Pamela feels public scrutiny for the sex tape while Rand has to pay back the loan shark.
This recap of the Hulu series Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 7, “Destroyer of Worlds,” contains spoilers.
Despite one holding a position of power and the other a down-on-his-luck schmuck, there’s little difference in the judge that oversaw Pamela & Tommy’s lawsuit and Rand. Both see her as a nude model, a sex worker, and therefore the tape’s release is not a violation of privacy but an extension of her career. This would not be ok if she wasn’t “a s**t,” to use Pamela’s words.
The men in her life, and in society at large, think that because she shows her breasts, she has no feelings, and most importantly, no shame. But as the second half of Pam & Tommy goes out of its way to show, that is absolutely untrue. And she knows how people see her. Reacting to the judge’s dismissal, she knows their stated rationale, invoking the first amendment, is phony. “I don’t have any rights because I have spent my public life in a bathing suit,” she says. “They can’t actually say that sluts don’t get to decide what happens to pictures of her body.”
Pam & Tommy Season 1 Episode 7 recap
It’s heartbreaking to see all that was going well for her a few months ago is falling down around her. At least she says she is pregnant. To be honest, I’m a little confused on this front; the ending of episode four heavily implied she had had a miscarriage, but now she tells people she is pregnant. Wikipedia states her son was born in June ’96, a month after this episode is set and she does not look pregnant in the slightest. I guess we’ll find out next episode.
While on the press tour Pamela does her best to shut down questions about the tape. Going on Leno (their conversation seems like a prosthetics-off), she extols how devastating it feels to have that intimate moment exploited, and then the camera snaps back to the show and she blows it off. Backstage Lee is furious, but she takes control, telling him he cannot make a scene or take anything personally. This tour is her time to shine.
Between events she takes deep breaths, struggling, and Tommy isn’t always there when she needs him (but at least Nora Ephron and Sleepless in Seattle are). Tommy seems excited to learn that the judge has made a decision and is shocked when it’s not the one he expected, but Pamela is unsurprised. And when the movie debuts and is a laughing stock, she can’t seem to imagine things getting any worse.
And the man responsible for some of her pain, it would probably please her to know, isn’t doing so hot either. After Milton took the money and f****d off to Amsterdam where he has all the blow and women he can buy, Rand’s been crashing at Erica’s, whose hospitality instincts are rapidly declining. Unfortunately, Rand’s not the only one who’s been having trouble getting hands on Miltie. The loan shark who gave them a start is now looking for his dough. Forced to find the money, Rand has no choice but to reach out to the one person he never wants to see again… Tommy Lee.
Of course, Lee has no interest in paying the man who stole his tape and didn’t finish his bedroom. He burns the money that Rand requested — which was only the amount that he was owed. It’s hard not to feel for Rand here, even though his actions later on were monstrous. He’s then asked to collect loans himself, which he isn’t particularly good at, fumbling the baseball bat and then interrupted by a bus.
When he gets back to Erica’s he finds her and her roommate learning of the court ruling. They talk about the tape and have particular praise. Pamela and Tommy are really in love, and the camerawork is interesting, particularly when Pamela holds the camera (that’s what we call the female gaze!). They even praise Tommy, describing him as a “sensitive caveman.”
This infuriates Rand, who manages to break through to Milton.
At wit’s end, he confesses to Erica, comparing himself to a car sitting in front of a green light always being taken advantage of by “left turners” rolling through. And Lee was the one who he ran right into. Deep down he’s a sad little man who only sees himself as a victim, with no thought to anyone else, especially to women (note that he only considers Tommy the victim of his actions).
Rightfully Erica is furious, making him leave and giving him a lesson in consent. “It’s porn,” he tells her, and in that moment he becomes a stand-in for the many who have been complicit in Pamela’s exploitation.
With nothing left to lose, he goes back to the other loanee’s house to terrorize him. “I am become death, destroyer of worlds,” he says, quoting Oppenheimer.
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