It's likely that Bassam will be a better leader than his brother, but how much of himself will he lose along the way?
The American Barry who showed up in Abuddin with his family for his nephew's wedding is long gone and in his place is a murderous Bassam who is struggling to do what's best for his country. While killing the Sheik was not the "right" choice, Bassam sacrificed one life and a bit of his own soul to protect his brother and more importantly to keep the country from deadly turmoil.
It took Jamal's attack on the Sheik for Bassam to admit that Jamal was too erratic to lead the nation forward in a peaceful transition. On Tyrant Season 1 Episode 8, Bassam began to move forward with ousting Jamal and becoming President.
Tyrant has provided a look inside the family and country politics of a dictatorship in a way that hasn't been seen on television before. The story is told from the Al-Fayeed perspective, but Bassam's beliefs and interactions with others provides a broader understanding of what's happening.
As he accepted his power and began to relish it, he hasn't yet forgotten his ideals or the goal of democracy and peace for the Abuddin people. Of course, now that he's planning a coup to replace his brother as President it will be something to watch. He could easily become corrupted by power if he is successful.
Bassam's already developed a short temper with his wife and family. He also didn't hesitate to use pressure to get Hakim to agree to help finance the coup even though it put him and his family at the risk of being hanged in the square. How far will Bassam go to make sure the coup goes off without a hitch?
While some of Bassam's actions show his potential to turn into a person Barry would despise, he also has shown that he has compassion in his heart and good intentions with his actions. Despite Jamal's violent and disruptive proclivities, Bassam wants the transition to include Immunity for brother and sister-in-law and perhaps more telling for Jamal to leave with his dignity intact.
In that regard, Bassam seems a little naive about how a coup works. It's unlikely the takeover will go as planned, yet he has his brother's best interest at heart and at the core of his decision. He's betraying his brother with the best intentions, if that's even possible.
The sad part of it all is that just as Bassam put the coup into motion, Jamal started to recognize his wrongs. It was too little too late, but he did go to Nusrat and attempt to make things better for her and his son. Then at the soccer event, he bonded with his son and stopped himself when he got angry.
Unless Leila gets wind of the coup, Jamal's going to be blindsided by his brother's betrayal. At this point, he believes he's closer to Bassam than they have been since they were children. He has plans to go fishing and even bought Bassam a boat. It's going to be a heartbreaking moment when Jamal realizes he's been played by Bassam. And, the reaction won't be pretty.
I'm intrigued to see how the coup attempt all plays out. Bassam has his plan in motion with the Americans and Tariq is working his own angle with a Rashid. Getting Tariq out of power will likely be the more difficult part of the coup plan. He may have one disloyal subordinate (unless he's just a mole for Tariq), but that's not enough to take out the General. Tariq's death may be the only option, if Bassam's willing to spill more blood for Abuddin.
Going into the last few episodes of the season, Tyrant has upped the intensity and risk each week. For the most part, the story has played out in a very realistic manner. If Abuddin was a real country with the Al-Fayeed's in power, I could see it playing out just like it has.
This week, the only scene that I had trouble believing was that Nusrat would approach Jamal and drop her robe for him. After cowering in bed for weeks, the sudden shift to a woman with the confidence to tempt him like that was difficult to comprehend. When Jamal walked out of her room without touching her though showed a change in him and surprising restraint.
My favorite moment had to be at the beginning though when the drunk Bassam brought the idea of a coup to Tucker. This exchange cracked me up:
Will the coup succeed? If they have the military, media and money, it's definitely possible. At this point, the lack of military support is the biggest threat to Bassam's plan. Regardless, it's going to tear apart the Al-Fayeed family both from Abuddin and from America. Bassam's going to be alone and have to find a way to maintain the "Barry" within him if he wants to be a great leader.
Who's the biggest threat to a successful coup?