Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 3 Recap – “Jane Fonda”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: February 2, 2022 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
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Hulu series Pam & Tommy episode 3


Rand decides that they should sell the tape online, and finds a wealthy, if shady, backer, while Pamela struggles with being pigeonholed.

This recap of Hulu series Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 3 contains spoilers.

Whether it’s her husband, the producers of Baywatch, or the general public. Though she dreams of being a Jane Fonda — someone who’s lived different many different lives and is constantly shifting the public’s perception of her — she’s only seen as a sex object. Her husband only wants to f**k her, the producers cut her dramatic monologue in favor of close-ups of her ass, and things are about to get much worse due to the guys about to get rich selling her sex tape.

Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 3 Recap

“It’s like we’re seeing something we’re not supposed to be seeing,” Offerman’s Miltie tells Rand Gauthier, instantly grasping the potential success they could have. Rand seems more concerned with payback for the man who robbed and humiliated him, but the methods he used to acquire the tape might cause a setback.

Stolen is “not the word he would use,” but the lack of releases gets them laughed out of every adult film distributor’s office in town. Say what you will about the adult entertainment industry, nobody wants to distribute something without consent (mainly due to fear of lawsuits over any moral instinct.)

Their attempts are intercut with the story of Rand and his (somewhat-ex) wife Erica. Five years ago a much livelier Gauthier fixed the sink of an adult film actress. He brags of his invention, “a microwave…but for cold,” that he’s still working on five years on. In the present (or, at least in 1995) she calls him for plumbing help. The two flirt; we learn that they are married (divorce would cost five grand). Later he watches a scene the two of them did together; he’s clearly not over her.

Rand searches for the right “flush pump,” but no store has the model he needs. Eventually, he resorts to the internet, finding the right piece…which gives him an idea. Rushing to Miltie, he tries to explain his plan — they can be untraceable online, and a website won’t cost anything. Miltie is old school and doesn’t quite get it, but manages to find them a backer. Despite Rand’s hesitations towards the shady-looking mobster, he agrees with his terms (buoyed by the fact that, should anything go wrong, it won’t be his neck on the line).

While Miltie travels across the world with the cash they need to finance their venture, the flush pump arrives and a glowing Rand arrives at Erica’s in dramatic fashion, posing the pump as a faux-wedding ring. He takes her out to dinner and while he doesn’t tell her the plan, he radiates with joy, then remembers watching Miltie film a scene between Erica and another man, and he feels no jealousy. 

With the money soon to come, the website designed, and the tapes in process of duplication, he can finally fill out the divorce papers. By exploiting someone else’s privacy, Rand is able to break free of his own past. To him, a former adult film actor, it’s the kind of work he’s been doing.

Rand doesn’t even think of the aspiring actress whose career he will pigeonhole once and for all. Pamela is trying to be a mother and an actress as well. She practices her big monologue only for it to get cut, and the producers smile and dismiss her when she asks for it to be reinserted. Her friend consoles her that at least she’ll have a hit movie coming out soon (Spoiler alert: Barb Wire was not a hit).

The ending

At home, Lee also sees his career in a rut. After watching the TV talk about Mötley Crüe’s decline into irrelevance, he prepares a fantastic dinner for his wife. He oozes charisma instead of substance, which is a problem for Anderson, who wants to know about his personal life. She’s shocked when she realizes that Lee is actually his middle name. That’s the problem with a bad boy, sometimes you just want someone to console you after a bad day.

She meets with a publicist who asks her what narrative she wants to tell to advertise Barb Wire. She brings up Fonda as her idol but is stuck with the fact that she just wants to please people. She doesn’t know exactly what she wants to be… just not solely what she is now.

At least one of her dreams will come true, as at the episode’s end she finally gets a positive test result. But little does she know, that as she speaks, out there in the back of a laundromat there are machines replicating her most intimate moments.

What did you think of Hulu series Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 3? Comment below. 

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