A polar vortex is about to hit NYC. Temperatures are supposed to hit negative 19 degrees in the city. So what does our young Katy Keene do? Dress appropriately for the weather in pants (or at least tights) and a zipped-up coat? Absolutely not. Make sure she and her roommates have enough food in the apartment? No way. There’s only one thing on Katy’s mind and that’s crafting the perfect outfit for her boss, Gloria.

See, we learned a bit of new information this episode: Katy’s mom’s dying wish was for her to attend Parsons School of Fashion. But the only way Katy can afford to go is with a full scholarship. The last person who received the scholarship had a personal recommendation from Tom Ford, so she’s turned her sights on Gloria. Problem is Gloria will only write Katy’s letter if she can create a gown for her in 24 hours. Katy leaves works early — because, apparently, they let her do whatever she wants at Lacy’s and she isn’t paid hourly?? — to get to sewing.

Speaking of work, Josie is searching the record store’s basement with Chubby. He tells her it used to be a recording studio, and he wants to know when she’s going to record her own EP. She’s still anxious about cashing in the money from Mr. Cabot because she doesn’t know if she wants to get paid to date Alex. (Smart girl.) And speak of the devil, Alex shows up with a copy of the Daily Herald that exposes him and his sister as kissing siblings. Josie didn’t leak the news, but she did tell a certain someone who happens to be on the Daily Herald payroll.

Back at the apartment, Katy tells Jorge she won’t be able to finish his Aida gown that evening since the dress for Gloria is her No. 1 priority at the moment. Jorge, in such a good friend move, whines and complains about Katy putting herself first.

Earlier in the day, Jorge’s mom had accidentally seen him as Ginger. Apparently, when he first came out, his parents didn’t handle it well. He ended up living with Katy and her mom for a year, so he’s nervous things will become bad with his parents again if they find out about his double life. Katy sympathizes, naturally. But when Jorge says she could help him get out of this bad mood by finishing his Aida dress, she puts her foot down.

Pepper decides she needs to bunker down at the apartment, which is great for Josie, who wants to confront her about the Cabot expose. Of course, Pepper swears she didn’t do it. And suddenly Josie isn’t buying anything Pepper is selling. Curious as to why Pepper would leave a luxurious hotel room in the middle of a polar vortex, Josie calls the Palace Hotel. She learns that Pepper isn’t living there anymore — and she has an overdue bill. When Josie confronts Pepper about it, the so-called heiress says her father cut her off, but she doesn’t want anyone to know. Josie believes it, but I do not. I have seen how this story ends.

Katy Keene
Credit: David Giesbrecht/The CW

Anyway, Katy decides to sketch in the bath … as one does. She puts on her headphones and ignores Jorge yelling at her from the other room about his dress. Well, Jorge decides he can hem the dress himself, so he tries to use Katy’s sewing machine… and he breaks it.

Katy loses it. It was her mother’s machine, and her one rule in the apartment is that no one ever touches it. Jorge has the nerve to say, “It’s not the end of the world, right?” He is the absolute worst. Katy needs new friends.

Jorge tries to go to a store 10 blocks away to buy Katy a new sewing machine. While he’s out, Katy laments to Pepper about how it doesn’t matter if she has a sewing machine because she doesn’t have fabric. And then she looks at Jorge’s Aida dress and starts ripping it up to use for parts. When Jorge comes back — sans sewing machine because the shop was closed — he decides to sing “My Strongest Suit” with Josie and Pepper to cheer Katy up. If I were upset and stressed and my roommates tried to sing a musical number at me, I would punch them all in the face. But Katy loves it — and joins in.

But the happy mood doesn’t last long. Jorge sees the ripped Aida dress and says, “How could you do this to me?” Katy points out that she’s sewed him 100 dresses with her own fabric. She then says, “You are a very selfish person, Jorge.” And I may have stood and applauded her.

Katy Keene must be the nicest person ever because she apologizes to Jorge about two seconds later. She says she’s just emotional because she’s having a hard time living up to her mom’s dream. And all she has left of her mom is the now-broken sewing machine and a box of personal effects she hasn’t opened. Jorge encourages her to open it and wouldn’t you know it: Inside is the perfect fabric to make Gloria’s dress.

Without a sewing machine, she enlists all her friends to hand-stitch the dress in an all-nighter. Years of watching Project Runway tells me this dress probably turned out like trash, but Gloria loves it. Not enough to wear it to the ball — but enough to write Katy a letter.

Things are working out for everyone: Pepper calls the Daily Herald and finds out that the Cabot story came from a “Tuxedo C. Sebastian.” Sebastian just happens to be the name of Xandra’s cat. When Josie tells Alex his own sister leaked the story, he forgives her and they make up — by making out. And Jorge introduces his mom to Ginger, and she welcomes him … as long as he doesn’t tell his dad. Well, baby steps.

With the polar vortex over and a Parsons rec under her belt, Katy is ready to take on the city and her dreams again. Problem is her sewing machine is permanently broken. She takes it into Francois to see if it’s fixable and he declares the time of death. Oh, and he points out that it’s a sewing machine that was only made for Lacy’s employees. Katy says her mom never worked at Lacy’s, so her mom must have known someone who worked there. When she gets home, Katy notices a plaque on the side that reads: “For Katherine, Love LL.”

Dun dun dun. Is Katy Keene really a Lacy? Gloria would have a cow. I would love it.

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