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S01.E10: Gone Fishing

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On the verge of betraying and displacing Jamal, Barry receives troublesome news that threatens to destroy everything he's worked so hard for. Meanwhile, Jamal's rising suspicions lead him to question the loyalty of those closest to him.

 

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Yes, the ditz. Leila is far too valuable to be killed off, though that would be a genuinely surprising turn. I don't think the show has it to go there.

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Wow, I totally didn't see that coming.  Team Jamal for the win!  Bassam really is totally incompetent.

 

I don't know if the show has been renewed, but I would love to see another season of my favorites, Jamal, Leila and Tariq.  I hope the rest of them (except for adorable Fauzi) are executed or exiled, starting with Molly,   Remember Molly - you were the one who insisted on the trip. 

 

Totally shallow, but I really loved Leila's red suit.  If I were taller (and thinner, richer and more elegant), I would actually buy it.

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So, the US embassy had its own end game going all the time, and they still got burned.  At least, Barry has the excuse of naivete' for not realizing how a dictatorship works.  He got played, big time.  The surprise, to me, is how vicious and calculating Leila turned out to be.  If Barry gets out of this and back to the US without damage, the only upside is that he won't think insurance companies are so bad after all.

All the while the two women were trying to negotiate with the cafe' owner, I kept saying, "Borrow his phone and call the driver, knuckleheads.  He can come to you."  And it was positively embarrassing to see their dress and the complete lack of consideration for the culture they were in.

I lost track there at the execution - what relation was the older guy who was pleading for his life?

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I thought the older guy begging for his life was Nusrat's father, Hakim.  I thought he was also the one who Jamal said betrayed the plot after a few drinks.  I'm assuming it was him.  I didn't get a good look at the others who were being executed, though.  I'm assuming the miliary officer, Fauzi maybe, the older advisor whose name I can never remember...

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The pleading guy was Nusrat's father.

 

I don't think even the ruthless Tariq would advise Jamal to execute American citizens, so Molly & the kids are probably safe. And Barry is the lead, so clearly he's not going anywhere; if there is a season 2, it will have to focus on getting him out of prison. Ho-hum.

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(Delurking after slowly grieving the demise of TWoP)

 

The guy pleasding for his life was Nusrat's father. He said that Jamal promised to spare him because he revealed the coup. That makes him about as stupid as "Barry". I can almost accept Barry being naive about this stuff, but that guy really should have known better!

 

But who was the 3rd guy - the one furthest to the left in the lineup? The military guy was in the middle. (Sorry to see him go) I would have thought if it had been Yussef, they would have made more of a point to show him before his execution. He has been a rather important player in the political story.

 

I have to say, I'm disappointed the show took this turn. Now it's a "cliffhanger" where we are supposed to worry about what happens to Bassan and his family until next season. The problem is, I just don't care about them enough to bother. They can kill them all and give us a show about Jamal being psychotic and that would be interesting because he's acting circles around everyone else. He can make this as much about psychology as action-suspense, but now they seem to be going down the rather predictable and boring plot-driven angle. It's a shame because the 2 most intersting characters ARE the interesting characters because of the layers of what might be going on in their minds (Jamal and Laila)

 

The only thing that made Bassam intersting was the potential for watching him slowly become the Tyrant in the title... like so many "well-meaning" revolutionaries throughout history who become as horrific, if not more, than the regime they overthrow. Now THAT would have been a show worth looking forward to!

Edited by slothgirl
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I guess this was a good cliffhanger, if I actually gave a crap about Barry.  Which I don't.  I tried to like this show, really I did.  But it's just too stupid.

 

Other than Jamal and Leila, I've seen better acting at the local regional high school winter musical.  After Leila spoke to Barry and walked out, Barry just stood there, wooden, not moving a muscle which made absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Isn't an actor supposed to, I don't know, act?  

 

I've been spoiled by good cable dramas and will probably not be back for season 2, if there is one.

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Ha, wow!  I figured something was going to happen to prevent the coup, but I didn't think it would be that easy for Jamal to outmaneuver Bassam.  But, all it took was a few drinks and Nusrat's dad sang like a bird?  A great group of allies you put together there, Bassam.  So, now, Jamal is back in business, while Bassam is locked away.  If we get a second season, I"m going to assume something will happen that will prevent them from executing him, so it will just be him stuck in prison and whatnot.

 

I'm sorry; I know it was an excuse to have the rest of the Al Fayeeds have to stay at the embassy instead of leave, but the "drama" involving Emma and Jenna the Moron, had to be the biggest waste of air, I'd ever seen.  All of it was just so stupid, and, in order for it to work, it suddenly made Emma stupid, which was lame.  But, there were several ways that conflict could have been resolved much easier, but neither Emma nor Jenna the Moron were able to rub two brain cells together, and figure it out.  Plus, I would think that there would be bodyguards or something near-by, if the President's niece was out and about.  What if there was a kidnapping attempt?  Seriously, I just found that entire thing moronic.

 

All that said, I'm guessing this means that Molly and the kids are going to be forced to stay at the embassy for the future, which will explain their presence in a possible second season.  Sigh... well, at least Tucker will be around to provide some kind of entertainment.

 

Leila would be the one to saunter into a danky prison cell, wearing a bitching, bright red dress.  Oh, Morian Atias.  You are only behind the awesome Ashraf Barhom, as the best thing about this show.  Team Jamal/Leila!

 

At least they dragged out Amira again for one scene.  But, is Alice Krige really that desperate for work, that this is the best she can get?  She deserves so much better.

 

Life just sucks for Nusrat.

 

Curious to see if FX will renew or not.  If yes, I'll be back for Barhom and Atias.  If not, I'll just pretend that Bassam was executed, and Jamal ruled like the psychotic overlord he is.  A win-win!

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For the very last time, shut up, Molly. You're the moron who lets your sister go running off with your kid the day that you know a coup is being planned.

 

I hung in there because in many ways it was compelling, but I doubt I'll be back if it does get renewed, just because I can't deal with the terrible writing.

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You wonder if they plotted this finale knowing they'd be renewed?

 

Or got a commitment for more than one season?  Supposedly other networks were interested in the show but FX made an aggressive offer.

 

I don't think Jamal being a stereotypical Arab despot would be that interesting.  It was Bassam goading him to be better and him trying to suppress his instincts that made things somewhat interesting.

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The only thing that made Bassam intersting was the potential for watching him slowly become the Tyrant in the title... like so many "well-meaning" revolutionaries throughout history who become as horrific, if not more, than the regime they overthrow. Now THAT would have been a show worth looking forward to!

 

In the beginning, I actually thought this was going to be where they went because there would be so much potential there.  Where they go from here, if renewed...who knows. Jamal can't actually execute Bassam, he can't send him back to US - none of that makes any sense given the premise of the show. A whole season of Bassam in prison and the family at the embassy doesn't do anything either.

 

And if Jamal dies, wouldn't his son take over?  (That would be a loss because Jamal and his wife are carrying this show in terms of acting.  The rest are like pieces of wood).

 

I've thought since last week that Jamal knew what Bassam was planning so that did not surprise me. 

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At least, Barry has the excuse of naivete' for not realizing how a dictatorship works.

There's naive, and then there's the dumbest cluck who ever walked the Earth. And Barry's supposed to be the smart Al Fayeed.

In the previous episode Ziad (RIP) tells Barry -- he's too stupid to deserve to be called Bassam -- that Tariq was bribing tribal leaders to support Jamal in the Presidential election.

But somehow Barry is shocked when Exley tells him that the US Government assumes that Jamal -- a man who blew up an entire plane load of people to maintain his rule -- would rig the election. 

 

Curious to see if FX will renew or not.  If yes, I'll be back for Barhom and Atias.  If not, I'll just pretend that Bassam was executed, and Jamal ruled like the psychotic overlord he is.  A win-win!

 

My sentiments exactly.

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I really loved Leila's red suit.

 

It was smashing. The lady knows what to wear to an execution. (I have to say, I was a little puzzled why she was there.)

 

For the very last time, shut up, Molly. You're the moron who lets your sister go running off with your kid the day that you know a coup is being planned.

 

Seriously. I get Molly couldn't tell her sister or kid what was going on, but can't she put her foot down and say, "No, you can't take one last trip out of town, because we have a plane to catch at noon and we can't be late?" FFS, Molly. And word to the person who wondered why the daughter couldn't have used the café owner's phone to call the driver. Or have HIM look up who she is?

 

Everything about Bassam's family is written so badly. If there's a next season, let them all die in a plane crash on the way back to the States. His anger at their deaths can fuel his becoming a tyrant.

 

Bassam's "Tell my family I love them!" cracked me up. Really, Show? Another scene that cracked me up was Molly asking Bassam to tell her everything would be okay and then getting pissy when he did. Molly. GIRL.

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This show was conceived and outlined by an Isreali. I can only assume that every non State Department American he has met was a clueless twit about the Middle East and what really happens there. If this show is renewed there are lots of ways it can go. Have we heard or seen all of the fathers death bed words to both sons? Barry escaping and becoming a rebel leader somewhere. That would be fun to watch. The decisions rebel leaders have to make, the blood that would be on Bassam's hands. Funny thing, in real life, doctors have played a major role in Middle East politics.

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Wow, thanks Barry for having the world's shortest coup.  It's hard to decide which charachter is the dumbest.  Basam for thinking he could pull off a coup with just a handfull of supporters.  Molly who couldn't understand why she shouldn't let her daughter go shopping out of town the morning of a coup.  Emma who thought it was a good idea to go shopping the morning they are leaving on an international flight when they probably couldn't take the crap they bought on the plane.  Molly's sister was just a dumb inserted charachter that doesn't add anything to the show.  And how dumb are they wearing sleeveless belly shirts in a Muslum country.  I could go on about how dumb some of the charachters are on this show.

 

You can tell the writers on this show only focused on Basam, Jamal, and Leila and wrote the other charachters so poorly that you didn't care what happened to them.

 

Because the writing has been all over the place, it's hard to know where they are going if there is a second season.  Maybe there could be another coup and Barry will be freed.  Maybe Jamal and Tariq will be charged on war crimes for their past deeds.  I think the chances of Jamal sending them out of the country exiled is pretty low.  Maybe they execute Barry and Molly hooks up with Tucker.:)

 

This show has an interesting premise, I just wish the writing was a little tighter and the charachter development was more consistent.  I admit it, with all the shows faults, I'm hooked and I'll watch a second season.

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That could explain a lot. Many Israelis have a dim view of Arabs, if not outright hostility.

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The only thing that made Bassam intersting was the potential for watching him slowly become the Tyrant in the title... like so many "well-meaning" revolutionaries throughout history who become as horrific, if not more, than the regime they overthrow. Now THAT would have been a show worth looking forward to!

 

 

So many posted the last few eps that they wanted the show to move the coup along, but I've said all along that the premise is interesting only because of Barry slowly becoming who he has to be to be the tyrant. We should have seen each member of his family learning what it means to be an al Fayeed, through their own lenses, and returned to the Barry/coup arc every so often. This coup should have happened at the end of season two at the earliest. But it came so quickly that it let a lot of air out of the series. I don't care about Barry's family, because we learned very little about them (and what we did see was a lot of selfish stupidity). I care more about Tucker than them. That said, I definitely plan to tune in if it is renewed.

 

There seems to be a lot of emphasis on characters who are angry at Barry and are angry at him in large part because they love him ... Jamal, Leila, and while not as angry, his mom. That's what wills ave him. What they will make him endure to be saved, I don't know.

 

I do wonder if Jamal would have actually given the presidency to Barry if Barry had asked, as Jamal commented. Not sure about that but it is an intriguing idea.

Edited by Ottis
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I do wonder if Jamal would have actually given the presidency to Barry if Barry had asked, as Jamal commented.

If Bassam asked Jamal at the right time? Possibly. Though I don't think Leila would be too happy about it (to put it mildly; a furniture-maker's wife she isn't), and she'd likely strong-arm Jamal into getting his position back.

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I am removing this show from my shows que. But I will check in from time to time to see if Molly makes the transition to Lady Macbeth. Leila seems to be there already.

Edited by Watcher0363

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"We are combing the city to find your daughter, Molly, never fear!  But we are definitely NOT going to go back to the place where the car was parked when they left it.  Why would we do THAT?  Ha, ha, ha!"

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Quick post cause I'm not supposed to be using electronics cause I have a concussion... Bassam's fail didn't surprise me. Neither Jamal claiming he would let Bassam be presented if asked I really think Jamal would head to a deserted island if he. Could. Hope to see you all next season.

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Bassam's "Tell my family I love them!" cracked me up. Really, Show?

 

It was that moment when the show turned into a successful telenovela! (to me, anyway)

 

 

The whole time they were on the boat, I kept thinking that Jamal knows something.

 

I was rooting for Jamal to throw him overboard!

 

 

If it does get renewed, it definitely calls for a re-casting of Molly.  That actress cannot act. At. All.

 

She's awful - the character and actress. Been saying it since the beginning. The actress reminds me of Lindsay Lohan (looks and talent-wise) - if Lindsay never smoked, did drugs, puffed up her lips, and if she lives to be 35.

Edited by Jade Foxx
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I was rooting for Jamal to throw him overboard!

 

I was kind of surprised he didn't.

 

I liked how Bassam was buttoned-up even on the boat, while Jamal had his shirt open, pants rolled up, etc. It was a nice visual to represent their respective frames of mind.

Edited by dubbel zout

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As Jamal purchased the boat for Barry last week, he actually does have some foresight and can be strategic. Yeah Jamal!! Yeah Leila!

 

Dubbel Stout, totally agree with the buttoned up/tight-ass Barry and the relaxed/loosey-goosey Jamal scenes on the boat.

 

Totally agree with the head-poundingly  stupid shopping trip without security. Especially since Molly the Clueless was shown running with her guards the week before. 

 

I understand the show is filmed in Israel and the renewal is/was dependent on a cease-fire there. If the cease-fire permits renewal, I hereby offer my services as storyline consistency editor. 

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For some reason it stuck out ot me when Leila is visiting Barry (in that fierce ass red suit) he yells after her to tell his family he loves them...Does he believe her next stop is tea with Molly and the kids for some sort of mid-failed coup time out? 

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I understand the show is filmed in Israel

 

They had to relocate because of the bombings. I think some of this episode was filmed in Turkey—that scene with Fauzi in front of the mosque looked like Istanbul to me.

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She's awful - the character and actress. Been saying it since the beginning. The actress reminds me of Lindsay Lohan (looks and talent-wise) - if Lindsay never smoked, did drugs, puffed up her lips, and if she lives to be 35.

She reminds me a lot of Jane Krakowski, which cracks me up because this is probably close to how Jenna Maroney, her character on 30 Rock, would approach the role.

Edited by Luciano
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I missed this - It was noted on a tv program that a embassy scene showed the American flag upside down on the desk.  They showed the clip and sure enough, the flag was the small type you see people waving at a gathering.  It looked like it was in a holder or vase.  It was clear though the flag was upside down on the top of the stick.  It had to be deliberately reversed.  Are the writers saying  the U.S. is done for or they object to the administration?  There was a clear shot of Kerry with a very puffy face.

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She reminds me a lot of Jane Krakowski, which cracks me up because this is probably close to how Jenna Maroney, her character on 30 Rock, would approach the role.

I wanna hug you for this Luciano!! Brilliant!!

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Yeah, they were talking about the upside-down flag on Reddit.  There's a picture of it here.

 

http://i.imgur.com/5N14Y8Y.png

 

Edit: Huh, I thought that would link the picture - sorry, y'all!  Also I don't seem to have the post quoting thing down yet either.  I need to go play in the sandbox.

Edited by Addlepated

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I knew Jamal knew on the boat! I kept waiting for him to do something. 

 

As dysfunctional as the family is, I love their brotherly relationship and I do think Jamal would have gave up the presidency because he's so starved for those

years missing from his brother. The years where he grew his hair out and thought he was living like a surfer dude in Malibu. I would have liked to see Barry take over and see how that changes him, probably not for the better. But be more "Tyrant" like his brother, hope to see that next season. 

 

The sister-in-law is so obsessed with not leaving and wanting to stay. I understand why because it's a palace and they're royalty. However, someone should just kick her freeloading self out and tell her she's not welcome to stay.

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Wow I should start my own unpopular opinion thread. I actually love Molly and find her one of the best reasons to watch the show.  Yes she was annoying the first few episodes but the back end she actually was interesting.  It is her sister I wanted to hit.  Honestly if the show gets renewed next season it needs to decide what it wants to be...a political thriller pr a family drama.  If it is a political thriller then I am pretty much out.  If it is a family drama set in the middle east then I am in.    I don't mind the politics but it all being about which brother gets to rule the country bored me after awhile.  I much prefer when Bassam was with his family would love to see Molly and their children try to figure out where they belong in this strange new world where they are no longer able to just get up and leave.  

Edited by Chaos Theory

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Barry's plans being thwarted was the most realistic outcome for the attempted coup, but I didn't think they'd go there. So I'm glad they did. But what now? If there is a season 2 I'll be interested to see where they go with the story.

 

The dumbest part of the episode, by far, was the stupid shopping trip. What the hell was Molly thinking? Well, Barry is overthrowing the government and his brother at 1:00, so as long as they're back by noon to get to the airport we should be all good? That whole thing was completely asinine. Molly isn't quite as mind-numbingly stupid as she was in earlier episodes, but that was pretty bad. And why did they time it all to happen the same day? Why not have them leave the day before, to be sure they're safe before making their moves to oust Jamal?

 

The one thing that has driven me nuts about this show is the way they have women (even Leila to a certain extent) scantily clad when they're out in public. I've spent quite a bit of time in the Middle East, and that sort of thing is just Not Done. Even in a comparatively more Westernized place like Dubai, Emma and Jenna strutting around in shorts and tops with spaghetti straps would be frowned upon. And as members/guests of the royal family, they should be aware of that. There should have been a scene with Emma or Molly early on, with Leila or Nusrat telling them that even though non-Muslim women are not expected to wear traditional clothing while in Abbudin, they do need to dress conservatively and be respectful of the culture when they're out in public.

 

It seemed to me that Barry's naivete and hubris was a commentary on the naivete and hubris that the US sometimes displays in its dealings in the Middle East.

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It seemed to me that Barry's naivete and hubris was a commentary on the naivete and hubris that the US sometimes displays in its dealings in the Middle East.

 

I hadn't thought of this, but it makes perfect sense.

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I thought TV.COM summed it up nicely when reviewing not just the season finale, but the entire season overall.  I haven't yet mastered the art of linking articles to this board so I typed it myself since I agreed with it so much.  The article reads:

 

While obsessive coverage of television can sometimes turn the proverbial mountain into a molehill when a show faces even a small amount of behind-the-scenes disruption, the first season of FX's Tyrant proved that eventually, a show can't recover from every weird or troublesome event that befalls it.  From Ang Lee and Gideon Raff leaving the project before it really got off the ground to the supremely odd decision to cast a white British dude as the lead to the late-season shift in shooting from Israel to Turkey because of real-life political unrest, Tyrant's first year on the job probably couldn't have gone any worse.  In fact, when the main theme of your pre-air buzz in the trades focuses solely on the turmoil, it might be time to simply take a knee.  Ultimately, though, the series' most significant obstacle was that everything happening backstage was more interesting than the fictional story and characters driving the action on screen--as the season 1 finale, "Gone Fishing," illustrated.

 

As I alluded to the last time I checked in on the show much earlier in the summer, Tyrant's biggest problem was that it didn't really have any energy or momentum.  The premise--self-exiled son of a tyrannical dictator returns home to the Middle East and naively tries to clean up multiple generations' worth of messes--suggests one heck of a juicy story, but throughout its first season, Tyrant struggled with the question of what it wanted to be.  At first, it seemed like more of a glossy, semi-ridiculous soap opera told through the prism of a very current geopolitical climate.  Then, midway through, the show more clearly committed itself to political theater, focusing on Barry's attempts to first lasso and later flat-out replace his unstable brother Jamal.  Running away from the heightened drama that was hinted at early on meant that Tyrant mostly just plodded along as Barry talked himself--and, hilariously, other people--into believing that he, the pediatrician, could just decide to become the leader of an entire country.  For a series with such a silly premise as that, Tyrant never got especially turned up, and that's unfortunate.

 

Much of Tyrant's odd (dare I say basic) execution started and stopped with the Al-Fayed brothers.  Adam Rayner (Bassam/Barry) and especially Ashraf Barhom (Jamal) were always ready to go, but the show's writers--featuring a real murderer's row in Howard Gordon, Craig Wright, and Glenn Gordon Caron--never fully settled on how the audience was supposed to view Barry or Jamal.  Of course Barry was an overly earnest and naive dolt who absolutely believed he could turn his home country around, despite having absolutely no experience; but were we supposed to see that as admirable or really, really stupid?  Of course Jamal acted terribly on a regular basis, raping and murdering multiple women and yet still desperately clinging to the idea that he could escape a job or life he never wanted; but again, did that make him a sympathetic scumbag or just a scumbag? 

 

In this seemingly never-ending era of difficult men, you could argue that having these conflicted feelings regarding the Al-Fayed brothers was fundamental to the Tyrant experience, that they're multi-dimensional characters that don't just fall into clearly delineated categories.  But where that argument goes astray is in the assumption that often backs it:  that these collections of contradictions are what make "cool" or "complicated" TV characters.  I don't need to like or be able to relate to the people on screen, but it's nice when their contradictions add up to something significant, or at least when a show uses them as a way to make a thematic point.  On Tyrant, that didn't really happen.

 

After weeks of Barry plotting in secret (barely) with diplomat John Tucker (Justin Kirk) and government official Lea Exley (Leslie Hope) to dismantle Jamal's inner circle and ultimately remove him from power by staging a coup, the show did the right thing by finally acknowledging that the probable success of this plan was very low.  Barry's scheme blew up in his face, his terrible uncle Tariq was freed from prison, and Jamal was forced to put his now-traitorous brother behind bars, with the death penalty on the table.  Clearly, that was the smart call for the story; any possibility of Barry actually becoming the new leader of Abbudin was outrageous.  Barry's wife Molly (Jennifer Finnigan) constantly told him that his ideas were ridiculous, but then kowtowed to him so many times that her dissent lost all effect.  Same goes for the show's late-season attempts to layer the story with references to the United Sates' recent involvement in regime changes, while they signaled that Tyrant knew that Barry was kind of an idiot, the show had made that point in the first four episodes too, when the character was only talking down kidnappers during hostage situations and not conspiring against and planning to overthrow his brother.

 

Similar frustrations abounded with Jamal, in both the finale and the season as a whole.  The first few post-pilot episodes backtracked on his horrible mistreatment of women, trumpeting a changed-man narrative that nobody bought--but then by the middle of the season, he was trying to murder possible political opposition and suffocating his mistresses.  The petulant-child routine turned pretty sour by the end of Tyrant's 10 episodes because it was the only note the show had for the character.  There's something to be made out of a character who just wants to run away but can't get anyone to join him so he keeps acting out, but Jamal's reaction to Barry's "betrayal" didn't land the way the show wanted it to because there was no real reason to feel empathy for either of them.  Cliffhangers exist to trump up drama in excessive ways, but even with that in mind, the idea that Jamal would even consider killing Barry holds no water because the show couldn't make up its mind with regard to who these two men are (and to a lesser extent, what they mean to one another).

 

And if the story with the Al-Fayed brothers wasn't going to land, Tyrant certainly had no other characters to make the save.  Whether that was due to production troubles or mediocre execution, every other character on this show was either under-developed, utterly useless, or simply dropped altogether.  I mentioned Molly's wet-blanket status, but somehow Leila (Moran Atias) managed to be just as sidelined, despite her history with Barry and her troubled relationship with Jamal.  The scene in the finale where Leila verbally assaulted Barry was even more lifeless than Jamal's speech to him, because it felt like two episodes' worth of story between those characters had been jettisoned somewhere along the way so that the show could squeeze in some half-baked political commentary.  And she was the third or fourth best character on the show.

 

Everyone else fared even worse.  The kids disappeared for a string of episodes in the middle of the season, only to return near the end with literally nothing to do but complain about..............stuff.  Barry's and Jamal's mom reappeared in the finale to make the worst plea ever that Jamal spare Barry's life.  Molly's sister randomly showed up in the back half of the season as well, she couldn't have been more ineffectual.  And somehow, there was a C-story in "Gone Fishing" about the daughter Emma and the sister getting robbed and then trying to explain to the cafe owner that they were related to the president.  Like three scenes!  Kirk's John Tucker certainly had more to do as Barry made his moves, but it's not as if he was an actual character; he just delivered exposition.  The son's gay lover fell off the face of the earth, Fares Fares' journalist dude existed only as a straw man for Barry's pig-headed leadership workshop, and I guess much of the non-Barry political opposition figured they'd take a step back and regroup a little bit, or something.  Tyrant was populated with more than a dozen regular or semi-regular characters, and it occasionally hinted at a bigger world outside the Al-Fayed mansion, but it simply never, ever realized that world in season 1.

 

In the end, Tyrant's first season was all about unrealized potential.  We can place a lot of the blame for that on all the drama behind the scenes, but not all of it.  And we can't point fingers at the show's excessive ambition, either; after the first couple of episodes, it hit the same notes, over and over and over again.  FX and FOX 21 have put a lot of money into this show, particularly in building locations in Israel.  But at this point, is it really worth it to bring Tyrant back for another season?  I'm not at all convinced that it is.

 

Perfect article that said everything that I was thinking throughout the entire season!

Edited by Syndicate

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The whole time they were on the boat, I kept thinking that Jamal knows something.

 

 

The dialogue certainly set it up that way with anvils. From Jamal saying "this trip is about catching things" (followed by a sly, sideways glance at Barry) to Jamal's comment about "you don't know what is beneath the surface," Jamal was dropping hints everywhere. And then we would see Barry's face in close up, as he considered what Jamal said and wondered if that was a clue that Jamal knows what is coming. I couldn't believe the show was being that obvious, but given Jamal's less-than-subtle character, I should have gone with that.

 

I think the actress who plays Molly actually does a good job with her part. Her emotional scenes, and her internal conflict over loving Barry vs. supporting/opposing his coup decisions while protecting her kids, was nicely done. My issue with Molly is how she is written, which is too bitchy and inconsistent.

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Has it ever been made clear what interest the outside world, specifically the US, has in Abuddin?  Is it strategically placed, or is it economically necessary?

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The dialogue certainly set it up that way with anvils. From Jamal saying "this trip is about catching things" (followed by a sly, sideways glance at Barry) to Jamal's comment about "you don't know what is beneath the surface," Jamal was dropping hints everywhere. And then we would see Barry's face in close up, as he considered what Jamal said and wondered if that was a clue that Jamal knows what is coming. I couldn't believe the show was being that obvious, but given Jamal's less-than-subtle character, I should have gone with that.

 

I interpreted it that Jamal was doing that deliberately, because he was hoping Bassam would get the hint(s) and confess "before it was too late." I think it was his last-ditch effort to give Bassam an out, an opportunity to come clean. It was the one last chance they had of working it out and salvaging their relationship, which was clearly incredibly important to Jamal. And Bassam blew it, as per usual.

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Has it ever been made clear what interest the outside world, specifically the US, has in Abuddin?  Is it strategically placed, or is it economically necessary?

 

No, and only that there's a U.S. military base in the country. That's a problem with the show: Abuddin's relationship to its neighbors and the rest of the world is completely unknown. We don't even know how big the country/population is, I don't think, not that size = influence.

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I'm  Team Jamal.   So therefore I am happy he thwarted the coup.

 

If there is a second season – this is what could make interesting TV:

 

  • Jamal, Leila, & Tariq as the charismatic / interesting leads
  • Bassam somehow gets out of prison and teams up with the rebel Rasheed’s (the dead sheik’s sons) and maybe Fauzi – to attempt yet again to dethrone Jamal.
  • John Tucker switching sides as needed to move the various plots forward
  • Molly gets involved with John Tucker (his wife is in rehab at Betty Ford) cuz she and the other boring family members are stuck in the Embassy and would be executed if they crossed the gates.
  • Maybe the one or more the kids (or sister) gets radicalized….and /or gets themselves killed cuz their stupid.

 

THAT could be an interesting show!

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  • Molly gets involved with John Tucker (his wife is in rehab at Betty Ford) cuz she and the other boring family members are stuck in the Embassy and would be executed if they crossed the gates.

 

Well they definitely anvilled that into the potential framework with that "comforting" embrace. When the kids came in the room, the look Tucker gave them was almost... what? Proprietary?

 

"Who's yur daddy NOW, kids?" ... "And look who's comforting Mom.. THIS GUY!"

 

I couldn't tell if he was annoyed they came in, triumphant, challenging them to say something, or what. The fact that neither Molly nor Tucker made any move to break the embrace or acknowledge the kids was all kinds of weird and disturbing.

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The dialogue certainly set it up that way with anvils. From Jamal saying "this trip is about catching things" (followed by a sly, sideways glance at Barry) to Jamal's comment about "you don't know what is beneath the surface," Jamal was dropping hints everywhere. And then we would see Barry's face in close up, as he considered what Jamal said and wondered if that was a clue that Jamal knows what is coming. I couldn't believe the show was being that obvious, but given Jamal's less-than-subtle character, I should have gone with that.

 

They were also pretty obvious with the fishing lines catching together, and each of them saying, "I caught you!"

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that "comforting" embrace.

 

Which Tucker kind of forced. I was a little uncomfortable with that. I don't know if that was the actors or the writing.

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The whole time they were on the boat, I kept thinking that Jamal knows something. But I honestly thought it was in my head. I didn't think the show would take this  turn.

 

Me too. Because Jamal *was* genuinely enjoying himself. The entire stuff on the boat was good.

 

 It seemed to me that Barry's naivete and hubris was a commentary on the naivete and hubris that the US sometimes displays in its dealings in the Middle East.

 

I can live with that. In hindsight Barry has been terribly naive. Jamal even said, "I've known the guy for 15 years. A couple of drinks and he always tells me what I need to know."

 

Has it ever been made clear what interest the outside world, specifically the US, has in Abuddin?  Is it strategically placed, or is it economically necessary?

 

Tucker said that it was the only secular state in the region. So, I'd lean towards a strategic partner, with the military base there. Typically, second seasons broaden the scope like this. So far, I'm ok with it.

 

This was really about Barry v Tariq than it was Barry v Jamal. If there is a next season I hope that's where it goes. I also thought Jamal's wife was more pissed at Barry because he failed than for him trying to take over.

 

Is Barry a US citizen? Because I don't know if Jamal would have a legal right to hold him in jail indefinitely. It may be that the US negotiates with Jamal for Barry's release. 

 

The show had issues, but I don't think it was that bad. I don't feel like I wasted my time, and I think everyone enjoyed watching Jamal. What a character. I'll be back if they renew.

 

I did have a huge laugh with police and cafe owner all shitting on the daughter and then the wiki page has her standing next to Jamal and they shit themselves. "We're here with a very helpful policeman." ha. 

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To add to the complaints about the stupid cafe story, first the daughter offers to give up her cheap-looking necklace to convince the cafe owner to let her go seek out the driver. Then we see her walking with her shopping bags as they look for the driver. She couldn't offer to leave behind the stuff she just bought while she went looking for her driver? Not that any of this story made any sense.

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