I have to admit that Tyrant , which has had its problems, really stepped up a notch in the finale. As the season went on, it became less and less predictable as it went along, and I only wish it had pushed into this territory sooner.
I previously mentioned a few moments in the back half of the freshman run of Tyrant that really, truly shocked me. But nothing threw me for a loop like Jamal discovering that his brother was behind the coup to get him out of power. Barry was arrested and his family did not make it out of Abbudin before it all blew up. I expected very little of this, and I assumed that Barry would overthrow Jamal and the family fallout drama, carried on the shoulders of Adam Rayner and Ashraf Barhom would carry the series to a decent end. I’m glad they went with this one, however, as it was much more exciting.
The most interesting part of this series continues to be the relationship between Barry and Jamal. I could see a few episodes back that Jamal was softening, and I think that if Barry had talked to him and tried to reason with him, this may not have happened. But, ironically, it was Barry’s own actions that pushed Jamal back into psycho-president mode, and I’m interested to see how this relationship plays out. I mean, the season ended on a pretty bleak cliff-hanger for Barry, but this show couldn’t survive killing off Barry without some serious step-up from other characters. If there’s a season 2, I would expect to see Barry remind Jamal that he (Barry) has killed at least two people just to protect him (Jamal).
I can still see the electricity in the Barry/Leila relationship as well. I still hoped for more, but if there’s a second season I would expect more of it. Leila still obviously harbors bitterness about Barry’s departure 20 years prior, and she was visibly shaken when she learned of his betrayal.
All in all, Tyrant put together a relatively strong freshman run. There are a lot of things that could use improvement, sure, but that’s to be expected in a new series. If AMC had not shown care to Breaking Bad, the Emmys would have just given awards to a bunch of different people. I think that Tyrant has at least the tools to succeed. It has enough twists and turns and compelling characters to make a longer run work, but FX would need to show it some care and give it some breathing room. Usually I know what to expect, but this one is a true toss-up. So we’ll just have to wait and see.
What did you think? Does Tyrant‘s freshman run warrant its survival? Or should FX cut it’s losses?
[Photo via FX]