Tyrant: “Meet the New Boss” Review
“A HAVEN FOR WEARY TRAVELLERS.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
For a show that’s wasted a decent amount of time getting to this stage, Tyrant is moving forward at breakneck speed with Bassam’s plot to overthrow his brother. It’s perhaps a little bit too fast for my liking, as I felt elements of this episode were a bit rushed, but if it all comes together in the end it has the potential to be quite thrilling.
We got a pretty quick answer to last week’s questions as Bassam pushed forward with his scheme to oust Jamal and take his place until the elections. Quite frankly though, I believe that it’s becoming more and more evident that Bassam is completely full of crap. At the beginning of the show he was seriously apprehensive about returning to Abuddin and even tried to flee at the end of the pilot. Over the course of the next seven episodes Bassam has found himself thrust into a position of some power, and you can see that it has been feeding his ego. His claims that he has to finish what he has started are starting to ring a little false for me, and Molly seem to share my sentiment on this matter.
He sure is walking a dangerous path at the moment, but his attempted coup has already started to gather plenty of support. While it may have started in earnest while he was after consuming copious amounts of alcohol, Bassam’s plan might actually work. After letting John Tucker in on his scheme, Tucker gets Lea Exley to join their inner circle. Exley (played by Leslie Hope, 24) is almost certainly a CIA agent or a member of another covert US group, and she gives Bassam (and the viewer) a run-down of what exactly is needed for a coup of this magnitude. Securing all of the “M&M’s” as she calls them: military, media, and money, will be Bassam’s goals over these final couple of episodes, and due to Jamal’s reckless tendencies, they could all be achievable.
The biggest obstacle in Bassam’s plan appears to be Tariq, who of course has control over a large portion of the military. Tariq started moving ahead with his own nefarious plans this week as he set out to rig the election by buying off Ihab’s uncle. Bassam made a deal with Exley to spare Jamal and allow him and Leila to leave the country with their wealth intact, but when it comes to Tariq I don’t see any peaceful way to remove him. All along Bassam has said he is striving for peace, but if he goes ahead with his coup then he might be met by violent resistance from Tariq and his supporters.
Jamal was a bit quieter than usual this week, understandably so considering how busy Bassam’s was. He remains clueless about his brother’s intentions and I would almost feel sorry for him if it wasn’t for the countless horrific acts he has committed on the show so far. One of the worst of these crimes was his assault on his daughter-in-law, Nusrat, back in the pilot. She has been a shadow of her former self since then, but this week she tried to regain a little bit of the power back from Jamal by seducing him when he came to visit her. The whole scene felt a little off, with Jamal’s apology coming off as ridiculous and Nusrat’s actions coming out of nowhere. I’m glad nothing came from her moves, and hopefully this will lead to her being able to recover her strength.
I mentioned last week that I would reserve judgement on Molly’s sister’s arrival in Abuddin until I had seen more of her, and as it stands she seems to be a pretty useless addition to the show. Emma and Sammy barely get any screen time as it is, so I don’t exactly see where she fits into the show. Her only contribution to the show this week was that she was the catalyst for the argument between Bassam and Molly that led to Bassam letting his wife know about the upcoming coup. Time will tell whether she can become an interesting character or not, but with a potentially violent coup on the horizon, she’s looking quite expendable.
“Meet the New Boss” felt a little bit rushed to me, considering the show has spent plenty of time spinning its wheels to actually get to this point. Last week’s events will surely have shaken Bassam but the speed at which he decided to oust his brother and take his place “until the elections” is just a little off. There’s only two episodes left in the season so things do need to accelerate, but I can’t help feeling that this particular plotline should have been started an episode or two earlier. If the writers can tie everything together and give us an exciting finale that leads into a potential second season, then I’ll be more than happy that they’ve rushed things in the end. There’s plenty of interesting elements to this tale so hopefully they can manage to do just that.
Will Bassam’s plan to overthrow his brother succeed, or is it destined for failure? Let us know in the comments below.
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