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Tube Talk: Tyrant: Zanjir

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Tension gets Tyrant right back on track.

SPOILERS!

Tyrant: Season 2: Episode 10: Zanjir: GRADE: A

After a dull week, Tyrant seems to have snapped back into place as it runs on nothing but high tension this week and fantastic character interactions in what could very well be maybe the best episode of the series itself.

The episode all but fully places Jamal make into his former crazed self and sets the stage more so for our last episodes. The accidental death of Amira in place of Rami is what sets everything in motion. That sets the whole tempo for amped up tension that remains perfectly tight for the whole hour. This is really an ace up the sleeve as it just comes out of nowhere and just sucked punches your emotions right away with the explosion itself and Jamal’s reaction over the phone once he realizes what has happened.

Jamal’s guilt fully takes over and its what really puts him over the edge and its incredible to finally see crazy Jamal again but its really more of a broken Jamal, which seems appropriate with how his reactions go and the fact this brings up his guilt over Bassam which clashes with the guilt of inadvertently killing his own mother. Ashrof Bahrom is again fantastically amazing here and just gives such depth and range to the character that is making him one of the most criminally underrated characters and actors on TV right now. While the crazy isn’t fully out there, I expect the crazy to come out more so next week. The most surreal moment coming at the end when Leila looks on at Jamal who its his head repeatedly against a wall in the room where his mother’s body lays. Blood coming from his head and bleeding on to his shirt and kneeling before his mother as she can’t bring herself to pull the trigger.

Jamal’s unraveling even seems to put Leila at the end of her rope as her denial is slowly fading away. She has been managing Jamal for years now and can’t see anything good coming from his current mindset, which is why murder is her solution after she loses the faith of Ahmed and Rami to help stage another coup to take down Jamal for he holds all the power right now and is truly far more dangerous. Leila’s crying as she points the gun is an expertly done character beat that feels honestly real and true to what she’s been through this season. Moran Atias absolutely shines in this episode and gives her best performance as the character.

Really all the acting is great, especially at the palace as Ahmed even seems to finally have it with his parents after he confronts Nusrat about her encounter with Rami in the garden earlier which he saw before Nusrat explains the annulment was his parents ideas. Seeing Ahmed compare his mother to his father and call them both monsters was incredible. His statement that he’s done with his parents rings true. That confrontation had its own room full of tension and let those actors as well shine.

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Rami’s fate is left uncertain, but I believe he might see to live the events of the finale, though he’s left high and dry by Solomon and the military is being pulled out of helping the Red Hand against the Caliphate.

Tension is raised over at the Red Hand and while Bassam and company are unaware of Amira’s death there is plenty to enjoy, mainly how Bassam is trying to keep Sammy away from battle. This week does a great job of bettering Sammy again and showing that last week’s events have definitely changed him a lot. The connection between father and son is deepened by this and the acting from both Adam Rayner and Noah Silver shine through as they expertly play that change and development in them so well. It feels believable of what they each believe, especially how Bassam seems to be willing to bring Sammy into battle with them. Until of course he drugs him to make sure he oversleeps their departure, which felt honest and true to Bassam, also much better than just simply knocking him out or anything else really.

Molly really isn’t much here, but does set into motion the events of the episode and helps to set up perfect tension for next week by warning Sammy to warn Bassam of the military not coming to them, but of course the sand storm is interfering with the radio.

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Tyrant throws a curveball and its effective. Amazing drama, high tension, incredible characterization, expert plotting and pacing, and brilliant acting and direction. Its most powerful hour of the whole year is proof of what makes Tyrant undeniably great television.

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