Over three episodes after their saucy tape was stolen, the couple finally discover the robbery after celebrating their pregnancy, enlisting the help of a private investigator and even a gang of bikers to get it back.
But it already seems that the mass distribution of the tape may be beyond the couple’s reach, as Rande Gauthier learns that Miltie has been cashing in by selling it beyond their original mail order plan.
Emotional: Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s marriage took a devastating turn, after learning they’d suffered a miscarriage in episode four of the Hulu drama
After episode three concluded with Pam discovering that she was expecting her first child, this week’s begins in 1996, with the slow and steady spread of the infamous sex tape as Rand Gauthier begin to sell it worldwide.
Eager fans part with their hard-earned cash, and a few details on a fax machine, with one over-excited viewer stocking up on tissues and lotion as he prepares to watch the action unfold.
Unaware their private life is spreading across the States, Pamela and Tommy are thrilled to meet their ‘little peanut’ for the first time.
Exposed: As the couple finally learn of their stolen tape, Rande Gauthier is forced to flee for his life from a biker gang, as the distribution of the sorded video spirals out of control
Selling out! The episode begins with the slow and steady spread of the infamous sex tape as Rand begin to sell it worldwide
Excited: Unaware their private life is spreading across the States, a pregnant Pamela and Tommy are thrilled to meet their ‘little peanut’ for the first time
While Rande once again refuses to divorce his porn star ex-wife Erica, he’s intrigued by a visiting salesman, pornographer Seth Warshavsky, who tries to plug webcams as ‘the future of porn.’
Noting his preference for a classic video, Rande tells him: ‘The image quality is awful, they take forever to load. If I’m a guy looking to rub one out am I going to wait half an hour for some choppy grainy video to load when I can jack off in seconds?’
But, Rande is quick to note he’d be open to exploring the world of web in the future, telling Seth: ‘I am currently harnessing a power of the web in a way that has never been done before.’
Unlikely partnership: While Rande once again refuses to divorce his porn star ex-wife Erica, he’s intrigued by a visiting salesman, pornographer Seth Warshavsky
Worried: Meanwhile, three episodes after it was first taken, Pamela and Tommy finally discover their safe was stolen, with the actress visible shaken that their tape has been taken
It’s fine! It’s clear that Pamela is more unnerved about their missing tape, candidly confessing she feels ‘violated’, even when Tommy reassures her that ‘no one has Hi8’
Meanwhile, three episodes after it was first taken, Pamela and Tommy finally discover their safe was stolen, and while he is more focused on his stolen weapons and jewellery, his wife is stunned to learn that their precious tape has been taken.
The police insist they’ll ‘keep their ears open,’ Tommy is furious to learn it’s unlikely their items will be returned, shouting: ‘I pay more f****g taxes, that I could own your f****g precinct.’
It’s clear that Pamela is more unnerved about their missing tape, candidly confessing she feels ‘violated’, even when Tommy reassures her that ‘no one has Hi8,’ and vows to hire private investigator Anthony Pellicano to get it back.
Need some help? The couple enlist private investigator Anthony Pellicano to get the tape back, and he quickly locates Rande and confronts him
Well that’s agile working! A terrified Rande calls Miltie for help, but after getting a voicemail, it’s revealed he’s somewhat occupied by his female companions
Tommy confesses he has a long list of stars he’s had ‘beef’ with, including Mick Rourke and ‘a****e’ John Stamos, before referring to an upset builder who he failed to pay, sparking a panicked reaction from his wife.
Pellicano quickly heads to Rande’s house to demand he return the tape, warning, ‘what I did to that record I’m will do to your fat, stupid face’ before fleeing to avoid a disgruntled neighbour.
A terrified Rande calls Miltie for help, but after getting a voicemail, it’s revealed he’s somewhat occupied by his female companions, and his new massage chair.
Furious: After Rande desperately tries to track down the tape, he finds a man selling bootleg versions outside a record store
‘Chill out!’ He berates him for profiting of his ‘considerable time and labour,’ he demands he closes down the stall
Tough: Despite being clearly unnerved at the tape’s release, Pamela paints on a smile as she heads to filming on Baywatch
After Rande desperately tries to track down the tape, he finds a man selling bootleg versions outside a record store, and berates him for profiting of his ‘considerable time and labour,’ he demands he closes down the stall.
The man isn’t fazed simple responding: ‘F**k your mother.’
Pellicano reassures Pamela and Tommy that he’ll be able to get the tape back, to the couple’s elation.
Despite being clearly unnerved at the tape’s release, Pamela paints on a smile as she heads to filming on Baywatch, but quickly discovers members of the show’s crew watching her video on the set.
Humiliated: She quickly discovers members of the show’s crew watching her video on the set, telling Tommy she was ‘humiliated’
Rushing back to Tommy’s recording studio, she reveals Rande has been selling copies of the video, tearfully telling her husband: ‘Do you have any idea how humiliating it was?’
Baffled how they can access the video online, Tommy and Pamela are forced to visit a local library and, with painstakingly slow internet, attempt to search for the web page where their tape is available, and are stunned as it slowly appears on the screen.
A hysterical Pamela runs away in tears as Pellicano reveals Rande has been selling the tape across California, before dusting off the Yellow Pages so Tommy can track him down.
No broadband here! Baffled how they can access the video, Tommy and Pamela are forced to visit a library and, with painstakingly slow internet, attempt to search for the web page
Bombshell: The couple struggle to hide their shock as the web page slowly appears on the screen with their tape for all to see
Enlisting the help of a biker gang, Rande flees in terror as the leather-clad thugs try and find him at Miltie’s office, before rushing back to his house.
Miltie confesses that the location of the tape was ‘compromised,’ which may have led to its mass distribution, before sending Rand on his way so he can get back to ‘his bunnies.’
While Tommy tries to reassure Pamela that they’ll track down the tape, his hysterical wife insists it’s ‘so much worse’ for her ‘because she’s a woman,’ after Tommy claims she cares more ‘because of her career.’
Noting the general view towards women when it comes to racy clips, she tells him: ‘They’ll be high-fiving you in the street, I’m going to get looked at like a s**t by the whole world.’
Clashing: While Tommy tries to reassure Pamela that they’ll track down the tape, his hysterical wife insists it’s ‘so much worse’ for her ‘because she’s a woman’
Worried: While Rande continues to try and escape from Pellicano, Pamela suddenly begins to suffer stomach pains, leaving her fearing for the wellbeing of her unborn baby
Emotional: In a scene free of dialogue, the devastated couple learn they’ve suffered a miscarriage
Tommy hits back: ‘It’s not like they’re not seeing anything they haven’t seen before,’ before she kicks him out in a fit of rage.
While Rande continues to try and escape from Pellicano, Pamela suddenly begins to suffer stomach pains, leaving her fearing for the wellbeing of her unborn baby, and Tommy quickly drives her to the hospital.
In a scene free of dialogue, the devastated couple learn they’ve suffered a miscarriage, and are quickly dogged by paparazzi as they leave the hospital.
Fleeing? Miltie tells Rande he’s heading to Amsterdam for a few days, eagerly asking the air attendant for the ‘cocktail list’
Upsetting: Tommy attempts to comfort his wife as they drive home after their loss, but are quickly flanked by a photographer
Raging: A grieving Pamela lashes out, violently smashing the photographer’s windscreen with a hammer
Miltie tells Rande he’s heading to Amsterdam for a few days, eagerly asking the air attendant for the ‘cocktail list’ and he’s once again forced to flee to avoid the biker gang, seeking refuge with Erica.
The distraught couple lash out at a photographer who tries to snap them at a stoplight, with the episode concluding on a sombre note as Tommy carries his sobbing wife home…
After the first episodes were released, they were greeted with a lukewarm reception, with critics praising Lily and Sebastian’s individual performances, while lambasting the series’ inconsistent tone.
The flashing through time appeared to be an issue for critics while others were less than pleased with the show not receiving clearance from the couple in real life.
Pam & Tommy is available on Hulu in the US and Disney+ in Europe.
Heartbreaking: The episode concludes on an unexpectedly sombre note as Tommy carries his sobbing wife home
Pam & Tommy: The Reviews
Ed Cumming writes: ‘Yet while Pam & Tommy sometimes plays it seriously, most of the time it is content to stick to the laughs. An overlong heist scene, in which Gauthier contrives to steal Lee’s safe as “karma” for unpaid wages, might have come out of another Rogen film altogether. Pineapple Express, perhaps. This isn’t really Pam & Tommy – it’s Rand. He might be a more relatable figure, but nobody ever went to Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee for relatability.
Jan Moir writes: ‘There can only ever be one Pamela Anderson, but Lily James does a tremendous job of playing her in this eight-part mini-series… Pam & Tommy gets more sombre and serious as it progresses but, to be honest, it works best when it is being blackly comic – that’s if you are prepared to go along with the full frontals, the sex and the rose-tinted depictions of their deep lurve for each other… If Pam & Tommy is so committed to exposing the ‘harm’ that the sex tape scandal did to Pamela Anderson all those years ago, doesn’t this rehash simply dredge it all up again?’
Lucy Mangan writes: ‘The sight of the 90s image of Anderson, and the scandal being reconsidered in line with modern and more enlightened mores (imperfect though they still are) is a welcome one. But, this is undermined by the fact that the whole enterprise has been undertaken without her approval. Ironically, it is the very alertness and compassion of the thing that – assuming she saw the script or was given an idea of the tone – makes you think how very much she must have wanted, whatever the take on it was to be, the entire subject to be left alone’
Kathryn VanArendonk writes: ‘The tone and construction of Pam & Tommy has a playfulness that makes a good match for the early days of its subjects. They seem incredibly in love and also adorably naïve, and it’s conveyed well in scenes like the one where Pam makes Tommy watch The King and I, or one particularly notable exchange between Tommy and his own animatronic c**k (voiced by Jason Mantzoukas!)…
‘The series does, however, fall into a trap that many, many shows now do too frequently, by bouncing around back and forth through time. First it’s Rand’s perspective on Tommy; then it’s Pam and Tommy’s origin story; then back to the early days of the marriage; and then later, back once again to the start of Pamela’s career…
‘It’s a frustrating narrative tic, but there is one meaningful effect for Pam & Tommy: Because it begins with Rand, it also begins with the worst of Tommy, scenes where he is emotionally horrible and physically violent to people doing their very best to please him. All the other hop-skipping time jumps are frustrating, but this choice has real weight.’
CHICAGO SUN TIMES
Richard Roeper writes: “Pam & Tommy” keeps reminding us the couple was the victim of multiple crimes: first, the burglary of their possessions, and then the widespread distribution of that tape by a series of exploitative hustlers and criminals. Thanks to James’ empathetic performance, we feel for Pamela, who has to keep reminding people — mostly men — that there’s a huge difference between making the decision to pose nude for a magazine and being exposed in a private honeymoon tape that was never intended for public consumption… We just spend too much time on meandering subplots, and too much time enduring Tommy Lee’s increasingly insufferable antics.’
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