George & Tammy (Season Finale), Episode 6: With the last note of country music hitting the low of excruciating heartbreak, George & Tammy closes its curtain on the love story of the President and the First Lady of country music. It’s not that we didn’t absolutely set ourselves up for sadness when we started on their doomed journey. Slaves to our very nature, however–we are hopelessly hopeful creatures. And so was Tammy Wynette. And as was George Jones. Only their love fell prey to the shackles of the ghosts of their past and the demons they carried.
While love can be all-consuming, it isn’t known for overcoming the darkness that festers silently, while we hope that it isn’t that bad. By the time George and Tammy came to terms with just how powerless they were when faced with their dynamic fate, it was all too late for their love to make it. Flatlining on the table, hope floats up and looks down as love takes its last breath.
George & Tammy (Season Finale), Episode 6: Recap
Justified & Ancient
Barefeet with bruises all over her, Tammy runs for her life through the woods and the roads with no sign of who she is running from. The Maggots’ “Tammy Wynette” enriches the urgency of the circumstance and we realize that we are witnessing the infamous assault on Tammy. Banging on the door of the first house she sees, Tammy seeks help from fans who are all too excited to see her, however wrecked up she may be.
After a few weeks of healing, Tammy’s outer wounds numb down enough for her to face the press. We hear that she was attacked by a gunman, taken hostage in a car, and left to die on the side of the road. We don’t have to stew in confusion for too long as in the privacy of Tammy’s company, Richey apologizes for bruising her like that before a tour. The deplorable filth that he is, Richey takes out his frustration of George still being in Tammy’s heart by physically assaulting her. In need of the painkillers only her sorry excuse of a husband knows of and can administer, Tammy makes peace with his abuse.
George isn’t doing all that well. Dragged to court for almost killing Peanutt, George’s incoherent pleadings to the court make him look like a man who truly tries and fails to get his act together every time. Leaning more on his Christian faith, Peanutt chooses to let George off the hook. Although he gets free from the repercussions of his impulses, he can’t get himself free from the love he still feels for Tammy. He is drawn to Tammy in his inebriation and sobriety. He passes by her house just to get one look at her, only to have the curtains drawn on him.
Billy reaches out to George to sit and drink in company with someone who has also experienced the loss of Tammy. He wants George to sing for the label once again. Playing with the shattered heart, Billy urges George to sing of a man who will only stop loving a woman in his death. The song resonates with the miserable George. What doesn’t agree with the ordeal of recording is alcohol. Boozed-up George mumbles that the sadness of the song is too much for him to bear. Only to be up and sing his broken heart out when Tammy shows up. Running out to make his case for the last time to hopeless Tammy, George is wretched in his pleadings for one last chance. A chance that is long gone.
Up ahead in 1995, Tammy is the picture of addiction, and silver-haired George celebrates his sobriety with his new wife. No matter how hard he tries to dodge the questions about Tammy, his face is of the same love that has always been there and will always be there. Tammy, on the other hand, ODs and ends up critically unconscious in the hospital. George shows up to comfort Georgette as she lashes out at the doctors for pushing her mother down the abyss of addiction instead of helping her. Seeing Tammy knotted up in the wires and unmoving, all George can do is sing for her and promise her that if she comes back, they will sing together again. She does come back. Whether it was her heart’s desperation to sing with George or his love that brought her back. Tammy is up and about, ready to take her place on the country music throne again.
George & Tammy (Season Finale), Episode 6: Recap and Ending, Explained
Do George and Tammy end up together?
Sitting on the winter of their youth’s end, George and Tammy find solace in the comfort of singing together on stage. Despite the apparent stability of his marriage, George can’t really let go of Tammy. Stopping the song about a failed marriage, George asks her if she is happy. Tammy answers yes with the performative confidence in lying she has taught herself for survival. When he is asked if he is happy, the honest George tells the truth and we are reminded of the instance in the episode where Tammy said that George’s honesty, in spite of all his demons, is why Tammy will always love him. In the privacy of their post-tour bus, while their spouses remain engaged in the talks of money, the lovers find each other giving in to their romantic urges once again. It is as though they never separated. When they do part this time, however, George lays eyes on the will Tammy is chalking up, fully expecting that her death isn’t all that far.
The tables have turned in George and Tammy’s miserable case. While George stays strong through his sobriety, Tammy doesn’t have the same strength. Tammy continues to abuse the painkillers with no heed to her near-death experience. Georgette is helpless as she watches her mother drown in the imminent danger caused by the drugs that are pushed and enabled by Richey. Her frustration is directed toward George, the absent father. Enraged George means to rough up Richey. But it is Tammy who chooses to push the poison into her body despite knowing that it is killing her from within. And she can hardly be blamed for it too. The continuing pain even after going under the scalpel 27 times, will drive anyone mad enough to rot their body with the soothing feeling of a dangerous drug.
George hasn’t made peace with letting the love of his life fall to an untimely demise. In the same way, he once asked Tammy to go with him and leave Don Chapel behind, he again proposes to Tammy that they run–they leave and search the corners of the world for a way to end Tammy’s pain harmlessly. But Tammy had embraced the idea of her death long before George could imagine. For a woman who has been through the insane ups and downs of life, death isn’t really the scary end everyone thinks of it to be. While their lives are going two different ways, George gets on the tour bus so that at least their songs follow the same path of love. Journeys end in lovers parting ways–while the love remains steadfast on its promise of forever. Tammy Wynette lost her battle with addiction three years later–alone, in her sleep. Peacefully, as she deserved.