George & Tammy (Episode 5): Episode 4 of George & Tammy effectively ended the botched fairytale of George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s marriage. Whether divorcing George broke her or not, Tammy’s fans rose above their simplistic moral grounds to support their favorite singer. The darker side of fame, however, especially for a woman in her time, turns the show we had hoped to watch without much of an impassioned effect into something of a tragedy. With its spirited songs, its whimsical outfits, and the ever-so-bright Jessica Chastain smile, George & Tammy had aimed our focus away from the reason the show was made and what it really wanted to convey. So when the penultimate episode only adds to the devastation of Tammy by a series of men that enrage the helpless audience, we once again receive the violent rattling of a reminder–this is a story of Tammy’s misery.

George & Tammy (Episode 5): Recap

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It has been a minute since George and Tammy parted ways. Tammy is doing just fine having no man to stand by. With a faux documentary crew following her around in the 30 rooms mansion fit for the First Lady of country music, Tammy doesn’t really need George. And why would she? George on the other hand–as any man who has ever lost a good woman–is snorting coke to deal with his wreckage. He sees or hallucinates Tammy in places she will never really be. Picturing Tammy’s face while he beds random women is hardly the rebound George needs. For the lack of a better choice, he falls back on the questionable support of the newly-turned Christian, Peanutt. Instead of getting him some real help, Peanut tries the obviously toxic religious manipulation on George.

Although her career is at its absolute peak, Tammy’s personal life is riddled with the discomfort of awkward questions and offensive judgment. Things aren’t going all that well with her health either. We learn that Tammy has had not one but six surgeries in a short while. A scary commentary on how laidback the world of medicine has always been about women’s wellness is passed on when even a woman of Tammy’s stature does not receive the helpful treatment she needs. The doctor hands her an even stronger drug that she is supposed to self-administer and sends her on her way.

Tammy’s post-George romantic life hasn’t seen anything all that substantial. And I would say that’s a far better circumstance than what life lands her into next. While working on a song, Richey breaks his marriage vows and makes an advance at Tammy. Her respect for her friendship with Sheila makes Tammy shut him down before he lingers on the idea. But unfortunately, Richey is a manipulative snake. Tammy’s fear of needles makes her rely on Richey for the painkiller shots. Making use of Tammy’s weakness, Richey gets himself closer and closer to the woman in pain. In her drugged-up state, Tammy confuses the comfort that the medication brings with the presence of Richey in her life.

George & Tammy Episode 5 Recap & Ending Explained

Their marriage may be over but their careers don’t have to take the heat for it. Or at least that’s what Tammy tells George when she pays him a visit and proposes another duet album. Considering it to be a chance at getting closer to Tammy, George agrees in a heartbeat. The legends of country music once again liven up the recording studio with a duet about a love that is long gone. But seeing that they end up in each other’s arms right after, I would say that the two are still very much in love. George wants to work on their relationship again and Tammy throws him a bone of a “maybe”. Meanwhile, a hateful slur painted on her door shakes up Tammy. By her side once again and speaking manipulative words of codependency is our latest SOB Richey.

George & Tammy (Episode 5): Ending Explained

Abusers have historically flocked around the vulnerable. And especially for someone as pathologically vulnerable as Tammy, there won’t be a shortage of manipulators who would want to take advantage of her miserable state. Seeing that something may start up again between Tammy and George, Richey places a barely veiled threat in her lap. Tammy doesn’t want George’s sobriety to be hit with the news of her addiction to painkillers. She pleads to Richey to keep it between them. But what he wants in return is a price too expensive to pay.

Richey wants to marry Tammy. When wretched Sheila pays a visit to Tammy, her harrowing lack of self-worth keeps her from speaking her mind. She will always love Tammy. The whole world loves Tammy. Miserable Sheila almost ends up apologizing to the “other woman” for causing distress. While it doesn’t really need a spoon-feeding explanation, we soon see why Sheila acts the way she does. What Sheila really wanted to tell Tammy is the troubling truth about Richey. He was the one who wrote the insulting slur on Tammy’s door in order to make her fear her solitude. The godforsaken Richey furiously attacks Sheila in the car for even suggesting the idea of Tammy getting to know the truth. We can assume what it does to a woman when she has been trapped in a horrifying marriage with an abuser like Richey and has to keep her mouth shut about it.

Tammy once again chooses evil over a different evil. But what’s a woman in her circumstances to do when all the choices are awful? Caught in his disgusting design, Tammy agrees to marry Richey. George hears the news right from the mouth of the enemy and it’s all he can do to not break right down. After his revenge on Tammy by making her miss her flight, George’s breakdown comes in the form of George taking it out on his wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time friend Peanutt who again attempts to calm the wounded wolf with the words of God (insert eye roll here). George takes a shot at Peanutt and lucky for them both, he misses. But that doesn’t stop Peanutt from putting an APB out on him and getting him to run from arrest.

It’s the dark day of Tammy and Richey’s wedding and we’ve never seen a sadder bride. Even though her friends Jan and Nan were upset with her for having an affair with Richey, they have come to understand that Richey manipulated her into the entire ordeal. So of course, on the wedding day, Richey is on top of the world but the same can’t be said about Tammy. Her friends and her daughters try to talk her out of it but Tammy being high and way too deep in the hole life has dug for her, knows that there’s no backing out now. From a distance, George watches the love of her life marry someone else. It’s heartbreak and pain all around and all of our sympathies are reserved for Tammy. Those who blame the choices that are made don’t particularly take into account the damning effect of luck and circumstances. And even when they think about circumstances, most people hardly acknowledge the effect of one’s mental health. While I’m sure many will find excuses to blame Tammy for the situations she lands herself in–considering every aspect of her life, Tammy is a victim of a series of unfortunate events.


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