Pam & Tommy – Episode 5 “Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie” Recap & Review

Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie in Duluth

Episode 5 of Pam & Tommy begins in February 1996 with the sex tape doing the rounds. The Times contemplate whether to print this, while Pam’s Glamour interview goes on for two hours. Despite this being a big moment for her, it’s tarnished by the tape continuing to pick up steam and become more and more mainstream.

Meanwhile, Tommy finds himself struggling to catch up with the current new wave of music trends. He arrives at The Viper Club but he’s out of the loop. He also loses his temper in the bathroom when a couple of kids mention the last good record he produced was in 1987.

Tommy is thrown out the club by security, kicking and screaming, cursing at the cameras that happen to be there. Unfortunately, this is not a good look and it reflects badly on Pam and her career. This is something Gail, the reporter from Glamour, is quick to point out.

Pam eventually opens up and admits Tommy has a short fuse because of the tape. So far, none of the newspapers have reported on this but people are making copies of the tape and it’s spreading across the net. It’s only a matter of time.

With Pam and Tommy butting heads over the direction of their careers, Mötley Crüe hit another roadblock. Their studio time in the “big room” has been given to another band, also under the Elektra label, as their sales and popularity continues to dwindle.

A reporter called Alicia Krentz at the New York Times soon rings though, but Tommy is quick to curse and hang up. unfortunately, Alicia continues to do her research and learns that this tape was stolen from a safe. She encourages her editor, Burt, to run with the story but he refuses again.

Pam and Tommy decide to hire a team of lawyers to stop the story being printed and try to hit back against the distribution. Of Couse, leveling this against Bob Guccione is akin to kicking the hornets nest, and he’s quick to decide on pulling the free speech card. He’s going to blow up images from the tape and make the news.

Alicia learns what’s about to go down and returns to Burt once more with this turn of events, agreeing to print this story about the tape and the lawsuit. The story does the rounds, and this has the unfortunate knock-on effect of making the news even more mainstream.

Gail from Glamour also rings and leaves a message for Pam to ring back  -clearly in direct relation to the tape. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jay Leno ends up doing a comedic riff on the tape during a late-night show.

Pam is in over her head, frustrated and feeling helpless. Unfortunately, that’s only made worse when she receives a letter in the morning, informing her she needs to testify in a deposition…but it’s only going to be her. As Tommy tells her that they’re “in this together”, it’s obvious that they’re anything but.

The Episode Review

With the upcoming deposition, it looks like things are only going to get even more public for Tommy and Pam, who find themselves reeling from the tape doing the rounds. Beyond that though, there’s really not a whole lot else going on.

With Rand absent from proceedings, the attention instead turns to various different reporters and rumblings across the entertainment landscape. Seeing how Pam has had to deal with all of this is tough to watch and you can’t help but feel sorry for the pair.

Despite the episode only clocking in at around 30 minutes or so, Pam and Tommy still gives the impression of dragging out its material. Sure, the pacing is quite good but aside from the tape spreading, there’s not a lot else to really sink your teeth into. Thankfully the acting helps to prop up any plot shortfalls this week, leaving the door wide open for where this one may go next.

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