Tyrant 2×04 ‘A House Built on Sand’ : Father’s Day

Romeo and Juliet meets Abbudin this week as we learn that Jamal had a long ago romance, resulting in a son. The kicker? The woman he loved was a Rashid. You know, the Rashids his family has been fighting with for thirty years, the Rashids that were just horrifically gassed.  Yeah, not the best circumstances to meet your long lost son under.

Can we talk about Jamal and Barry’s mother for a second? She’s known about this grandson since his birth, took care of him financially, and only now chooses to reveal his existence to Jamal. Since her husband and other son are both dead (as far as she knows), it seemed like a good time to drop that bombshell. Amira is a fascinating character. She seems intelligent, sophisticated, compassionate. Yet she married a dictator who not only mistreated his people, but his children as well. Jamal’s father beat him and threatened to do worse when he found out about that forbidden romance. At least that’s what he says. We know for certain through Barry’s flashbacks that daddy Al-Fayeed ordered his children to murder people in front of him. Mom must’ve known about this. Mom stayed. Now, it would’ve been damn near impossible to escape Abbudin with her children, her husband being who he was. But, what made her love this guy in the first place? Did she go behind his back on other occasions in an attempt to protect the boys? What other family secrets does she hold? I want to know more about this woman. I want flashbacks. I want to know why she made the choices she did.

While Jamal is awkwardly getting to know his bastard child, Ihab and Samira are taken in (literally taken) by a college friend of Rashid’s. He’s a religious extremist who wants Rashid’s help taking down Jamal and his family. Rashid’s ready to give up, what with most of his men being horribly killed and all, but his old buddy isn’t accepting that. Even though Rashid isn’t comfortable with the way this guy does business.

Source: FX

Source: FX

Barry continues to chill at the Al-Yazbek place, making friends with their young son. Wife Daliyah has been tapped to leave her home for six months to go work on a solar power project that could help their whole village. There’s debate over whether she should or shouldn’t go, with her son firmly on the “Don’t leave me, Mom!” side. Barry ends up in the middle of this argument. He also stalks Sammy’s Facebook page, the only way he has of seeing his family. Here’s the thing. I’m bored with Barry’s storyline right now. He’s spent several episodes not doing much of anything while all the interesting scenes go to other characters. You can only watch him do chores and be sad for so long before it gets tiresome. He needs to get back in the action somehow. Join up with a resistance cell, get recaptured by the government, anything to give his story some forward motion. But anyway. Encouraging Daliyah to go, he promises to stick around until she gets back, look after her kid.

Does anyone think he’ll be able to follow through with that promises? Anyone at all? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Back on American soil, Sammy’s dreams of getting filthy rich off his father’s execution hit a snag. There’s argument over whether he has legal rights to the money, and to get it, he has to go to court in Abbudin. Yeah, we all knew something like this was coming. Molly is, understandably, against this, given how their last family vacay to Abbudin turned out. Sammy, he wants his money, and pitches a fit when his mom argues about that, calling her a dictator. Yeah, real clever there, buddy. Dictator, we get it. Molly’s lawyer pal/probable post-widow romance points out that Sammy will be eighteen soon, able to go on his own. Isn’t it better that she go with him now instead of waiting a year for him to return to the lion’s den alone. Molly agrees, reluctantly, and sets about organizing a return trip to Abbudin. And I’m sure that absolutely nothing bad will come of this.

Near the end of the episode, after his son has decided he wants nothing to do with him, Jamal talks to Leila about the boy’s mother, saying that he truly did love her. Leila admits to also being in love, a long time ago. When Jamal asks who it was she cared for so much, Leila admits that it was Barry, his stubborn, infuriating, traitor brother who broke her heart when he left.

Just kidding, she deflects the question. As for how long she’ll be able to keep that up…that’s a question for (please God please) later in the season/

Nicolette Schneider

is a lit geek, a comic geek, and a certified TV fanatic. She often prefers fictional people over real ones. When she does make friends with regular humans, she likes the ones who give her access to their Netflix accounts. She loves words and hopes to one day make money stringing them together. Until then, read those words for free on

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