Season 2, Episode 3
Airdate: Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 10:00 pm ET/PT on FX
“We don’t gloat, Ahmed, not over the death of innocents. Not even when they are the enemy.” – Jamal Al-Fayeed
Apparently, Jamal (Ashraf Barhom) isn’t the monster I called him in my review of last week’s episode, “Enter the Fates.” But he does have a decision to make after talking with his uncle, General Tariq (Raad Rawi), in this week’s installment, “Faith.” Does he tell the story Tariq proposes or does he tell the truth? In the meantime, Barry (Adam Rayner) is barely holding on in the home of the Bedouins who rescued him. Will he recover enough to save himself before they turn him in for the ransom they think the government will pay for him?
Much to Jamal’s chagrin, Tariq and Colonel Mahmoud (guest star Peter Polycarpou) are responsible for the sarin deaths we saw in the promo following the conclusion of “Enter the Fates.” Although he’s not happy about it, Jamal knows he has no choice but to go along with the story Tariq paints if he’s ever going to be the kind of leader he wants to be. What I don’t understand is why Jamal continues to lie to Ahmed (Cameron Gharaee)? Doesn’t his son deserve to know the truth or does Jamal think Ahmed cannot be trusted? In a way, Jamal’s parenting of Ahmed is quite humorous. Ahmed scares me a bit with his comments about his father’s handling of the situation. He finally appears to be growing up in this episode, becoming the man his father, and his wife Nusrat (Sibylla Deen), want him to be. I wonder whether Ahmed’s change in personality will last.
Coming home and seeing Sammy (Noah Silver) in bed with a male friend should have been a huge shock to Barry’s wife Molly (Jennifer Finnigan); instead, the scene plays out like an everyday occurrence. I understand Molly is trying to be supportive of her son but it doesn’t quite ring true. At least she confesses she’s “having a hard time” figuring out the “emotional stuff.” That said, bravo to Silver for his realistic portrayal of a son who has been trying, unsuccessfully, to talk to his mother about his sexuality, and thinks his father never liked him. It is hard not to commiserate with Sammy, who seems so lost now that Barry is dead. That doesn’t last long, however. Sammy can be a real ass when he wants to, especially where his sister Emma (Anne Winters) is concerned.
I initially thought the Al-Yasbek family that is harboring Barry wasn’t to be trusted but Ahmos (guest star Nassar Memarzia) and his wife Dalyhia (guest star Melia Kreiling) prove me wrong. I can’t say the same for their son Kassim (guest star Armin Karima). I wonder whether Dalyhia, despite being married, is going to become a love interest for Barry this season. I thought I saw a spark of interest between the two. Seemingly, Tyrant has given Molly a similar relationship with James “Jimmy” Timmons (guest star Jake Weber). While we have yet to see any romantic connection between the two, Jimmy proves how valuable he is when he steps in as Molly’s attorney for Barry’s estate. Winters hasn’t had much to do this season but she sure gives Emma a voice in “Faith” when she feels she’s been wronged.
After all he’s been through, how nice that Barry finds an ally in Ahmos. I like the way this relationship is developing; they are both honorable, kind men who respect each other. But hearing Ahmos say, “The tyrant who gasses his own people…the son doomed to repeat the sins of the father” comes as quite a shock to Barry. I’m sure he thought the days of slaughtering one’s own people were over. Kudos to Ahmos for safeguarding Barry despite knowing Barry isn’t who he says he is.
The deaths of thousands of innocent people weigh heavily on both Ihab and Samira’s (Mor Polanuer) minds. Even though they are not responsible, Ihab is quickly losing his followers—especially the ones who lost their wives and children—as they blame him for the horrendous, unnecessary massacre. Ihab makes it easy for the audience to empathize with him. “May Allah allow your wives and children into paradise.” It seems like he is fighting a losing battle, although it is hard to believe Ihab will give up so easily. I hope he doesn’t because otherwise, Jamal will be free to rule however he sees fit. No matter what country you live in, checks and balances should always be in place, but especially in Abbudin during this time of civil unrest. Ihab has always been the insurgents’ ruthless leader, willing to do whatever is necessary to oust the Al-Fayeeds from power. In “Faith,” however, courtesy of Karim’s excellent acting talents, we see a different side of Ihab—one who not only commiserates with his followers, but as an ostensibly broken man who is suffering greatly over the death of his friend Namir (guest star Doraid Liddawi).
Barhom also shows us two sides to his character, expertly switching between Jamal’s personas, especially with the speech Jamal gives the public via television. He paints himself as a savior for Abbudin, and in particular, the people of Ma’an who lost so many, blaming the gas deaths on Ihab and his followers. While both Jamal’s son and wife Leila (Moran Atias) compliment him on the way he delivers said speech, the animosity Leila feels for Jamal is readily evident.
It is amazing how different Ahmed looks with his new haircut! I hardly recognized him.
It seems the Al-Fayeeds have a new protagonist in Halima (guest star Olivia Popica), who confronts Leila at the hospital about her little sister’s death during the massacre. “How can you be sorry and guilty at the same time? Tell me because I’m curious. Or does repeating a lie often enough make it real even to you?” I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Halima.
“Faith” is quite an intriguing episode if you consider the choices facing our main characters. Not only do the actors turn in outstanding performances, director Alex Zakrzewski does a fantastic job with his lighting choices, camera angles, and overall direction. “Faith” is also a great title for this third episode considering all the praying that takes place at the end of the episode. Those scenes are quite the juxtaposition with what’s happening at the royal palace where ostensibly, it is all fun and games. Jamal may think the gassing of innocent people is a “small bump in the road,” but the innocents in Ma’an haven’t forgotten what Jamal’s father did when he ruled Abbudin. Try as Jamal might, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. As an aside, the director giving Barry a cell phone to call his wife is an interesting segue to what’s happening in the States.
What do you think of “Faith?” Better yet, do you believe Barry’s reason for not calling home? Leave me a comment below or tweet me @SeasideTV. Do you agree with my assessment of the episode? I’d love to hear your thoughts and discuss them with you.
Tune in to all-new episodes of Tyrant Tuesdays at 10:00 pm ET/PT, only on FX.
Stay current with Tyrant by visiting its official website.
Follow Tyrant on Twitter, using hashtag #TyrantFX. You can also follow Jennifer Finnigan (Molly) @jennigan, Moran Atias (Leila) @MoranAtias, Cameron Gharaee (Ahmed) @camerongharaee, Alexander Karim (Ihab) @AlexanderKarim, Leslie Hope (Lea Exley) @lesliehope, Noah Silver (Sammy) @noah_silver, and Anne Winters (Emma) @AnneWinters_.
All photos courtesy of Kata Vermes/FX © 2015 FX Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Linda. All rights reserved.
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