Tyrant

Tuesdays 10:00 PM on FX
Tyrant
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Tyrant Review: Who's the Better Brother Now?

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I didn't see that coming, did you?

Okay, that's not entirely true. In my Tyrant Season 1 Episode 10 review, I actually wrote, "​With Tariq still alive, it wouldn't be surprising to see Jamal turn against his brother and work with Tariq to maintain power."

Despite that comment, I was more shocked than I clearly expected by that exact outcome on Tyrant Season 1 Episode 10.

From the very beginning of the hour, it became clear that Bassam's plan wasn't going to go as expected, if at all. The Americans pulled their support and with good reason. I wonder if Bassam hadn't already approached Fauzi about writing the speech, if he would have given up on the coup plot. 

Yes, Jamal would remain a dangerous wild card, but couldn't Bassam control that? Did Jamal's potential outbursts outweigh the risks of a coup? I'm not sure. With Tariq out of power, the major threat to the Abbudin people was cut off. It was the General who killed all the residents decades before. With elections planned, why couldn't Bassam let democracy play out?

Was he power hungry or an idealist? If I had to chose one, I'd go with the latter. He thrived on the power, but wasn't driven by it. There's a difference. He knew how to use his power for the greater good. He believed that he could help his country and  also that usurping his brother's role would be good for Jamal. 

When the brothers went fishing, Jamal basically gave his brother the go-ahead for the coup. He complained about his life as President and how he wanted a simpler one. I was suspicious of Jamal's motives for wanting to get his brother drunk and for all the sentimental conversations, but I thought he was testing his brother's loyalty out of concern, not out of facts.

While the brothers bonded while drinking and fishing, Emma and her aunt when shopping before their flight back to America. What? Okay, this was one of the more contrived storylines of the season. Who goes out shopping and then to a restaurant when they have to leave at noon for a flight? No one, right? The robbery just added to the irritation over this storyline. 

I understand that the American Al-Fayeed's needed to stay in the country for the story to work, but they could have come up with a much better option. Since Jamal knew about Bassam's betrayal, I'm not sure why Molly, her sister and the kids weren't confined to the palace in the first place. Jamal hoped he was wrong about his brother, but they could have come up with a legitimate reason to at least watch Bassam's family.

The moment when Bassam and Jamal returned and Tariq was standing on the sidewalk in his uniform was gut-wrenching to witness. It's sad to say, but I felt like after the conversations on the boat, Jamal betrayed Bassam worse than the coup would have been. From the very beginning, Bassam kept his brother's best interest at heart and wanted to make the transition as easy as possible.

That was until Jamal told his brother, "The funny thing is if you had said you wanted this -- my presidency. I would have given it to you. I would have given you anything." My feelings shifted from gut-wrenching to heartbreaking in an instant. There were no winners here. The co-conspirators were rounded up including Nusrat and her father. It's not clear what happened to her, but her father was executed.

All that remained was for Jamal to decide what to do with his brother. Amira begged him to send Bassam and his family back to America where they could live in exile. With Abuddin's freedom on the line, I'm not sure he would go quietly. In the end, Jamal sided with Tariq and Leila who wanted Bassam executed. 

Will Jamal actually kill his brother? I don't think so and we'll likely never know. FX hasn't renewed Tyrant for Season 2 yet. The ratings haven't been horrible, but they haven't been great either. I've enjoyed the first season and hope to see more of the struggles of the Al-Fayeed family, Abuddin, and the shift to democracy, whether legitimate or staged.

Where you satisfied with the ending?

The failure of the coup was an intriguing choice and one that for the most part felt authentic, especially that the new General would fall apart and confess. If I have a complaint, it's that I would have liked to have seen what comes next. If the show's renewed, then the ending works. If it's not, then one more hour to play out the failed coup would have been more satisfying.

Grade the Tyrant Season 1 Finale!

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (19 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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LOVE THIS SHOW! GLAD IT GOT A SECOND SEASON, would not miss Barry's family if they got sent home,just don't like them or that pain in the ass sister of Molly's , sent her far away. want to see more scenes with the Jamal and Barry . love these 2 brothers

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It kills me when people say that Bassam was worse than Jamal. Didn't everybody see that Bassam was trying to save Jamal and Abbudin? He arranged it so that not only did Jamal get to keep his wealth, but he could give a speech saying that he was stepping down (in order to keep his dignity) , and he was safe from prosecution of his crimes. Bassam protected Jamal while he was planning on ousting him...because even though he saw that Jamal was evil, he still loved his brother. Bassam protected Jamal when he was a kid and now as an adult with the shiek. Now, Jamal is about to sentence him to die...which is something that Bassam had never even considered. Bassam wasn't power hungry. He was scared for his brother and Abbudin. He was fighting to save his brother from himself and protect his father's legacy...and avenge his father by punishing Tariq.

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Interesting how they'll play this out if it's renewed. I heard it's in the works. Will Molly sit down with Leila and tell her Bassam did this because Jamal put the Shiek in a coma, He killed Victoria, He raped Nusrat which Liela doesn't know, and if they don't make a deal she'll spill the beans to the population. It seems like they have to start a war of the US intervenes because Barry is an American? How we see?

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I hope Tyrant is renewed for a second season. The series presented a different perspective on a family in power in the Middle East. Yeah I know it was just television but it was a refreshing escape from how theses shows are usually portrayed. The transformations of Jamal and Bassam as the series progressed was compelling. If only Bassam hadn't gotten power hungry he may have recognized how Jamal changed and used it as an opportunity to guide change through his, almost child-like, brother. Tariq surviving the previous episode was always going to turn out bad for Bassam. That guy truly is evil but Bassam's actions has driven Jamal even closer to Tariq. Bassam really was clueless of what was happening on the fishing trip and showed he really wasn't ready to run a country. Had Bassam got rid of Tariq and tried to guide Jamal in the right direction I could see a season 2 that focuses on the buildup to the elections and exploring the complexities of the relationship between Jamal, Leila and Bassam. We all know there was chemistry between Leila and Bassam, and how much did Molly know about Leila and Bassam's prior relationship. Unfortunately we will probably never know. It was a nice series to follow through the summer, not withstanding the annoying kids, sister in-law and inappropriate clothing for that part of the world. Heck I even liked the character of Tucker. And never going into a bathroom or sauna with Jamal.

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I really like this show and I felt for Jamal but for anyone to say Barry is a worse person than him blows my mind. Jamal is a murderer. He literally rapes and murders women. Barry knows the type of person his brother is and even though it KILLS him to betray his brother he did what he felt was best for his country. I know Jamal said he would have given Barry the presidency but I don't know if I TRULY believe that because he loves power far too much and I don't think the people around him would let that happen and Barry knows that too.

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The show was cliche and terrible in the beginning but it got better as it went on. Bassam is the worse one because you really do get the sense that Jamal was telling the truth when he tells Bassam that he would've given up the presidency to him if all he did was ask.

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Come to think of it, Tyrant is finished.

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Bassam,( Barrry) is a worst person than his homicidal brother. At least (Jamal)Mr. President has some degree of loyalty, ie: not killing his uncle, which leads me to believe that he will spare his brothers life, cause when it comes down to it, he was always fiercely loyal to his brother no matter how much it hurts or what people might say or think.....Jamal loves his brother despite the deep pain he has caused him. The writers must be clever and take us for another ride for season two and somehow keep this "family in the same country. I love Abuddin, I LOVE TYRANT.

Douglas henning

I thought the ratings for Tyrant were pretty good as it had the higest demo of the 3 cable shows at 10pm.. Higher than The Bridge last season and that got renewed but maybe the costs of production of the show and how it had to bounce around the middle east will make it unaffordable based on the numbers but who knows???? I would hate to have it end on that cliffhanger... A&E took so much grief last summer for ditching The Glades on a cliffhanger...

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@ Douglas Henning

Thank you. OMG. There has to be another season. Team Bassam. All the way.