Showtime’s ‘George and Tammy’ takes the audience further into the relationship of the titular couple in the second episode. While the first episode was just an introduction to their world and the complexities of their individual lives, the next chapter of their story digs into their relationship. Turns out that things aren’t as easy as they seemed in the beginning. Tammy, particularly, starts to see that George Jones is “just a man” underneath the songs and stardom that had dazzled her. George, too, discovers some dark aspects of Tammy’s past. Here’s what the ending means for them going forward. SPOILERS AHEAD
George and Tammy Episode 2 Recap
Following the confrontation with Don Chapel in the previous episode, Tammy and George find themselves in a bind when it turns out that leaving Don might not be so easy for Tammy. They escape to Mexico, get her a divorce, and then get married, only to later discover that what happened in Mexico doesn’t have a legal stand in America. Luckily, they have great lawyers who can figure out a solution to their problems. As for the other challenges, they have to face them as a couple.
After showering Tammy with all his love, George starts falling back into his previous habits. He gets drunk and shows his violent impulses, which scares Tammy. Unbeknownst to him, she is already dealing with a difficult situation from her previous marriage. In exacting revenge on her, Don blackmails Tammy with her pictures that he had clicked when they were still married. He threatens to make these pictures public, which would destroy Tammy’s career, while also affecting her marriage with George.
George and Tammy Episode 2 Ending: What Tammy’s Stand By Your Man Means?
The second episode opens with a flashback. We find Tammy Wynette, when she was still Virginia Pugh, in the fourth month of her pregnancy, getting electroshock therapy. It is a painful scene to watch and an even more painful thing to survive and to have embedded in your memory for the rest of your life. Later, Tammy tells George that this was the time when she used his voice as an anchor, to keep herself tied to sanity when it looked like her whole life was falling apart. It is his voice and his songs that she followed to Nashville, and she fell in love with that person who had saved her.
By the end of the episode, however, she discovers that she might have put too many expectations on George and how their life would look together. It is not a fairy tale, as Don had predicted. While his songs might create the perception of a man who knows nothing but love, he is plagued by several demons that he needs to make peace with. His alcoholism is one of those things. We saw a glimpse of the kind of person he could become when he drank beyond his wits, and this time around, Tammy sees it too.
Tammy is no stranger to difficult men. Both her previous marriages hadn’t been easy, and every time she left her husband, it was in the hopes of finding someone better. She also falls in love too quickly, and, it seems, hastens into a marriage. While looking into the legal details of her wedding with Don Chapel, the lawyers discover that she didn’t wait long enough after her first divorce with Euple Byrd. She was supposed to wait a year, but she married Don only ten months later, which meant that legally, her and Don’s marriage never had a stand.
While this makes things easier for her and George, it also dawns on her that she might have hurried into her marriage with George too. They got married as soon as she divorced Don. At the phone booth where she tries to tell Billy about how George got violent with her, we get a sense of a deja vu with her. Previously, when things were still not final for them, Tammy had a window of leaving George or at least reconsidering their relationship in a new light. But now, when she discovers that they are married, she finds that she has no choice but to stand by her man.
The next morning, George and Tammy have a chat about the new status of their relationship and how both of them have a lot of things on their plate. George promises that he will get better, that he will stop drinking and be a better husband to her. Later, we also find him bursting into Don’s house and retrieving the pictures that he’d tried to blackmail Tammy with. This is George’s way to show Tammy that he will protect her no matter what. For now, it seems to be enough, but of course, things are never so easy.
It is no secret that despite his efforts to stay away from alcohol during his marriage with Tammy Wynette, George Jones couldn’t really keep his promise. This became one of the major factors behind his and Tammy’s eventual separation. By the end of the second episode, however, we find them in a place where they are full of hope about embarking on their new lives, a fresh start for both of them.
As Tammy and Billy rework the new song to turn it into ‘Stand By Your Man’, the smash hit that became synonymous with Wynette, we find her trying to come up with reasons to convince herself of why, even after seeing the dark side of George, should she commit to this relationship. It is Tammy reassuring herself that there are good times and bad times in every relationship and that she must endure those bad times if the relationship is to work. Instead of addressing the listener, she explores her own emotions, encouraging herself to help George through his struggles, which he professes her love can ease. Eventually, however, she will draw a line where enough standing by has been done and it’s time to quit a relationship that has doomed written all over it.