In “Sins of the Father,” Tyrant explores an event that occurred twenty years earlier and showcases the current effects on the population. Before this point, viewers have only seen how current events have played out in the public eye, but never something of this magnitude, and never something of this level of sensitivity.
Barry (Adam Rayner) struggles to come to terms with this experience in his own life. Even though it appears he had already exited the social hierarchy of Abbudin at that point, he couldn’t escape the ramifications of his father’s actions. Judging by the flashbacks in the early part of the episode, Barry was still judged harshly for his family’s involvement in the massacre despite voluntarily removing himself from the limelight. It followed him to the United States to a lesser degree, over the years dissipating as he became enveloped in the American culture, but immediately returning when he arrived back home.
This character is in a continuous internal battle between his personal beliefs and his loyalty to his brother. On one hand, his western (liberal) brand of thinking urges him to demonize the actions of his family and the avenues in which they choose to pursue their own agenda. On the other hand, this is his brother, a man who had little choice about his participation in the family business and has come into power at a time when the national unrest has reached an all-time high. Jamal (Ashraf Barhom) has been forced to play the villain both in the national eye and by his very upbringing. His father raised him to be a replica of himself, and that not only doesn’t suit Jamal, but it is not in his best interest with the current social stigma. And, perhaps what makes it more troubling to watch, is that Jamal’s son seems to be taking on his worst qualities.
The club scene was particularly telling, highlighting the personalities of several characters. First off, Ahmed (Cameron Gharaee), prince of Abbudin. Ahmed was the biggest surprise on this episode because until now he has come across as a very likeable character. This evening, however, that illusion was shattered. Understandably, he is upset that his wife won’t sleep with him (viewers already know what that’s all about, even if Ahmed is still in the dark), but he was acting like a spoiled brat about it. Commanding his so-called friend to take his pants off and give them to him as punishment for spilling liquor on him, really? There’s nothing that screams entitlement more than causing an unnecessary scene in the middle of the V.I.P. section.