Tyrant Season 2 Episode 11 Review: Desert Storm

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It's really a miracle that nobody turned on him earlier. 

Jamal's paranoid prophecy of betrayal at the hands of his family became self-fulfilling on Tyrant Season 2 Episode 11. Blaming your son for your mother's death (which was a byproduct of your attempt at filicide) tends to turn your loved ones against you.

Especially if you've already executed your brother. 

My favorite plot point was Molly and Leila working together. Ladies get ish done. Leila's frequently been a force to be reckoned with, and it was good to see Molly regain some of her confidence and fire. It's been missing this season.

Leila really opened herself up, not just to Molly, but also to Ahmed. She's still a fierce, standoffish woman, but she figured out that pulling on Jamal's puppet strings wasn't working and that she needed some outside help. She finally broke, but she's a survivor and you can bet that she'll come out of this stronger than ever. 

Maybe I should be grateful. That there are still things I cannot bring myself to do. But my punishment is that I'll never be free.


That's not to say she doesn't have a long road ahead of her. She's in a precarious position right now. She may be done with Jamal, but she's still the only that can come close to controlling him, as we saw when he came *thisclose* to choking Molly.

She's got to figure out a way to get rid of Jamal that doesn't put her in any more danger, position Ahmed to be the desired successor over Rami or Barry, and work to repair her relationship with her son. All that while hoping that Jamal doesn't dig deeper and figure out just how many lies she told him in their last meeting. 

You spared him, Jamal. You have nothing to feel guilty for. But the guilt that you had't made you paranoid. It blinded you. And turned you against your own family.


I actually found myself wishing we'd seen more of Ahmed. In the past, he's generally sat around the sidelines playing the stereotype of an overindulged heir apparent dumdum. But his attempts to be a better man for Nusrat's sake endeared him to me, and he's started showing some depth in the past few episodes. 

His interactions with Leila have made him super fascinating. He's finally showing awareness of not only his privilege, but how decisions his family makes impact all the people of Abuddin. He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer a lot of the time, but his heart is in the right place and trying. 

Look around. Look at what you bought with that silence. Who could ever sympathize with you?


That might not mean to the people of Abuddin what it means to me, though. With Barry's miraculous return from the dead, and as freedom fighter nonetheless, people are obviously going to look to him as Jamal's eventual replacement. Barry could probably take on that role now; he made a lot of progress over the course of the season.

No longer is he playing the great white savior on behalf of the US government, or moping like a living sad Don Draper meme out in the desert. He's confronted and accepted his past, and is more assured not only of what's right and what's wrong, but of who he is. 

I'm done with killing.


Rashid's obsession with vengeance is going to haunt him (if he survives anway). He apparently forgot that Abu Omar "recruited" him at gunpoint, and disobeyed a direct order. I'm pretty sure Omar would put a bullet through his wife's brain without a second thought if he thought it would help him or his cause.

His disobedience did set up two great scenes – Munwar's "I am Spartacus" moment, and Barry's lesson to Sammy. Interestingly, it was an opposing character and not Rashid himself who set up the possibility of his redemption. Zehar's reminisces re-humanized him, making me care that he got blown up. 

Ihab Rashid: So I know, I know, you are lying. You are not Khalil.
Munwar: We are all Kahlil.

Rami is back in uniform, which is disappointing only in that I would really like to see Rami literally out of uniform. Yes, yes, Tyrant is a show that is above the physical objectification of it's cast, but a girl can dream. But back on topic: the only problem I had with Rami's story tonight was that the writers overplayed the perfect timing.

Having him show up at precisely the right moment had all the finesse of a medieval morality play – Rami ex machina. 

I can't wait for next week's episode, "Paz Abuddin," which should have the opportunity for more crazy Jamal, who is living in the land of denial, and scheming Leila as she plots against her husband.

Barry's going to keep his rebellion beard – because he's embraced his religion and his past or because it helps Adam Raynor look less white-bread Brit is anyone's guess. 

Watch Tyrant online and let us know what you thought of "Desert Storm" in the comments section. 

Desert Storm Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Tyrant Season 2 Episode 11 Quotes

Ihab Rashid: So I know, I know, you are lying. You are not Khalil.
Munwar: We are all Kahlil.

Maybe I should be grateful. That there are still things I cannot bring myself to do. But my punishment is that I'll never be free.