Friday, August 15, 2014

What I’m Watching: Tyrant

Tyrant: Season 1, Episode 8 “Meet the New Boss” (B-)

Bassam has undergone a very radical and dramatic transformation that isn’t too easy to buy as genuine based on what we knew about his character from the start. Sure, he executed someone to satisfy – or was it to spite – his father as a child, but his every instinct since arriving in Abuddin has been to help spare others any sort of violence or undue suffering. Watching his brother and learning about what he did wouldn’t realistically shape him into another version of him, but instead inspire him to become something completely different. It seems, however, that somehow all of the power has gone to his head, and Bassam has gone from negotiating for free elections to helping his brother kill his enemy to working with American leaders to take down his brother and steal his position. There’s no way that Jamal gets away from all of this with immunity, but it’s interesting that Bassam asked for that, since he knows full well that his brother is guilty of plenty. Bassam wasn’t being too bright in treating his wife and family in absolute terms with no flexibility, and wouldn’t have raised any suspicion had he been kinder and more open to their perspectives instead of shipping them off to the United States at the earliest possible moment. Nusrat is a formidable foe for Jamal, determined not to be taken advantage of without making him feel bad about it, hating her husband for the horrific actions of his father, a veritable theme for this show.

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