9:00 pm EST, March 5, 2020

‘Katy Keene’ season 1, episode 5 review: On a cold winter’s day

Katy Keene season 1, episode 5 shows the harder times friends share.

Katy Keene season 1, episode 5 showcases the epic triumphs and defeats of having a best friend, especially when that person is caught up in their own world and doesn’t pay attention to their impact on others.

On Katy Keene season 1, episode 5, winter weather hits New York City hard when a polar vortex drops the temperature to 25 below zero. While this normally wouldn’t be a big deal for the Katy crew, three of them are quite stressed out… and when their radiator breaks and causes their apartment to feel like summer in San Juan, tension rises and fights break out.

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This episode, criminally, did not have an individual storyline for Pepper, but instead focused primarily on the bonds between all of these characters and how they became friends and Josie’s role in the group as the newcomer. It’s an excellent episode that went above and beyond to serve its purpose.

Katy Keene season 1 episode 5

‘Katy Keene’ season 1, episode 5 review

Of the series’ five episodes, Katy Keene season 1, episode 5 is my favorite of the bunch. While so many of the stories are a bit silly because of the universe this show exists in, the episode drifts away from that, just a little, to realistically develop the friendship between the Katy crew with conflicts that are, let’s face it, quite human. Josie couldn’t trust Pepper yet due to their limited time together, while Jorge’s selfishness broke something important to Katy beyond the material object. It’s rare to see something so down-to-Earth causing problems in the Archieverse.

This is the most I’ve liked Katy and Josie, in particular, and it’s so heartening to see that the show is starting to point in the right direction. I think what’s been missing over the first few episodes of Katy Keene is cementing the friendship between these four, and this episode makes great strides to correct that. As much as we want to follow what the four are doing with their careers, this friendship is really what’s going to make or break the show in the future.

Look at Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale, for example, and how many people watch(ed) solely for the friendship between the four characters. It’s arguably the most important aspect, and that’s been really lacking on Katy Keene as their stories have been more focused on romance (which is always, always disappointing). As long as the series keeps this up, I think it’ll keep getting better and better!

Katy and Jorge

Finally! Someone is actually calling out Jorge for his ridiculously selfish and entitled behavior on Katy Keene season 1, episode 5. If you’ve read my coverage of the show so far, I’ve been very critical of Jorge because of his disregard for others, especially with the K.O. moving in situation on episode 3.

I have to admit, Katy is a much bigger person than I am. She forgave Jorge much quicker than I could have, especially since that sewing machine was one of the last few things she had of her mother’s and so many memories were attached. Simply the fact that Jorge used it could have been enough for me to start swinging, but when he broke it? Girl, he would have had better chances at survival in the -25 degree weather.

With the first few episodes focusing too much on Katy’s relationship, it’s nice to see the show put her focus on work and friends, as it should be. While I definitely hope Katy and K.O. make things work in the future, it doesn’t need to be the focal point of her story on the show (and, as any Lucy Hale fan knows, she deserves a character that is much more than that after all of these years).

Gloria writing the letter of recommendation for Katy is a glowing sign that Gloria isn’t the terrible bitch we were led to believe, and it’s exciting to watch that relationship flourish and become much more of a mentor/mentee/friendship. (Though I have to say, as with any show that focuses on fashion, these outfits are terrible! Excluding the dress Katy made for Gloria, surprisingly.)

As for that secret of Katy’s mother’s, while I have no idea where the story is headed, I believe “L.L.” is Lacy, the owner of Lacy’s. I mean, she’s pretty much the only one on the show currently that could have given Katherine Keene a Lacy’s sewing machine, since, you know, she owned them. Maybe that’s why Katy got the job and gets so many chances, despite initially messing things up quite a bit. (And if she’s done it this much already, what is her track record over the last few years?)

As for Jorge, while I’m glad to see him put in his place by Katy and called out for his self-obsessed nature, it’s refreshing to see a relationship between mother and gay son like Jorge and his mother have. Coming out is a rough thing to do, and it seems like Jorge really had a tough time (though I can’t see his mother acting how he described with what we have seen of her).

I can’t really imagine what his thoughts were when he wanted to open up about performing as Ginger, but it’s heartwarming to see her immediate acceptance of who her boy is. And, let’s face it, keeping this part of his life a secret from his father may be for the best. As much as Jorge may want to share everything, it’s sometimes just not possible due to others’ struggle to open their minds.

I hope — from Katy Keene season 1, episode 5 — that Jorge comes out of this continuing to be a better friend, and that he really checks himself when his selfishness and entitlement take over. There’s a way to act like the world revolves around you, which we all know Jorge cannot survive without, but still recognizing the struggles and feelings of others. Being an empathic and understanding person isn’t a weakness; the weakness is being selfish and proving yourself undeserving of your loving friends.

How Katy has put up with Jorge acting like this since childhood and be the best friend ever without being passive aggressive, I could never understand. Give her an award.

Josie and Pepper

Katy Keene season 1, episode 5 puts Josie and Pepper in an interesting situation when the “Kissing Cabots” news of Alex and Xandra being romantic before they were step-siblings breaks… and it’s even worse because it’s from the outlet Pepper works for as a gossip columnist. Though it ultimately proved to be Xandra who leaked the story, it did offer quite an interesting story for Josie and Pepper, whose bond needed to be more believable since their mutual connection is their friendship with Katy and Jorge.

I’m thankful that Josie took the money to fund her first EP, though I truly do not understand why she couldn’t have just told Alex about his father’s proposition. I’m sure he would have quickly decided to take advantage of the situation and his father to get what they both want, and the two are basically dating any way, so it’s not like it’s really anything unexpected. Putting off the inevitable is just going to make Alex think that Josie was using him, which we obviously know not to be the case.

Meanwhile, I’m still not over the fact that Alex and Xandra aren’t actually twins, but in fact step-siblings that used to be romantic. It explains the weird vibes, but makes the silk robe on Valentine’s Day situation even weirder, and I really just want Josie to get out of this mess. She can do better than Alex, and she doesn’t need to be dragged down by his family’s baggage. This is not how I wanted Josie McCoy’s life in New York to go.


It’s exciting to see someone knock down Pepper’s walls a little bit and get some more insight into her life in New York City. I don’t know about you, but I feel like Pepper was lying when she explained the situation with her dad to Josie. I don’t really know why I think she’s lying, but it just seems too easy. Pepper seems much too clever and skilful at the art of manipulation to have had her father paying for everything, so she could live her best life in New York. I want it to be a lie, so that Pepper’s life and connections there were earned, not paid for.

Once a rich parent or significant other is introduced, it really takes away any realism from the character’s story. We’re seeing the same thing happen on The Bold Type with Sutton’s rich soon-to-be-husband, and I don’t want Katy Keene to follow that path (with Josie or Pepper, but it seems too late to escape it for the former). Life isn’t magical like that, and these shows need to realize that people need to really work to get where they are. We want to see that. We don’t want someone to come in and solve all of their problems for them.

Anyway, back to Josie and Pepper, their squabble and reunion made the episode even better because these two characters are so very strong and self-motivated, it makes sense that they would butt heads occasionally. And, as I stated before, there wasn’t really a friendship between them before this, but now there is. Now they’re all connected. I really hope to see more of the group as duos soon, as well as a whole.

‘Katy Keene’ season 1, episode 5 final thoughts

I really, really hope that the show continues to look like this after Katy Keene season 1, episode 5. Obviously the four can’t be trapped in their apartment for every episode, and they need to go out and live their lives, but this friendship is definitely what is going to make Katy Keene memorable. It is what’s going to get more people to watch.

I’m enjoying the group numbers (namely just to hear Katy and Pepper sing), but I’d really love if they pick some better quality tunes to belt out. This one was just… not it. And, in the future, please give me solo Katy and Pepper songs. It’s not like there really needs to be a reason for them to sing, just let them break out with a musical dream number every so often. It’ll be like their own ‘Lizzie McGuire’ animations. Lucy Hale and Julia Chan both have better voices than the two actual fictional singers on the show, so… do with that what you will.

I’m really looking forward to the next episode of Katy Keene, more than I have thus far. More people should be watching!

Katy Keene airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW!

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