TYRANT Review: “Two Graves”

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As the season finale closes, Cogswell is getting sent back to the States for helping Leila and facing a possible court marshal as he declares his love for the presidential hopeful and admits to getting swept away by the mood of the country. It’s not a very likely or convincing scene, but their romance has never been center stage, and Cogswell’s character was new for the season, so it’s kind of a non-essential point that doesn’t matter much. Meanwhile, the war that has been at the center of every plot twist this season is getting closer to happening.

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Knowing that Abbudin is on the cusp of war, Leila is plotting her next move with the sheik, declaring herself president to run the government from afar and give the people hope and a possible democracy. However, we know that the Sheik has enemies on both sides, so it’s not that much of a surprise when he’s assassinated in the middle of the night by the Caliphate. Even his wife barely reacts. For whatever reason, it is the impetus she needs to change her course, so she does what the widows of many men have done before and takes her place next to Leila in his stead. And it is totally believable that a couple of women in the Middle East would be readily accepted as mainstream political candidates.

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Molly is bent on behaving as bizarrely as possible, so she visits Daliyah in jail. The visit really has no purpose, other than to show that Molly has taken to wearing a lot of pristine white and Daliyah is getting pretty dirty in her jail cell. Molly makes a bunch of predictions about Barry’s feelings and behavior, which may or may not be true. They’re not that relevant at this point in the game. Both Molly and Barry are all twisted up and not the best actors to showcase their constantly changing influx of feelings.

After her visit, Molly is flippant as she tells Barry about her visit with Daliyah, who suddenly seems to remember that his wife is now mentally ill and behaves in unstable ways. Much as he does. So he threatens Molly if anything happens to Daliyah. Of course, he’s the one doing things to Daliyah.

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Meanwhile, that student protest mentioned a few episodes past is still due to take place and that’s where the real action happens. Sammy has wandered off again, bothered by his parents’ unreasonableness. He decides to get involved in the political scene; and ends up getting shot as student protesters start shooting at the army that has turned up, with General Maloof and Ahmed at the head of it all. As soon as the students open fire, the army responds with their own and although the few violent students are easily put down, the army continues to fire, eventually getting Sammy in the crosshairs. Sammy’s injury brings the family together as they wait in the hospital to find out his fate, but after he is said to be surviving, Barry must once again return to the palace to declare war on Emma’s behalf, even after noting that his own army is responsible for Sammy’s current state.

The incident takes place on dead Emma’s birthday, making everything more complicated and significant for her parents—but not really. Each time that they could pull back from their meaningless plot for revenge, they go further afoul of reasonable behavior. It could make for dramatic TV, but it is just confusing as they find time for weird things like force-feeding Daliyah and making a baby for Molly. Despite not loving each other, it seems that Barry is always ready for a bedroom romp and Molly is dressed in a white negligee for the occasion. She climbs up top and the two stare anywhere but at each other for a truly awkward adventure.

As things begin to be tied up, the United States lady pays Daliyah a visit to show how important she’s become on social media—thanks to Fauzi. It could indicate a future where Daliyah matters, but because the show is over, its unclear what the significance of great social media presence could be. Leila is eventually able to declare herself president, Sammy’s prof lover is able to declare his love for Sammy and Barry and Molly go further down the rabbit hole.

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Personally, I blame a lack of a distinct and believable bad guy situation for the lackluster final season. Barry is too wishy-washy to be bad and going to war over his daughter is too weak of a plot line. On the other hand, the way that the series has ended is satisfying in that Barry has indeed come full circle, a point driven home by Ahmed’s present of a commissioned portrait that now hangs in the office, alongside those of the other Al Fayeed tyrants. However, it still feels a little awkward in that Daliyah’s life hangs in the balance, despite her awesome social media prowess and finding out whether or not Sammy will walk or function again. All that is clear is that we finally get to see to Bassam following through on his promise of war and his daughter’s killer accepting the challenge. There is definitely still room for improvement, should the series continue, but at least we got some closure in this final episode.

TB-TV-Grade-B-
Season 3, Episode 10 (S03E10)
Tyrant airs Wednesdays at 10PM on FX

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Twitter: @CarlyZzee / carlyzinderman.contently.com

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