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'Tyrant' fan recap: Meet Rami!

Season 2 | Episode 4 | “A House Built on Sand” | Aired July 7, 2015

During Tyrant, Jamal’s mom, Amira, had some ‘splainin’ to do. All of us, especially Leila and Ahmed and even Jamal himself, were thrown for a loop as to just how many children Jamal actually has. For so long, we thought Ahmed was the only son, but turns out there’s another son, Rami. Rami is also a very viable threat for the Al-Fayeed throne, as it were. And probably the best person to take up the mantle of “president.”

But first, let’s get into shady Amira. How many secrets does she have? And how is she so bad at discerning which ones to keep and which ones to let loose? Remember in the last season, when she kept it hidden that Tariq was the one behind the chemical attack 30 years ago and let Bassam believe it was his father who authorized it? For what and for whom did that lie serve? Now, she reveals she’s been in touch with Jamal’s son for his whole 25 years of life, and never thought to mention it to Jamal. Again, for what and for whom does it serve, especially since Jamal’s father Khaled is dead?!

Anyway, Amira finally decides to reveal Rami’s existence to Jamal in an effort to create family unity once again. (Because revealing secrets and lies always bring families together!) Understandably, Jamal doesn’t want to see his mother’s face for a while. Not only did he not know he had a son, but he didn’t know Rami was the son of his true first love, who had just died.

However, after Ahmed shows Jamal the sonogram of Grandbaby Al-Fayeed, Jamal’s heart softens toward the news Amira has told him, and decides to meet Rami. As everyone watching the episode said on Twitter, it’s clear that Rami immediately became Jamal’s favorite son. He’s handsome, he’s a decorated, high-ranking member of the military, and he has a good head on his shoulders. Compare those stats to poor Ahmed, who wanted to run a boutique hotel but can’t get through crunching the numbers in a Chinese government business proposal. It’s all right, Ahmed. Ahmed’s complaint about the numbers always changing is valid, though; I hate advanced math too, and those numbers never would come out right.

Leila is correct to say that Jamal is completely taken with Rami—so much so that it’s alarming. But while Ahmed was a child created from duty, Rami was created from Jamal’s true love for Rami’s mother, a woman who was part of Ma’an*, and therefore not someone Khaled wanted Jamal with. It was a true Romeo and Juliet situation, and Jamal lost three teeth at the hands of his father because of it … not to mention being forbidden to ever see his true love again. No wonder Jamal wants to do right by Rami and treat him the best he can! But Leila also has a point: With Rami in the picture, that now puts her son—whose existence and position for the presidency has given Leila her amount of power—at risk. “I’ve given you everything,” Leila says through tears, stating that Rami is not welcome in her home.

Jamal still wants to give Rami a post in Abuddin, so he takes him to the last place he and Rami’s mother met, and asks him if he would accept a position in the Abuddinian military. But Rami can’t do it. He’s part of two worlds, he says, and Ma’an and Abuddin have been fighting for as long as he can remember. “I have no home,” he says. “… You’re asking me to choose a side.” He forcefully declines, and Jamal can do nothing but accept that and get back to helping poor Ahmed with his homework.

Sidebar: Is Khaled a villain or a hero? First we hear that he authorized the chemical attack; then we find out he didn’t and that he’s a benevolent creature. Then we hear he punched Jamal in the face for loving a Ma’an woman. Who are you, Khaled? He needs some nailed-down characterization.

Meanwhile, a down-and-out Ihab and an even more determined Samira are kidnapped by Ihab’s friend from university. Apparently, his friend has been playing it safe, amassing wealth, all for the sake of taking the Al-Fayeeds down. He wants to help Ihab finesse his operation. From the promos for next week, it looks like a very ISIS-esque affair, which isn’t something I’d think Ihab would be down with. In any case, Samira is the true OG in her and Ihab’s relationship, since she is ready to assassinate Jamal with her bare hands and a knife.

What I’m concerned about is why Ihab and his new band of fighters had to go after the Bedouin man’s second wife! All she was trying to do was bring solar electricity back to the village. Technically, it’s Ihab’s fault for kidnapping her, but I’m also going to blame Bassam, for no reason other than that he brings chaos wherever he goes. Now he’ll have to make sure he sticks with his promise and take care of her son for six months. That is, six months without him getting the rest of them killed. He has a knack for getting his nose into other people’s business so he can assume the savior role, after all.

Speaking of Bassam, he and his family just aren’t where it’s at right now. Sammy is still a jerk, Molly is still largely ineffective (although she did lay down the law to Sammy about not traveling back to Abuddin), and Emma is the Meg Griffin of the family. She doesn’t even have an inheritance! Someone pay attention to the only American Al-Fayeed who constantly has common sense! And Simmons the lawyer? What’s his deal? Does he just want to get with Molly when it’s all said and done? Or does he have ulterior motives?

The drama is all with the Abuddinian Al-Fayeeds (plus Rami) and the resistance. Again, Bassam could actually be gone, and the show would carry on without him or his American family. American family: Step up your drama!

So there you have it. What did you think of Rami? If there was a match between brothers, who would you root for—Rami or Ahmed? (As much as I love Ahmed, my money is currently on Rami). Give me your opinions!

*I’ve written Ma’at before, but I meant Ma’an. Thanks to a commenter for helping me out!

Tyrant airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on FX.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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