Catherine was the aunt and manager of famous pop star Ashley O, with her first scene showing her watching Ashley as she appears on a talk show, gushing over Ashley talking about how her aunt had inspired her music and reminding Ashley to discuss Ashley Too, a recently released AI robot that was created to emulate Ashley's personality. Catherine later found Ashley playing the piano in their home and singing a song she had written from one of her dreams, with Catherine praising the song while stating that it was a departure from her usual work.
Heel TurnEditWhile Catherine was initially introduced as a loving and supportive aunt and manager, it would ultimately be revealed as a cover for her true greedy and callous nature. In an effort to control Ashley's pop star image and keep her lucrative career going, Catherine began having Ashley take medications to keep her controllable; conspiring with Ashley's doctor Dr. Munk in her scheme. After walking in on Ashley singing an emotional song that was a departure from her regular music, Catherine met with Dr. Munk and technical director Jackson Habanera to discuss Ashley's struggling sales and being behind on her next album, callously dismissing the song for (in her mind) not being able to sell. Ashley later tried to put on dark eyeliner for a concert, only for her aunt to convince her not to let her fans down before Dr. Munk gave her more medicine to take.
Dr. Munk met with Catherine later to reveal that, due to the hidden camera he had in Ashley's dressing room, he learned that she had stopped taking her medication, showing her the small box of pills she'd been stashing as well as her diary, with entries detailing her distrust of her aunt and Dr. Munk (among other things). Later that evening, Catherine invited Ashley to join her to have take-out, during which she confronted Ashley with how she'd discovered her pill stash and diary by reading excerpts from the latter. After accusing Ashley of planning to overdose and make her look bad, Ashley told her aunt that she was keeping the pills as evidence to Catherine's crimes, as she had learned that her contract would become null and void due to Catherine breaking the law. Enraged, Catherine blasted her niece for (in her mind) being ungrateful of the fact that she took Ashley in after her parents died and claimed that she, not Ashley, was responsible for their wealth and her successful career.
After angrily telling her aunt that she hated her, Ashley attempted to leave, only for Catherine to order her to sit. Ashley ultimately ended up complying with her aunt's demand, as she revealed that she had crushed Ashley's pills and put them into her food. As Catherine informed Ashley before she fainted, overdosing on the pills would put her in a chemical coma rather than kill her, with Catherine calling 911 and claiming Ashley had an allergic reaction to shellfish. It was then that Catherine began planning to use a temporal interceptor to extract songs from Ashley's mind to use for her next album, all while posing as a distraught aunt on the media to cover up her true malicious form. Six months later, the technology for the Ashley Too dolls (which had been discontinued for battery issues) was used to make a hologram version of Ashley known as Ashley Eternal, with the evil Catherine planning to kill her niece once the hologram was finished.
The episode's climax has the Ashley Too doll of Rachel Goggins (a fan of Ashley O) gaining sentience after seeing a report about the real Ashley's condition, with the doll convincing Rachel and her sister Jack to take her to Ashley's house to gather evidence against Catherine and her cohorts. While Ashley Too initially seemed to kill Ashley by unplugging her life support (her true reason for wanting to come to the house), it instead resulted in Ashley awakening from her coma, as the machine was actually keeping her in her vegetative state. Ashley was instantly restrained and found by Munk as Rachel and Jack hid, with Munk calling Catherine and being told by his boss to sedate Ashley, as she needed her alive until they finalized the deal on Ashley Eternal.
Ashley was saved by Rachel and Jack after they managed to knock Munk out with the injection he was planning to give Ashley, with the girls and Ashley Too rushing Ashley to the stadium where Catherine was showing off the completed Ashley Eternal hologram. The girls drove into the stadium with a police cruiser in pursuit, with Catherine lying down on the stage and meekly professing that she didn't want to die. Catherine was later shocked to see her niece exit the vehicle, bitterly dismayed that her malevolent plan had failed. It can be assumed that Catherine was later arrested (off-screen) for her various crimes.
- Catherine Ortiz is the only villainess from Black Mirror's fifth season
- Susan Pourfar previously appeared on Scandal as recurring villainess Becky Flynn.