Hands down, “Gaslight” was the strongest episode to come out of season one of Tyrant so far. The penultimate hour delivered to viewers a build up to the end that was fully satisfying and a bit disarming, to say the least. Scene after scene, the writers showcased the passion behind the story through strategic interactions between the characters – all of which outshone their previous performances.
An unexpected highlight of this episode was the reaction that Leila (Moran Atias) had to the fear that someone was plotting against her husband. Although she often appears unconcerned with his affairs, both personal and political, she clearly holds a deep seated affection for the man she has spent most of her life married to. However, her concern may be the ticking time bomb that throws all of Barry’s (Adam Rayner) plans off kilter.
The mass murder of the elite guard by order of Jamal (Ashraf Barhom) himself set the tone for a high body count no matter which way the plan goes, and that leads Barry straight in the direction of a moral dilemma. He believes that he’s approaching this situation from the most rational perspective, doing what is in the best interest of the country while at the same time protecting his brother from his own troubled tendencies. Yet, being the direct cause of so much death doesn’t fit into his whole martyr act.
Barry doesn’t come across as though the idea of violence is foreign to him. Tariq had it right, he is a killer – when the situation calls for it. It is engrained in him. But, he also has chosen to live his life in the United States as a healer. Gratuitous killing doesn’t fit into his profile. We saw him attempt to make amends to the family of the innocent man he killed when he was a child in a previous episode. On tonight’s episode, we saw him confront Tariq about his role as the mastermind behind the genocide in Ma’an all those years ago. Barry obviously holds tight to his belief in justice, and perhaps his real goal in all of this is to deliver the retribution that Abbudin deserves in the form of removing his family from power so that the people can have a real chance at a better future.