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S01.E02: State of Emergency

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When Barry's older brother, Jamal, the newly appointed President of Abbudin, is incapacitated, Barry must put his plans to return to America on hold. His life is further complicated, when his nephew's new bride is kidnapped by terrorists.

 

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Jamal's son looked something of a dullard, so I guess that's why Barry is acting as regent, as it were?

 

There was a lot of ground to cover in the pilot, but we got nothing on the nephew except he's "a good guy," which in the show's context could mean only that he doesn't rape women and cut off fingers. I'm kind of interested to see if there will be a power struggle between him and Barry, or if he's more than happy to let Barry deal with all the politics.

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Good continuation of Bassam's  backstory with Jamaal and Jamaal's wife. She's a complex character and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her. 

I did not think they would execute the boys. I just didn't think the show would go there. What is the General's ulterior motive? 

Molly needs to be on Under the Dome with the other unbelievable players. She reminds me of an Anime character for some reason. 

The children weren't as grating this episode. I suppose it's because they had less screen time. 

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I don't know how much more of this I can continue to watch if Molly and Sammy continue to be painfully punishingly stupid. I can see where they are trying to go with Sammy, but the writing needs to be sharper if they want me to believe that a normal American teen would be so blasé about the execution of three teens even if they did kidnap his "family." Family is only in quotes because the American Al-Fayeed barely knows anyone outside of Jamal.

I liked this episode better; it wasn't as plodding. I felt like Bassam's decision to stay felt a tiny bit rushed.

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This episode was okay. I think the Pilot was stronger. Bassam’s epiphany seemed more about plot than character. I guess I could see him feeling the need to protect his brother after all that’s happened in the past day or so, but still he’s run away from this for 19 years. He should be seriously conflicted about making the huge decision to remain in Abuddin and what about his family? Did the wife, as annoying as she is, excitedly accept the decision for them to stay? She probably did, considering what an idiot she is, giving no thought to how dangerous things are right now. And what about the kids? The son would probably be cool with staying, but I’m betting the daughter would have a serious problem with this.

 

The kidnapping of the nephew’s wife seemed to be missing something. The kids were just kids and showed no dangerous ruthlessness at all, which I guess was the point. But I never really thought the wife was going to die. There was no sense of urgency from any of the family members about the kidnapping, except maybe the husband. Everyone else was walking around like someone had simply lost their shoe. Once again Bassam’s wife showed no alarm about the dangerous events happening around her (neither did their children) and practically shrugged off the fact that the kids who’d conducted the kidnapping were assassinated on the spot. And Bassam is not showing any concern about the safety of his wife and kids with all that’s going on. None of this is realistic.

 

That said, I can’t say enough how much I dislike Bassam’s family, and wish they’d just send them back to the States to never return. They are annoying and not very interesting. Everytime they come onscreen their presence is almost enough to make me want to change the channel, but I’m guessing they are there to keep Bassam from slipping completely into the role of heartless tyrant.

 

Jamal losing the use of his…appendage, even temporary was much deserved. Couldn’t have happened to a more despicable guy.

 

Does anybody else think that Jamal’s son might at some point be revealed to be Bassam’s? Who didn’t see him and Jamal’s wife having a past coming a mile away? She’s been giving him the look since the moment they shared a scene.

 

I’ll probably be back next week, but I don’t know if I’m going to continue watching. The Pilot didn’t blow my socks off, but it was intriguing enough. Tonight’s episode lost a lot of ground with me. Next week’s episode is going to have to step things up if I’m going to continue watching through the end of the season.

Edited by Enero

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That said, I can’t say enough how much I dislike Bassam’s family, and wish they’d just send them back to the States to never return.

God, I so agree.  They seem like little more than plot contrivances, there to slow down Bassam's turning into a tyrant and give him something to worry about.  But here's the problem: if Bassam were to take the whole 'family is everything' thing to heart, he'd get them on the fucking plane right now and never return.  What happened to last week's (yesterday for him) 'You are my family' said to his dullard wife?  I repeat my objection from last episode: Bassam knows exactly the dreadful lure of wealth, and how decent people can be broken by circumstance and exposure to dangerous madmen.  Your children aren't in Disneyland, Bassam, they're in mortal danger.  Keeping them there makes you the asshole. 

Edited by henripootel

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It was a bit precious of Amira to try to guilt her son about wanting her own Pasadena. To hear her talk, you'd think she never chose to marry into the family.

For that matter, Leila's crack that Bassam's patients were over privileged kids with ear infections also lacked a certain sense of irony.

 

I did not think they would execute the boys. I just didn't think the show would go there. What is the General's ulterior motive?

Perhaps it's a simple as saying that he doesn't take orders from Bassam (not yet anyway).

 

 

But I never really thought the wife was going to die. There was no sense of urgency from any of the family members about the kidnapping, except maybe the husband. Everyone else was walking around like someone had simply lost their shoe.

Nusrat's only an Al-Fayeed by marriage, and unlike Amira & Leila, she hasn't produced any sons to continue the Al Fayeed name (at least that's why I tell myself about everyone's blase attitude)

 

Does anybody else think that Jamal’s son might at some point be revealed to be Bassam’s? Who didn’t see him and Jamal’s wife having a past coming a mile away? She’s been giving him the look since the moment they shared a scene.

If Leila ever looked at me like that, I'd be the President for Life of a fictional Middle Eastern country.

Edited by Constantinople
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Really Bassam, those boys were toe tagged soon as they abducted the daughter in law.

Jamal's son seems to be a decent man, that loves his wife.

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Got some opening credits this time.  Someone over there was clearly a fan of Game of Thrones.

 

Credit to everyone that called Barry and Leila being an item, when he was younger.  I wouldn't be surprised if it gets re-kindled somewhere down the line, and for once, I would be totally down with that.  I usually hate cheating, but Barry/Leila would have to be better then Barry/Molly.  If nothing else, it might make him more lively.  And, while manipulative and threatening (see the scene with the doctor), I still prefer Leila over dumbass Molly.

 

I don't know; I actually saw how the hostage situation was going to play out.  I figured Barry would talk them down, but the kids would still get executed by the general.  If this was a network show, I would have been shocked, but for FX, executing kids is not that big of a stretch for them.  At least this was a good way to show more of Jamal's son and daughter in-law, and they seem likable enough.  I hope he doesn't get corrupted, and she doesn't get abused anymore.

 

Of course, Jamal not only is walking again, but even his evil penis will probably pull through.  I can only imagine what he's going to be like as the President.

 

Alice Krige was awesome in her big scene, but if Amira even knows half of the stuff her husband did, then she's just an asshole.  But I'm really curious about what her deal is.

 

Not much of the kids, but I continue to actually like the daughter, because she seems to be the only person that is cautious about anything.  The son continue to bug, and I'm sure his overt flirtations is going to eventually cause problems, because he's an obvious idiot.

 

I'll keep watching, but I really hope Molly grows a brain, and Barry quits acting so cagey and mopey, and maybe they'll let Adam Rayner do more then just stare pensively.  I just can't see why they would cast him as the lead, and welcome all the controversy it brought.  Right now, it/he doesn't feel worth it.  Maybe he'll surprise me; I don't know.

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I have been watching House of Cards. I use to find the clueless meek supportive wife or girlfriend of an evil husband or boyfriend to be truly pathetic. I strongly disliked these type of women. But now they may be more noble, no they are definitively more noble than these all knowing smart wives and girlfriends who actively aid in their significant others evilness. Women like Amira and Leila, may justify their support for their husbands in any number of ways. But the truth is, to actively support murder, torture and unadulterated cruelty makes them no better than their husbands. It use to be that these evil people got what they deserved, but now it seems that these people only reap greater and greater riches for their evil deeds. Perhaps this is truer to life. All I know is these types of characters are starting to turn me away from shows like Tyrant.

 

As for Molly, maybe I have seen to many spy shows. Because it seemed as if Molly was handling Bassam. It looks like to me she is right where she wants to be.

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Oh dear, I've called the Laila/Barry thing a week ago.

 

Now I'm waiting for Molly to sleep with the US ambassador, John Tucker. 

 

I like the fact the show is not shying away from showing how what we may think as moral and ethic is not necessarily perceived that way in other circumstances. I felt that the boys were just misguided and did not deserve to die. But the general might have been right - one of them could have got a bomb and kill many innocent people.

 

And I'm almost sure the general will try to perform a coup one day in the future.

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Member of the royal family going in to negotiate?

 

Contrived.

 

Yeah Barry's change of heart is unconvincing.

 

Jamal must not know about Barry and Leila's past?  Seems like he'd hold a grudge.

 

Of he loves Leila as he claimed, even as she hated him.

 

She had a perfect answer to Jamal in the hospital room, feigning shock that Jamal would doubt her concern for his wealth fare.

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I found the line about Barry watching tons of TV so he could get rid of his Middle Eastern accent hilarious. Yes, like a busy med student/intern/doctor has that kind of time. And I just don't believe it would work that well. I might possibly buy it if he said he had worked with a linguistics coach or something, but still, I don't believe that someone who grew up speaking Arabic and learning English secondarily is going to speak in Adam Rayner's accent 100% of the time.

His casting still bugs because of the race thing, but it's nice to have a dark-haired, blue-eyed, brooding man with good cheekbones to look at while Person of Interest is on summer break.

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I have been watching House of Cards. I use to find the clueless meek supportive wife or girlfriend of an evil husband or boyfriend to be truly pathetic. I strongly disliked these type of women. But now they may be more noble, no they are definitively more noble than these all knowing smart wives and girlfriends who actively aid in their significant others evilness. Women like Amira and Leila, may justify their support for their husbands in any number of ways. But the truth is, to actively support murder, torture and unadulterated cruelty makes them no better than their husbands. It use to be that these evil people got what they deserved, but now it seems that these people only reap greater and greater riches for their evil deeds. Perhaps this is truer to life. All I know is these types of characters are starting to turn me away from shows like Tyrant.

 

I don't see how you compare the women from a free western society on the House of Cards to the women in a Middle Eastern society like the one portrayed on this show. Most of the women in the Middle East and many other eastern cultures are owned by their fathers and then their husbands. They have no little real choice in who they marry and rarely have the option to divorce. Their lives and their children's lives are tied to their husband's favor and survival. No matter how opulent their lives appear to be, the truth is that they have little to no independence or access to resources. 

 

Also, when have evil people ever "got what they deserve?" With a few exceptions, history has showed us that people who exploit others accumulate wealth and power. And if they do get payback, they are just replaced with other people just like them.

Edited by SimoneS
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I found the line about Barry watching tons of TV so he could get rid of his Middle Eastern accent hilarious. Yes, like a busy med student/intern/doctor has that kind of time. And I just don't believe it would work that well. I might possibly buy it if he said he had worked with a linguistics coach or something, but still, I don't believe that someone who grew up speaking Arabic and learning English secondarily is going to speak in Adam Rayner's accent 100% of the time.

I don't get why he couldn't simply speak English with an accent like his mother, as presumably she taught him English.   did get a kick out of Jamal telling Dr. Cohen to "speak English" instead of jargon.  Perhaps we're to believe Abuddin is some former colony, like Hong Kong, with English as an official language?

 

 

I like the fact the show is not shying away from showing how what we may think as moral and ethic is not necessarily perceived that way in other circumstances. I felt that the boys were just misguided and did not deserve to die. But the general might have been right - one of them could have got a bomb and kill many innocent people.

I thought Barry was being rather dim when he suggested to Tariq that the boys be freed.  That's not "fair treatment," and even in America, if you kidnap someone (and I think several people were injured or killed in the initial assault on the car), you're going to get punished, regardless of if you let the hostage go.  "Fair" would be trying them as juveniles, and perhaps knocking down the offense or some aggravating factors.  At least they should be brought in and interviewed to know what their motivations were, and what adults/group(s) were running them, providing them weapons, etc.

 

 

I'll keep watching, but I really hope Molly grows a brain, and Barry quits acting so cagey and mopey, and maybe they'll let Adam Rayner do more then just stare pensively.  I just can't see why they would cast him as the lead, and welcome all the controversy it brought.  Right now, it/he doesn't feel worth it.  Maybe he'll surprise me; I don't know.

I think he's been given directions to act very controlled, to tamp down a rising interest in the "family business" (and the power and ego-boost it brings -- "save us, Bassam, you're our only hope!") and do the smart thing which is to stay disengaged and leave as soon as he can.  Hopefully now that he's made his decision to "help" Jamal and his country, we'll see less restraint and more emoting. 

 

 

It was a bit precious of Amira to try to guilt her son about wanting her own Pasadena. To hear her talk, you'd think she never chose to marry into the family.

Yeah, presumably Abuddin IS her Pasadena -- it's the place she chose to call home as an adult.  Made bed and all. 

 

 

The kidnapping of the nephew’s wife seemed to be missing something. The kids were just kids and showed no dangerous ruthlessness at all, which I guess was the point. But I never really thought the wife was going to die. There was no sense of urgency from any of the family members about the kidnapping, except maybe the husband. Everyone else was walking around like someone had simply lost their shoe. Once again Bassam’s wife showed no alarm about the dangerous events happening around her (neither did their children) and practically shrugged off the fact that the kids who’d conducted the kidnapping were assassinated on the spot. And Bassam is not showing any concern about the safety of his wife and kids with all that’s going on. None of this is realistic.

I agree.  This should have been a high-stakes situation, but no one really seemed too fussed about it.  The long-time dictator just died, the new dictator is incapacitated, and terrorists (children terrorists at that!) were able to abduct the heir's wife.  That should be a much bigger deal, even if there weren't deep emotional bonds between Leila, Barry, Molly, etc. and the Nusrat.  It's a deep failing of the security protecting the family, as well as perhaps the tip of a bigger crisis/challenge to Jamal's authority.  You would think Barry would at least put his family on a plane back home, even if he felt he needed to stay and sort things out -- and that Molly would shut up and listen. 

 

We learned a little bit about Abuddin in this ep, in that it seems not to have heretic laws against non-Muslims -- I'm assuming Dr. Cohen is Jewish. 

Edited by annlaw78

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Jamal's son looked something of a dullard

 

Not an understatement. He lost the genetic lottery (as far as looks are concerned), and seems sweet enough, but DIM. Do he not inherit any of Jamal's "charisma?"

 

 

I don't know how much more of this I can continue to watch if Molly and Sammy continue to be painfully punishingly stupid.

 

Please show, have Molly die in her sleep. At this point, her character is offensive. If she continues to grate, I'm out. (her ONLY redemption would be if she is some kind of political operative.)

 

 

Of course, Jamal not only is walking again, but even his evil penis will probably pull through.

 

^^ HILARIOUS!

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I love this show for some reason. I agree with everyone who says Barry's decision to stay was rushed...and this his past with Leila was telegraphed right from the start. That's pretty standard fare for flashbacky shows like this. 

 

What really bugs is how clueless, how seemingly willfully ignorant Molly and the kids are. I can't believe I'm saying this, but Dana and Jessica Brody are geniuses compared to these people. Abuddin is obviously awash with human rights violations. I can't believe any of them wouldn't have Googled the place hundreds of times...if not weekly. I mean, if my father-in-law was the head of state somewhere I would have a little more than a passing interest in their affairs. That's what takes me out of the show.

 

How would it have hurt the show to have Molly really, really, reticent to go there? Why couldn't she have insisted they leave? That would add more tension to the show, and give Barry more to chew on. They easily could have invented some plot device to make their escape impossible..like getting their names on a no fly list or somesuch...refused entry to the US or whatever.

 

Sure, I can see the son wanting to stay for the cars, power, affluence, and steam rooms, but I can't see any modern mother and angsty teen wanting to even go there in the first place, much less hang around for the inevitable violence that's sure to come. 

 

Good show though. 

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There are definite problems with this show, but I'm still interested in watching. I really don't buy Barry's sudden turn around and decision to stay, but then I guess we wouldn't have a show.

Totally not surprised at the history between Leila and Barry-- it was telegraphed from miles away.

I was annoyed at the inconsistencies of female dress at the funeral, though I'm not sure why because we saw it in the pilot. Amira and Molly are wearing veils and long sleeves, Leila is wearing long sleeves, no veil. Nusrat had a veil but no sleeves. The daughter is wearing no head covering and no sleeves. Ugh. I guess I could buy Molly dressing like that out of respect, but shouldn't Leila and Nusrat be dressed similarly in that case?

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Actually, after thinking for a while about Molly, I'm really in fond of the abovementioned theory that she's a CIA plant.

 

This would make her character not only bearable but actually interesting. So, she apprached Barry in med school, made him fall for her and kept him in check. The US ambassador guy would be her handler now in Abuddin. CIA's goal would be to place a forward-thinking "puppet" in the position of power...

 

Now I would be really disappointed if this isn't the truth.

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How would it have hurt the show to have Molly really, really, reticent to go there? Why couldn't she have insisted they leave? That would add more tension to the show, and give Barry more to chew on. They easily could have invented some plot device to make their escape impossible..like getting their names on a no fly list or somesuch...refused entry to the US or whatever.

I'm guessing they're trying to contrast her with Sally Field's character in "Not Without My Daughter," to make her more hip and down-for-whatever.  But it just sort of makes her stupid. 

 

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The boys were dangerous.

 

The kids were just kids and showed no dangerous ruthlessness at all, which I guess was the point. But I never really thought the wife was going to die.

Forcing people out of cars with guns, forcing the girl into a store and held at gun point!  One was surely ready to shot and die.  This is the way they are raised.  Violence begets violence.

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This would make her character not only bearable but actually interesting. So, she apprached Barry in med school, made him fall for her and kept him in check. The US ambassador guy would be her handler now in Abuddin. CIA's goal would be to place a forward-thinking "puppet" in the position of power...

 

 

Though in theory this would make for an interesting twist, it really doesn't fly IMO. Would the CIA plant an agent with Bassam, who has moved to the US and pretty much renounced who he is, and wait 20 years for him to finally decide to go home and take over the country? Since Bassam had little to no contact with his family for the last two decades, she'd have been pretty much twiddling her thumbs all this time. The CIA would've got more traction planting someone inside of Abuddin to hook up with Jamal, his son or hell the Dad than waiting on Bassam to fall in line or be convinced to go back by his CIA wife, neither of which are solid plans.

 

I think this kind of twist would be more believable if Bassam had recently married Molly, rather than them being married for the past 16-17 years. 

Edited by Enero
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It's really, really bothering me that Bassam's brother was attacked and niece was kidnapped and the response is to stay.  Shouldn't that be a big a neon sign that his wife and kids aren't safe there?  Shouldn't that have been enough to make even his idiot wife want to leave?  Because I know I wouldn't want my kids in a place where  Nusrat, who had only just married into the family and committed no crimes herself, was boldly kidnapped off the streets.  That wouldn't exactly give me tons of confidence about my family's security.

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It's really, really bothering me that Bassam's brother was attacked and niece was kidnapped and the response is to stay.  Shouldn't that be a big a neon sign that his wife and kids aren't safe there?  Shouldn't that have been enough to make even his idiot wife want to leave?  Because I know I wouldn't want my kids in a place where  Nusrat, who had only just married into the family and committed no crimes herself, was boldly kidnapped off the streets.  That wouldn't exactly give me tons of confidence about my family's security.

A woman of her education level should see the red flags and at least get her children out of harms way. There is no legitimate reason for her and her kids to still be in the country. Like she said you can get a whole plane anytime you want. So lady pack up your kids and leave, you can always come back at the drop of a dime. There are only two explanations I will accept for her staying. One she is a plant of some kind, who hired her I do not care. Or I want to see her standing in front of a mirror with a tiara practicing her princess Diana wave, while asking who is the fairest of them all. The latter would reveal a level of Bat Sh*t Crazy, that could only be good for the show.

Edited by Watcher0363

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A woman of her education level should see the red flags and at least get her children out of harms way. There is no legitimate reason for her and her kids to still be in the country. Like she said you can get a whole plane anytime you want. So lady pack up your kids and leave, you can always come back at the drop of a dime. There are only two explanations I will accept for her staying. One she is a plant of some kind, who hired her I do not care. Or I want to see her standing in front of a mirror with a tiara practicing her princess Diana wave, while asking who is the fairest of them all. The latter would reveal a level of Bat Sh*t Crazy, that could only be good for the show.

 

I think it's a serious misstep on the part of the writers if either of those scenarios don't emerge. I can believe a dictator's son wanting to leave his past and his country behind. I can buy that he has his demons, and has inherited more of his dad's ruthlessness than he is comfortable with. I can buy the rich, spoiled brother and his long suffering, contemptuous wife. All of that sets up a compelling story with all sorts of possibilities. But Holly is a joke. I wonder if they'll try ret-conning some kind of explanation for her, or if one is to come. If not, let her get kidnapped or killed and become the catalyst for Barry's turn to the dark side. 

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I don't understand the power dynamics in this fictional country. The al Fayeed's rule, but only with the support of the military. If Bassam is going to openly antagonize Tariq, what happens to the family's power? The show is going to have to provide a reason for Tariq to listen to Bassam. Right now he should consider a coup.

 

And I really dread where Bassam and his wife are headed. I can see arguments and infidelity and kids acting out and ugh. Can we just skip that part by having them leave the country now? Because unless they turn Molly into an enabler of Bassam's tyrant side, all the angst will just be annoying.

 

But then all we will have left is a tyrant. That's a short arc.

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Okay, what happened to the woman who was in the car with Jamal when it crashed? Did she escape unharmed? Was she the woman who snuck a man in the trunk of a car across the border? If not who was that woman? What was that all about anyway? Some of the women have to cover their hair and some don't. Weird.

 

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Okay, what happened to the woman who was in the car with Jamal when it crashed? Did she escape unharmed? Was she the woman who snuck a man in the trunk of a car across the border? If not who was that woman? What was that all about anyway? Some of the women have to cover their hair and some don't. Weird.

I assumed she died in the crash or was executed immediately if she lived. The other girl was the daughter of the journalist that Bassam went to see last episode. Sorry I don't have all the names down yet. Someone will help me with that?

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I figured the general was going to lie to Barry and take the kids away only to have them shot later. I didn't think they would go for it right there like that. Good job show. Don't pull punches.

 

What is the General's ulterior motive?
Perhaps it's a simple as saying that he doesn't take orders from Bassam (not yet anyway).

 

Ambassador Andy said that the general wanted an excuse to declare military rule, and could use this latest incident to do that if the girl actually died. Which, then possibly he could use to turn into a coup and then take over. Incidentally, who was actually in power when Jamal was in surgery. It would probably have been the general, no? If not then Jamal was still president, or his son, possibly. So the general actually didn't have to listen to Barry and could have him restrained for his "safety". Which isn't that bad of an excuse since letting a member of the royal family walk into an armed hostage situation is stupid. 

 

But here's the problem: if Bassam were to take the whole 'family is everything' thing to heart, he'd get them on the fucking plane right now and never return.

 

The general even said, "why don't you just go home?" I would have been like, "ok bye!" I think the show is trying to tell us that Barry is actually smarter than he's letting on. It was his idea to invite the "enemy" and his family to the wedding so they wouldn't bomb it, and I think Barry knew the general would have let the girl die in order to declare military law. But they're making the actor be so stoned faced. I don't mind a little fanwank here and there, but I should be leaping around like this. 

 

But the general might have been right - one of them could have got a bomb and kill many innocent people.

 

The kid in the orange shirt probably would have. He had the brother in jail and was pretty hardcore.

 

Ugh. The wife. I don't mind suspending my belief somewhat for a show, but I can't imagine in this era how she is so obtuse about everything. 

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I figured the general was going to lie to Barry and take the kids away only to have them shot later. I didn't think they would go for it right there like that. Good job show. Don't pull punches.

 

I know, that really surprised me too. I did like Barry telling the general he was full of crap, and that he (the general) was hoping Nusrat would be killed so he could use it as an excuse to impose martial law. By the look on the general's face, it was obvious that was how he was hoping things would play out. I think the Barry character has quite a bit of potential. Clearly, he's a strategic thinker: he invited the enemy to the wedding, and he was able to pretty easily deduce his uncle's ulterior motives. I think he knows that he'd be good at the political maneuvering, but is resisting it because he doesn't want to become as ruthless as his father and Jamal, which is making him come across as stoic and uninvolved.

 

I was again taken out of the moment when Emma was prancing around in shorts, and then in a sleeveless dress at the funeral. I've spent plenty of time in that part of the world, and women dressing that way is just Not Done, even in the more liberal/Westernized countries.

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I was again taken out of the moment when Emma was prancing around in shorts, and then in a sleeveless dress at the funeral. I've spent plenty of time in that part of the world, and women dressing that way is just Not Done, even in the more liberal/Westernized countries.

I was too. You can't tell me that her Grandmother, Aunt or random staff member wouldn't tell her that her clothes are inappropriate. Family members do that in America & we don't have all the retrictions on clothes.

This episode didn't hold up as well as the pilot, for me. A number of unbelievable moments, that have been mentioned above. Molly is still being written as a twit. All I kept seeing was the future episode, where she finally sees reality & wants to go home. As well as her shock & dismay when she's told she nor the kids will be allowed to leave.

Edited by BestestAuntEver
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Maybe I'm just nitpicking, but, did anyone else find it strange how far apart Molly and Barry were sleeping in the last scene?

Okay, what happened to the woman who was in the car with Jamal when it crashed? Did she escape unharmed? Was she the woman who snuck a man in the trunk of a car across the border? If not who was that woman? What was that all about anyway? Some of the women have to cover their hair and some don't. Weird.

In the scene where Jamal is in surgery, the General tells Leila that the woman with Jamal was a follower of Ahab, guy plotting the terror attack.

I assumed she died in the crash or was executed immediately if she lived. The other girl was the daughter of the journalist that Bassam went to see last episode. Sorry I don't have all the names down yet. Someone will help me with that?

The daughter's name is Samira, I don't recall her father's. Edited by Chrissytd

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I think its highly likely that Molly will end up being a plant or sleeper for something, but that's only because her character so far doesn't seem to have much else on the table, unless she's been faking her entire life.

 

OTOH nothing she's said or done so far leads me to believe she's following anyone's goals but her own. She's not a Leila or Bassam's Mother, both of whom I can imagine in the finals of the "scheming to be the power behind the throne" world cup stakes. She's not once hinted that they should meet his family to be a western influence on them, never hinted that he could and or should be doing more to change things like the journalist did. She seems to sincerely believe that everyone should hug it out because family is family," wouldn't it be great if your Dad could come to Sammy's game tomorrow, if only would both apologise for that stupid argument!" She doesn't seem attracted to the wealth and power like her son, but she's not disgusted with it either. She doesn't have the savvy to realise the death of a dictator is a fucking dangerous time, she wasn't suggesting they stay to help with the turmoil but because she thought he was weird for being desperate to go home. Apparently she's never seen the news or read a paper for the last 5 years. Also an airplane is a terrible place to have a long brewing argument in general, but seriously "you've been closed off for 19 years I'm sick of it!" Really?  Yeah from what we've seen Bassam is trying to pretend he was the prefect suburban American and doesn't talk about anything serious, but you choose that moment after everything that's happened to bug him about it?

 

Actually I'd sooner believe a character arc where she realises being the wife of the Tyrant has its benefits, because her teenage daughter seems savvier than her.

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I'm going to give this show another two weeks. I really want to like it, but characters who don't think just set my teeth on edge. If I can't get with this show after the July 15th episode, I'm out. I don't have the desire to hate-watch anything.

 

There are so many questions, and I think it's because the writers don't trust the audience to get anything "complex." That's a problem. Take a show like The Americans, which hasn't dumbed down the premise. The characters were complex from the outset; you knew where Elizabeth stood and where Phillip stood by the end of the pilot episode. Even though Phillip had no clue about how the guy they kidnapped in the pilot played a role in Elizabeth's spy coming of age tale, the show didn't treat him as a naive, open-mouth yokel about it all. 

 

Yokel is how I feel Molly comes off. There's no there there and she doesn't really question Bassam or his decisions. I also love how the thought is to show how non-tryant-y Bassam is by him telling the kidnappers that he'd talk with the uncle. The cold-blooded killing was just that--cold-blooded--but as someone pointed out above, it's unrealistic for Bassam to think that the kidnappers wouldn't face some sort of punishment. So, for that I have to dock him, inspite of the fact that he came up with the brilliant idea to invite the al-Fayeed enemies' family members to the wedding.

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There's no there there

 

I can't understand Molly's complete lack of intellectual curiosity. Willful ignorance I could deal with, because that at least would show she's thought about the situation enough to want to forget about it. But there's absolutely NOTHING there with her. The naivété she continues to display is mind-boggling to me. Being a sleeper CIA agent or something like that is the only thing that will redeem her for me. Because I can't believe Bassam would marry someone who's really that stupid.

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But even the sleeper CIA theory doesn't wash for me. I watched Sleeper Cell (the one starring Michael Ealy). I really liked the movie The Ghost Writer. I keep mentioning The Americans. Every last "sleeper" in those shows and movie were curious and still in some sort of control and showed agency. Molly doesn't remind me of any of the protagonists in aforementioned programs.

I just think she's a poorly written character.

Edited by Mozelle

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I would think we viewers would be tipped off that there's something else going on with her as well. Whether she's on the phone and quickly hangs up when Barry comes around, something like that. But it's really not. 

 

I think this is a case where TPTBs just don't think how people think. It's been said plenty of times, 'ok my husband doesn't want to talk about his prior life, I'm going to google his country and see what's up.' Honestly, not understanding the real sense of urgency with Barry wanting to get the hell out when the dad died is laughable. 

 

I'm having a problem on another show. You can't have people not act like normal, sensible people would act because plot. I am hoping there is something else going on, but I'm doubtful.

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I was again taken out of the moment when Emma was prancing around in shorts, and then in a sleeveless dress at the funeral. I've spent plenty of time in that part of the world, and women dressing that way is just Not Done, even in the more liberal/Westernized countries.

 

I see that as also being inconsistent with Emma's character.  She seems like she's savvier, so even if she didn't Google "how a woman should pack for a visit to a ME country," she would have quickly noticed how women dress once she got there.  And even if she wasn't paying attention to other women, there's no way she wouldn't have picked up on how SHE was being perceived and treated by others, especially by men.  It would have made her uncomfortable, even if no one said anything directly to her.  I feel like she's smarter than that.  But it's probably just a failing of the writers to even consider her clothes, rather than anythng else.

 

I guess the show wants to be all about the political drama, but I would appreciate more smaller scenes about the cultural or religious differences.  They could have had an interesting scene with Emma and Amira about when, where and how to cover up and the reasons for it.  Or the young security guard guy could have said something to Emma's brother, maybe leading brother to consider how things ARE different there and he should be more careful.

 

It's all a little too broad brush for me, but maybe they're still setting up the story.  I still like the show, though.  It's definitely something different, so I give them snaps for trying something new.

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Re: Barry's excellent English. I work with a lot of immigrants (mostly Japanese and East Indian and some ME). You'd be totally surprised to hear many of them speak English as well as any other American with out a heavy accent. And, yes, many of them have told us they learned a lot from TV. If he left at an early age and dived into it and learned the idioms of the street he could very well sound just as American as anyone else. He obviously already knew English when he left and he definitely wanted to be Americanized thus the Barry instead of Bassan. He's very driven and I can see him immersing himself into the culture and language. Besides, some people have an ear for language. It's not that far fetched.Did they say he left at 15 or was it 15 years ago? Either way, he could have developed his American accent on his own.

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