The most obvious fault with the narrative so far is that the writers don’t seem to know what to do about Barry’s children, as well as the storyline with Jamal and his son and daughter-in-law. They seem intent on exploring Sammy’s preference for the same sex, which is fine, go for it, but the their method of going about it is confusing. In some episodes it is clearly a major focus in the script, while in others it is non-existent, like in tonight’s where both of Barry’s children were noticeably absent. There has been a consistent failure all season to capitalize on their role in the family structure, especially after episodes like “Sins of the Father,” where Sammy and Emma are featured prominently, and since have been pretty much just skirted around.
A lot of this also applies to Jamal’s son, Ahmed (Cameron Gharaee) and his new bride, Nusrat (Sibylla Deen). They’ve been an on-again, off-again tangent to the overall story arc since the pilot, but they serve mostly as a reminder that for all of Jamal’s redeeming qualities, he marred his character beyond redemption before we even had a chance to dislike him. How do you come back from that? The fact of the matter is, you don’t.
Jamal may warrant forgiveness for some of his indiscretions, but this one continues to hover over him. Every time Ahmed and Nusrat appear in an episode, there’s an overwhelming sense that we are approaching a confrontation between father and son, yet as quickly as the tension mounts, it seems to dissipate, leaving Ahmed no closer to discovering the truth behind his strained marriage.
Faults aside, Tyrant has still managed to keep viewers glued to their television screens week after week with a story that resonates across cultures. The writers continue to leave viewers wanting more by introducing mini-cliffhangers to the end of each episode – this week’s being the most enticing one yet.
Will the Sheik’s death be attributed to murder or simply considered an accident? Considering his health, creating a narrative where he fell and hit his head on the toilet during one of his coughing fits seems plausible, at least in part. How will Jamal reconcile his actions? And, how will Ihab (Alexander Karim) react to the news?
Let us know how you think this will play out as Tyrant heads quickly toward the season one finale!