In Pistol, we're following the Sex Pistols' rise to fame through the lens of Steve Jones (Toby Wallace), the slightly-arrogant, down-on-his-luck guitarist of the band. The backdrop to their rise is the iconic clothing shop, SEX, which was a boutique owned and curated by Vivienne Westwood (Talulah Riley) and Malcolm McLaren (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) in the mid-1970s in London.
Wandering into the shop one day is Jones, who was just about to sulk out of the store with some stolen clothing when cashier, Chrissie Hynde (Sydney Chandler), catches him just as he's leaving. When Westwood and McLaren waltz out of the back to see what the ruckus is all about, they quickly take a liking to Jones, offering to lend him their clothing simply because they dig his vibe and the fact that he's in a rock band.
Hynde, who would later go on to become the frontwoman of the Pretenders, is basically the diamond-in-the-rough of the series. She actually made me want this show to have one of those usually-annoying spinoff episodes where they follow a specific side character just to get their full backstory. Frankly, I'd rather an entire show about her rough journey to the top.
Whereas everyone else around her is a bit unhinged, Hynde remains a voice of reason to the chaos that's constantly unfolding around her. She's laser-focused on what she wants (simply to be in a band), yet no one—including McLaren—is really taking her very seriously. McLaren connects her with Mick Jones of what would soon be known as The Clash, yet he turns her down as he wants to have an all-male band—the same goes for the Sex Pistols themselves.
When Steve Jones is too nervous to sing at a gig, he flees the venue and leaves his band playing on stage. Instead of throwing him out of the Sex Pistols, McLaren simply moves him from the singer over to the guitar position, kicking the former guitar player out even though Jones can barely play a note.
And there we have Hynde, waiting in the wings, perfectly capable of playing the guitar and singing though she's not even given a thought as a replacement for Jones simply because she's a woman. Now that's a story.