‘Pam and Tommy’ Pulls No Punches with Unflinching Final Episode
Nobody gets out of the final episode of Pam & Tommy with anything even remotely resembling a victory.
When "Seattle" begins, Pamela Anderson (portrayed by Lily James) is licking her wounds from the critical drubbing and financial bombing of her movie Barb Wire. Tommy Lee (played by Sebastian Stan) is realizing the millions of fans who used to buy Motley Crue albums have moved onto grunge, and Rand Gauthier (portrayed by Seth Rogen) has finally realized just how much damage he's done to an innocent person.
In short, the couple aren't thought of as music and TV stars anymore. Instead, their once-private sex tape is now masturbation and / or joke fodder for the entire world. Meanwhile, Gauthier's dreams of karmic retribution and financial riches are long gone.
All that's left for our three protagonists is to cut their losses and try to move on with their lives. For Gauthier, this first means nearly getting run over by a car during a rather pathetic attempt to apologize to Anderson in person. He then sells his original copy of the sex tape to an online porn company for far less than he had originally hoped to make from the crime.
In a noble and risky move, Gauthier gives the money to his ex-wife as an apology for everything he's put her through over the years. That means he can't pay his debt to the violence-threatening gangster Butchie (played by Andrew Dice Clay) who bankrolled his illegal business. Gauthier instead flees the city.
Anderson also wants to wash her hands of the entire sordid affair, by signing the rights to the tape away to the online porn company and therefore letting them tackle the rampant bootlegging the couple can't possibly contain themselves.
But Lee doesn't like the idea of anybody else making money off their private footage. This leads to a fight and then an attempted reconciliation via road trip. That plan fails pretty quickly - partly because they unwisely decide to stop for the night in Las Vegas, where they're instantly swarmed. Another fight takes place, and Anderson bolts for home in the middle of the night.
A rueful Lee pursues his wife and agrees to sign the contract, finally allowing the couple to regroup and move on with their lives. After eight episodes of easily avoidable misunderstandings and escalating career and personal damage, there's finally a sense that the worst is over.
Of course, this hopeful feeling is quickly upended as the show's written epilogue explains what we already knew about the violent circumstances under which Lee and Anderson's marriage would soon end.