Things start to get heated up.
Tyrant: Season 2: Episode 6: The Other Brother: GRADE: A-
Tyrant reaches the midway point of its second year and man what a hell of an episode to make that occasion.
As the title of the episode suggests we see the return of Rami Said and I feel like last time I didn’t highlight how much I liked the performance by actor Keon Alexander who came into the role and had some good, believable chemistry with Ashraf Barhom. His feeling of being brought into the world he’s seen from the outside felt genuinely believable and his hesitance to join it, I mean he was already doing much better things like being a UN Peacekeeper when Jamal found out about him.
So why is Rami back? Well Jamal killed Tariq and needed a new general. Yes the inevitable finally happen and it seems the maturity and collected sanity of Jamal is slipping when he finally snaps at Tariq after the deal with the Chinese seems to be on it last legs once the gas attacks are brought up. Honestly he seemed to crack before the murder when China mentions the gas attacks and Jamal without hesitation responded, “You dare play the human rights card with me, you puppet? Look to your own country for that.” Jamal finally breaks when Tariq brings up how Bassam’s words still hang around him and think of what his father would do before beating him with the golden oil derrick given to him which is symbolic on so many levels that its kinda not worth mentioning here as its so evident in the visuals itself.
Tariq’s death came as a surprise in how sudden it happened, but really its where the character was going to go since Jamal was betting himself, putting things behind him as a leaders and had seemed to hold things together, until Tariq’s interference with the gas attack. After that it was only a matter of time before the character had to go, but his clash of views with the newly reformed Jamal made for some pretty good tension between the two, but it couldn’t last and with this episode it reached its logical conclusion.
Rami is a great replacement as he quickly recruited a number of African “military advisors” to help Jamal deal with the threat of the Caliphate, but he wasn’t so keen on working for Jamal. Leila and Amira try to convince him and he feels no loyalty for Abbudin, which don’t blame him, but feels convinced to help bring a more peaceful solution to things with his U.N. background, plus maybe a chance to fulfill the coup that Bassam failed at. Of course it comes out to Ahmed and company that Rami is Jamal’s son and so we should see next week how that goes over.
The Caliphate are starting to deeply get under Jamal’s skin and its gonna be interesting to see how he’s gonna try to keep it together.
Speaking of the Caliphate, man what development we get here. Abu Omar is season one Jamal, maybe a bit sicker. He is clearly a ruthless leader with an iron fist as we first see him at the torturing of someone for information. Abu has come in like a wrecking ball and left his mark with so many people, Ihab Rashid included, wrapped around his finger with his violent resistance of the rule of Abbudin. Most notable is his first wife Jane (Caitlin Joseph). What we learn is that she was a Western woman who came over and somehow got involved with Omar and got so twisted. She conflicts with Daliyah (Melia Kreiling) over Omar but their world views as well which makes for a fantastic confrontation between the two.
I feel like I haven’t done too much to mention that Melia Kreiling has been a great addition to the cast as Daliyah as someone who helped to keep Bassam clam and centered amongst all the crazy he was just going through. She’s been a solidly consistent character and it seems being taken by Omar will open up some great character stuff for her. Speaking of the two, the scene between them at the end could have take the episode in a whole different way of a cheap way to just show how much more evil Omar is, but thankfully is broken up by a great conflict.
Bassam, Ahmos (Nasser Memariza), and many others in the resistance of the Caliphate destroy a weapons depot and with the help of Ahmos’ son Munir (Nathan Clarke), man on the inside of the Caliphate, break out their prisoners in a very exciting and rousing action sequence. Really the most remarkable thing of the episode is the direction by Kari Skogland who frames so many shots perfectly from Jamal’s reaction to the news of the Caliphate at the beginning, the bloody washcloth on Daliyah’s hand in her confrontation with Jane, and this sequence. She made the episode look and feel great with the great performances across the board, for the most part.
The prison outbreak is a series highlight in terms of great pacing, tension, and furthering of the story at hand now that Bassam is done being a sad sack and sees that right no the Caliphate are the ones needing to be brought down, which now puts him in between the opposing sides of Jamal and the Caliphate. Sadly though we do lose Ahmos among the chaos and Bassam might put himself in the spotlight since he was recognized by Halima (Olivia Popica), who we last saw spill blood on Leila. Bassam is now the resistance leader and how that plays will be interesting to see.
As a side we get a new character in Ru’a played by Danusia Samal, who appears to replace Samira who is MIA right now and she’s instantly memorable in her charge and fight for the Caliphate resistance since her rebellious motives seems far more clearer after seeing so many of her loved ones taken from someone else’s fight. I hope there is so much of her very soon.
This is very nearly a perfect episode and still remains one of the absolute best episodes, but we come back to Sammy. Sammy goes to court to contest his inheritance which includes disavowing his father in court, something he has no problem doing and making clear as he leaves, but tries to go and find Abdul since one night on the beach meant the world to them both.
This storyline has connection as the Caliphate are very extreme that they see homosexuality as an abomination and have many gay men held captive, including Abdul and is actually willing to pay a huge sum for his freedom. Sammy is gonna help fun the Caliphate and thus I still don’t care for his character because there seems to be nothing but pisspoor writing around him since he’s not thinking about the long term with this plan. Seems the realities of being back in Abbudin still can’t sink into him as he’s just Sammy.
With one road bump, The Other Brother is a smooth transition for the second season story of Tyrant as characters get deeper development, stories get a little tighter, and tensions rise. This was really one of the best episodes of TV I’ve seen so far this year.