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.
When Barry's older brother, Jamal, the newly appointed President of Abbudin, is incapacitated, Barry must put his plans to return to America on hold. His life is further complicated, when his nephew's new bride is kidnapped by terrorists.
Tensions boil as the 20th anniversary of the chemical attack ordered by Barry's father, President Khaled Al-Fayeed looms. Barry's plan to defuse the situation runs into heavy resistance. Meanwhile, Jamal struggles to regain confidence in the bedroom.
Barry convinces Jamal to meet with exiled opposition leader Sheik Rashid. But when the meeting takes a turn for the worse, Jamal is forced to make a difficult decision that will impact the lives of his family and his country forever.
Jamal is terrified to discover that Sheik Rashid may actually survive Jamal's brutal attack, while Amira's disclosure of a twenty year old secret leads Barry to question everything he's ever believed about his father.
Now that he has made the decision that Jamal leading Abuddin will never lead to peace while killing Sheik Rashid for Jamal in the process, Barry approaches Tucker for US support on the matter. Tucker's official line is that the US is not in the business of regime change, but unofficially does provide that support in the form of "coup planner" Lea Exley, who informs Barry that a coup needs to happen quickly before the secrets get out. Barry learns how easily those secrets do escape. He also finds that the most difficult obstacles in the plan are those that are closest to home. The first public step in the plan is to neutralize who may be the biggest problem, namely Tariq. Meanwhile, Ahmed confides in his father about his and Nusrat's marital problems, Jamal who takes what he believes is decisive action in rectifying the "wedding night" issue.
Barry still expects the coup to be bloodless, Jamal and Leila who will still live in luxury in exile after all is said and done. The first step still remains to remove Tariq from his position, which Tucker tells Barry he has three days to accomplish by making Jamal believe Tariq is the mastermind behind the coup. Tucker also arms Barry with a tool to accomplish this task. With all the possible problems in this mission, the biggest obstacles may be Leila, who is generally more astute and questioning than Jamal, and Molly, who may not be able to look Jamal and Leila in the face knowing what she now knows. What troubles Molly the most is how easy this all seems to Barry. Both Barry and Molly also come to the realization what it all means for their lives, Barry who takes steps to ensure that not only is his family safe, but that Sammy and Emma, who will eventually learn what their father has done, will view his actions with pride and not disgust. In addition, Molly is uncertain if she can live a life of always looking behind her and her family's collective backs.
On the verge of betraying and displacing Jamal, Barry receives troublesome news that threatens to destroy everything he's worked so hard for. Meanwhile, Jamal's rising suspicions lead him to question the loyalty of those closest to him.
Jamal feels his country is spiraling out of control and is desperate for a military victory - no matter the cost. Barry's attempt to rescue Daliyah has unintended consequences. Seeing he's on shaky ground, Rami consults with Amira on how to navigate Jamal's erratic behavior.
Suffering heavy losses, Barry wrestles with the notion that he needs the palace's support to survive. As paranoia builds within Jamal, he questions where Rami's loyalty lies. Stricken by Abdul's death, Sammy plans to give his money to insurgents fighting the Army of the Caliphate.
Increasingly suspicious of those close to him, Jamal believes Khalil is the only person he can trust. Deciding he should no longer hide the truth, Barry reveals to Molly that he's alive. Hoping to lift Nusrat's depression, Ahmed asks Nusrat to run away with him. Skeptical of Khalil's tactical luck, Ihab zeroes in on a traitor in the Caliphate.
To save Barry from certain slaughter, Molly decides to tell Jamal that the man known as Khalil is really Barry. The question becomes whether Jamal will believe her and if he does what he will do about it. As Leila was unable to go through with murdering Jamal, Molly may have an ally in her in her own want for what is best for the rest of her family's future. Even if Molly's message about Rami and his troops not coming makes it to Barry, it may be too late for Barry and the Red Hands. One of their remaining hopes may be to play off the internal struggles of Ihab, who has come far from the idealistic young man he once was to one seemingly only seeking revenge for Samira's death seemingly at any cost.
The government army and the Red Hand brigade have taken back Ma'an from the Caliphate, with Abu Omar having escaped probably out of Abuddin and Ihab Rashid captured. This situation leads to a new reality for all involved compared to before the Ma'an conflict with the Caliphate. Barry, Molly and Sammy, reunited as a family, are all different people, with Barry having to make a difficult goodbye to Daliyah. Although they plan to head back to the US soon, they all now have an emotionally greater stake in the future of Abuddin. Despite Jamal's triumphant official televised address, Barry is unofficially seen as the savior of the Abuddin populace, which may make it more difficult for him to leave. That view is unofficially more official as seen by the return to Abuddin of Lea Exley. Based partly on Leila's manoeuvrings, Ahmed reconsiders leaving Abuddin, hoping that Nusrat will stay by his side. The one person seemingly oblivious to the air of change is Jamal, who has factions working against him to get him to step down. If that does happen, others may be caught as collateral casualties.
Barry steps in as president and starts preparations for democratic elections; Daliyah assumes a more significant role in leading the nation; army leaders want revenge; an American general arrives in Abuddin.
As President, Barry making the decision not to run in whenever the first free elections has profound effects. Barry is unaware that there are certain factions that see him solely as another Al-Fayeed whose words are hollow, and that real change in Abuddin can only be accomplished through revolution in deposing any Al-Fayeed. Barry welcomes Molly's offer to spread the word of the free elections as First Lady by making public appearances, the first scheduled for Ma'an with Rami leading the security detail. Emma also wants to get involved to be more immersed in the family's new political life. Little do they know that Ihab Rashid, from his outpost in the Caliphate territory in Syria, has a singular mission, which he will try to implement on first opportunity: kill Molly in an eye for an eye. Barry's childhood best friend Fauzi Nadal returns to Abuddin, and wants to reconnect with Barry. Barry has to decide if he will tell Fauzi of his role in the death of Fauzi's daughter, Samira - Ihab's girlfriend - who nonetheless was a rebel working with Ihab and the Caliphate. Barry's decision on the matter may take into account the fact that he has ordered a Truth and Reconciliation commission. Another person who has returned to Abuddin after a long absence is US Army General William Cogswell, who does not know that his transfer out of the country was on Leila's urging when Jamal was still President. Now as Foreign Secretary, Leila will enter into negotiations with Cogswell, whose offer is to provide military support for a permanent base in the country. Cogswell's own personal problems affects the negotiations. And Sammy, on Halima's suggestion, decides to take a class to learn more about the politics of Abuddin. What starts off as purely an academic exercise for his own benefit turns into something a little more.
Barry and Molly are reeling over Emma's murder. Molly, in particular, is not functioning well, as she can't get over the fact that Emma's last words were to call out "Mommy". As such, she can only think of retaining whatever memories she has of Emma, those memories which require as much physical evidence as possible, and seeing Ihab dead in an eye for an eye. Barry too wants to see Ihab dead, but has to take a measured response which is seen as being Presidential, even in light of the personal tragedy. Barry in particular has to decide how much conclusive evidence he will need from Cogswell and Maloof as to Ihab's whereabouts and potential collateral damage before pulling the trigger. Unable to turn to his parents, Sammy continues to turn to Professor El-Amin, who in turn wants to lay a groundwork of a relationship that is more than just sex. Jamal's death leads to turning points for both Leila and Ahmed, the latter who still cannot get over the fact of being the offspring of a man who did such terrible things. News from Leila may be able to alleviate some of Ahmed's apprehensions about his life and legacy. With the incident with Emma and Jamal's death, more people officially announce their candidacy for President, wanting to see a specific vision for the country in light of the recent violence. Leila reaches out to someone from her past for support, which includes finding a political consultant to oversee her campaign. Through it all, Barry is unaware that his response to Emma's death will have profound effects on the rhetoric of the candidates and the future of the country.
The first preliminary polls of the presidency are released. Molly continues to cope with the loss of Emma. Situations arise for Sammy as well as Laila. Barry and Dalia's conversations begin to complicate.
Molly returns to Abuddin with a hardened resolve to pursue her daughter's killer. Mahdiya is entrusted with a critical job. Leila and Cogswell relish in a brief escape from the world -- only to find that escape is impossible. Barry is thrown by Molly's cold determination and haunted by images of the daughter he failed.