‘Pam and Tommy’ Episode Five Recap: ‘Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie in Duluth’
Sharks are circling as "Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie in Duluth" opens. There's an L.A. Times reporter eager to cover the story, held back only by an editor who doesn't realize what big news the increasingly popular bootleg is going to be. The Tonight Show writers are itching to write jokes about Tommy Lee's unusual method of honking a boat horn, but host Jay Leno doesn't think the heartland viewers that give this episode its title would be interested.
By episode's end, both the reporter and the joke writers get the green light to start piling on, and the couple's sex tape becomes the hottest topic in the world. This comes at a particularly bad time for Anderson, who is just ramping up a PR campaign for her first big screen starring role, Barb Wire.
Lee and Anderson get into a big fight when she tries to point out how much worse this is for her, which is particularly unfair when it was his hot-headed firing of carpenter turned thief turned porn distributor Rand Gauthier that led to this whole mess. He thinks she's belittling his career, triggering the insecurities we were shown earlier in the episode: "You know, I sold over 100 million albums!," he says at one point.
Lee and the couple's lawyers then make things even worse by ignoring her wishes and suing Penthouse owner Bob Guccione after learning he's thinking of printing stills from the tape. He furiously doubles down, convincing himself he's a free speech champion and ordering his team to find the 20 most vulgar stills possible.
At episode's end, Lee is surprised to learn that only Anderson has been called to testify in a pre-trial deposition, the clearest indication yet that his wife is going to take the brunt of the damage.
Best scene - Lee in full sour grapes mode, at a bar and not recognizing or particularly enjoying Sleater-Kinney. Hopefully he gets turned onto The Woods or Dig Me Out later.