The coup against Jamal starts to take shape but one factor the group never expected starts the resistance in the penultimate chapter.
Tyrant: Season 1: Episode 9: Gaslight: GRADE: B
As the coup to take Jamal out of power starts to take shape, so does Leila. Her own manipulative power play of pitting Jamal and against Barry continues and actually interferes with part of the coup tonight.
The first step is to still get Jamal and Tariq to turn on each other and they do go about it, but there is a complication in Ziad. Where Tariq would be arrested on conspiracy of rigging the election, as well as being stuck with spreading the rumor of Jamal wanting to leave the presidency with his hooker and in bed with her as the Sheik laid dying, but with Leila getting in the way and wrapping her hands around Jamal, he lures Tariq off a plane with the same people he’d bring to rig the election, he blows the plan up and has Tariq arrested for treason and pins the bombing on him. The plan does get just a tiny bit convoluted at one point, but I’ll chuck that up some my own confusion from the dialogue going on.
Step forward, but a step back as well. Jamal is in over his head but willing to see this through to give Abbudin a better future for itself, while Jamal suffers at the hands of the brother he loves. That’s what’s interesting to see here is the love Jamal clearly has for his brother and his struggle to try and keep being president, despite not fully wanting to be in that position. It feels like in a way to help humanize him, and I can’t get behind that. The show went out their way to make Jamal the force of evil here and its worked and with all the things he’s done, I can’t get behind sensitive Jamal. I see the angle they are going for, but I just can’t go with it. Jamal is evil and he will remain that way, no matter how much love or care he’ll have for his brother, despite the good acting on the part of Ashraf Barhom. He’s much better as a bad person.
Barry thinks this is what’s best for Jamal, and in many ways he is right and I think Jamal would agree. Jamal might end up thanking Barry for doing this. The exploration in seeing Barry’s transformation now has paid off wonderfully given how the show has turned around but Rayner to having good moments of expression and but also those moments where his face is stone, such as when talking to Molly at the end of the episode. Even seeing how he feels no guilt and remorse of setting Tariq up, then again he was a bad dude, or showing any ounce of emotion when Jamal beats Tariq in his cell. This has been fascinating to look at and I hope gets further exploration in the finale.
Of course the otherside of this is with Molly and her and Barry’s turmoil over the situation. Molly is anything but happy about this, and less so when its revealed she and the kids will be going to Oregon and a safe house. The conflict here is good and feels much more deserving of emotion than Jamal as a character. Barry and Molly feel as if divorce could be a future plot line, despite the fact that there is no word f the show will be back next year yet, despite next week’s impending finale.
Molly is becoming unnerved and will most likely be a huge factor in next week. The children and Jenna of course don’t factor much into the proceedings aside from advancing a couple story threads and character moments. This is mostly the writing betraying them as they are again, so uninteresting.
The episode as a whole feels like a slower chapter and minor step down in quality terms recently for the show, but it was still engaging. It was entertaining as well and pertains to the newly resurrected Tyrant, with fewer pounds. Feels like a slow burn to a huge payoff that will be given next week.
Tyrant’s second season could go into exploring what happens with Barry in power, I’m calling it that Jamal dies next week, and that he’ll fall back for Leila and he’ll desperately try to flee back home to America. Tyrant is a show I can’t see going on for too long. As a one season show it could work. Though now all the chess pieces are in place and Tyrant is ready, but will it get to say checkmate?