Season 1 Episode 1
"It should have been you..."
Barry Al-Fayeed is a California pediatrician who also happens to be the second son of a Middle Eastern dictator. Barry reluctantly agrees to return home with his American family for his nephew's wedding. Events thrust him into the complex and turbulent growing pains of a nation straining to break free from dictatorial rule...[button color="red" size="small" link="http://www.fxnetworks.com/tyrant" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]
Barry Al-Fayeed lies awake while his wife Molly sleeps. He calls Fauzi Nidal and leaves a message saying he’s coming for his nephew’s wedding and says it would be good to see him. Barry goes out for a jog. He thinks about people shouting outside a car when he was young. His father tells Jamal to fix his button and chews him out for being sloppy and not respecting himself. His dad calls he and Bassam (aka Barry) out into the crowd. He tells his sons to wave and not act like girls.
Their dad is the President of Ma’an. They are there for a ribbon cutting. He’s cut off as a truck bursts over the bridge and careens toward the dais spraying bullets from gunmen. The dad yells for Bassam to get down but tackles Jamal to protect him and leaves Bassam standing there alone. When a bomb goes off, Bassam is thrown back from the blast.
Barry stops his run as he gets a call from a patient but says he has someone else covering for him because he’s leaving town. The parent insists and Barry agrees to come in for a few minutes to see her son. Emma complains that they shouldn’t go for the wedding since their grandpa’s photos are being burned in public. Sammy says they’ll have armed escorts. Emma says she doesn’t want to go and her dad doesn’t either. Molly says he’s going.
Barry shows back up and says he had to stop at the office. He tells Sammy to clear his plate but the boy says he has to pack. His dad stares but lets him go. Barry is concerned about the trip and says to Molly they aren’t his family, she is. He tells her to promise they’ll come back. She looks confused. They show up late for the flight and Emma says it’s a sign from Allah they should go to Disney.
A stewardess comes out and asks if they’re ready to board. There are no other passengers – their granddad bought all the other seats on the plane. The kids are spreading out but Barry tells them to sit in the seats that he paid for. Molly says it’s no big deal. He says his dad did this because he turned down a private jet. Molly says he won’t know and Barry says fine and then walks back and sits in the regular section to the seat he paid for while his teenagers lounge around in first class.
Molly joins him and says she had the window seat. They buckle in and wait for departure. They sleep on the long flight but then Molly wakes and asks how long she was sleeping and Barry says a couple of hours. She says she’s happy they’re doing this and says it’s an opportunity for him to sit down and talk with his father. Barry says she doesn’t know his father and she says she knows him.
The stewardess comes with a bottle of Dom Perignon Rose and says his brother Jamal insisted they have it onboard for him. They toast to Jamal. We see Jamal doing a woman roughly from behind. She’s not happy. Her family sits outside in another room as he finishes with her. Jamal’s phone rings and he marches out saying his brother is landing shortly. The woman’s husband stands and goes in and finds her washing herself and crying.
Jamal hops in his sports car and blares Walk This Way and pulls away from the gathered crowd with a look of disdain. Barry and his family are greeted at the airport by a representative and a grand carpet at the bottom of the stairs. They watch as a red sports car tears across the tarmac blaring music. Jamal gets out and greets his little brother with a hug. He asks why he’s so pale being in Southern California.
Jamal hugs Emma and calls her little mermaid, hugs Molly and bear hugs Sammy. He tells him he just bought a new boat they can take out after the wedding and tells them all to come to the palace. There’s a motorcade led by the sportscar. Molly points out sites and Sammy is amazed there is no traffic but is told they’re holding it for them. He thinks it’s sweet as well as their granddad on a billboard.
We see the aftermath of the bomb when Bassam staggers to his feet in the wreckage of other people burned and dead while his father rants that he can’t be killed. They pull up to a giant palace with a gold dome and Sammy says – holy shit – and asks his dad if grew up here and says he can’t believe he ever left. A woman walks out to greet them – Leila, Jamal’s wife. Jamal says he was already at the airport when she called (liar!).
Leila tells Barry that his father is waiting and Molly tells him to go on. Leila asks who wants to jump in the pool and Sammy says he wouldn’t mind. Jamal escorts Barry to see their dad. They enter a large finely decorated room and Khaled waits there. He says – Bassam – and Barry goes to him and kisses each cheek – air kisses. He also greets his mother. He says he looks well and Khaled says it has been too long.
Barry says he’s busy with work and the kids. His father says he knows he’s been busy. Amira says he’s been excited about the visit. Khaled asks to speak to Jamal alone then promises to take Barry for a walk. Khaled says there are rumors of terrorist attacks planned for the wedding. Jamal says he will have the troublemakers rounded up but his dad says not to be a fool and tells him to talk to Walid and remind him there will be consequences if he can’t control his people.
He tells him to take Bassam and he asks why and he says – as I told you. Amira asks her son to please stay at the palace instead of a hotel and he says no more concessions. Amira says he’s changed. Khaled asks his son how it feels to be home after all these years. He says he barely recognized the city. His dad says all the leaders have been jailed or killed – Ghadafi, etc. Barry says he’s still there and his dad says the people still cry for freedom but he gives them order and proserity and all they want is chaos.
Barry says his family is waiting for him and says they need to check into the hotel. His dad says he knows he didn’t come all this way to hear an old man complain and shakes his hand. He says it’s good to have him home. Molly talks to John Tucker and his friend Dana – he tells Barry he’s with the Embassy and was telling Molly how much he loves it there.
Barry says they have to go to the hotel and they go tell Sammy to get out of the pool but he gets lippy and says he just got in. John asks Leila why they’re staying off-site and she says it’s complicated. Barry tells Molly he went for a walk with his dad and he seems older. They tell Sammy again to get out because he’s lollygagging.
They walk into their hotel room and Sammy says sarcastically that this is so much better than the palace. Emma says she doesn’t want to go to the bachelorette party and her mom says to deal with it. Sammy and his dad are going to a bachelor party and Barry says it’s just old guys in a steam room. Emma tells her brother to be careful and says it’s not America.
At the party, they insist that Emma get a henna tattoo even though she tried to say no. Leila asks Molly how she got Barry to come. She says after 19 years of marriage she wanted to meet his family. The men swap funny stories while Jamal shaves his son for the wedding. A man comes in – Walid – and Jamal tells Barry to come along. He says he has to deal with a tribal leader whose newphew Ihab is a terrorist and is threatening to blow up the wedding.
Walid tells Jamal he was happy to come and Jamal says you didn’t come, my men brought you. He says Khaled has heard that Ihab is planning to bomb his son’s wedding. Walid asys he tried talking to him but can’t control him. Jamal knocks the man down and kicks him then drops his towel and beats him. He threatens to take his fingers one at a time and then cuts off one.
Barry drags him off of him and says he’s giving him more reason to bomb them. Jamal says he’s been away too long and doesn’t understand how to deal with assholes like this. Barry tells him to invite Walid, Ihab and their whole family to the wedding and put one of them at every table and says then they will find a way to make sure no one attacks.
Jamal tells Walid that is brother Bassam invites him and his family to the wedding as his honored guests. The man holds his bloody stub as Barry stares annoyed at the situation he’s been thrust into. Later at the hotel, Barry lies awake as Molly sleeps. He hears the call to prayer late in the night and creeps out of his room and past security down the hall. He puts his hoodie up over his head and heads out into the street.
He heads to a mosque and stands at the back. Someone spots him and goes to see him. It’s Fauzi. He asks what the hell he’s doing there and they go outside. He takes him home with him and he tells Fauzi his daughter looks just like her mom. He asks him why he hasn’t called him back and Barry says he reads what he writes. Fauzi says his dad sent tanks into Ma’an and tanks killed dozens of people.
He says the time for Barry to come back was when that was happened and says instead he comes back for a wedding that cost 10 million pounds. He says people in Ma’an are going without. Barry says he’s just a pediatrician but Fauzi says he’s an Al-Fayeed. Fauzi says he wrote about the tanks and was thrown in prison for three days. He says Barry is living the American dream while he’s dreaming of this and opens his shirt to show scars from torture.
There is a grand fireworks display at the wedding. The bride and groom walk out. John Tucker stands near Barry who says it’s over the top but John says the fireworks are the key to the celebration. He says what Khaled has done is remarkable and the per capita income is 18% higher than anywhere else in the Arab nations. John is a big Khaled fan.
Sammy comes to stand by Abdul. He asks who he is and he says his father runs security for Khaled and that his family has provided security for all his ancestors. He asys he was just making sure they’re not related. Walid wishes blessings on the bride and groom. Khaled introduces them to his uncle, General Tariq. Walid introduces his nephew, Ihab the bomber. Khaled asks if he enjoyed the fireworks and he says of course – boom, boom, boom.
Jamal calls Barry out to the dance floor and he says no but Molly encourages him to go and he heads out with John. Jamal tells him he was right about how to hande Walid and says it’s because of him the wedding was safe and hugs his brother warmly. Jamal is handed a gun and he fires it into the air. Barry has a flashback to seeing men assassinated by his father during security crackdowns.
Khaled calls out Jamal and as they take a prisoner. He tells Jamal you have to make hard choices to be a good leader and have to deal with traitorous dogs. He tells Jamal to kill the man and he does – he looks about 11 years old at the time. Jamal hands Barry the gun at the wedding and says it’s his turn but he hands it back and dances instead.
Jamal sees the bride talking and laughing with someone and looks sullen. Molly sees Barry walking off and asks where he’s going. He says he needs air and she asks what’s wrong. Jamal comes in the room with his new daughter in law and tells her that Ahmed is a good boy. He tells her the wedding night is special and it’s important to be pure and says it would break his son’s heart if the woman he married wasn’t pure.
He yanks her dress up and pushes himself into her until he finds her hymen then pushes past it. He says good girl. He withdraws and walks out abruptly after deflowering her. Barry tells Molly he thinks his brother is insane and says he’s broken because his father broke Jamal. He says that’s what he does. Molly says he needs to tell his father everything and he says it won’t change anything.
She says he’s been running from his father since he was 16 and says he carries a weight that has made him joyless. She says that has affected his relationship with her and their children. A man comes up and tells Barry that his father has collapsed. At the hospital, the family waits for news. The doctor comes out and says Khaled has suffered a stroke.
Jamal insists Khaled will be fine and tells the doctor if his father dies, he will die too. The doctor says he asked to see Bassam. Barry sits at his bedside thinking about the day his dad let him get blown up and the day Khaled tried to make Jamal kill his first man. His father wakes and speaks his name. He says without him, they will kill us all. Khaled says he was wrong and says it should have been him.
He comes out and tells his mother and brother that Khaled wants to talk to them. Molly asks if he’s okay and Barry says she should check on the kids. She goes to do as he asks. Barry walks back down the hall where Leila stands outside the room. Jamal comes out sniffling and turns to his brother. He tells him he’s gone. He starts to walk away and Leila stops him and says he’s in charge and that it’s his time and he needs to be a man. He asks when the last time she was a woman to him and punches her in the face. He says he knows she hates him and marches off.
The news reports that President Khaled’s condition is unknown. Barry comes and tells his family that his dad is dead. Molly hugs him and says she’s sorry. Barry says they need to go to the airport now. Molly says they can’t just leave. She says they need their passports and he says he will stop at the hotel. Sammy argues and says he’s not leaving until he sees Uncle Jamal then says he’s staying there. Barry slaps his son hard in the face twice and tells him to listen. Molly asks what’s the matter with him.
Jamal is revving his sports car and calls a woman and tells her to meet him downstairs. Barry has his family at the airport. The woman he called grabs a syringe out of a hiding place. Barry asks for four seats on the next flight to LA. Jamal drinks and drives. The woman now riding with him is scared. Barry’s family are putting on their seatbelts on the plane.
Jamal asks the woman what she’s looking at and unzips his pants and tells her to look at that. He pushes her face down into his lap and careens around on the road. She tries to stab him with the syringe but he stops her. Instead, she bites down heard on his junk and he drives his car through the guardrail and down a cliff. He lies on rocks bleeding, but manages to open his eyes.
The plane is about to take off and Molly tells him they’re okay and are headed home. She asks him to explain what happened and he says not now. She says he hit their son and he tells her again not now. She says she’s sick of not knowing what he’s thinking or how he feels. She says they’ve been married 19 years and says she doesn’t know who he is anymore.
Barry has the same flashback to Jamal being told to kill the man and dropping the gun. Jamal runs back to the car and hides, crying. Khaled calls for him to get out. Barry climbs out of the car and goes over to the prisoner. He picks up the gun and the man begs for mercy. Barry coldly shoots him once in the gut and once in the head then glares at his father. He looks to be 9 or 10 years old.
Molly rambles on about how if he doesn’t start talking, she doesn’t know what she’ll do. The engine noise increases as the plane prepares to taxi, but then abruptly shuts down. The captain makes an announcement and says there has been a delay and they have to sit tight. Cars speed toward the tarmac. Barry sees a bevy of dark sedans outside the window.
The captain comes to address Barry as Mr Al-Fayeed. He tells Molly he said they shouldn’t have come.
Synopsis courtesy of Stormy Elizabeth/CelebDirtyLaundry.com