Warning: Spoiler Alert
The FX Original Series “Tyrant,” ended its second campaign much like it’s first, with a bait-and-switch ending that caught this viewer completely by surprise. The mythical Middle-Eastern nation of Abbudin, emerged from its victory against the Caliphate Army with the citizens wanting reform and change and for most of the episode, it appeared their wishes would become reality. However fragile alliances fell apart, altering the situation and leading to the shocking conclusion of the season.
Abbudin’s President Jamal Al Fayeed, opened the episode addressing his citizens on Television, filled with pride over the country’s victory over the Caliphate Army. Jamal told his people that Abu Omar had fled Abbudin and that his forces captured rebel-leader Ihab Rashid. However back in Ma’an, Red Hand member Halima watches the address with disgust, when Sammy Al Fayeed walks in and Halima asks if Sammy’s heard what his uncle’s telling the world.
She tells Sammy that Abbudin won’t truly achieve victory until Jamal leaves the Presidency and she wants his help in overthrowing the government. Sammy tells her he won’t be part of the continued fight, as he and his family are heading back to California. Halima tells him that she’s jealous, then says she felt unabashed joy when the Red Hand helped defeat the Caliphate. Sammy tells her not to give up hope, that his father’s still alive which means that the movement for a free Abbudin still exists.
Elsewhere in Ma’an, Barry meets with Rami and Colonel Solomon and asks for a vehicle and some official papers so he can get Sammy back to the capital and Molly. Rami tells him he’ll take care of it, then asks his uncle if he’d heard from Jamal. Barry asks if the General has and he says indirectly, the Arab League contacted him and they want Jamal to resign the Presidency and asked if Rami and Solomon would help quell any civil-unrest. Barry responds that the Arab League has a tough task ahead of them to get his brother to voluntarily step-down. Rami tells his uncle that the ICC has information from someone inside the palace, that Jamal ordered the gas attack on Ma’an. He’s unaware of whom the unnamed source is.
If there’s any doubt in the viewer’s mind who that source is, we find out that it’s Jamal’s wife Leila. She and Colonel Mahmoud are meeting with three representatives of the Arab League and she promises to give a sworn confession that Jamal ordered the bombing, in exchange for her son Ahmed having a role in the new government. After some haggling between the two sides, a bargain’s struck.
On their way back to the capital, Barry and Sammy stop for a visit to Daliyah’s village. Sammy asks his father exactly what’s the nature of his relationship with Daliyah and Barry explains they literally saved each other’s lives and because of that, they’ll have a lifelong bond even if he never sees her again.
Daliyah tells Barry that she’s marrying Ahmos’ younger brother, so that her son Hani has a father. She gives him a present, some prayer beads to remember her by. She asks if when he becomes an old man will he still remember the summer he spent with a Bedouin woman. There are deep feelings between the two, but circumstances keep them from expressing them to each other. Sammy and Barry say goodbye to Hani and Daliyah and head to the hotel where Molly’s staying.
At that same moment, Molly’s trying to decide what dress to wear to welcome back her husband after a year’s absence, when the phone rings. Our Old Friend CIA Agent Lea Exley’s on the other end of the phone and informs Molly she’s not only in Abbudin, but she’s two floors above her at the same hotel. She asks if Molly can come to her room so they can meet.
There’s little small-talk between the two women, as Molly asks Lea what she’s doing in Abbudin and the CIA Agent explains that the United States would like to see Barry take over as the new President of Abbudin. She goes on that Barry had strong support from the people previously, but once it got revealed that he lead the Red Hand under the name Khalil, he became a folk-hero. Molly doesn’t seem too taken with the United States strategy, but says she’ll pass the message on to her husband.
We then witness a very poignant reunion as Barry and Sammy return to Molly. She tells her husband she can’t believe this is really happening and the two hug each other. Sammy’s eyes mist-up when he sees the love between his parents and that they’re now a family again.
Jamal walks into his bedroom and sees Leila getting ready for bed and says he didn’t see her at all that day. He tells her he got a call from some representatives of the Arab League and he’s meeting with them the next day. He tells his wife that they likely want to congratulate him for his victory over the Caliphate and then tells Leila to come to bed. We see the guilt in Leila’s eyes as Jamal walks away.
Back at the hotel, Molly walks in while Barry’s praying by the side of their bed. She’s surprised to see him praying and he asks her if it bothers her. She says that she also found religion when she thought he died and had gone back to church. She then says the prayer beads that Barry’s clutching are beautiful and they look like Rosary beads. Barry responds perhaps they’re not that different after all.
Molly tells Barry about her meeting with Lea Exley and he responds that he’s got no interest in being part of another coup. He says that he doesn’t believe that Abbudin’s solution would be for him to succeed Jamal as President of their country.
Ahmed and Nusrat have their first conversation since she told him that Leila pressured her into asking her husband to annul their marriage. Ahmed says that he’s thinking about staying in Abbudin, to help direct the nation’s future and tells his wife he wants her to stay by his side. He tells her he’s not pressuring her and believes what ever decision she makes will be the right one for her.
Jamal, Mahmoud and Ahmed meet with the three representatives of the Arab League and the President’s presented with an arrest warrant, for crimes against his people. The spokesman for the trio tells Jamal that they have an unimpeachable source whose ready to sign a sworn statement that the President ordered the chemical attack on Ma’an. He says that if Jamal voluntarily steps down, his sentence will be far more lenient and he could perhaps avoid going to prison. Jamal kicks the three out of the palace, angry that this is his reward for saving his country.
Barry’s alone in the hotel room, when there’s a knock on the door. He opens it to see Jamal and his bodyguard standing outside. Jamal says he couldn’t wait a minute longer to see his brother, then kisses him on the cheek and hugs him. Barry starts to hug back, but then pushes his brother away. Jamal closes the door, leaving the bodyguard in the hallway and asks why Barry doesn’t seem pleased to see him?
Barry glares at him and replies to his brother that he killed his mother and he’s not sure he can ever forgive him for that. The President says he needs his brother’s forgiveness and that it was an accident, he then says he wants to make amends for all his terrible deeds and to all the people he hurt. Barry responds that he doesn’t think Jamal has enough years left to accomplish that.
The President then begs his brother to become his partner and together they’ll lead Abbudin. Barry says they don’t agree on anything, but Jamal says that he’ll allow his brother to call the shots. He says his dream since they were children was for them to run the country together. Barry says he can’t see working with Jamal and his brother asks him to think it over and then leaves the hotel room.
Later that afternoon, Molly and Barry are talking when Sammy comes into their room and says he just got off the phone with Halima. He then tells his parents that there’s a crowd of 5,000 people in the capital’s square holding pictures of Barry and chanting his name over and over. The three of them take a taxi to the square to see the situation first-hand.
The square’s got an overflow crowd and they are chanting Bassam, Bassam in unison when the taxi arrives in the square and the crowd’s excitement reaches a fever pitch when they realize he’s arrived. He tells Molly and Sammy to wait in the cab, then he gets out and one of the organizer’s leads Barry to the stage to address the crowd. When he climbs on the stage he sees Daliyah in the crowd, she’s towards the front of the throng but moves backwards when Barry grabs the megaphone.
He looks upon the crowd and thanks them for their courage for showing up. He then says if their battle against the Caliphate proved anything, it’s that no one person’s greater than the nation of Abbudin, including his brother and himself. He tells the crowd that this is their victory and their day, he tells them to keep their fight going until elections are called for. He says that’s the correct path for Abbudin, not the continuation of a dynasty. The crowd’s silent for a moment when he finishes his speech then starts chanting his name again, he sees Daliyah in the crowd smiling.
After the three return to the hotel, Barry tells Molly he’s going for a walk to clear his head, but in reality he calls Daliyah and meets with her. She lied to Barry and instead of marrying Ahmos’ brother, she’s moved to the capital and living with her cousins. She chastises Barry for coming there, saying they already said goodbye twice before, Barry asks her why they have to say goodbye at all? Daliyah responds that his place’s leading Abbudin with his children and Molly by his side. When he replies that’s not in his plans, she asks him to do it for her, he started this battle and now he has to finish it.
Jamal’s in his office in the palace, watching Barry’s speech on TV, when Leila walks in and the President says his brother betrayed him once again. Leila tells him to stop it, that it’s over then shows him the signed statement from her stating that Jamal gave the order to use chemical weapons in Ma’an. He shakes his head and replies first my brother and now you, she responds that he left them no choice.
There’s another knock on Barry’s hotel room door, this time it’s Colonel Mahmoud. He tells Barry that Jamal wants to see him, he doesn’t know the reason why.
Barry arrives at the palace and Jamal says you abandoned me again, Barry responds he hasn’t abandoned him, he’ll be there for his brother when ever he needs him. He says he’ll even stand next to him in court, but they can’t make a private deal that circumvents history. The people Jamal betrayed won’t stand for it.
The President tells his brother he’ll sign the confession that he ordered the chemical attack, however for the record Tariq ordered the attack behind Jamal’s back. He signs the confession and tells Barry that this is what he wanted his whole life, Jamal’s job and his power, but the younger brother says that isn’t true. Jamal says he hopes his brother’s happy now, Barry replies he feels freedom because he fulfilled a promise to a member of the Red Hand.
As Barry leaves Jamal’s office he finds Leila in the hallway and she asks what’s going on? He replies that it’s over and he shows her the signed confession. She says this is the last thing she wanted to happen, but now that it has, she feels like a weight’s been lifted from her chest.
Rami and Nusrat talk and he reveals what’s going on, that Jamal’s stepped down and Barry’s taking over as President. She’s numb from disbelief, saying she never thought this day would come.
However as Halima said to Sammy earlier in the episode, things are never simple in Abbudin. Mahmoud meets with his nephew, who plays him a recording of a phone-call between Leila and the spokesman for the Arab League. He tells Leila that the ICC has refused to grant Mahmoud immunity from prosecution, Leila screams I gave him my word and you gave him your word. The spokesman doesn’t know what to say and Leila responds you’ve forced my hand. She withdraws the signed confession, leaving the Arab League without any proof that Jamal ordered the chemical attack.
Barry talks with Molly and Sammy and says he thinks that he needs to lead the transition, Sammy stops him and says that he and Molly already decided not to leave Abbudin. Molly takes her husband’s hand and says this is our fight as well.
The palace’s filled with diplomats and media, for Jamal’s address announcing his resignation. Rami meets with his uncle and we can see the excitement in his face. Jamal comes into the room and starts addressing the nation, telling his people about the warrant from the Arab League and their promise for leniency if he resigns his Presidency. However he says that the Arab League has no proof of their charges and he’s got documents clearing him, as he’s got the signed orders by Tariq authorizing the attack behind Jamal’s back.
He says that he won’t be forced from office by outsiders, the so-called international community, or traitors in Abbudin. Suddenly we hear gunfire, it’s coming from behind Jamal and the bullets are fired at him, two in his back and one in the back of his head. When he falls to the ground, we see that Nusrat shot her father-in-law, she’s quickly subdued and taken away by security.
Barry runs over to his brother and tries to staunch the bleeding, however Leila says to him to let him go and let it end. Barry looks up at her with shock in his eyes and says, but he’s my brother. Leila says this is justice and we see Jamal still conscious on the floor with a pool of blood under him as the screen fades to black.