‘Katy Keene’ Recap: Welcome to New York in Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot”


The Katy Keene series premiere is finally here. This Riverdale spin-off follows aspiring fashion designer Katy Keene and her friends in New York City, soon joined by former Pussycat Josie McCoy. Find out everything that went down in the series premiere of this new show, from horrible bosses and designing fashion to possible recording contracts and new friends.

Katy Keene (Lucy Hale) arrives at Lacy’s Department Store and quickly gets to work. Katy’s boss, Gloria Grandbilt (Katherine LaNasa), comes in and tells everyone that the heiress to the Cabot Entertainment empire is moments from arriving and she’d like one of them to assist her. Katy lists everything that she’ll get in the store — clothes, accessories, food, and lots of shoes — and Gloria tells her to hurry. As Katy is gathering everything on the floor, Alexandra Cabot (Camille Hyde) comes into the store and Katy is soon busy, running around the store, trying to make sure everything is going smoothly with Alexandra and Gloria.

After Alexandra leaves, Katy asks to talk to Gloria about the new personal shopper position. Katy brings up the fact she’s been assisting Gloria for three years and she feels like she’s ready to be Lacy’s newest personal shopper. However, Gloria says some of the girls have told her that Katy wants to be a designer and that being a personal shopper is a career. She’s not interested in promoting someone whose focus is split. Katy assures Gloria that yes, she makes clothes, but that is just for her. Gloria considers it and gives Katy a special assignment. A prince is coming to the store to shop for the Met Gala. If Katy proves that she’s the crème de la crème of Gloria’s girls, the personal shopper position is hers.

Later, Katy finds Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) on a sidewalk by her luggage. Josie tells Katy she’s heard so much about her, and Katy says any friend of Veronica Lodge’s is a friend of hers. Katy helps Josie with her bags and when they get up to the apartment, Katy introduces Josie to Jorge Lopez (Jonny Beauchamp), telling Jorge that Josie is their new roommate.

After getting all settled in, Katy takes Josie to her most favorite place: a bench by a lighthouse, looking out the water. Josie tells Katy she’s been thinking about moving to New York for awhile and she finally got the nerve to pack up and take the risk. Now Josie’s there to record an album, get signed by a record label, and make all of her crazy wish-upon-a-star dreams come true. Josie asks Katy about all the clothes around the apartment and Katy says she made them on her mom’s sewing machine. A designer is the pipe dream, she chose a more sensible career path. Josie tells Katy meanwhile she needs to start finding a job, stat. Katy says that is something for tomorrow, tonight she’s taking her out to meet the gang.

Ashleigh Murray and Lucy Hale in ‘Katy Keene’. Image courtesy of The CW.

Katy and Josie get to a club and Katy introduces her to Pepper Smith (Julia Chan). Katy tells Josie that Pepper is the most connected person in New York and she will introduce her to everyone that’s anyone. KO Kelly (Zane Holtz), Katy’s boyfriend, comes up to them and Katy introduces Josie to him. As Katy, Josie, and Pepper are dancing the night away, the lights go down and a drag queen comes on stage. That drag queen is Jorge, also known as Ginger Lopez. Ginger is on stage, singing and dancing, the audience going crazy.

The next day, Josie is out looking for jobs around the city and stops at Washington Square Park. She spots a lady playing guitar and singing and Josie sings along with her, drawing a crowd. Afterwards, as Josie is walking away, a guy (Lucien Laviscount) runs up to her. He tells her he works for a label and they’re looking for new talent. He reveals himself to be Alexander Cabot and asks Josie if she knows where the Electric Lady recording studio is and if she can meet him there the following day, ready to sing.

Prince Errol arrives at Lacy’s — Gloria, Katy, and the girls watching him, employees lined up to greet him — and Gloria notices a girl with the prince. Katy says she doesn’t recognize her. Amanda (Heléne York) tells Gloria she found her Instagram — Patricia Kline — and she’s no one. Katy tells Gloria she’ll fix this, she won’t let her down. “You already have.”

Gloria, Katy, Prince Errol, and other employees are waiting around while Patricia tries on dresses, though she hasn’t been liking any that she’s been trying on. Katy goes into the room that Patricia is in and after seeing the price of the dress, she asks Katy where she got her dress because she loves it. Katy admits she made it and asks Patricia if she wants to try it on, she could also pull some clothes she might like, stuff she would choose if a prince ever took her on a shopping spree. When Patricia is finally done, she tells Errol she loves everything she just tried on. Errol tells Gloria they’d like to browse the jewelry department and they’d like Katy to help them, she knows their taste.

Lucy Hale in ‘Katy Keene’. Image courtesy of The CW.

That night, the gang is celebrating Katy’s big win at work. Jorge tells Katy there’s no way she wouldn’t get the promotion and Katy says she doesn’t want to jinx it, so she asks Josie how the day went for her. Josie tells them what happened and who she met. Pepper tells Josie the Cabots are right up there with the Astors and the Rockefellers — they own everything. Katy says this sounds like the beginning of a Lifetime thriller, she doesn’t want Josie going alone.

“Oh, no, Katy, I am from Riverdale. It is the Murder Capital of the World. I’ll be fine.”

The next day, Josie is singing in the recording studio, with Katy, acting as her manager, and Alex watching her. Alex tells Josie and Katy afterwards he’d like to introduce Josie to the Cabot board and play them the song she just recorded. Once they approve, he’d like to sign her, record an album and launch her career as an international pop star.

Later, Katy and KO are in the apartment and Katy is telling him how it went with the prince at Lacy’s, and how helping his girlfriend led to Lacy’s single biggest sale of the year. KO tells Katy a gym in Philadelphia called, his name was on a wait list. They’re taking on some new fighters and they’re interested in him training there. He suggests moving and it’s only if Katy doesn’t get the promotion. KO says he knows the timing is terrible but they always talk about how crazy and expensive it is to live in New York. Why don’t they just see what Gloria has to say first? Then, KO tells Katy, they’ll figure things out.

Lucy Hale and Zane Holtz in ‘Katy Keene’. Image courtesy of The CW.

At Lacy’s the following day, Gloria finally chooses a personal shopper and it seems like she’s going to choose Katy but she goes with Amanda. Later, Katy tells Gloria she thought the job was hers. Gloria says she understands Patricia tried on a dress that they don’t have in the store, one of Katy’s designs. She made a choice, and she made it about herself. Gloria tells Katy effective immediately, she no longer reports to her department.

Josie and Alex are playing Josie’s song for the Cabot board, who don’t love the song, even saying it’s dull. Everyone passes on the song and Alexandra tells Josie she has a nice voice and she seems sweet, but if they’re going to re-launch the record division, spending millions of dollars by doing so, it has to be on someone who’s just undeniable. Alex tells Alexandra she’s wrong, Josie’s a star. Alex tells Josie his sister doesn’t want him re-launching the record label, she thinks it’s a waste of money. But he’s going to prove her wrong, with Josie. Josie tells Alex he can find someone else to drag into his sibling rivalry.

Katy tells Pepper, Josie, and Jorge she not only didn’t get the promotion, but Gloria exiled her to the stockroom. Jorge tells her she should quit, but Katy says she’s always wanted to work at Lacy’s since she was a little girl. Josie says her dream, her real dream, is to have her clothes sold at Lacy’s. Jorge brings up the fact that when they first met, Katy said she wanted to be a designer. Katy says it’s also about KO and that he wants them to move to Philadelphia. Pepper asks Katy if she would really move to Philadelphia in pursuit of KO’s dream at the expense of her own .

The following day, Katy is in the Lacy’s stockroom when Amanda comes in, giving her more work to do, per Gloria. Katy’s had enough, Amanda sabotaged her and she’s not getting away with that. Amanda tells Katy she deserves this promotion, she’s from the Upper East Side. Katy says she’s not fooling anyone and Amanda tells Katy she isn’t either. She may look like it, but Katy’s a gutter girl from the Lower East Side. “And that, Katy, is never gonna change.”

Lucy Hale in ‘Katy Keene’. Image courtesy of The CW.

That night, everyone is pre-game drinking and Katy tells Ginger she’s right. Screw Lacy’s, Katy gave that place three years of her life. Imagine all the clothes she didn’t design because she was busy doing Gloria’s bidding. Katy says tomorrow, she’s quitting. Josie tells Katy, “Do what you gotta do,” but she is not moving to Philly. Katy says she definitely has to figure that out, but tonight they have some after hours fun.

Katy, Josie, Pepper, and Ginger sneak into Lacy’s with the keys Katy has and try everything — from hats to purses to lipsticks to jewelry. Their fun is soon interrupted as they realize someone else is in the store. Josie, Pepper, and Ginger hide and Francois (Nathan Lee Graham) spots Katy. Francois tells Katy a client threw out his concept for the window, now he has until sunrise to figure out a new way to display three evening gowns. Katy offers to help and brings him a few of her favorite things in the store. Katy recalls bonding with her mom over fashion, going home and making their own dresses with a sewing machine and tells Francois she has a crazy idea for the window but he’s going to have to trust her, plus they’ll need a sewing machine.

In the morning, everyone is gathered outside Lacy’s and getting ready for the window reveal, which turns out to be a hit. Mrs. Lacy (Mary Beth Peil) tells Francois she’s speechless and he says it was all Katy’s idea. Mrs. Lacy asks Katy if she’s one of Gloria’s girls and Katy says no, she works in the stockroom. But, Francois says he’d like to offer her a job in his department and Pepper, Josie, and Jorge encourage Katy to take it. Francois says there’s just one condition: she’s only there for six months, nine tops, then she’s out in the world doing what she’s meant to be doing — designing.

Katy and KO are out getting some food and KO asks Katy if they’re moving to Philly. Katy says even though she didn’t get the promotion, she’d like to stay in New York, especially since she’s going to pursue designing as a career again. Watching Josie pursue her dream reminded Katy she should do the same thing. KO says he’s not going anywhere without her and if they’re going to stay in NYC, they should make it official. KO gets down on one knee and proposes.

Lucy Hale in ‘Katy Keene’. Image courtesy of The CW.

Katy Keene is definitely different from both Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but it is nice to finally see Josie again and to see Lucy Hale in a role that doesn’t involve trying to get away from a stalker serial killer. Watch the brand-new series every Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT only on The CW.

Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.

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