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Tube Talk: Tyrant: Desert Storm


War is waged.


Tyrant: Season 2: Episode 11: Desert Storm: GRADE: A-

The tension that was created by the events of last week’s stellar episode to roll over into the PENULTIMATE(!) chapter of Tyrant’s second year in spectacular fashion. It has all finally come to this, the war between the Red Hand and Caliphate and the added tension that Rami is arrested and unable to provide assistance gets exciting quickly. A good portion of the episode is indeed the battle both bullets and talking and they are really captivating. Ihab’s crazed revenge towards Bassam and how that conflicts with Abu Omar’s plans and Bassam’s instant regret as to how this might go. On almost every aspect to make this episode, its purely entertaining, but for right now, the battle.

For a show like this, the next to last chapter has to amp things up, really raise the stakes and have high drama and Desert Storm doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Its fairly obvious that much of the budget went to this from the shots they get to the extras, explosions, everything. Tyrant hasn’t disappointed in action this season, significantly stepping up its game between its break and its been refreshing to see. Bassam’s willingness to do what’s right, but as well as his committment to saving people conflict beautifully as they are nailed down by their forces. This builds to his willingness to sacrifice himself to Ihab for everyone, but that of course doesn’t go well for the person that steps up in his place for anyone as Ihab is locked up by Abu Omar for leading a vendetta.

Again I can’t praise enough how well filmed this is and how tied into Bassam’s character it is. It fuels him and reminds him of what he’s there for. Adam Rayner puts his all into the performance that he gave for this episode and it shows. He’s made this character his own and knows how to make him operate, even refusing to let a severely injured Ihab die when tending to those wounded in the field. Abu Omar lives, but I think there will be more of him soon enough next week. Or you know if the show gets renewed for a third season, so let us hold our breathes on that.

Bassam’s leadership is put on full display and its truly amazing to see how far this character has come from how bland and uninteresting it was from the first few batch of episodes. I also must speak on the performance of Alexander Karim as Ihab Rashid who has been a force of nature in of himself this season by providing amazing and solid conflict.

TYRANT -- "Desert Storm" -- Episode 211 (Airs Tuesday, August 25, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: Moran Atias as Leila. CR: Kata Vermes/FX

Things are not going to be ending well for Jamal soon. He’s confronted by Molly and Leila that Bassam is the Red Hand leader how his paranoia has caused all of what’s going out and all because of the love he shared for his brother. Leila and Ahmed’s confrontation at first as a bit on the nose by saying it out right, but its done well enough to honestly make the scene keep up its tension considering the scene before and after, Leila and Ahmed are now staging a coup to take Jamal down and put Ahmed on the throne. Leila is going to leave Jamal and as seen in previews for next week, agree to testify against him, so now she’s a maybe as to her survival chances for the series.

Ahmed’s confrontation with her in how she insists she’ll be leaving Jamal is exceptionally biting in its own way given how so done with everything and everyone. What his role could be for a next year would be exciting to see.

Leila’s turnaround will not only end the story for this year but also set the stage for what might come should Tyrant get its third year and honestly I kinda hope that is where the show ends since I’m not too sure how long this might be able to honestly continue.

Molly and Sammy’s scenes while not too big are essential to the episode in how it further motivates Bassam to do what he’s doing for the people of Abbudin. They do so much in the little time they are on screen this week that it impacts the episode even further to me.

Though if there was a problem in the episode it was how too convenient Rami’s return was to go and save Bassam just in time. He kinda got played off as a deus ex machina in the story and that kind bothered me moments after viewing the episode and has still been playing on my mind, but its not enough to really hurt the episode.

TYRANT -- "Desert Storm" -- Episode 211 (Airs Tuesday, August 25, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Jennifer Finnigan as Molly, Ashraf Barhom as Jamal. CR: Kata Vermes/FX

Tyrant gets ready for the finale in grand fashion that promises many more fireworks to come. I’m excited and can’t wait.


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