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The Most Dramatic Moments In Pam & Tommy

When Hulu announced Robert Siegel and D.V. DeVincentis's limited series about the story of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's infamous sex tape, many thought that it'd be just a funny and nostalgic program. The producers being unable to get official consent from one of the pop culture icons also overshadowed the project even before its airing. But thanks to its clever writing, bombastic soundtrack, and more prominently, Lily James and Sebastian Stan's excellent portrayal, the show became a hit.

According to Entertainment Weekly, DeVincentis said that the attempts to get Anderson involved with the project had failed, unfortunately. Yet the goal remained to tell the true story — based on a 2014 Rolling Stone article — and portray the drummer and the actress as they deserve it: being the victims of a crime. Thanks to that approach, "Pam & Tommy" delivers a more self-conscious, complex, and sensitive depiction than any of us expected — including truly dramatic moments. Here, we gathered those instances that made the series more than just a retrospective journey back to the 90s.

(Warning: spoilers ahead.)

Tommy refuses to pay Rand and his co-worker

According to Rolling Stone, everything started with a disgruntled craftsman in the mid '90s. In the pilot episode, we learn that the name of that man is Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen), who's working in Tommy Lee's (Sebastian Stan) mansion to make him the bedroom of his dreams. But the famous drummer keeps changing his mind and demands the kind of significant changes that mess up the work that's been already done. And on top of everything, he hasn't even paid the crew yet — he owes them over $20,000. So, before making any change, Rand tries to reason with him to pay half the money upfront. Tommy agrees, yet he never actually does it. After Rand accidentally catches a peek at the rock star's wife, Pamela (Lily James), being underdressed, Tommy goes berserk and freaks out on him.

He accuses Rand and his co-worker of doing a sloppy job and trying to rip him off. Thus he fires them — without paying a cent. It's a made-up excuse, but Rand is so intimated that he can't think of anything to say to resolve the situation and simply walks out of the house. The scene is an intense and dramatic moment that makes the viewer uncomfortable. It perfectly demonstrates how powerless the everyman is against celebrities. Essentially, Rand's meek nature and soft heart leave him broke and unemployed. But this injustice is what makes him seek revenge — which we all know will result in one of the biggest scandals of the '90s.

Rand and Miltie discovers what's on the tape

After he's fired, Rand comes up with a plan to rob Tommy's place and get the money he's owed. He commits the robbery by himself — as his co-worker chickens out — and steals a safe, which contains cash, guns, jewelry, and an untitled video cassette. It takes a while until he finds out what's on the tape. First, he pawns the valuables and goes on to celebrate alone in a cabin in the woods. It's only later that he finds the Hi8 cassette and reaches out to an old friend, Uncle Miltie (Nick Offerman).

Miltie, who Rand used to work for, is a busy porn film producer managing an adult film studio. He has just the equipment his buddy needs to view the footage. When they begin watching it together, none of them have any idea what they're going to see. But they quickly realize the kind of "treasure" they stumbled upon. It's literally just a moment, but the two actors' impeccable delivery perfectly emphasizes this instant. Two clueless guys, discovering the world's most infamous sex tape.

Tommy proposes to Pam

Episode 2 takes us back to early 1995, when Pam and Tommy meet for the first time in a nightclub. They're instantly and wildly attracted to each other before even a word is being said. Tommy immediately becomes obsessed with the actress, and once he finds out that she will head to Cancun for work, he knows he'll be there too. After that, he calls Pam a million times a day, and makes the trip to Mexico. Once they finally meet again, the two go out to drink, dance, and party together in the heart of the city. After spending several nights together and having fun, Tommy says to his friend that Pamela is the one — and that he won't have sex with her until their wedding night.

Unsurprisingly, he doesn't have to wait too long until that happens. While partying in another club, Tommy rips a ring off his friend's finger, goes up to Pam, and proposes to her. It's an absolutely crazy and hilarious moment. Even though they have only known each other for like five days, Pam can't resist saying yes. Before we know it, they stand on a Mexican beach, giving their vows to each other and getting married. It doesn't really get more rock star than that.

Rand and Miltie talk with Butchie Peraino

After failing to sell the tape due to lack of releases — and the fact that it was stolen — Rand and Miltie are desperate to find a way to distribute it on their own. That's when Rand comes up with an idea: the World Wide Web. He explains to Miltie why this could work, they just need to find an investor to help with the cost of manufacturing and shipping — and Miltie happens to know the perfect guy for the role. He sets up a meeting with the Italian-American mob figure, Butchie Peraino (Andrew Dice Clay). However, at first, he wants to pass on the deal — until Rand mentions the internet. Once he hears that his name wouldn't be associated with the operation in any way, and in fact total anonymity is guaranteed, he offers to loan them $50 grand.

This encounter between the three of them is as theatrical as it would be in any gangster film. Two small-time nobodies, sitting down with a guy who's going to put them at the bottom of the nearest river if they can't hold their end of the bargain. Butchie is no joke, and they both know it. Regardless, they make a deal with him — which is the first mistake in the line of many they are about to make.

Pam's miscarriage

After Pam and Tommy find out that they're going to be parents, the two couldn't be more excited about the news. However, this is also the time when they realize that Tommy's safe — and the home video in it — is gone. Pam gets worried, even though her husband tries to calm and reassure her that everything will be okay. But once the police are contacted, they both know the chances of getting the tape back are slim. Tommy hires a private investigator, hoping he can find the thief. Although the PI tracks down Rand, it's already too late — the distribution of the video has begun.

When Pam finds out that their most intimate moments are out in public, she becomes distressed. Once they check the website Rand uses to sell the tape, they know the damage is worse than they thought. It will affect their career and life significantly — especially Pam's. As a result of tension, she notices that something might be wrong with the baby and asks Tommy to take her to the hospital. After the doctor examines her, she tells them they've lost the baby. It's the first time in the show that things really become serious. This moment depicts the early consequences that Anderson suffered because of the scandal — and it's just the beginning of the escalating public scrutiny she will have to go through.

Pam attacks a paparazzi

When Pam and Tommy leave the hospital, a pack of news-hungry paparazzi surrounds them. They manage to drive away, but one of the photographers follows them along. As they stop at a red light, Tommy tries to console Pam, who is understandably devastated after losing the baby. That's when he spots the photographer right next to them, taking pictures. He becomes furious and gets out of the car to demand the photo he has just taken.

But Pam follows him and gets there faster with a crutch in her hand, and starts hitting the windshield of the paparazzi's car while shouting from the top of her lungs. Every ounce of anger and frustration blasts out of her as she's pounding the car until the guy finally leaves the scene. Then she bursts into tears and walks over to her husband, who hugs her tightly. It's a genuinely heart-breaking sequence, as they try to be there for each other during one of the toughest moments in their life.

Rand confesses that he stole the tape

Throughout the series, Rand does a good job keeping the big secret from his wife, Erica (Taylor Schilling). He's dying to reveal what his new "business venture" is on several occasions but manages to keep his mouth shut. But when the tape goes viral, Erica tells Rand that she watched it and loved every minute of it. That's when something turns in his mind, and he loses control. As more and more people exploit his theft — making bootleg copies of the tape and selling them in parking lots — he barely makes any money and grows frustrated and angry.

In Episode 7, he attempts to tell Erica the whole story in the form of a metaphor. He explains that he endured so much humiliation and shame from people in his entire life, and Tommy Lee's cruelty was the straw that broke the camel's back. He just couldn't take it anymore. He admits to stealing the tape. Once his wife hears it, she becomes furious and kicks him out of her house. It's such a substantial moment, since he longs for sympathy and wants people to feel sorry for him, but it never happens. He's not the victim in this story — he's the perpetrator. And sooner or later, he will have to accept that.

Pam asks the Baywatch writers why her monologue got cut

In Episode 3, "Jane Fonda," Pam is getting prepared in her trailer to shoot a Baywatch scene. A crew member walks in and hands her an updated script, in which she no longer has any lines. She storms out to demand an explanation from the writers of why her monologue was cut. The reason they tell her is pathetic and cruel. They say that the scene is more powerful without words — essentially making her feel that all they want to see is her gorgeous and sexy looks, not her talent.

At that moment, Pam is reminded once again that most men in this business will treat her like a piece of meat. They aren't interested in her skills and performance but rather in exploiting her body. They refuse to allow her to become more than just a sex symbol. She's crushed but takes it like a pro — she knows it's not the last time she has to endure this.

Pam's meeting with the lawyers

"Pamela in Wonderland" is the episode where we witness, in all its ugliness, how hard this whole media circus has been on Pam. As she meets the lawyers of Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione (Maxwell Caulfield) to give a deposition, she lives through an hours-long nightmare. They interrogate her due to the sort of work she'd done for Playboy magazine in previous years. It's tough to watch her getting emotional as one of the lawyers compares her to a sex worker. As the deposition goes on, an attorney requests her to watch the video and identify the individuals in it. He puts her through total humiliation, and at one point, she even has to ask for a bathroom break as she starts feeling dizzy and sick.

The whole encounter is an ethically questionable and repulsive move. It poignantly depicts the shaming of a kind woman who was put in this awful situation. Through no fault of her own, the star of Baywatch had been scrutinized by not just these legal representatives, but an entire world. Undoubtedly, this is one of the cruelest aspects of "Pam & Tommy."

Jay Leno interviews Pam

After the deposition, the public scandal continues and intensifies when Pam makes an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." After some chit-chat, Leno (Adam Ray) asks Anderson about the tape and how it feels to have all that exposure. She stops for a second to collect her thoughts before giving an answer — she can barely believe that he actually asked that question. Then she goes on to explain how horrible and devastating it is to have something so private and intimate stolen from you and exposed to the whole world. Something that you wouldn't want to share with anyone apart from your spouse.

It's no secret that one of the show's primary goals was to somewhat restore Anderson's reputation and do her justice by depicting how mistreated she was at the time. This scene, thanks to Lily James's delicate and empathetic delivery, helps accomplish that.

Pam's conversation with Hugh Hefner

After her very first photoshoot for Playboy, Anderson is invited to a private conversation with the magazine's founder, Hugh Hefner (Mike Seely). She's over the moon and really grateful to have this privilege and opportunity. Hefner offers her a drink and tells her that women like her only come around once in a generation. Then he continues, saying that she's truly unique, and many people will pay her to be the star they want her to be. However, the amount of money they offer will never represent her true worth. Essentially, he gives her a bit of advice to always be herself no matter what. In response, Pam says that women have been doing that for centuries, and it's nothing new.

Whether this conversation has any truth to it or not, the series does an excellent job portraying Pamela as a feminist and an intelligent woman. At the time, navigating the entertainment industry wasn't an easy gig — it still isn't — but she did her best and carefully used the chances she was given to establish herself as a professional.

Tommy burns the money he owes Rand

In Episode 7, Rand is broke and terrified after Peraino gives him an ultimatum to pay the money that he owes. He decides to write a letter to Tommy, in which he asks him to meet and bring an offering of $26,938 he owes him for his labor — no more, no less. Tommy shows up with a bag of cash in the parking lot where Rand wanted to meet. But given his temper and often unpredictable behavior, this "deal" between the two won't go down as smoothly as Rand hopes.

Tommy gives him a speech, explaining how much of a loser Rand is and that no money in the world will ever change that. He tells him to contemplate the struggle he put a sweet and kind woman through. Then he says, the only reason he came here is to beat him up, but because he's on the other side of the fence, he isn't able to do that. Instead, he pulls out his lighter and lit up the cash in his hand, and throws it over the barrier. This move is as over-the-top and dramatic as it gets when it comes to the Mötley Crüe's famously wild drummer.

Tommy signs the paper to sell the rights for the tape

The season finale does a great job at showing how the media scandal gradually started to poison Pam and Tommy's relationship. In the last episode, we learn that the tape became available to watch online for free. The couple sues the company that responsible for it, but the judge denies their injunction. Soon after, they meet with Seth Warshavsky (Fred Hechinger), the founder of Internet Entertainment Group, who wants to buy the rights. Tommy gets furious and refuses the offer, but Warshavsky tells them to reconsider and let him know if they change their minds. 

Eventually, Pam decides to give up on the rights for free so they can finally move on. This leads to a feud between the two since Tommy still disagrees. Later on, they have a conversation about it one last time, in which Pam asks his husband to sign the document. But he flips out and starts breaking things in the house. In the end, though unwilling, but Tommy signs the contract. It's a crucial moment as we witness his uncontrollable rage and violent behavior. This scene serves as a theatrical tipping point in their marriage that's doomed to fail, and it's also a poignant final note for the miniseries to end on.