Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tyrant 1.3: A New Leaf?

I thought the first two episodes of Tyrant were excellent indeed.  Not so episode 1.3 last night, in which not much progress was made in the lives of any of the characters.

The scenes were still visually evocative.  But Barry, for all his efforts to do some good, ends up pretty much as he had begun in the episode, reluctantly but increasingly unalterably staying with his brother and his country.   His realization that  he couldn't do this alone, that he needed his wife, was nice, but his wanting to send his wife and kids home in the first place wasn't very believable.

Meanwhile, though Jamal is speaking more humanely, his actions show little change.  Though Barry gets the better of the General in Jamal's presence, Jamal is certainly not doing anything to remove the General or even curtail his powers.  Leila seems pretty sincere in her attempt to live as a wife in all ways with Jamal, but as he points out, he can't (yet) be a man, and surely she knows this, so why is she tempting him?  Possibly because she hopes this might coax him to full health and function, but, if so, that wasn't made very clear.

Sammy's gay encounter was a step forward for him,  if predictable, but so far his sister Emma has had no role at all.   We're obliged to guess why Ahmed was rebuffed by his new wife - the key, I guess, resides in her promising that it's for just "one night"- but knowing works better than guessing when the characters are in their first stages of getting known by the audience.

The best of the episode belonged to Jamal, as it did last week.  There was something very human when he says, well, his first day as President has ended, and his country is still intact.   He's so far the most interesting character on the show, with an occasionally disarming honestly that makes us think that it just might be true that he's trying to turn over a new leaf, as he says at the end to his brother.

See also: Tyrant: Compelling Debut ... Tyrant 1.2: The Brother's Speech and His Wife

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