they host a presentation at the Pepper Plant to impress potential investors.
Pepper prepares the invite list, starting with Josie at Chubby’s. She explains that she is hosting a presentation to lure investors. Josie comments that she should’ve enlisted in Pepper’s help for her listening party. While Alex does what he can, he’s not as forceful as Pepper, who asks Josie to invite Alex to the presentation in hopes that he’ll be willing to invest.
Pepper gets on stage and welcomes Katy, KO, Xandra, Josie, Alex, Francois, and Bernardo to the Pepper Plant. As planned, Jorge plays both Molina and the Spider Woman. Amanda arrives and is greeted at the front by Didi, who explains that "Kiss of the Spider Woman" is a small production despite Katy’s initial claims of 55 changes. It doesn’t take long for the audience to grow unsatisfied with Jorge’s performance and exit.
Jorge meets with Pepper and Francois at Molly’s Crisis to discuss potential investors. However, they didn’t receive any. Although, Pepper did manage to raise some capital with the Cabots. She first saw Alex, who initially turned her down, referring to the musical as bizarre and self-indulgent. He conceded under one condition; Josie would play the Spider Woman. After getting Alex to invest, Pepper acquired some time with Xandra and KO, who remains her diligent bodyguard. Pepper claims that in six months time, they’ll transfer from Molly’s Crisis to New Amsterdam. KO remarks that if anyone can make it happen, it’s Jorge, even comparing him to Billy Porter. Xandra values KO’s opinion and offers to invest. However, if "Kiss of the Spider Woman" makes it to Broadway, she wants to replace Josie as Spider Woman.
Jorge angrily rejects Pepper’s proposal for Josie to take over as Spider Woman. The whole point is to give Ginger the spotlight. Pepper explains that there won’t be a show without the Cabots money, and they want a more traditional "Kiss of the Spider Woman." Francois proposes that once they open on Broadway, they pull a bait and switch and cast Jorge as the Spider Woman. Jorge reluctantly agrees to consider it but only because his father may not be ready to see him in drag yet.
Pepper informs Josie that Alex has agreed to invest in Jorge’s musical but only if Josie agrees to be the Spider Woman. Josie is reluctant but will take up the role so long as Jorge is okay with it.
Pepper presents Didi with two portfolios. One in which represents the money they have invested into the show and the other, expenses. Didi discovers that Pepper has twice as much money as she needs to produce the show. Pepper explains that Jorge gets his show. The Cabots see what their money made possible, and Pepper and Didi pocket the rest for the Pepper Plant. Didi says that Pepper’s plan is brilliant and asks her to teach her everything. Pepper and Didi then start to sing and dance, finalizing the dance number with a kiss.
Pepper, Katy, Guy, Didi, Alex, Xandra, Francois, Bernardo, Luis, and Luisa attend the show. Josie performs on stage briefly before being joined by Jorge, who is also playing Spider Woman. The two share the stage both as Spider Woman, concluding the show with a kiss. Afterward, they receive a standing ovation. Afterward, Pepper, Didi, and Francois celebrate with a glass of champagne.
Pepper's Birthday Bash
Jorge and Bernardo retreat to the apartment after being jumped, where they are comforted by Pepper, Katy, Josie, KO, Luis, Luisa, and their sons. Bernardo recalls three to four attackers. They reported the attack to the police, but there isn’t much that can be done without any eyewitnesses. Jorge’s brother, Mateo, knows some of the guys at the precinct and offers to give them a call. KO went to Molly's Crisis to ask if anyone saw anything. He tells Jorge that they’ll always be family, before leaving. Luisa tells Jorge that moving forward, he is to put on his normal clothes when walking home. However, Jorge refuses. He reveals to his father that he’s been out in public dressed as a woman many times. Katy returns, and Jorge looks to Pepper and Josie for reassurance before revealing to his father that he’s a drag performer. Luis is outraged, even more at the fact that the rest of his family already knew.
Ms. Freesia and the doorman from the Georgia Hotel arrive at the Pepper Plant to wish Pepper a happy birthday. Ms. Freesia sends the doorman downstairs to retrieve Pepper’s gift. She asks Pepper what con she is playing this year. However, Pepper isn’t in the mood to run a scam. She had been considering what Ms. Freesia said to her the last time they spoke about dropping the nickel and dime cons. However, Ms. Freesia insists that Pepper do something, as it’s become tradition for them. Pepper then informs Freesia about her friend, Chad, who wanted to invest in the Pepper Plant. His sentence just got reduced to time served, and as of today, he’s a free man and his bank accounts are unfrozen. Ms. Freesia takes this to mean that Pepper wants to run a scam, but to the contrary, Pepper wants to go legit.
Katy, Jorge, Pepper, and Josie convene in the basement of Chubby’s, where they assist Josie with sending out her EP to every local radio station, against Mr. Cabot’s wishes. With Josie going rogue, Jorge suggests she drop a music video, and Pepper recommends Raj Patel as the director. Katy then tells them how she wants to be real friends with KO, but Jorge, Pepper, and Josie advise her against it. While Josie keeps in touch with Archie, she adds that he’s all the way in Riverdale. Meanwhile, Jorge hasn’t talked to Buzz since they broke up on Valentine’s Day. As for Pepper, she never thinks it’s worth the work unless there’s benefits involved. Katy explains that she misses him and that seeing him at the apartment the night before reminded her that he too is a part of her family. Josie asks if Katy’s apprenticeship means she’s quitting Lacy's, but it doesn’t as it's an unpaid apprenticeship, which doesn’t bother Katy because after the dilemma with Patricia, she could use a mentor. Pepper remarks that Guy is amazing and that she is considering coming by the store to buy herself something in preparation for her birthday, though she isn’t sure if she’s having a party, especially after what happened to Jorge. Although, Jorge insists that he’s fine and that Ginger is ready to party.
Pepper greets Chad for the first time since he’s been released from prison in Baltimore. Chad informs Pepper that he’s sober now. He had to take a long, hard look at his life and what he can offer of value, which is art. Pepper asks for his thoughts on the Pepper Plant. He likes the space and location but wants to meet the artists. Pepper’s hosting a party to celebrate her birthday and all of the Plant’s most talented artists will be there. She invites Chad to attend.
At Molly’s Crisis, where Pepper is hosting her party, she and Chad greet the guests, starting with Katy and Josie, who she introduces to Chad as tomorrow’s leading designer and future Tony/Grammy award winner, respectively. Alex arrives right behind them, who Chad is familiar with from Collegiate. He recalls that Alex took his spot on Varsity lacrosse. Jorge and Bernardo arrive moments later. She’s surprised that he didn’t come as Ginger. Pepper tells Chad that Jorge’s drag show is the hottest in town. He asks if Jorge was ever on Drag Race, to which he replies "not yet." Chad then asks what Bernanrdo does, and he answers that he’s a firefighter.
Didi informs Pepper that Ms. Freesia has been calling and asking for her. Pepper tells Didi to tell Freesia that she’s not available. KO and Xandra arrive soon thereafter. Chad refuses to talk to Xandra, who burned him on a deal last year. Seeing her makes him want to drink. Pepper greets KO with a hug and compliments Xandra’s dress, which she reveals to be the very same dress that Katy was tasked with retrieving.
Pepper instructs Didi to keep Xandra away from Josie because she’s promised them both the role of the Spider Woman. And Raj can’t mingle with Alex because he doesn’t know about Josie’s music video.
Pepper, Katy, Josie, Didi, Xandra, KO, Alex, Raj, Bernardo, and Chad gather around the stage as Jorge proposes a toast in Pepper’s honor, who has dedicated herself to building a safe haven for artists of all stripes. Ms. Freesia arrives and wants in on what she deduces to be Pepper’s birthday scam. Pepper plays along. She tells Ms. Freesia to go home, and they’ll debrief tomorrow, however, she doesn’t want to miss out on the fun.
Pepper, Katy, Jorge, Josie, Didi, Xandra, KO, Alex, Raj, Bernardo, and Chad listen to Ms. Freesia tell stories of her past. Katy asks how they have never heard about her aunt before. Pepper replies that it is because Freesia isn’t actually her aunt. However, she has known Pepper since she was a little girl. Ms. Freesia reveals that Pepper and her father lived in her building, but he was always away on business. Most days, Freesia would find Pepper all by herself, doing her homework in the lobby of the Georgia Hotel. And one day, Ms. Freesia invited her up for tea, and they’ve been like family ever since. Katy and Jorge recall Pepper telling them that she grew up in London. Pepper claims that she did live in London up until a certain age. She spent time in London and New York. Ms. Freesia then tells Chad about Jorge’s musical that Pepper produced. She missed it but promises to cheer them on during opening night on Broadway. It’s then that Xandra reveals her deal with Pepper that ensures that she will play the role of Spider Woman should the play make it to Broadway. Alex grows upset and accuses Pepper of running a con.
Pepper approaches Chad as he’s leaving the bar. She hopes he’ll consider investing in the Pepper Plant. He informs her that he’s already in. He signed her check over to her partner, Ms. Freesia. She sold him on Pepper’s vision.
The doorman brings Pepper another cupcake, as it’s tradition. He’s still trying to figure out the exact day of the month that Pepper was born. He’s not going to give up because she deserves to know when her real birthday is. Pepper hugs the doorman and says "you’re the sweetest. I don’t know what I’d do without you, dad." She then asks if her father has seen Ms. Freesia. He reveals that Ms. Freesia left the Georgia Hotel with two bags and her cat. All she left was a forwarding address in Zermatt.
Katy, Pepper, KO, and Josie meet up with Ginger and Bernardo at a gay pride rally. They’re impressed with the turn out. Pepper promises to write about it in the Daily Hail so that the whole city will know. Ginger then gives a speech. She refuses to hide herself and insists that the city see them as they really are. Katy tells Ginger that she loves her and gives her a hug. Buzz arrives and reveals that he came out at work. Ginger then introduces Buzz to Bernardo. Katy, Ginger, Pepper, and Josie watch as a public transportation bus passes by with a Caboture promotional ad on the side with KO as the model.
Who is Hannah Melvey?
Katy tells Pepper just how terrible her first day was. She never imagined he could be such a control freak. Pepper claims that much like Guy, Katy is also a control freak. Katy sensed that he was a jerk during her first encounter with Guy but later interactions gave a different impression. Hoping for a better second day, Katy plans to tone it down, starting with her wardrobe. Pepper recalls that when she first met Guy, he had a meltdown after one of his apprentices failed to properly design a dress. Guy had a rage stroke. As for the aforementioned apprentice, Pepper last saw him working in a Jimmy Jazz in Harlem. Katy worries that she’ll share a similar fate if she doesn’t impress Guy. Pepper is receiving notifications on her phone. She explains that someone named Hannah Melvey started a hashtag on Twitter, badmouthing her. Katy advises Pepper to ignore it and then asks for her opinion on her outfit.
Katy returns home and informs Pepper of her plan to bring Guy’s trashed design to life. However, she worries that if it goes wrong, he’ll blacklist her for the rest of her career. Pepper doesn’t like seeing this side of Katy as she tends to be far more secure in her skills. She tells Katy to get a grip and stop doubting herself. Pepper even offers to help as a distraction from Twitter.
Raj interviews Pepper, a self proclaimed honorary Pussycat, claiming to have discovered Josie. However, she humbly admits that when she saw Josie’s first NYC performance, she knew that it was her calling to nurture Josie’s talent. Throughout the interview, Pepper’s attention appears to be divided between Raj and her phone. She informs them how she’s under attack on social media by someone named Hannah Melvey. She’s making outrageous claims. Pepper refuses to standby as Hannah besmirches her reputation. Pepper calls Alex over and takes multiple pictures with him to post.
Jorge reveals to Pepper that he can’t stop thinking about Buzz. Bernardo is the man he had been hoping for his entire life. He finally has him, and now he can’t stop thinking about Buzz. Pepper relates her situation with Didi and Raj to Jorge. She’s made them aware that she’s seeing both of them, and recommends to Jorge an open relationship or maybe just a threesome. She then gets another message from Hannah Melvey, who’s continuing to threaten Pepper, forcing her to arrange a meetup.
At Molly’s Crisis, Pepper awaits the arrival of her social media tormentor. Hannah Melvey arrives, though it is merely an alias as Hannah, whose real name is Taylor, is actually Pepper’s wife. Pepper left her with a $30,000 hotel bill and because of that, she had to spend three days in a Moroccan jail. Pepper reminds her that their cover was blown and it was Hannah’s turn to take the fall, and she knew Hannah could call her mom to bail her out. However, Hannah doesn’t speak to her mom, not since she showed up drunk to their wedding. Pepper claims that she left Hannah behind for her own good, though Hannah isn’t convinced. She’s been studying Pepper and knows all her tricks, as well as her fake names and real age. Pepper pushes for a divorce, but Hannah refuses to sign the papers, as she plans to ruin her life.
Exposing Lester Darin
Two weeks away from the opening of the Pepper Plant, Didi informs Pepper that they’re $40,000 over budget. And even though they're in the whole, Didi asks for 10% of profits. While Pepper admittedly would’ve never gotten this far without her, she threatens to replace Didi with an unpaid intern should she persist to see more. Hannah interrupts and gifts Pepper a pepper plant. She then demands that Pepper pay her the $30,000 she owes.
Josie returns home and tells Pepper, Jorge, and Kevin how Xandra asked to join the Pussycats, all of whom agree that Josie made the right decision in turning her away. She feared that Xandra would ruin her first show. Moving onto Kevin, who reveals that he still lives in Riverdale and teaches drama at Riverdale High. He thanks Pepper for hosting his reading in hopes that it’ll get him an agent. His play is titled "La Bonne Nuit." It’s a coming-of-age noir. Set in the small town of Creekdale, where a lot of people die and hookup. Katy arrives to find a package with her name on it. It’s a dress from Guy. He hopes to see her in it at Gloria’s book launch. Her friends question if she’s having an affair with him, which she assures them she isn’t. However, she does worry about the message it’ll send if she wears the dress, especially after having a sex dream about him. Pepper informs Katy that sex dreams are manifestations of varying desires, not necessarily romantic. With that said, Katy is still unsure if she should wear the dress. Jorge then reveals that he had a threesome with Bernardo and Buzz. He thought it would make him feel powerful, but instead its done the opposite, leaving him vulnerable. Josie encourages Jorge to draw some boundaries to regain control.
At Chubby’s, Pepper informs Kevin that she’s assembled the guest list for his play reading, including Lester Darin, who Kevin is familiar with. He moved to New York City one summer to pursue acting. Lester is the reason that Kevin didn’t come back. They met during an open call. He promised to help Kevin out, but he ended up being a creep. Kevin’s entire life, he’s loved watching the Tony Awards, but ever since his encounter with Darin, he can’t bring himself to watch. Pepper offers to help Kevin expose him by writing a take down piece in the Daily Hail.
Katy informs Pepper how they "perp walked" Gloria out of Lacy’s as if she’d stolen something. The article is filled with lies, and Katy is determined to find out who’s behind it. In Pepper’s experience, these types of articles are planted for a reason; someone wants to take Gloria down. Katy hears a knock at the door. It’s Gloria, who asks that Katy write a letter explaining how Gloria has never coerced her girls into using sex as a tool in the workplace.
Pepper and Kevin convene as Lester Darin arrives at the Pepper Plant for his play reading. Pepper introduces Kevin to Lester, who doesn’t even remember him. The play reading at the Plant begins. Katy portrays Betty. Jorge portrays Veronica. Pepper portrays Cheryl. And Josie portrays herself. Afterward, Lester approaches Kevin, impressed with his play. He wasn’t expecting such an evocative piece from someone with a "baby face" like Kevin’s. Adding that he "looks so fresh and innocent." He’d love to discuss the play further and how he might be able to help. He slips his card into Kevin’s front pocket. Pepper watches from afar as Lester exits.
Kevin has a drink with Lester Darin at Molly’s Crisis. Lester places his hand on Kevin’s thigh and asks if they’ve met before. Kevin removes his hand and continues to discuss his play with Lester, who asks Kevin to come back to his place, where they’ll recreate the bunker scene and maybe he’ll consider work-shopping his play. When Kevin asks what that’ll entail, Lester whispers into his ear. All the while, Pepper watches from the bar. As Lester washes his hands in the men’s restroom, Pepper confronts him with the recording of him and Kevin discussing the exchange of sexual favors and funding his play. Pepper demands $70,000 or else she’ll share the recording with her editor at the Daily Hail.
Despite Lester Darin paying Pepper the $70,000, she publishes the article on the Daily Hail nonetheless. Hannah arrives and Pepper repays her. Hannah goes in for a kiss before parting ways, but Didi interrupts. She quits the Pepper Plant after taking a job working for Hannah after learning what Pepper did to her. Pepper begs Didi to stay, as they are so close to realizing their dream. However, this is Pepper’s dream, not Didi’s. Despite their deal in which Hannah would leave Pepper alone after getting her $30,000, she instead decided to stay in NYC and has partnered up with Didi to take Pepper down.
Xandra steals Josie's spot on stage and performs her song with Xandra and the Kittycats. Katy, Pepper, Jorge, Kevin, and Alex watch in shock.
Katy, Josie, Pepper, Jorge, and Kevin return to the apartment. Katy offers to call KO and see if he knew anything about this, but Josie advises her against dragging him into this. Josie remarks that the good thing about cats is that they always land on their feet. Jorge also accuses Xandra of using auto tune. On another note, Kevin thanks Pepper for helping him expose Lester Darin. Kevin also asks about Bernardo. Jorge admits that he may have messed up the best relationship he’s ever had. Kevin suggests that Jorge make a romantic gesture to show he cares. Josie recommends a simple letter. Katy then reveals that she plans to quit Lacy’s and stand with Gloria. Lacy’s doesn’t feel the same that it once did. She then shares with them the love letter from Leo Lacy to Gloria. He said that he would always love her. The letter is signed L.L., just like Katy’s sewing machine. She wonders if her mom and Gloria were dating the same person.
Katy returns home and shares with Pepper, Jorge, and Josie just how much she’s enjoying her apprenticeship under Guy. It’s been twelve days since Jorge and Bernardo broke up, and Jorge has yet to take off his FDNY sweatshirt. He asks Katy what helped her get over KO, however, Katy doesn’t think she’ll ever be over him. Katy then explains the reason she didn’t quit Lacy's as planned is because Gloria asked her to stay after learning of her new position. Katy receives a letter from Parsons. Unfortunately, her application was denied. Tears run down Katy’s face, but she insists that she’s fine.
Hannah continues to interfere with Pepper’s operation, canceling her meetings with potential investors. When Didi left the Pepper Plant, she took Pepper’s little black book with her. Hannah intends to make good on her promise to ruin Pepper’s life. She wants Pepper to feel as bad as she did when Pepper left her to rot in prison. Admittedly, Pepper is right about New York City needing more creatives, so Hannah is stealing her idea and re-branding it as the "Hannah House." An upscale workspace, social club, and hotel for rich creative types. This is a costly venture which is why she’s poaching all of Pepper’s investors.
Pepper asks Alex if he’s been contacted by Hannah, which he hasn’t. With that, she proposes that he invest in the Pepper Plant. She intends to accelerate the launch in order to beat Hannah. Josie is reluctant, but Pepper offers Josie and the Pussycats the spot as the Plant’s house band. Alex worries that not enough people know about the Pepper Plant, which she intends to change.
Pepper and Josie bring Katy something to eat while at work. Josie reveals that Alex has agreed to invest in the plant only if Pepper guarantees that the Pussycats will be the house band, which she does. Josie hasn’t forgotten about the Palace hotel incident nor how Pepper went behind their backs and promised Xandra the "Kiss of the Spider Woman" role, making them hesitant to get in business with her. Pepper promises that Alex will get every bit of his money back. And with that said, Josie hands Pepper the check. Katy joins them and explains just how difficult work has been as they prepare for the Meta Gala. She takes her food and leaves. Pepper then fills Josie in on her plan to bring notoriety to both the Pussycats and Pepper Plant.
Josie returns to the apartment after rehearsal with the Pussycats, during which time they laid down their first new track. She notices Pepper and Jorge labeling and packaging bottles of water. It’s all part of her plan to expose the Pussycats and Pepper Plant to the world. She asks Josie if it would be alright if she called her mother for legal counseling. Katy calls every Irish pub in Manhattan but has no luck with finding Guy. The Meta Gala is tomorrow, and they don’t have a dress for Casey Wilson. She asks Josie, Pepper, and Jorge for advice. They suggest she make Casey’s dress, but Katy tried that before and it didn’t end well, referring to herself as nothing more than a Parsons reject. Katy then asks herself what Gloria would do in this situation and storms out.
Pepper sneaks into the Meta Gala and onto the carpet where she serves her very own Pepper Plant labeled products to those in the high-end fashion world. She runs into Hannah, who appears to have received an invite to the event. Hannah reveals that one of Pepper’s contacts sponsor the event and used her to snag an invite. Pepper proposes that they bury the hatchet or at the very least talk over drinks, to which Hannah agrees. Before parting way, Pepper tells Hannah that she looks as beautiful as the day they met.
Pepper let's Josie, Cricket, and Trula in through an emergency exit. The Pussycats set up their equipment and perform their brand new song in front of the entire Meta Gala, interrupting Xandra’s own reveal of her band. She and KO leave as Katy and Pepper cheer Josie on.
Pepper and Hannah meet up at Molly’s Crisis, where Hannah reveals that she raised $300,000 for the Hannah House. Considering that they’re still married, Pepper claims that half of that money belongs to her. However, Hannah’s lawyers have made sure that Pepper will never see a single cent. Although, Pepper’s lawyer and Josie’s mom, Sierra, dug up enough dirt on Hannah’s corrupt lawyers to ruin them, taking Hannah down with them. With that in mind, Pepper pressures Hannah into signing the divorce papers. For whoever it may be worth, Pepper tells Hannah that what they had was real. With no other option, Hannah signs the divorce papers. Pepper kisses Hannah goodbye before calling over Hannah’s mother. It was the only way to ensure that Hannah would leave her alone. Hannah’s mom remarks that she’s not supposed to be drinking with her medication and plans to take Hannah, who she calls by her real name Taylor, back to the country house.
The Truth Comes Out
Many years ago, a woman entered the Georgia Hotel with a baby in a basket. She placed the basket on the floor and exited the hotel, leaving her child behind. The aforementioned child is Pepper, who was adopted and raised by the Georgia Hotel's doorman.
Pepper visits her dad at the Georgia Hotel. She’s anxious for him to see the Pepper Plant. Given that she lacked her typical promotion and marketing, she was forced to result to social media: #WhatIsThePepperPlant. She promises her father that soon she’ll have enough money to move them into the hotel. Gary reveals that he has enough money to put down a down payment for the small studio on the tenth floor.
Katy, Josie, and Jorge have a "roommate meeting". Jorge reveals that his parents have been under charging them for years. Subsequently, they’re behind on their mortgage payments and the bank is threatening to foreclose. Jorge refuses to be the reason for them losing the building. He also doesn’t want to make them feel like he owes them anything. Jorge needs more money fast, but he can’t even take on more gigs as Ginger because Molly's Crisis is now doing go-go boys nights. Pepper claims that she would offer to help but her money is tied up in the Pepper Plant. Katy offers to get him a job at Lacy's.
Josie tells Pepper than Hannah Melvey revealed to Alex that she is nothing more than a scammer and con artist who cooked the books for Kiss of the Spider Woman, and now Alex wants Pepper to reimburse him for both his investments immediately. Pepper explains that the money has already been invested. As for Hannah, Pepper admits that they were once married. She claims that Hannah used to mean a lot to her, but Pepper was conned by her. Pepper offers to have her chief financial officer show Alex the ledger if it’ll calm his nerves. All Pepper asks is that Josie don’t tell Katy or Jorge. Josie offers her help, assuming that Pepper is in trouble, but she insists that she’s fine. On her way out, Josie tells Pepper that Alex wants his money back or else he’s calling the cops.
Pepper arrives at Lacy's and Katy helps her find a dress for the grand opening of the Pepper Plant. Amanda wonders if she’ll actually pay for the dress this time, informing Katy that this is the third time in one month Pepper has been though. Katy presents Pepper with a bright yellow dress. She then gets a message from Guy, asking for her help. So, Katy leaves Pepper to try the dress on. Pepper then gets a text from Alex, demanding his money. Looking to reimburse him, Pepper steals the 1001 diamond purse sitting on the table.
Pepper goes to pawn the purse that she stole from Lacy's. She asks to see Dickie, speaking in their native language of Cantonese. She offers Dickie the diamond purse, assuring him that it’s worth more than all the purses he has, combined. However, Dickie worries just how difficult it will be to sell something so expensive. Pepper makes him a deal he can’t refuse. She gives him the purse for half the price, which he accepts.
Pepper leaves Alex a voicemail, telling him that she’s got his money. Unfortunately, Alex has already gone to his dad for help, unbeknownst to Pepper.
Pepper arrives at the apartment, where she is confronted by Katy, Josie, and Jorge. He shows her the mugshot he found online. Pepper claims that was merely the result of a drunk and disorderly at a bar. Rosemary is simply a fake ID she used in London. Jorge then confronts her on embezzling the money from Kiss of the Spider Woman into the Pepper Plant. Pepper looks to Josie and accuses her of lying. Katy then proceeds to confront Pepper, demanding that she be honest with them. Pepper simply claims that she’s an entrepreneur and everything she’s done was to benefit them as well as the Pepper Plant. Katy asks if she stole the diamond purse. Pepper admits that she did, however, she no longer has it in her possession. Katy worries that she’ll lose her job, but Pepper reassures her that Lacy’s has insurance. Katy reminds Pepper that unlike her, she has a real job and people to answer to. Pepper questions why Josie is doing this to her. Josie explains that she’s simply trying to help, but Pepper feels as though she’s being attacked. She promises Katy to get her purse back and tells Josie to tell Alex that she’ll get him his money.
Katy follows Pepper into the hallway and demands the truth. The truth is, Pepper doesn’t know who her parents are. She was adopted. Her adoptive father works as a doorman at the Georgia Hotel, where he’s worked his entire life. Pepper explains that the only way for a person like her to make it in the world is for her to become somebody. So, she became someone important, who could get them into parties and introduce them to important people. Katy surmises that Pepper stole the purse to pay off Alex. Pepper promises to get the purse back nevertheless. While Katy is sorry to hear about Pepper’s story, they all come from hard walks of life. Josie’s working two jobs, 80-hours a week, Jorge is go-go dancing to help out his family, and Katy has worked overtime every single day since her mom died just trying to survive in the city, all the while Pepper is stealing from them. Pepper tells Katy that she plans to pay them all back and that she loves them, but her actions say otherwise.
Pepper returns to Dickie to buy back the diamond purse she stole. She tells him that she’ll lose everyone close to her if she doesn’t get it back, though Dickie isn’t concerned. He’s already sold the purse, but he offers to buy her Gucci outfit off her. Pepper reluctantly agrees and ends up leaving in a sweatsuit and sneakers. While the money she got from Dickie isn’t enough to buy the diamond purse in full, she suggests a payment plan to possible retailer but none would hear her out. Instead, Pepper takes the money and wires it into the Lopez' account.
The grand opening of the Pepper Plant has finally arrived. Pepper greets guests as they arrive. She is confronted by Alex, who reveals that he decided against calling the cops on her. Instead, he and his father came up with an idea. Now, the Cabots own the Pepper Plant given the large sum of money they invested in it. Katy, Jorge, and Josie arrive. Pepper takes them on a tour of the Pepper Plant, starting with the stage, which as promised, belongs to the Pussycats, who have been guaranteed a spot as house band. Then, Pepper takes Jorge to the area where his performance as the Spider Woman is projected onto the wall for all those in attendance to see. Lastly, Pepper has a fashion designer portion sectioned off specifically for Katy; an area filled with her own designs. She asks if Katy can ever forgive her.
Katy doesn’t know if she can ever trust Pepper again. Understandably, it’s going to take some time, so Pepper intends to be honest with them moving forward. She introduces Katy to her father, Gary. He’s there supporting Pepper even though she’s hid him away for years, which she’s ashamed of. Gary gives Katy a big hug after hearing so much about her. Pepper then goes to take her father to meet Josie and Jorge. Later, a detective and two officers enter the Pepper Plant and place Pepper in handcuffs. Katy, Jorge, Josie, the Pussycats, Raj, Alex, and Gary watch helplessly as Pepper is taken away.
Pepper is released from the New York City Police Department on bail, with help from Jorge and Josie. They inform her that the Plant made more than enough to cover her bail. After she called, they raided the bar for her bail money. Pepper asks about Katy, who didn’t show up.
Pepper arrives at the Plant to find Ms. Freesia singing on stage. She rushed to New York after discovering that Pepper was arrested. Pepper demands to know where Ms. Freesia has been. The last time she saw her, she tricked Chad out his money and skipped town. Ms. Freesia insists that this isn’t true. In fact, they’re partners in business. She used the money that Chad invested to buy her way into a much bigger pay off. Ms. Freesia invites Pepper to partake in her con. By the end, she’ll have enough money to buy the building and pay back anyone she owes.
Pepper gets a call from the Daily Hail, hoping for an exclusive on her arrest. She claims that she’ll think about it. Gary arrives and tells Pepper that the board rejected his offer to buy the Georgia studio because of Pepper’s arrest. She promises that one day, she’ll get him the penthouse. He tells Pepper that he doesn't want her to live by means of stealing and scamming. Pepper admits that she pretended to have more than she did to get where she needed to. Gary tells Pepper that she should never have to pretend to be someone else and to call him if she finds herself in anymore trouble.
Jorge retreats to Molly’s Crisis after only getting 200 signatures for his petition. Pepper tells him that it’s his lucky day. The Daily Hail approached her to be the guest editor on their upcoming issue, and now she knows what article to write about. Pepper asks Jorge is he’s familiar with Miss Subways. A current recipient just relinquished her crown and Pepper wants Ginger to take her place. They can have the coronation at Riverside Park, as well as a performance, gaining the attention of press and people. Jorge knows how his father feels about Ginger and worries how he’ll feel about Ginger in front of the entire community but goes along with Pepper’s plan regardless.
Katy arrives at the Plant and tells her Pepper not to worry about getting the diamond purse back. Mrs. Lacy is too concerned with selling the store to Mr. Cabot to even notice that it’s missing. Pepper apologizes for everything and promises that she’ll be doing things differently moving forward. While Katy can forgive Pepper for the lies, the fact that she’s been hiding her father is what troubles Katy the most. Katy tells Pepper that everything she thinks that she needs to hide from them are what truly makes her special. Katy then tells Pepper about her plan to save Lacy’s and how Guy offered her a job as his lead designer, which she turned down. She wants to get out from under Guy and needs Pepper’s help, reminding her that it is after all fashion week.
The city gathers for the Miss Subway coronation at Riverside Park. Katy, Pepper, Josie, Xandra, Bernardo, Buzz, Francois, Luis, and Luisa attend. Deveraux crowns Ginger as the next Miss Subway. Jorge’s parents moved to the Heights with nothing but two suitcases. They left everything else behind. Washington Heights is the last place where they can afford to live. Ginger asks that they all sign the petition to stop the developers. Ginger, Luisa, VeeVee Humble, and Deveraux proceed to dance and sing.
Katy hosts a fashion show at the Pepper Plant for all of Guy’s former apprentices. Pepper informs her that Guy’s downstairs. Later, Ms. Freesia asks Pepper if she’s ready for their next con, but Pepper turns her down. For the longest time, she made Pepper feel like she had to be someone in order to make it in the world, but Pepper now realizes that isn’t true. She pays Ms. Freesia back for her initial investment in the Pepper Plant with the money she got from her father. Lastly, Pepper tells Ms. Freesia that she never wants to see her again.
Pepper, Jorge, and Josie congratulate Katy after she is offered a spot at Parsons. While this is the best news she’s received all year, all she wants to do is share it with KO. Katy now realizes that she wants him back. Raj interjects and informs Katy that she’ll have to be quick because he’s moving to Philly after accepting the offer to train at Joe Frazier's gym.
Pepper and Josie discuss how she helped Alex get back into rehab and is newly single with no music career or any songs to call her own. Given that Pepper has helped Jorge and his family, as well as Katy with her fashion show, Josie asks Pepper to be her manager.
Pepper, Katy, Josie, and Jorge walk down the street of New York as Katy explains how she couldn’t tell KO how she truly felt because she didn’t want him to give up her dream because of her. Josie proposes that they all vow to stay single for at least a year so that they can pursue their dreams.
Pepper is a young woman with a light complexion, short blonde hair, and bright brown eyes. She often wears bright and flashy clothing.
Pepper is a glamorous young woman, who is well-versed in the social setting. Pepper is considered the most connected person in New York City. She often flaunts to her friends about her wealth and glamorous lifestyle while she is hiding the the fact that she actually has no money. Pepper is also extremely loyal to her friends and would never sell them out.
Pepper, Katy, and Jorge have been friends for a few years. They became close in that time. However, with the life Pepper lived, her friends didn't know much about her, and what they did know of Pepper, most of it was a lie in order for Pepper to maintain her high profile socialite image. But in reality, she'd run scams and commit fraud in order to get by. After Katy and Jorge learned that Pepper had been lying to them since they first met, they began to question their friendship. More so Katy after she learned that Pepper's dad was alive and that she had been hiding him away when Katy on the other hand would do anything to know her own father. However, Katy and Jorge would eventually come to forgive Pepper.
Pepper and Josie just recently became friends after Josie arrived in New York and moved in with Katy and Jorge. She welcomed Josie into their group with open arms, but they experienced a brief falling out after Josie discovered that Pepper had been lying to them all and that she was a scammer and con artist. Pepper asked that Josie not tell Katy or Jorge. However, she did just that, which put a strain on their relationship as well as the group as a whole. Pepper questioned why Josie betrayed her as she felt attacked, though Josie explained that she was simply trying to help. Fortunately, they would come to forgive Pepper and mend their friendship.
Didi was initially Pepper's friend. They met at the Palace hotel, where Didi worked at the front desk and would even help Pepper in her scams, to a lesser degree. When Pepper was kicked out of the Palace, it was Didi who retrieved her belongings and returned them to her. After being fired from the Palace for helping Pepper, Didi joined Pepper at the Pepper Plant. She was even offered a week’s salary in advance. Pepper valued Didi’s friendship and didn't want to lose her. Didi accepted the job under one condition: Pepper had to teach her everything she knew about the art of scamming. Didi would go onto help Pepper for weeks, during which time, they were romantically involved. However, she would later quit the Pepper Plant and leave Pepper after taking a job working for Hannah after learning what Pepper did to her.
Pepper met Raj through her friendship with KO, as they were roommates. Raj was looking for a space to rent as a filming location. He was working on a thesis about the intersection of organized crime, homo-eroticism, and American cinema, and wanted to use the Pepper Plant. Despite warning Raj to keep a low profile, a neighbor saw what they were filming through the window and called Pepper’s landlady, who threatened to shut them down. Fortunately, Raj managed to finish the film. This initial agreement blossomed into a romance.
Gary is Pepper's adoptive father who works as a doorman at the Georgia Hotel. He's raised her since she was a new born baby. Many years ago, a woman entered the hotel with a baby in a basket. She placed the basket on the floor and exited the hotel, never to be seen again, leaving her child behind. Gary adopted Pepper and raised her as his own. Pepper loves her father greatly and regrets having ever hid him from her friends, especially Katy, who never got to know her father.
- "Chapter One: Once Upon a Time in New York"
- "Chapter Two: You Can't Hurry Love"
- "Chapter Three: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted"
- "Chapter Four: Here Comes the Sun"
- "Chapter Five: Song for a Winter's Night"
- "Chapter Six: Mama Said"
- "Chapter Seven: Kiss of the Spider Woman"
- "Chapter Eight: It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"
- "Chapter Nine: Wishin' & a Hopin'"
- "Chapter Ten: Gloria"
- "Chapter Eleven: Who Can I Turn To"
- "Chapter Twelve: Chain of Fools"
- "Chapter Thirteen: Come Together"
- In the Archie Comics, Pepper was Josie McCoy's best friend until 1969, when she was replaced by Valerie Brown.
- In the comics, Pepper is a witty, brunette tomboy with a sharp tongue. Despite she briefly dated a boy named Sock, Pepper "preferred to remain emotionally reserved when it came to boys".
- See also: Category:Images of Pepper Smith