‘Pam & Tommy’ Episode 5: Recap & Ending: The Aftermath Of The Tape


After years of hustle and grind, one finally achieves a moment where he or she can finally see themselves achieving the dream they always dreamt of, but suddenly, something hits. A tragedy occurs, flipping the table on its head and destroying both, the life and the dream. That’s what happened with Pamela Anderson in “Pam & Tommy,” Episode 4, when she found out about her stolen private tape that was leaked online. Without introducing any new plight, “Pam and Tommy” Episode 5 follows the devastating effect of the tape on Pamela’s public image as the smoke created by the tape suddenly catches fire when every famous celebrity and newspaper in Tinseltown starts talking about it.

See More: ‘Pam & Tommy’ Episode 4: Recap & Ending – Does Rand Overstep With His ‘Karmic’ Revenge?

The Smoke Turns Into Forest Fire

“Pam & Tommy” Episode 5 opens in February 1996, when the writing team of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” decides to pitch a punch on Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson’s private tape to Jay. However, the man himself rejects the material because the tape isn’t widely famous. Similarly, a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, Alicia Krentz, tries to pitch the story to her editor, Bert, who bluntly rejects it because he finds the material sensuous and not newsworthy enough. Alicia, like a persistent reporter, digs deeper into the story and discovers that the tape was stolen from Tommy Lee’s Malibu Mansion and that it was circulated without permission, which is indeed an invasion of their privacy, but her editor refuses to run the story.

For the time being, both these instances seemed ethical and real, as the private tape was a prude subject at that moment and was only talked about by certain dudes who purchased the tape online and played it in their homes in private. But things take an ugly turn when Bob Guccione, an adult photographer and founder of the adult magazine Penthouse, gets hold of the tape. Tommy receives the news from Mickey, telling him about how Donna’s best friend Kimberly, a Penthouse model, heard the news at Guccione’s mansion. In a panic, he speculates that Guccione will run the still from their private tape in his Penthouse magazine. To be on the safe side of affairs, Tommy seeks legal advice from the lawyers and finally decides to sue Guccione and his publication. However, when Guccione gets the legal notice, his egotistical pride is hurt. He feels that the notice is an attack on “Freedom of the Press” and thus swears to publish the 20 nastiest stills from the tape as his declaration of war.

The media finally finds its news in between the ugly legal fight between two giants of the industry, and in no time, every newspaper and media house decides to publish the news in which the private tape becomes the common topic. Even Jay Leno chooses to make a sexist remark about Pamela Anderson at the end of the episode, but where is Tommy Lee in all of this?

‘Pam & Tommy’ Episode 5: Ending – The Slowly Decaying Marriage

It is common media practice to use the name of the celebrity whose own brand image will bring readers or traffic to one’s portal, which is indeed one of the reasons why gossip journalism is still one of the most popular genres. In Pam and Tommy’s case, it was Pamela who was far more famous than Tommy Lee in the 1996s, which is why her name was dragged often in the gossip columns. However, the couple failed to see or understand this clause, which thereby became the reason for constant argument between them.

Pam often felt that Tommy wasn’t affected by the tape leak, but he was indeed, and yet he was helpless as anybody would have been in this situation. However, Tommy failed to realize that Pam was at a crucial point in her career where one mistake could have ruined her entire career, and the legal fight with Guccione was indeed that mistake. The Los Angeles Times reported the legal battle between Pamela Anderson and Bob Guccione soon after which Pamela received a notice from the justice department and was called for an oral examination. At this moment, Pam asked Tommy why she had only received the notice and soon understood the irony of it as she smirked in the closing shot of “Pam & Tommy” Episode 5. Guccione is likely to post pictures of Pamela Anderson, and it’s clear how much this publication will hurt Pam’s public image and her upcoming movie, Barb Wire.

Pam & Tommy Episode 4 Recap Ending
Credits: Hulu

Throughout the episode, Tommy Lee looked at his old records and found solace in the fact that once he was a great artist who sold millions of copies, but that fame has long gone, and he is doing nothing to get it back. For this reason, the news of the tape did affect Tommy personally, but it didn’t have any effect on his public image because there was hardly any, or even if there was, it was shadowed by the glamor of his wife, the Baywatch star.

In Conclusion

The man who started the fire, Rand Gauthier, disappeared from the scene, and in “Pam & Tommy” Episode 5, we didn’t catch a glimpse of him. We last saw Rand taking shelter at his estranged wife, Erica’s, house. In Episode 5, when Tommy’s private investigator, Anthony Pellicano, visits Rand’s apartment, he finds it completely empty, which suggests that Rand has finally left the place or town after destroying the lives of two individuals, one of whom, Pam, didn’t cause him any harm. Yet, she is the one who suffers the most from his Karmic Revenge.

It seems like the following episodes of “Pam & Tommy” don’t have much to offer and only depict the aftermath of the tape and its effect on Pam’s career and her relationship with Tommy, so we know how it’s all going to end. The predictability in the narrative brings dullness to the entire premise, and it is slowly moving into a dead zone from which it might not recover and will become one of the series that everyone has seen, but no one really liked. The upcoming episodes will tell you further.

See More: ‘Pam & Tommy’ Episode 6: Recap & Ending – The Legal Examination Of Pamela Anderson

“Pam & Tommy” Episode 5 is streaming on Hulu.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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