Pam & Tommy episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained

March 9, 2022
Cole Sansom 0
Ending Explained, Hulu, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
4

Summary

Pamela and Tommy’s marriage strains under the digital release of the tape. Rand faces his sins.

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4

Summary

Pamela and Tommy’s marriage strains under the digital release of the tape. Rand faces his sins.

This recap of the Hulu series Pam & Tommy episode 8, “Seattle,” — the finale and ending explained — contains spoilers.

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“I’m on that tape just the same as you,” Tommy repeats a couple more times for good measure in Pam & Tommy’s final episode. It’s the phrase he’s uttered since he and Pamela learned of the tape. Even after he’s seen the effect it has on his wife’s career and emotional state, he still doesn’t get it. Despite a marriage truly based on love (something Pam & Tommy’s creators place a lot of emphasis on) it’ll never work out because while he’ll put on a show of rage against those who “congratulate him” on the tape, at the end of the day he’s on their side. 

By the start of this episode, neither of them are doing particularly swell. Mötley Crüe are losing headliner slots to Beck and Pamela’s career hasn’t taken off the way she hoped it would. “It has to die down,” Tommy assures her, right before he finds out that if anything, it’s blown up. 

Pam & Tommy episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained

Thanks to Seth Warshavsky, the tape is now viewable online, and once again the law sides against them. Warshavsky welcomes their case — it establishes that his streaming the tape is legal, but he doesn’t want to stop there. Seth meets with the privacy-violated couple and gives them an offer: he wants to buy the rights to the tape and put it behind a paywall.

Tommy, hotheaded as always, tells him to f- off, but their lawyer sees the appeal. Copyrighting the tape and selling those rights means it will no longer be available on any old site, and at least they’ll make some money off of it. But Pamela doesn’t even want to be paid. All she wants is for the nightmare to end, something her husband will never understand. Behind a paywall, this might all fade away.

Of course, there’s one other person who still considers himself the “rightful owner” of the tape. Ever the shithead, Rand believes that everyone else who sold the tape, including Warshavsky, is stealing from him (somehow he can’t quite grasp the irony). He’s so misguided he sees Tommy and Pamela on his side against Seth. His new debt-collection gig is wearing at his soul, and seeing everyone but him make money off the tape makes him feel like LA’s punching bag, that somehow, nothing works out for him.

After this latest humiliation, he has an epiphany; he quits debt collecting (the loan shark agrees if he gives him the final  $10k) and apologizes to Erica. He admits his wrongdoing, realizing he is the problem, and they agree to give each other some distance, but stay in each other’s lives (better than what he was expecting). “Rand, he f****d you over,” she consoles him, telling him it wasn’t all his fault. “What did she ever do to me,” he replies, finally seeing the true victim of his actions. “I feel terrible for women.” You go, Rand, do the bare minimum!

Later he runs into a Pamela Anderson impersonator on the Hollywood walk of fame. Realizing this is the closest he’ll ever get to the real thing, he apologizes and asks for forgiveness. He comes home to find Warshavsky in his apartment (he really needs to up his home security). Seth wants a higher-quality copy of the video and offers to pay Rand. A recently enlightened Rand, however, refuses… until he sees the price tag. The measly 10k he’s offered is a fraction of the millions Seth will make, but it’s enough to clear his debts, which is, more than moral enlightenment, what he needs right now.

Finally, after months of disappointment and horror, he’s finally making some money off the tape, but he hasn’t totally lost his moral spine. Rand moves out of his crappy apartment but decides to give the money to Erica and cover her divorce (and the hefty phone bill he left her with). And with that, he’s off to California to (this character was played by Seth Rogan in true style) grow weed! It’s a sweet end for a character who after a few episodes seemed tangential to the celebrity protagonists. He didn’t entirely atone for his sins, but he seems to have more sympathy for Pamela than the majority of the men featured. 

One of those men, unfortunately for Pamela, is her husband. Tommy can be gentle and loving, but he flips out at the slightest inconvenience, which only makes Pamela more upset. She tries to get some space, but he convinces her to go back to their honeymoon spot. They end up at a hotel in Vegas where they’re instantly recognized, causing Tommy to yell even more. When she catches him bro-ing it up with some gross-looking guys she takes the car and drives home.

The ending

When Tommy eventually finds her, she asks him again to sign the papers selling the rights to Seth. “What if I don’t,” he asks, and her silence causes him to get louder and louder. This is the last person she wants to deal with. They’re in love, but there’s a side of him she can’t handle (and honestly, who could). That’s what causes their eventual divorce, get back together, and break up again.

In a closing montage, Pamela delivers the baby, finally achieving her dream of motherhood. The tape is now sold, legally, and Pamela makes a symbolic break from her husband, changing a tattoo from “Tommy” to “Mommy.” She may not have a film career, and a picture-perfect family, but at least she has someone she can love and hold on to.

Additional notes

  • The roles Pamela doesn’t get are for I would assume LA Confidential and Austin Powers.
  • It looks like Mötley Crüe perform in the same Tower Records parking lot where the bootlegger was selling the tape out.
  • Tommy failing to comprehend the internet will not be funny.
  • That’s it for Pam & Tommy. I found the season gained depth as it went along, with episodes five through seven really hitting the gas and getting at the themes of the show much more successfully than the first few episodes. Most of all I hope the real Pamela is doing well.

What did you think of the Hulu series Pam & Tommy episode 8 (finale) and the ending? Comment below. 

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