So far, this series has, rightfully in my opinion, focused more on how much Pamela Anderson was wronged by all the events of the theft of the tape. As much as Tommy was also on the tape, the incident didn’t hurt him in nearly the same way or degree that it hurt her.
But then this episode comes along and focuses mainly on him.
Two things happened in this episode, a rather short one all told. First, the tape received more and more prominence in the United States, going from an obscure thing that is only know by Internet purveyors of porn to something that the LA TImes reports on and Jay Leno makes jokes about.
You know, it may be an easy target, but there is something to be said about the banal sort of humor that Jay Leno uses to really show how something, anything really, goes on to mainstream exposure if not overexposure. I don’t know that too many people would consider Jay to be all that funny, but the episode here shows how something like the tape comes to the attention of someone like Leno, and that it appears to be a thing because his writers really needed something in the news to pitch jokes to Leno, and he kinda liked that one. It’s not maliciousness. It’s, well, the fact that it’s there.
As for the Times, it’s a woman reporter trying to get her editor to go for it, and he’s only interested after she finds evidence the tape was stolen and Tommy and Pamela try to preemptively sue Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione to keep images of their tape out of his magazine, a move that only prompts Guccionce to publish them anyway.
As for the rest of the episode, there are some strong hints here that the thing bothering Tommy isn’t the tape, and Pamela seems to realize that. Granted, this isn’t the first time she’s said as much, but this episode is the first time they argue over it. That comes mostly because the efforts to limit the damage are coming from Tommy and his, well, alpha male ways. Pam’s manager knows that hiring the lawyers is a bad idea, but Pam isn’t used to telling any man “no,” so she reluctantly goes along with it. Of course, all of Tommy’s efforts seem to make things worse by giving the tape more exposure.
But then Tommy gets kicked out of a club for starting a fight. He’s already concerned popular music is heading away from his 80s metal style towards the more 90s grunge sound. So, really, having two fans tell him in the restroom that the sex tape is the best thing he’s put out in almost a decade, the thing that sets Tommy off isn’t the tape but the idea these two guys think he hasn’t done anything worthwhile in nearly a decade.
Yeah, Tommy is concerned more about his fading star power than anything else. Maybe he does want Pam to be huge. But he is far more concerned with his own fading star power than her humiliation judging by that scene. And since his action only serves to make things worse instead of better, well…yeah, Pam is still the victim here, but at least this episode offers some insight into Tommy, and why he seems more inclined to do things that he thinks are good ideas but seem to just fail spectacularly.