Lily James as Pamela Anderson in 'Pam & Tommy'

The Pam & Tommy Episode 6 Promo Delves Into Pam’s Past

It's getting ugly.

by Ani Bundel
Erin Simkin/Hulu

As Pam & Tommy passed the halfway point of the story, the unequal fallout from “the world’s most infamous tape” began to be unavoidably clear. On some level, the story started to resemble a funhouse mirror version of the famous A Star is Born. He’s a has-been; she’s a rising star. But instead of her rise to fame from his ashes, the tape reversed the process. Her career began to crumble while he reaped the benefits. The Pam & Tommy Episode 6 promo warns that watching this play out isn’t going to get easier.

Warning: Spoilers for Pam & Tommy Episode 5 follow. In “Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie in Duluth,” the honeymoon tape reached levels of fame that meant everyone has heard of it, even your Middle America relatives. It’s the punchline of late-night show, hitting a level of cultural saturation that will be inescapable for the rest of Tommy and Pam’s lives.

For Pam, for whom the last decade has been a long slog from Playboy model to mainstream celebrity, it was a crisis of epic proportions, a slamming of the door on any chance she had to escape being viewed as anything more than a jumped-up pin-up. But as much as Tommy tried to insist they were in this together, his career was not suffering. The tape made him relevant again in a world where hair metal took a nosedive in the face of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Worse, now the lawsuit has led to Pam being called to give a deposition by the ruthless lawyers employed by Penthouse. As Episode 6’s trailer shows, it’s not going to be pretty.

Episode 6 is titled “Pamela in Wonderland,” referring to her early years at the Playboy Mansion. The synopsis might as well be a content warning: “During a grueling deposition, Pam is pushed to the emotional brink.”

How hard is this episode going to be to watch? Let’s go to Anderson’s own description of it, taken from Tommy Lee’s 2004 biography, Tommyland, one of the show’s sources. “It was great sitting through depositions, where old men with crusty white sh*t in the corners of their mouths would hold up pictures of me naked in Playboy and ask why I’d even care that the tape was out there. I couldn’t handle it.”

This episode looks to be getting to the heart of the unequal response to the tape Pam and Tommy experienced. But the real question is just how much more their relationship can take.

Pam & Tommy continues with new episodes every Wednesday on Hulu.