The penultimate episode of Katy Keene unmasked Pepper Smith’s origin story and showed her as a good friend with conning tendencies.
Pepper’s character is complex in that she does bad things but with good intentions. Under all the lying and manipulating, Pepper has a good heart.
What Pepper was doing is obviously very wrong, but it’s hard to fault her for a few reasons.
For starters, she’s been investing everything into the Pepper Plant not only for herself but for her friends.
At the opening party, Pepper made it clear that she’s always valued Katy, Jorge, and Josie’s friendship and included them in her dreams.
She also never had a sense of identity so she was forced to make it up and be whoever she thought she needed to be to succeed. There’s no denying that the allure of an “industry” woman who had all these connections and could do anything is what drew everyone to Pepper and made them trust her.
Alex Cabot drills that point home when he tells Josie he went back to his father because the only way to make it in this town is if you had money.
Pepper didn’t have money, she didn’t have the opportunities and thus, she created them. Josie hustles at a donut shop, Jorge resorted to gogo dancing and the occasional private dance, and Katy works two jobs to make ends meet, and in a way, Pepper’s conning is her hustle.
It’s not right, but by understanding where she came from, we begin to understand why she did what she did and what she was trying to accomplish.
Pepper simply got in way too deep. She reached the point in her conning where she was playing catch-up; trying to untangle the mess she created dug into a deeper hole.
It started when Josie confronted her about getting Alex Cabot’s investment back. Pepper didn’t have the money, but she figured she’d “borrow” a $200,000 luxury bag from Lacy’s, sell it on the black market and settle the score.
That triggered a domino effect with Katy realizing that Pepper was responsible and thus, she needed to re-purchase a bag at wholesale to salvage her friendship and Katy’s job. And she also found a way to settle the score with Jorge by paying off the Lopez’s bank mortgage.
Pepper didn’t give anyone much of a reason to trust her, but she never broke her promise of wanting to pay everyone back and investing in their futures.
Unfortunately, by putting her friendship first, it meant that she didn’t have Alex Cabot’s money and instead of being patient and waiting to see if Pepper could guarantee him a return on investment, he ran back to his father, which may have seemed like the right idea at the time, but only made things worse.
We’ve all learned by now that involving a Cabot always makes things worse. Alex’s decision says a lot about him, and I’m starting to think his father plays a huge role in his drinking.
I can no longer ship Josie and Alex because he’s a man-child. Josie has to be in her mid-20s at this point. She’s an independent woman, a talented woman, and a hard-working woman who needs someone equally as driven to succeed.
Alex is not only holding her back, but he’s also brought nothing but drama into her life. He’s an unnecessary distraction.
My guess is that Pepper was arrested because Mr. Cabot tipped the FBI off even after Alex told her they now own the Pepper Plant. Otherwise, it has something to do with the Palace Hotel. Maybe all of this will get us to a point where she finds more about her birth parents.
Money woes were aplenty, but this is New York City, so that’s not surprising.
Jorge tried to pay his parents back for the subsidized rent so that they wouldn’t lose the building but even with his money and Pepper’s donation, it wasn’t enough.
Jorge found out the building was being sold around the same time Katy found out that Lacy’s was being sold off.
Talk about bad timing.
Most of Katy’s identity is wrapped up in some way in Lacy’s right along with her opportunity to learn more about her father.
If there’s one thing we know about Jorge and Katy is that they won’t go down without a fight.
It wasn’t just Pepper that was stealing from and lying to Katy, Guy was also becoming problematic, though, initially the relationship seemed like a dream.
Katy and Guy were both floating on cloud nine together until she realized that he stole and created one of her sketches without consulting her.
When she confronted him, Guy explained that that’s just how fashion works, but they always say to trust your gut, and finding all those sketchbooks of previously apprentices filled with designs that he’s using didn’t sit well.
It seems Guy is a fake who built his on the backs of talented women.
If that’s how “fashion” works then Guy wouldn’t be hiding it in a sealed-off closet that’s off-limits to anyone but him.
He’s preying on the newbies who have talent who don’t know any better, but clearly, Katy is a firecracker that will not be taken advantage of.
Seeing all of her designs showcased at the Pepper Plant was a visual reminder of how talented she is; these are her designs and ideas.
And even if this is the way fashion is, it doesn’t mean it’s right or that it needs to be accepted. If Guy was truly someone to look up to in the industry, he would give credit where credit is due or even do a collaboration line.
There’s also a big difference between Katy offering up her designs or some improvements and Guy flat-out stealing them. If he wanted the dress for his collection, why wasn’t he just honest with her about it?
The episode sets up the conflict nicely for the season finale. Can you believe we’re already here?
How will Pepper move on after her dream night turned into a nightmare?
Will Jorge save his childhood building? Will Katy save Lacy’s? And will she expose Guy or find a way to forgive him?
Sound-off in the comments below!
New Couple Alert: ‘Katy Keene’s Lucy Hale and ‘Riverdale’s Skeet Ulrich Spotted Kissing
This is one couple you didn’t see coming! Who would’ve thought we’d ever see a liar dating a serpent?
Pretty Little Liars and Katy Keene alum Lucy Hale was spotted packing on the PDA with Riverdale star Skeet Ulrich on Sunday, February 21!
Photos of their romantic outing were captured by Page Six.
You can see the 31-year-old star leaning in for a kiss with the 51-year-old actor.
The duo were also spotted holding hands at the table.
Once they finished their meal, they put on their masks and the “Scream” alum embraced the actress from behind.
Ulrich previously dated Megan Blake Irwin and were criticized for their 20-year-age difference, which she defended.
While Ulrich and Hale starred in sister-show’s on the CW, they never crossed paths. Ulrich recently wrapped up his five-season arc as Forsythe Pendleton Jones II (FP Jones) on Riverdale, while Hale starred in the Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene as the titular character for one season before it got canceled.
Neither Ulrich or Hale have commented on the relationship.
‘Katy Keene’ Cancelled at The CW After One Season – ‘Riverdale’ Spinoff Looking for New Home
After weeks of waiting, The CW has decided against renewing Katy Keene after just one season.
The network announced that the Lucy Hale-led Riverdale spinoff will not be picked up for season 2.
Katy Keene was the only series awaiting a decision after the network’s bulk renewal back in January, which saw all of its scripted shows get renewed including freshman dramas Batwoman and Nancy Drew. All shows are scheduled to return in January due to the coronavirus production delays.
Show creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa took to Instagram to share the news with fans alongside a photo of the cast, writing, “From the first #katykeene table read. It seems like a dream. So proud of this show and the beautiful souls who came together to make it.💔.”
Hale commented writing: “I am …devastated. But love you all so much.”
Julia Chan (Pepper Smith) chimed in expressing her gratitude: “Love you, Roberto and Michael and my beloved @cw_katykeene family. Eternally grateful. ♥️”
Hale also addressed the fans directly on Instagram Live. “Sad to deliver this news ! But I love the show. I love what it stands for. And mostly I love YOU. To the cast, crew and all involved. I adore you,” she captioned the clip.
Katy Keene May Be Part of the Riverdale Universe, But It’s Far Removed From the Dark Murder Series
When you first heard about a Riverdale spinoff, I’m willing to bet you didn’t think it would be a series revolving around the fashion and music industry, but that’s exactly what you get when you tune into The CW’s Katy Keene.
Devoid of murders and darkness, the series (based on the Archie Comics), spearheaded by Lucy Hale in the role of the titular character, shines bright amidst the supernatural vibes of its sister shows, Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and the oftentimes supernatural lineup embraced on The CW.
In place of those murder mysteries that tend to envelop the residents of Riverdale, Katy Keene sets the stage for a coming-of-age tale that propels themes of hopefulness, following your destiny, and chasing every opportunity.
Some of us might say — the ones that were old enough to have watched Gossip Girl and Sex and the City when it aired live, anyway — that the series is the younger sister of those fashion-centric show, and fills the void they left behind quite nicely with its bubbly depiction of New York’s elite, always-on-the-go, and hook-up heavy aesthetic.
But don’t be fooled — the show’s optimistic outlook doesn’t mean it’s without its fair share of drama.
Like Riverdale, Katy Keene relies on a formula of convoluted mysteries and twists, and it thrives on throwing its characters into unpredictable and messy situations, albeit, with less murder and serial killers.
And New York, much like Riverdale, can make or break you in a minute; it can snuff out that very hope it evokes and destroy the opportunities it’s made possible until you’re left feeling more alone than ever.
Katy Keene focuses heavily on its ensemble cast — heavier than Riverdale at times — giving each of its characters a storyline to dig into.
The circumstances of the Big Apple — rent as tall as the skyscrapers and the competitiveness of its inhabitants — brings Katy, an aspiring fashion designer, closer to Jorge/Ginger Lopez (Johhny Beauchamp), an aspiring Broadway star, Pepper Smith (Julia Chan), an aspiring business owner, and Riverdale’s finest, Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), an aspiring singer.
Much like Riverdale’s core four, this unit relies on each other to navigates life’s up-and-downs.
For Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead, these trials and tribulations tend to consist of dark forces and mysteries such as figuring the identity of the Black Hood, the Gargoyle King, and how to escape and stop an organ harvesting cult, among others.
Katy Keene, however, offers up a dreamlike vibe while showcasing real and more relatable issues of navigating your upper 20s with the focus being on every millennial’s struggle to juggle the pursuit of a dream career in an overpriced city alongside a romantic life.
Alex says it best — you’re no one in this city without money — and thus, a lot of the drama revolves around financial situations.
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