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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tyrant 1.6: Don't Mess with Jamal

A really satisfying Tyrant 1.5 last night - in fact, the best episode so far - even if the satisfaction came from seeing an act that was the antithesis of democracy.

But the act validated Jamal, and who he really is.   Yes, he takes good advice from his brother, designed to make Jamal acceptable to the Western world. But that could only go so far.  And when Barry tells Jamal that, even if he loses the election, Jamal can always retire as an immensely wealthy man to an island he bought somewhere, I just knew that Jamal's acceptance of that didn't ring quite true.

How untrue it didn't ring became brilliantly clear in the final scenes of the episode.  The Sheikh - I know he's speaking for democracy but he still has a sanctimonious streak - continues to taunt Jamal, saying Barry is the real brains of the Al Fayeed operation, for no reason other than to get under Jamal's skin, and make him an even less effective campaigner, I guess, than he is.  How much of this can Jamal take?

His murder of the Sheikh - which, as I said, is anti-democratic, to say the least, and is, after all, murder - was narratively appropriate and right, in the Shakespearean sense of heroes and villains being at their best in the story when they most express their own truest nature.

Kudos to Tyrant for not shying away from this.   The murder also accrues to Jamal's smarts, because the way he killed the Sheikh, given the Sheikh's condition and the ease with which he could have accidentally hit his head on the toilet, may well make Jamal's crime undetectable as a crime (unless he admits it to someone, which my guess is at some point he will).  And while we're at it, Jamal also was not unsympathetic sleeping with the American blonde.   After all, his wife rejected him, and she was a fool to do that.

Tyrant is heating up to the boiling point, and I'm looking forward to more next week.

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