When it comes to war and wardrobes, not everything is black and white
War has been waged in Abbudin’s desert landscape, and with it, havoc by way of dashed hopes and hampered dreams. For some, the conflict signals justification for religious and political beliefs; for others, it’s the opportunity to realize one’s destiny. (And for others still, the two are one.) Regardless of political or personal affiliation, one thing’s for sure: The finale was one of the darkest episodes to date, with an ending that leaves Abbudin’s future hanging in the balance. And, sadly, it’s a future we’ll never see. We’ll talk more about the Tyrant cancelation at the end of the recap — but for now, let’s get onto the fashion!
By now it couldn’t be more obvious that ivory has become Molly’s signature color, being that she sees herself as the white knight of Abbudin and all that. I can picture the conversations between her and her stylist now: “BUY ME ALL THE WHITE THINGS!” In any case, despite her cream-colored clothing, Molly’s intentions this episode are decidedly dark, as 1) She pressures Bassam into sleeping with her so that she can become pregnant and 2) Continues to guilt him about his role in bringing Molly’s killers to so-called “justice.” Let’s just call it what it is: Molly’s clothes project the image of a pristine woman with unquestionable motives; the woman she sees herself to be and not the broken shell of the person she was when she set foot in Abbudin years ago.
Wait, when did these two become hand-holding besties, dressed in coordinating black and white garb? Since the Sheik was murdered in cold blood by an assassin hired by Nafisa’s brother Ahab, apparently. The murder — which took place just moments after the sheik fell into deep slumber in the arms of his wife — could have derailed Leila’s plans for the presidency, but when the unexpected occurs, Nafisa is stirred to action, as she seems determined to step into her husband’s shoes. “Islam is peace!” she shouts in a stirring speech. “In my husband’s name, say it with me. Islam is peace!” And there you have it, folks: Abbudin might just have two women at the head of its government.
NEXT: Leila dons her finest for the mother of all announcements
As much as I’d like to wax poetic about how these two friends — in his-and-hers navy-detailed outfits – became closer under the best of circumstances, that’s not the case. With General Cogswell being called to stand at a court-martial and the U.S. seemingly withdrawn from interfering in Abbudinian politics, it’s all-out war, which escalates when General Maloof approaches Leila’s sister about learning the location of her upcoming speech so as to interrupt and invade the proceedings. This is war as made for primetime TV: bloody, garish, and messy. And as with any real war, there are casualties — and in “Two Graves,” we see Sammy shot in the back by Maloof’s men and rescued by the professor, who rather than escape with his family, decides to stay back and help the man he loves. Sammy does make it out of surgery alive, but whether he’ll be paralyzed for life remains uncertain.
Leila in creamy ivory can only mean one thing: She managed to get her well-manicured hands on the one white dress that somehow escaped Molly’s grasp (and Amex). Declaring herself a champion for an Abbudinian democracy, Leila — who I should note, avoided the carnage in University Square — announces herself president. Sure, she has supporters but can the interim government she’s scraped together by sheer will hold up to Bassam? And it’d seem that Bassam would be her only obstacle, were it for one factor: Daliyah. Sure, she’s in prison, but she’s not starving… given that Bassam has decided to have her force fed. She’s steadily gaining support, thanks to a Twitter account that Fauzi has started in her name. During a visit from Exley, she learns that the account has 10 million followers — and that the U.S. could possibly throw its support behind her. “I would try to stay alive, lady,” Exley tells Daliyah. “I have a feeling you’re about to matter very much.”
Oh, Bassam. Here, he’s looking at a presidential portrait that Ahmed — who now calls him dad — commissioned in his likeness. It looks just like him, but does he like what he sees? As the audience, we’re convinced he doesn’t. And yet Bassam still seems determined to deploy his troops and proceed with a “whatever it takes” attitude to create what he sees as a viable foundation for democracy. Though I’ve always thought his narrow-cut suit looked a bit too much like a funeral director’s, the similarity now seems more than appropriate given the circumstances.
Well, there you have it! We’ve seen the last episode of a series that brought us closer than ever to understanding the whirlwind of emotions, actions, allegiances, and betrayals that some might deem necessary for creating democracy in a country like Abbudin. Because the stage was set for a fourth season — what with Bassam and Daliyah’s relationship in flux, Molly’s possible pregnancy, and the matter of Leila’s interim government hanging in the balance even as Bassam seems caught between his personal motives and General Maloof’s clutches — the news that Tyrant has been canceled definitely comes as a disappointment. Then again, in a statement about the cancellation, producers did hint at a possible pickup on another platform — and if that’s the case, I want to make my request clear: Bring on the super fabulous presidential fashion (and maybe a maternity wardrobe for Molly)!