Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 4 Recap – “The Master Beta”

By Cole Sansom
Published: February 9, 2022 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
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Pamela and Tommy find out that their video’s been stolen and hire a PI to go after Rand.

This recap of the Hulu series Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 4 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode. 

It’s clear from everything we know of recent history, the world we live in, and what we’ve seen of Pam & Tommy so far that the release of Anderson and Lee’s private sex tape will be much more impactful on Pamela’s image than Tommy’s, and if there were any doubts, this week’s episode “The Master Beta,” puts them to rest. “People are going to think you’re cool for this,” she tells her incredulous husband. “I’m going to get looked at like a s**t for the whole world.”

Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 4 Recap

It’s 1996 and the web-enabled video distribution (which reads “Pamela’s Sex-tape,” not “Pamela and Tommy’s”) is booming. Rand is doing well, he pays Erica back for an old debt, although claims to not have enough for the divorce. Pamela is overjoyed to be pregnant, and Tommy is looking forward to being a caring father.

The happy couple’s peace is disrupted when they finally discover, after several months, that the safe has been stolen. When the police arrive Lee details the safe’s contents, missing one crucial thing. But Pamela will not forget it. Everything else is a mere object. Expensive, sure, but replaceable. Her privacy has been stolen. “Who the f**k has Hi8,” Tommy says, downplaying the issue.

They meet with a PI (Don Harvey) and Lee lists the people who might have it out for him; rattling off the names of various celebrities. Only when they realize the thief must’ve had access to the security tapes does he even consider Rand, and when he rattles off the list of incidents that would make him seek vengeance (not paying him, pointing a gun at him), Pamela is horrified.

With Rand the easy suspect, the PI goes to spook him, and it definitely works. Later Rand himself is horrified to see his business being undercut by a guy selling cheaper copies of the take out of the car and pretends to take the moral high ground. It’s possible he’s now starting to think of the ramification of his actions, but he can definitely feel the wall closing in.

With the culprit in hand, Pamela feels at peace, her privacy restored, until suddenly it’s ruptured again. She exits her trailer to find many crew members gathered around a TV watching her in her most private moment. She runs to Tommy who can’t seem to figure out this newfangled internet thing. This leads to a charmingly retro sequence of the two using a public library computer to find Rand’s website.

Privacy doesn’t come so easily to Milton, whose idea to shop the video around time is coming back to haunt him. A biker gang shows up at his studio and a panicked Rand goes to Milton’s house where the latter thinks Rand may have ratted him out. Milton hangs his partner in crime out to dry, fleeing to Europe, and after several close run-ins with the bikers, Rand evacuates the studio and heads to Erica’s where he can lay low.

The ending

Back at the mansion, Pamela is vehement about preventing the video from spreading. Tommy doesn’t share her fervor, accusing her of acting crazy. “I’m on that tape just the same as you,” he says, unable to understand the gender dynamics at play. “It’s not because of my big career, it’s because I’m a woman,” she says. “It’s nothing they haven’t seen before,” he shouts, unable to comprehend the difference between exposing your body for your career and in some form of control and having an intimate private moment out of your hands. To Tommy, sex and nudity are the same whether it’s for a magazine or with someone you love. 

But the stress of the tape has made an impact on Pamela, as the next morning, she’s rushed to the hospital where it seems she’s had a miscarriage. She’s distraught, and when they stop the car and a paparazzo takes a photo of them, she unleashes her rage out on him. She can’t go anywhere without her privacy being violated.

Additional points

  • The music budget on this show must be insane.
  • “I’m gonna be a dad. On Purpose!”
  • This episode was directed by Lake Bell.
  • The White Lotus’s Fred Hechinger appears at the Boogie Nights-esque porn mansion Rand goes to evangelize about the internet. It’s a brief appearance that makes it seem like he’ll be important later, but I’m honestly not sure how much more of Rand’s story there can be.

What did you think of the Hulu series Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 4? Comment below. 

You can watch this series with a subscription to Hulu. 

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