Tyrant: “Hail Mary” Review

Bassam risks everything in his pursuit of peace while Jamal faces up to some of his own sins.


Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!

I found myself switching off a little bit during “Hail Mary,” which is something I rarely do while watching a show. Tyrant is still in its very early stages, but it seems like it’s already established a very noticeable routine for each episode. The situation will look terrible, Bassam will talk to someone, and by the end of the episode it will look like the situation can be resolved. The acting is still all fine with some real standouts, but retracing the same thing each week with a few shocking moments thrown in just won’t work in the long run.

Bassam is being a little naïve in his quest to correct his father’s mistakes, something which he seems quite obsessive about when you tot up the amount of times he mentions his father’s past deeds. Annoying Ihab by cancelling their meeting was an ultimately smart move which could have backfired, but then going to meet Sheik Rashid on his own seemed like insanity to me. It may have worked out okay in the end, but travelling on your own to meet up with a man who would have a lot of reasons for wanting him dead is not a smart move. I couldn’t help but think that Molly was right earlier in the episode when she brought up the fact that Bassam may be enjoying his newfound power a little too much.

Mohammed Bakri’s performance as the Sheik was very captivating, so hopefully he’ll be staying around for a while. There aren’t a lot of characters on this show who demand your attention every second they’re on screen (possibly only Jamal) so I’m looking forward to the possibility of seeing Sheik Rashid in talks with Abuddin’s new leader. With some of the twists we’ve had on the show so far though, I’m half expecting the Sheik to be taken out by his son next week. Ihab certainly didn’t look happy when his father interrupted his moment to shine and took center stage. In his limited screen time this week, Ihab revealed himself to be a coward with a short fuse, a bad combination for a leader of a revolution to have.


Jamal is a horrible human being, but he is also the best thing about the show by a mile. Ashraf Barhom has an enthralling swagger about him that makes it near impossible to not pay attention to him while portraying the devilish Jamal. His disgusting abuse of his new daughter-in-law in the pilot episode came back to haunt him this week, but instead of being apologetic he shot her father in the arm in probably the most ludicrous scenes on the show so far. Watching Jamal lift the poor man up and literally use him as a human target was both shocking and a little bit funny. It also brings back up an almost animalistic side of Jamal. He has talked about wanting to change over and over, and even if he truly means it, moments like this show that it might just be in his nature to lash out. It’s really not surprising considering his upbringing, and that may be the only possible reason to feel any sort of sympathy for the man.

No Sammy or Emma this week, but Molly did get an absolute dud of a storyline involving the maid stealing medication for her injured brother. Molly has had a few standout moments over the last few weeks and even had a couple of great lines with Bassam this week, but this was a pretty weak “C-plot” to stick her with. I think the whole point of this particular plot was to show Molly how bad life is for a lot of Abuddin’s citizens, but I wish she could find that out with Bassam instead. The one good thing was Molly using her full name to wield the power of the Al Fayeed name and influence the paramedics. It was a little bit chilling to hear her say it with such authority, something echoed in the way she seemed a little embarrassed about it afterwards.


Another week, another last minute victory for Bassam. Of course it’s a very miniscule victory in what will surely be a lengthy process that will either end in peace or rebellion. Tyrant remains a mishmash of solid acting, over the top shocks, and some pretty boring sub-plots, but it still remains a very watchable show. I’m starting to wonder if it will ever be able to elevate itself up another notch or two, but anything could happen with Jamal involved.

Am I being a little too harsh believing that ‘Tyrant’ can’t join the upper echelons of television or have you already fled the country of Abuddin? Let us know in the comments below.


*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
About Michael Spring (159 Articles)
Michael Spring is a staff writer for If he's not playing Metal Gear or watching some excellent TV show, he's more than likely asleep. For some witty banter and the occasional rant about football, you can follow him @OldSnake24 on Twitter

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