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Tyrant - Bedfellows - Review

19 Aug 2016

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In its most recent episode, titled "Bedfellows", Tyrant grows increasingly murky, as the lines between all sides continue to blur and characters seem to abandon their values and ideals for the sake of compromise.

Barry, who's grief over Emma's death is clearer than ever, continues to make rash, ill-advised decisions, all in order to avenge the death of his daughter. Despite the death of Sheik Abdullah, Barry could still not see that as a victory due to the survival of Ihab Rashid. Before entering office Barry was full of noble intentions, but after just a few months as President he has inadvertently become the sort of tyrannical ruler he was once so opposed to.

The respective journeys of both him and Ihab Rashid continue to mirror each other, and never as obviously as they do in this episode, as both men continue to alienate others out of their desire to enact vengeance on each other. The episode concludes with their future collision seeming inevitable, as both men abandon their principles for the sake of revenge.

Sheik Al-Qadi, similarly to Barry and Ihab Rashid, also seems to abandon his own ideals, but for political compromise instead of a personal vendetta. Al-Qadi's intentions have always seemed genuine and peaceful, yet he proves to be as corruptible as everybody else by making a deal with Leila.

And Halima must also make a compromise in her campaign to promote western, liberal ideals in a country unwilling to embrace them. She has devoted her life to this very struggle, yet when she indulges in what she is promoting, she is labeled a whore. And so she is forced to break-up with her boyfriend, whom she was hoping to marry, in order to be accepted.

There are shades of grey throughout this episode, as no actions come from an entirely altruistic or malevolent place. When Leila's sister discovers that the man she hired to take pictures of her sister and General Big was found dead, she is horrified. But the truth, while undoubtedly terrible, is more complicated. General Big killed the man unintentionally, and Leila didn't know beforehand.

There are also some inherently human and relatable moments sprinkled throughout the episode, which was mainly comprised of political machinations. One such moment is small, but effective nonetheless, as Al-Qadi desperately searches for the television remote. Others are more significant, such as Sheik Abdullah, moments from death, begins to doubt the existence of God, despite spending his life waging terrible violence in his name. And another moment is touching, as Barry and Ahmed acknowledge each other for the first time as father and son. As Tyrant's political landscape grows increasingly murky, these moments shine through all the more.

Apologies to all readers for the late (and shorter) review. It's been a crazy couple of days for me (in a good way), and I haven't been able to find the time to write a review until now. Things will return to normal next week.

About the Author - candon_sean
Sean is a student living in Ireland. He has a keen interest in dramatic television (as well as some comedies). Some of his favourite shows right now include The Leftovers, The Americans, Game of Thrones, Black Sails and Mr Robot. Some of his favourite shows of all time include The Wire, The Sopranos, Deadwood, Person of Interest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Lost. He is also an "A Song of Ice and Fire" obsessive. You can visit his blog at
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