Pam and Tommy Episode 5 Recap and Ending, Explained

Image Credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu

‘Pam & Tommy’ episode 5, titled ‘Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie in Duluth,’ follows the swift and inevitable spread of the infamous leaked tape from the titular couple’s residence. Pamela faces an increasingly bleak outcome to the whole affair and, despite trying to remain optimistic, feels helpless at containing the private recording. This is the turning point where the video goes from being an underground novelty to national news coverage, depicted in all its 1990’s nostalgic glory.

A fair few new characters come into the picture, and we even glimpse a stoic Hugh Hefner. There’s a lot to unpack in ‘Pam & Tommy’ episode 5 because it looks like things will never be the same again for all those involved. Let’s take a closer look. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Pam & Tommy Episode 5 Recap

The episode opens with the titular couple in the throes of a recent tragedy. Drama unfolds at a media event soon after as Tommy gets into a fight after someone brings up the sex tape. This is the first of many instances in the episode where Pamela and Tommy are increasingly stumped by just how many people have watched their private recording. The brawl at the event gets press coverage, which makes Tommy — and by extension, Pamela — even more newsworthy.

Image Credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu

Meanwhile, Tommy is going through his own crises and doesn’t seem to grasp just how serious the situation is. His frustrations grow when he finds the Mötley Crüe have been bumped from the larger recording studio and replaced by a younger band. Finally, the bombshell drops when the couple is informed that Penthouse, an adult magazine, has a copy of the tape and plans to publish still frames from it. Trying to once again “handle” the situation, Tommy decides to sue the publication.

Pam & Tommy Episode 5 Ending: What is in the Court Order Pamela Receives?

At a meeting with the lawyers, surrounded by a room full of men, Pamela’s reasoning that a lawsuit will publicize the tape further is quickly suppressed. Sure enough, every major publication soon carries a story about the case and, by extension, the not-so-private video. The actress feels frustrated and helpless as her publicist informs her that the lawsuit was the wrong decision.

Image Credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu

Tommy continues to claim he did the right thing but is silenced soon after when they hear a late-night talk show host (a startling depiction of Jay Leno) joking about the tape. Consequently, the rift between the couple grows. Finally, the episode closes when Pamela receives a confusing court order summoning her. The court order Pamela receives is a summons for a deposition, seemingly for the lawsuit that the titular couple has launched against Penthouse Magazine.

What proves confusing (but also predictable in a very seedy way) is that only Pamela has been summoned to give an oral deposition. When she asks Tommy why he isn’t called as well, the rockstar shrugs and rants about how plaintiffs shouldn’t be summoned in the first place. However, this doesn’t change the fact that Pamela — on top of the humiliation she’s dealing with already, including being called out on Jay Leno’s show — now faces the prospect of talking about her private life in front of a panel of strangers.

Image Credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu

It appears that every step the couple takes lands them in a worse situation. Things are especially bad for Pamela as she finds herself as the lone woman in the eye of the storm. Despite her publicity consultant’s sage advice, the situation continues to slip out of control. The fact that Tommy doesn’t seem to be helping — or even understanding what Pamela is going through — frustrates the actress further. With the upcoming deposition, it looks like things are only going to get even more public.

Who is Threatening to Publish Images of the Sex Tape? Do the Images Get Published?

The whole matter truly blows open and becomes public when Tommy takes legal action against Penthouse Magazine, leading to widespread media coverage of the now “juicy” story. The lawsuit is in response to the adult magazine’s promise to publish still frames from the couple’s private recording, which is a breach of personal property, according to Tommy’s lawyers.

Image Credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu

Of course, the head of Penthouse Magazine, Bob Guccione, is having none of it and loudly claims that he will not have his freedom of expression curtailed. From the summons Pamela receives at the end of the episode, it seems like Bob is fighting the case. Since there seems to be a temporary injunction on the images, it looks like Penthouse Magazine hasn’t published them yet. However, this could all change depending on how the legalities proceed. Of course, this also doesn’t slow down the underground spread of the video. In fact, the whole affair getting national media coverage has probably made the infamous recording more popular than ever.

Where are Rand and Uncle Miltie?

Rand and Uncle Miltie remain conspicuously absent from the entire episode, and not so much as a mention of their name is heard. It appears as if Tommy’s private investigator and intimidating biker friends have effectively scared away the two men originally responsible for the leak and spread of the tape. Of course, scaring Rand and Uncle Miltie into hiding also doesn’t slow down the spread since the recording is in the hands of countless bootleggers.

Image Credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu

Pam and her publicist also find links to the video online, a concept so far alien in the early-internet era. Rand’s last known location is in his estranged wife Erica’s house, where he is seemingly hiding with the last of the recorded tapes that are yet to be sold (or dispatched). Uncle Miltie has a more extravagant plan and is last seen on a flight to Amsterdam. Whether he plans to return remains unknown.

Read More: Where is Pam and Tommy Filmed?