Tyrant Season 3 Episode 9 Review: How to Live

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Choosing sides may be necessary, but it's also not without consequences. 

Daliyah's in jail, Fauzi's in exile, and Leila's staring down an army. Nafisa's having a breakdown, Molly's lost her damn mind, and Ahmed and Sammy are taking the idea of sibling rivalry to new levels.

All while Barry desperately tries to assert his power and ignore his nagging conscience.

 Tyrant Season 3 Episode 9 sure gave us a lot to digest!

Daliyah's arrest on Barry's orders was a surprise to no one but herself – her over confidence about their relationship protecting her was a dead give away about how things were going to end up.

While part of me wanted her to go to Jordan with Fauzi, it does work better for the story for her to stay. 

I'm curious about how long this hunger strike will last, and when Barry will resort to force feeding her. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, or if it does, it's only implied and not shown. I'm still having nightmares from Iron Jawed Angels and Suffragette about that.

Luckily, I don't see the show runners keeping Daliyah locked up for any where near the sixteen years that the longest known hunger strike lasted. Her imprisonment and Halima's sit in are two really interesting ways to explore the effectiveness of nonviolent protest and passive resistance, methods that are not seen often in today's world. 

"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." Let us show those who oppress us that there is no limit to our endurance. They cannot break us. They cannot break us. They cannot break us!


Of course, the odds are that Kattan's little weapons buy is going to leave the sit in completely effed up. His twisted desire to force the government to attack him is the one hiccup in Barry's downfall being the driving force to save Abuddin.

For those of you a little confused by that, here's my theory: Barry is both the savior of Abuddin, and its tyrant.

He's not the savior because of his work with the Red Hand, but because his fall from grace, especially after showing the country a glimpse of positive progress, will unite the various factions to work together and finally get rid of the weakened Al Fayeeds.

Like Leila said, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." 

She and Al Qadi have brought Saddiq into the fold. With Fauzi in jail and Daliyah in jail, their supporters could be recruited to the anti-Fayeed coalition.

Halima: I need allies, and he and I want the same thing.
Halima's boyfriend: No, you don't. You hate the same thing. That's different.

One thing that could throw a wrench in the works is Sammy. It's always Sammy, isn't it? With his declared opposition to Barry, I can't see him sticking around the palace while his parents burn the country to the ground in their grief.

There's little doubt in my mind that he'll end up at the sit in.

Which brings us back to Kattan's arms deal. He had such a nice moment of just being a normal college kid, trying to bluff his way through exams in classes he's skipped all semester. Even his douchey behavior with Halima was just your typical frat-bro posturing. 

But Kattan obviously wasn't as horrified by his sister's actions as I initially thought. I'd be interested in seeing a little bit more of his story, since so far his back story seems to be "conservative Islamic young man, mad at the world for no ascertainable reason."

Well, there's not much to talk about, though, is there? You've already made all your decisions. You opposed your father. I oppose you.

Sammy [to Barry]

There were some parallels between him and Nafisa that would be interesting to explore (assuming they both survive the finale). Nafisa has suffered more, and her brother Wafiq's conversion to extremism makes a certain amount of sense.

It's the same story the world's seen a thousand times. When a government doesn't provide for or respect it's citizen's and an outside group steps in to provide, that group win's people's loyalty.  

I'd like to see Nafisa's sustained anger at the Al Fayeeds and the western world explored more deeply, if only to keep Annet Mahendru on my screen a little longer.

After her run on The Americans, I know she's got the chops to dig to bring humanity to a complex character. 

You can't speak for anyone if you're dead, or in chains.

Daliyah [to Fauzi]

Is it possible that something short of Sammy's demise will make Barry wake up and smell the coffee? Will Maloof pull off a coup? What was Ihab doing in Syria while all this internal conflict was going on? 

We'll all have to wait with bated breath until the season final, Tyrant Season 3 Episode 10 ("Two Graves") airs on September 7th. it looks like Barry's going to force Daliyah into being his sounding board while she's locked up, which may violate the Geneva Conventions on humane treatment of a prisoner.

Of course, if it keeps him from doing something stupid, like engaging the Caliphate with no clear plan in place, I'm sure she'll suffer gladly. If that doesn't work, it looks like Leila may have one last trick up her gorgeous silk sleeve. 

Barry: You'd make Ghani an orphan?
Daliyah: I can't... I can't just live for him. I have to show him *how* to live.

Get ready for the season finale, and watch Tyrant online! It's a Stephen King endorsed way to spend your weekend after all.

We'd love to hear your thoughts about "How to Live" and your predictions for "Two Graves" down in the comments section!

How to Live Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Tyrant Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

Tragic heroes make very poor political partners.


He's my oldest friend. We used to commiserate about my father when kids, getting drunk. The old dictator. Now he says the same things about me.

Barry [about Fauzi]