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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Final Episode - Mystery Solved

Author: countlaslo from United States
10 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As the much anticipated final episode came and went - people began to think, is there a series in the works. In talking with Showtime Executives, they formally addressed a mini-series to captivate a general audience in the US. Since this was accomplished and since the show was nominated by the board for the Golden Globe Awards, it seems in some slight way, Sleeper Cell is spreading again one more final season. Showtime Executives told me that the show was once and for all completed and was looking to spread the cell farther into the suburbs with a DVD Mini-Series. So what if the DVD sales jump, are we seeing a trend of mini-series turning season series. For Sleeper Cell this is everyone's question. Are we going to see some of the characters one more time? Showtime said NO. This is the final season, Sleeper Cell is no more. We discussed in an open forum about the last episode and how it was telling the story of a local jihad's group quest for glory. Much of the episode's goal was to show the audiences Farikh's rise and fall and more importantly leave the mystery within. But like with all mysteries they can be solved. Heres what I gathered from the writers and actors of Sleeper Cell.

Darwyn and the FBI wanted to get Farikh out and even dead. But as for the other members, Darwyn wanted them alive to keep the alert on other sleeper cells around the US. This is why it was hard for Darwyn to kill Christian in one of the scenes. It was clear that Christian's duties was self-suicide after slaughter. Darwyn was still captured in his innocence and decided to street fight him than kill him without knowing if he would take the right side. Well we know what he chose.

Ilija's was the second man in the plan, he was instructed to cause the fire alarm in the stadium. But his real mission after wards was a mystery. It turns out that Ilija was to stay at the stadium and fuel the chaos. But as he found out the plan of attack did go through as he saw the MAN get shot in the stadium, he ran out. The writers wanted to show a reaction but if they did there would not be any mystery of Ilija's plan.

Crazy Boy I like to call him, decided to stop in the middle of traffic and take his vengeance of his life to the innocent people. He did not tell Darwyn his plan due to the fact Darwyn was a devoted Muslim - he simply did not want him to interfere.

The denouncement the writers wanted to show, was the change in IIija's self esteem to becoming more of an American. In a shot they wanted to create, IIija was to turn his belief in music to reality.

As for Darwyn he finds nothing but an ordinary life.

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18 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Racist, boring

1/10
Author: blehblehbleh from Texas
19 October 2006

Very dull show. Whats worse, its very racist. The white guys are dumb idiots and the only romance is between a black guy and a white woman. There is nothing interesting about this romance, it is not exciting, it is not fun, they don't even seem to care for each other at all, its more like the writers and directors wanted an interracial thing going on. Why this is so popular in media today? It is social programming and will lead to no good, there is always tension when too many people want the same thing. This show is not worth the 20 bucks for the season, its a waste of time and harmful to society. At least when they use TV shows to sell products they are more discreet, selling whatever agenda here is quite obvious, and without clear thinking some may feel wrong to oppose it, but some of us know better.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Interesting... but quite enough

7/10
Author: lucas-73
24 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you watch this series you will get an interesting 10 chapters about a sleeper cell's story and each characters. And more intense with a FBI's infiltrate.

Nice story, nice characters and performs, but something is wrong (for me, of course). The final is wrong. You wait ten chapters hoping a great final (it doesn't matters if they fulfill its objectives or not) but.. well... I think is not enough. Its a small final for a big series. Also I hoped more definitions about characters stories.

But, I repeat, it's and interesting miniseries. If you don't want to wait with large series (22-24 chapters), watch it. I give 7 of 10.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Why on Earth did they end this?

9/10
Author: pati-balazs (pati.balazs@gmail.com) from Budapest, Hungary
18 February 2008

I don't understand why this show didn't go on there could've been various ways to continue on the line of Darwin and Farik after season 2, obviously Darwin couldn't have been the UC agent infiltrating cells and sabotageing them from the inside, but still they should've given this show at least another season.

The show is well casted, believable, and views the Islamic religion from both the normal and the extremist point of view. It touches controversial subjects in detail and it has a dramatic meaning that can be said of very few shows nowdays. I'm actually sad that i didn't know about this show until late 2007.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

better than 24

10/10
Author: (tottenhamtillidie@gmail.com) from sacramento, ca
6 November 2008

imagine "24" completely uncensored, given free license to explain the situation in any detail needed and showing how and why both protagonists do what they do to kill/prevent and you have an idea of how good this TV series is. People in the US have known for a long time that Showtime is the new HBO, they are making far better cutting edge, powerful shows and this is no exception. The show takes the viewer all the way through the creation of a sleeper cell to when an attack is attempted, taking in important facets such as faith, religion, funding, means and needs. To the uninitiated, there is much to be learnt about the Muslim faith here. Unlike on mainstream shows like "24" where the terrorists are merely nutcases who the good guys shoot, their purpose and reasonings here are fully examined. What gives the show more credence is the latest technology the cell/FBI uses and the authentic shots in europe, the US and the middle east, no expense is spared to tell the story accurately The cast are relatively unknowns but the acting is superb with the aid of a tautly-written script that constantly keeps the viewer on edge with many unexpected twists and turns. This show has not got the credit it deserves and ironically is a bit of a sleeper hit itself, must see for anyone at all interested in this genre

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

one of the best

10/10
Author: blaklife from United States
11 August 2007

Has the drama, suspense, and character developments you would enjoy if you like drama that engages you and entertains as well as educates.

The writers know their material and it shows. The direction is always engaging and not blase, and the acting terrific. Why this show didn't win any awards tells me the "powers that be" in Hollyweird don't know drama or much else for that matter.

There is a plot twist in this episode at the end was a complete surprise and was very well played out. I'm glad it wasn't used as a shock scene for any climatic end to this series which would have been more typical and dull. Rent this series at once! Let's hope its brought back from celluloid extinction.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

One of TV's best dramas, both a riveting Hollywood thrill-ride and a rare nuanced look at modern terrorism

Author: liquidcelluloid-1 from www.liquidcelluloid.blog.com
30 December 2006

Network: Showtime; Genre: Drama, Action, Crime; Content Rating: TV-MA (graphic language, strong violence, nudity, simulated sex and sequences of terror); Available: DVD; Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Seasons Reviewed: 2 seasons

Farik (Oded Fehr) recruits African-American Muslim Darwyn Al-Said (Michael Ealy) to be part of a brotherhood of jihadists who have fully integrated into American society out in the open and behind closed doors are planning an attack on Los Angeles. Little does Farik know that Darwyn also has a secret identity, an undercover FBI agent trying to bring down Farik's terrorist sleeper cell.

The idea that terrorist sleeper cells are lying wait in America posing as our friend and neighbors is one too baffling and frightening for most people to comprehend. Every once in a while "24" will embrace the post-9/11 view of terrorism, but nothing on TV touches the subject like "Sleeper Cell". Hopefully this will change, but to date, nothing matches the intelligence, thoughtfulness and nuanced realism of "Sleeper Cell". Created by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, the show digs deep into every angle of every highly debatable issue surrounding Islam, terrorism, and American policy in a post 9/11 world. "Cell" takes all this and turns it into an immensely entertaining cinema-quality thrill-ride. You most likely won't end up more educated about terrorism or global politics and many may object to such a cavalier Hollywood approach to such a serious subject, but for what it is worth, the balance is flawless.

Inside the action, "Sleeper Cell" depicts the war on terror as between Muslim vs. Muslim with peaceful Darwyn coming up against a group of zealots who have perverted his religion to justify murder and mayhem. While reading a description like that you might as well be listening to a presidential rallying speech, but the way "Cell" brings it to life is eye-opening. Armed with a versed knowledge of the religion's history and quoted passages from the Qu'ran, the show has written every angle - the pro-force right, the conspiracy theorist left and the terrorist dogma - with the same versatile rationality of a person who believes each of these views. Often shows get praised for espousing an opinion. My problem with many of them (such as Dick Wolf and David E. Kelley's stuff) is that every character espouses a single opinion, and the other side is broadly depicted or only there to be ridiculed, when the real world is more like Sleeper Cell, honest cases are made for each side - even the villain's without sympathizing with terrorism.

The performances are spot on. Fehr is the picture of frightening charm as a leader should be. Elay says pages of dialog across his face, tortured by what he has to do to maintain his cover, particularly when those around him start to die. With all the talk about the culture clash between the west and the middle east, let's not underplay how riveting, exciting and purely entertaining in a rare way this show is. We watch with twisted fascination as the terrorists put their plans together and then cheer for them to be ripped apart at the same time. Season 1's strength is the way it takes us through this process - from the financing to the training to the choice of date and target. All the while actually making us want to see how far the cell will get with their plans.

Having sewed up the story pretty tight at the end of season 1 (or the first mini-series, I'm not sure), Season 2 (or the sequel mini-series, "American Terror") does a bit of a contortion to bring them back. Like any good sequel, it succeeds by building off the characters. The show occasionally wanders off into the personal lives of cell members and looses focus, but when it ultimately gets down to business, the entire season smartly builds toward a grand wild-west-style confrontation between Farek and Darwyn, the result is as intense and satisfying as anything you'll see outside of a Jack Bauer interrogation.

"Sleeper Cell" is one of the most criminally under-watched and underrated shows on TV and a possible headliner for Showtime. I definitely want more, but the self-contained first season and its live-wire sequel are enough to keep me content for now. TV is not a medium where a nuanced and intelligent piece of pulp entertainment is often rewarded. Don't pass up this chance. One of the very best dramas on TV.

* * * * / 4

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Wow, watch it

10/10
Author: brynthe_blade from United Kingdom
17 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm not sure how this could have been better, so I gave it a 10. The acting was excellent - the main woman was so HOT - the chap who played Darwyn was a smouldering, pensive character who showed the inner turmoil he was suffering (the truck driver's death is one example)excellently. The storyline was believable and the series length was just about right (i.e. I love Lost, but will it ever end?). As a Brit i tend to think of Yanks as gung ho. The LAPD were in their ill advised attempts to arrest him, but the other agencies were portrayed positively. My main thought about programmes like this (and the also excellent 24) is - could it happen? Would it happen? Is it happening now? Possibly, probably.

I hope they do another series, but after reading some of the previous comments, it would appear not.

To summarise - If you haven't seen it, make sure you do.

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8 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Who's sleeping now?

4/10
Author: BW from Akron, Ohio
22 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yeah, there's a "sleeper" watching Sleeper Cell and it was me. After reading comparisons to "24" (like on the cover of the DVD), I expected a fast-paced action romp. But nope... this series just putts along. In my groggy half-awake state I would think, "He's gonna... " and, poof, it would happen... "Guess that van is gonna roll off the... " and there she goes.

And so on.

And why would Darwyn, in extra-deep cover, pursue a babe? Could it be, perhaps, to provide a little T&A? Hey, that works for me, hence four stars rather than three.

This show is no "24". I've watched "24". Sleeper Cell, you're no "24".

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Ultimate Movie Review! - http://tss5078.blogspot.com - @tss5078

8/10
Author: Tss5078 from United States
7 December 2014

It is a common misconception that Sleeper Cell was cables first failed attempt to recreate the hit show 24, in a more extreme format, and that Sleeper Cell was the precursor to the smash hit Homeland. In reality, Sleeper Cell was a highly rated mini-series that was picked up for another year. The show was actually the inspiration for Homeland, as if one were to take Sleeper Cell and mix it with 24, the result would be Homeland.

The story follows Darwyn Al-Sayeed (Michale Ealy), the FBI's best undercover agent, who also happens to be a Muslim, making him the perfect choice to infiltrate the domestic side of Al-Queda. Darwyn poses as a recently paroled Islamic militant, who wants to strike a blow against the country that imprisoned him.

Through his prison contacts, Darwyn is connected to a mysterious man named Farik (Oded Fehr), who even the FBI can't identify. Through a series of tests, Farik introduces Darwyn to the rest of his cell and together they start to plan an attack on Los Angeles.

Michael Ealy stars and played the role of Darwyn as if it were specifically written for him. Ealy is the kind of actor who is easily recognized from dozens of minor movie roles, but I've never seen him star before. The character he's playing, Darwyn, is basically Jack Bauer with a lot more self-control. He's cool and collected, but ready to take action at a moments notice, making for a great character.

Ealy is paired with Oded Fehr, of the Mummy series, and he too was terrific. Obviously you need an actor with a Middle Eastern background to play this role, but Farik isn't you're typical Al-Queda, as he is able to easily fit into the suburban community. Farik is a ruthless killer, but also has a peaceful, caring side, that really comes across in the episode where they go to Mexico.

Sleeper Cell has all the action and edge of your seat drama that 24 had, and more, because let's face it, This was a cable show. Thanks to a top notch cast, some well known Directors, and a great team of Writers, Sleeper Cell was a sleeper hit on Showtime, that was easily overlooked, because it was only on for a short time. Besides only having 18 episodes, Showtime originally presented the show in a very strange way, airing all the episodes on back to back nights. This means that combined, both seasons were on the air for less than a month, and in a time before on demand had gotten popular. That is why this series was so overlooked, but thanks to Netflix, Me and thousands of others have been exposed to this hidden gem, that is worth every second that you put into to watching it.

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