“Warning: Spoiler Alert“
It is the first day of the Presidency for Jamal Al Fayeed at the beginning of the third episode of the FX Network summer series “Tyrant,” and the new leader of his Middle-Eastern nation declares it an amazing morning. He had woken hours earlier as his brother Barry/Bassam told him that he would stay in their homeland for a while to help his brother set up his administration.
Upon rising for the day, he realizes that his wife Leila spent the night in his bed for the first time in years. When Jamal questions her unusual actions, his wife responds that she thought someone should sleep with him, his first night back from the hospital, recovering from an attack on his life. Leila tells her husband that she wants them to resume life as a normal married couple, after years of estrangement. Jamal questions her motives, but she tells him she just wants to help him succeed in his new role.
While the elder Al Fayeed brother starts getting closer with his wife, his brother is preparing for life without wife Molly and his teenage son and daughter as the couple decided that it would be best for Molly’s medical practice and their kids, for the three of them to head home to Pasadena. Molly asks to talk to her husband alone and then questions whether Barry staying alone is the best decision. Allowing logic to override his emotions he tells his wife that the best decision is for the three of them to head home.
Bassam is at the table with the country’s top officials when Jamal enters the room for the first time as President. He talks about his late father and declares that he soaked up all the knowledge the former President possessed He says that he’s prepared to handle the duties ahead of him and tells the group that his brother will become a permanent member of his top staff and will hold the title of Special Advisor to the President. Bassam tries to graciously decline the title, but Jamal insists.
The first order of business comes from Yussef, the former President’s chief advisor. He tells Jamal that he had recently spoke with Walid Rashid, who they pay to keep the dissidents in line and he gave Yussef a petition calling for the crackdowns on searching each vehicle and the imposed curfew will hurt their business the following week during the pilgrimage. Jamal responds that Rashid could have the restrictions lifted if he tells them where Rashid’s radical nephew Ihab’s hiding. The advisor replies that Rashid says his nephew’s location is a mystery to him and says that his nephew was not involved in the attack of Jamal.
General Tariq Al Fayeed, the former President’s brother says that they have proof that Ihab set up the attempt and says that the syringe that stabbed him contained the deadly poison Ricin and that they have a witness. A closed-door opens and the husband of the woman who tried to kill Jamal is in chains. Ahmed tells the leaders that his wife was in love with Jamal and that Ihab found out about their relationship and threatened to murder the couple’s two sons if she didn’t cooperate.
Yussef and Walid Rashid are in a car in front of the hideout of Ihab and his followers, after Rashid told the advisor the location. Rashid is torn that he has given up his brother’s son to the authorities, but Yussef tells him he did the right thing and all would be captured without harm. Seconds later a series of explosions go off and the soldiers capture the rebels.
The top official’s meeting the next morning includes the Ambassador from the U.S. John Tucker as Jamal explains that he has news that may interest the American. Tariq announces that they captured Ihab and his followers the night before and the restrictions will end as soon as Ihab is hung in the public square. Bassam is incredulous that hanging’s still sanctioned by the Government and that Ihab will not have a trial. He tells his brother that it’s barbaric, but his Uncle Tariq responds that it’s effective in quelling a rebellion.
After the meeting Bassam gets a call from his childhood friend Fauzi Nadal, now a journalist critical of the Al Fayeed regime. He sarcastically congratulates his friend about his new title, then tells Bassam that they are about to execute an innocent man. Nadal tells him he’ll reveal the name if Bassam can spring his daughter from prison as the authorizes captured her in the raid on Ihab’s camp.
Bassam and Nadal’s daughter are in the back of a limousine in the next scene as he has gotten her release. He tells her the alibi that he told authorities and tells her it’s important that she sticks to it. Samira expresses her appreciation by spitting in her benefactor’s face.
They arrive at Fauzi’s apartment and Nadal chastises his daughter then asks if she thanked his friend. She replies that Bassam is an Al Fayeed and she owes him nothing, in fact he owes her. Fauzi apologizes for Samira’s lack of gratitude and then tells his friend that the case against Ihab’s fabricated and Ahmed is truly the guilty party. He gives him a report he had worked on which also revealed that the syringe contained sink cleanser, not Ricin.
Bassam heads to the prison and meets with Ahmed and asks him if Tariq coerced him into implicating Ihab and the prisoner denies it. Bassam then tells Ahmed that if Ihab had planned the attack the syringe would be filled with Ricin instead of cleanser. He also tells him that the regime won’t release him despite their lies, but if he confesses Bassam assures him that his boys will have financial security for life. Ahmed then tells him the truth, that his wife despised Jamal and he raped her in front of her family. She told Ahmed that the next time he arrived she would kill herself, but instead the two planned to murder Jamal. Bassam’s disgusted by his brother’s actions, but tells Ahmed he’ll keep his promise.
He heads back to the palace and wakes Molly, begging her and the kids to stay with him rather than catch the plane to Pasadena the next day. He tells her he has to stay but he won’t survive without her. Molly readily agrees but can’t understand why her husband’s compelled to talk to Jamal in the middle of the night.
A member of Jamal’s staff wakes him telling the President that his brother insists on speaking with him immediately. When he steps into the hallway Bassam grabs him by the neck and starts choking him. Leila hears the commotion and comes out to stop the fight. Bassam calls Jamal insane and Leila asks her husband what his brother means. Jamal says it’s a private matter then asks Bassam to join him in the steam room to discuss things.
When they are alone Jamal tells Bassam that he’s done terrible things but he’s now reformed. Bassam tells him that if they hang Ihab, people will eventually realize his innocence and overthrow the Government. He convinces his brother to release Ihab and his followers and consoles him by telling him the country will soon have a hanging as Ahmed will receive his proper punishment. Jamal asks what he receives in return and Barry/Bassam tells his brother that he gets he and his family to stay in their homeland.
The story will pick up again next Tuesday on FX.