The drama continues on Katy Keene as everyone is forced to make decisions about their futures in Episode 3, "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted." Our co-dependent roommates are all out there taking a few steps forward, and maybe a couple steps back as well. Katy and KO have to make some serious decisions about their future together, Jorge refuses to be a secret anymore (good for you, boo), and Josie chooses to focus on her career instead of romance. Progress!
Toss in Pepper's master scam and you've got a recipe for serious shenanigans on Katy Keene. We're Alyssa Fikse and Jessica Toomer and we're desperate for more Francois.
Warning: This discussion contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 3 of Katy Keene.
Come On, Baby, Light My Fire
Alyssa: It's Valentine's Day in fairy tale NYC, so love is in the air. Sort of. KO has moved into the apartment because he and Katy are bound and determined to make things work despite her saying no to his proposal, and that means that things are crowded. Four people in a two-bedroom is just not tenable. Elsewhere in the cramped walk-up, Jorge is hooking up with a cute boy named Buzz who isn't ready to commit after a YEAR and Josie is making bad career decisions by hooking up with Alex (in her other place of employment, what would Chubby say?!). Also, Pepper is still living the life of a very glam squatter. I think everyone needs to take a moment and reconsider their life choices.
Jessica: That seems to be a running theme with this show. Josie is getting hot and heavy with Alex in a dusty old record shop that's not even hers, Jorge's been carrying on this bedroom-only relationship for 12 months, Katy clearly needs to break up with KO before the poor man burns down her stylish apartment, and Pepper needs to find a way to turn the heat on in her abandoned warehouse stat. God help these children if they ever had to manage real problems instead of these glossed-over inconveniences in the New York fantasy they're currently inhabiting.
Alyssa: Listen, I don't think the fire is really on KO. Who uses the oven as storage? Plus, if you're trying to save some money in the city, doing a little cooking at home is a good way to do it, divas! Anyway, it's clear that KO doesn't fit with the friend group now that he's moved in because he doesn't want to talk about hot firemen. That is a roommate requirement. He and Katy are determined to spend Valentine's Day together, but he's got a fight and Katy gets a shot to attend a very glamorous Lacy's party where she'll meet some fab designers. This seems like a no brainer to me — you can celebrate on Saturday, work further both of your careers on Friday — but that is entirely too logical, so Katy decides to lie to KO about having to work instead. Meanwhile, a Bob Dylan wannabe wanders into Chubby's and based on literally nothing but his taste in a single album and the dumb hat on his head, Josie decides that she must write a song with him.
Jessica: These bebés are truly testing me this week. Sure, Josie manages to write a small bop with the curly-mopped maestro and Katy buys her brawny boyfriend a literal punching bag to take his feelings out on which seems to placate him for a bit, but what would life be for this quartet if they simply started taking a bit more initiative, accepting some responsibility, having some tough talks with the important people in their lives? Katy, wanting to meet a kick-ass designer instead of seeing your significant other get his ass kicked on Valentine's Day is nothing to be ashamed of. Jorge, thinking the guy you've been shagging for A. YEAR. should show up for your drag routine when you politely ask him to is not crazy. Josie, listen to your instincts and cut things off with the hot record producer now, your dreams are more important than those quick orgasms, girl. And Pepper? Honestly, I have no idea what to tell you, hun. You're too far down the rabbit hole at this point.
Alyssa: It's true. I want to hug all of these apparently newborn babies and sit them all down for a little chat. I want them to thrive, but they are really only hurting themselves. On a side note: it is a good thing that Jorge's parents are their landlord because screwing a massive punching bag into the ceiling of a rental is definitely a no-no. They are never getting that deposit back. As far as Josie is concerned, I think she's better at keeping her personal feelings and professional relationship with Alex separate than he is, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that he is not going to react well to being blown off. But honestly, these all feel like very small problems compared to the Pepper storyline in this episode.
The Scam Artist
Jessica: Yeah, Pepper is on a whole other level from her sweet, naive townie friends. She's crashing in an oversized icebox, she owes thousands to hotels across the city, and yet she's still taking meetings with construction companies in her sleepwear like everything's peachy? She's either overconfident or lost touch with reality. But she's still sane enough to know $20,000 for a heating bill doesn't just appear out of thin air so she makes a trip to see her old mentor/madame and we learn that Pepper used to moonlight as a sugar baby. Look, no judgment. I wish more women would scam pervy old dudes out of their easily-earned cash, but I can't see this return to her former line of work ending well for our girl. Also, how the hell did she get caught up in this life in the first place? I know this show is about Katy Keene, but damn, Pepper needs an origin story spin-off stat.
Alyssa: Before we move on, we need to discuss the fact that her old madame is BERNADETTE PETERS. I don't know how in god's name they got her to cameo on Katy Keene, but I was delighted. Give me a spinoff about Miss Fresia, her fabulous apartment, and her wild life. I too wanted to hear more about Pepper's past life because it honestly is way more fun than Katy's rose-colored memories of her mom and her relationship with KO. As she works her way through a list of increasingly unresponsive old men, Pepper lands on one who seems like the perfect mark. She is going to get her twenty grand one way or another, and this creep doesn't see it coming. While Pepper is living in a Lifetime movie, Jorge is basking in the glow of morning sex with Buzz Brown (the names on this show are just…), who doesn't realize that it's Valentine's Day. Jorge invites him to see his show as Ginger at Molly's Crisis, and while Brown says yes, there is no way this closeted lawyer is ready for that.
Jessica: It's another heartbroken ballad at Molly's Crisis for our poor Jorge. And relationship troubles seem to be contagious because Josie gets caught having a productive songwriting session with that Ed Sheeran wannabe instead of eating pizza and getting busy with Alex. He does not take it well, as we predicted, and Josie starts to realize she might've blown her big shot by getting dirty with the big shot who has the power to make or break her career. And sweet Katy, who wants to avoid hurting everyone so she just straight-up lies to her boyfriend, his family, her roommates, her employers, etc finally gets called out on her bullsh** when KO shows up to Lacy's bruised and bloody. He stains a Valentino button-down and learns Katy chose to work the event to meet her favorite designer instead of watching him beat the hell out of some guy and that's a hard fib to come back from for this couple.
Alyssa: Before we move on to our various resolutions in this episode, we need to discuss one thing: Alex buys his sister Alexandra sexy gifts for Valentine's. Listen. Buying V-Day gifts for siblings is very unnecessary. Buying sexy silk robes for your sister is inching very close to Lannister territory. Honestly, I'm kind of hoping that the show goes there because it is honestly the only thing that can explain Xandra's weird vendetta against Josie. Their chemistry is not familial. Let's do this, CW.
Jessica: I can't believe I'm saying this, but some incest would really spice things up on this show. I can't think of another reason why Xandra's so hostile towards Josie, and so territorial of her brother. Even if they grew up with sh** parents, the sexual undertones of their co-dependent relationship feel too blatant to be ignored. Perhaps they hooked up once after a particularly traumatic family dinner and Alex wants to forget about it while Xandra wanted to continue the romance? By the end of the season, it will be revealed she's "gotten rid of" all of Alex's exes Joe Goldberg-style. This is the CW. It feels plausible.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Alyssa: One thing I will say about this episode is that while things still seem a bit too rosy, I do think some consequences are on the way. Pepper brings her mark to Lacy's party, gets him to buy her expensive things — $20K worth, natch — and then reveals that instead of having sex with him she invited his wife to the party instead. Joanne the Scammer would be proud. However, when she goes back to Lacy's to return her items and collect her cash (what kind of place would give you THAT MUCH CASH BACK?!), Katy's nemesis Amanda gets suspicious and decides to try and ruin the lives of Katy's entire friend group instead of innocent, wide-eyed Katy. After KO bleeds all over the Valentino, he and Katy fight about her lie. He makes the point that he would have been fine with her going to the party instead of his match, so there really wasn't a reason for her to deceive him. I don't really understand this couple's drama because they both make it clear that they are willing to make concessions for each other (or at least KO is willing to make them for Katy), but they just decide not to communicate instead. Cut him loose, girl.
Jessica: Honestly, Katy seems to be the one causing problems in this relationship by not being honest about her wants. I think it's better for them both to split so she can spend some time on her own, figuring out her goals beyond "have hot boyfriend and dream job." I feel for KO, because he's a good guy in a sea full of truly sh** ones, but even nice guys can be the wrong choice and I'm glad these two look to be going their separate ways. Speaking of nice guys, Jorge dumps the lawyer and finds a firefighter to get hot with instead and Alex makes the mature decision to actually respect Josie's wishes and just serve as her manager/friend — without the benefits. I'm sure everyone, especially Katy, will be drowning their sorrows for the next episode or so, but the end of the episode felt like a needed reset. Also, I get that this is a YA comic book adaptation, but can we please chill out with the romance drama? There's plenty to mine from trying to make it in New York; we don't need to always focus on the heartbreak of it all.
Alyssa: I really don't think that's the last that we've seen of KO, but who I really want to see more of is Francois. He deserves to be so much more than Katy's emotional sounding board. Let me see the drama of his life! Give me a Francois spin-off! I am also curious to see how Pepper continues to scam literally everyone. You can't just name drop Zosia Mamet (love you, Shoshanna) and get everything you want without trying. She may not freeze to death in her giant industrial space anymore, but she's a little too cavalier. Also, if every episode ended with hot firemen, I would not be mad.
Jessica: Yeah, I want to see Pepper get desperate. Make some bad decisions. Get tied up with the mob. Something. And I want to see Jorge thrive, on Broadway and in the club as Ginger. I get that the theme this episode was romance but his story has such potential, I hope they don't waste it. Speaking of, can Katy just start designing for more than just her friends already? How long are we going to be dressing rich people at Lacy's? If we're staying at a department store, at least give us more time with Francois and the window displays.