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Sleeper Cell: Torture

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 12th 2006 10:03PM

Oded Fehr (Farik) listens to episode director Vondie Curtis-Hall on the set of the Saudi prison.

(S02E03) Speechless. When the idea of television was first conceived, I don't think it was ever expected that it could feel this satisfying. Sleeper Cell is some of the best stuff out there, ranking with only a few other shows currently on and this, the thirteenth episode of the series, may well have been the best one yet. The simplicity of the episode title, "Torture," doesn't begin to describe the pains our characters went through.

Following his disobedience in the US prison, Farik has been extradited to Saudi Arabia where he's mercilessly tortured under the supervision of Bob, the creepy tea-sipping interrogator. In keeping with the fast-moving, in your face style of the show, Farik is busted out of the prison by a group of militants. It's leaked to the news outlets that he died in the prison break attempt. That's far from the truth. So now it's only a matter of time before he becomes involved with the new cell and encounters Darwyn once again. His involvement will likely stay over-seas, but the question unanswered is will Farik's vast network of contacts allow him to find out who Darwyn Al-Sayeed actually is? Remember, he was never willing to give up Darwyn's info to the interrogators. So either he truly knows nothing or he knows everything and wants Darwyn for himself.

What really held my attention this time around was Ilija's story. Up to now, it's been pointless. But upon making contact with someone from his past in Vancouver, Ilija's path is made clear and it leads to him murdering Carly. What a sad, but great, scene. Despite his contacts assertion that the powers that be may have use for Ilija in the new LA cell, seeing the news that Farik is "dead" shook him. Ilija knows that if he's captured, his fate could be the same. So I expect him to continue fleeing, but I'm looking forward to see how he deals with the guilt of killing the only woman who ever believed in him. I think he actually loved her and perhaps his guilt will lead to his breakdown? Wouldn't it be something if he turned himself in and somehow had a hand in bringing down the new cell?

Once again though, Russell's incompetence was the focal point of the show. The man just doesn't get it. Darwyn does and as a result, he's forced to keep his handler out of the loop. All comes full circle though when Darwyn makes a startling discovery: all three of the hospitals he could've chosen for their base had a radiation containment facility. Meaning? The mode of attack will be nuclear, target remains unknown. After hearing that, I think we'll be seeing a different side of Russell. Then again, maybe not. We know he's the nephew of the deputy director. So maybe his brash moves are to try and get out of that shadow? Regardless, he's a sleaze. His bringing Gayle into the game is the wrong move.

However, did he really have a choice? Mina has pegged her as having a relationship with Darwyn. So that means Gayle has to have a believable story. Mina doesn't look like someone you can spoon-feed bullsh*t to. That's only one of the minor stories though. I'm liking the potential romance set-up for Salim. He acts so hard and it seems pretty clear that he's going to end up falling for Farrah. Guaranteed, something like that will lead to him making mistakes in the future. Hell, he already has. Hassani's right hand anyone? Salim has a temper.

Overall, a fantastic episode. Tense from every angle and I loved how it officially put Darwyn in the position where he's calling the shots. It's on.

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Joe

Sarah Shahi! Wow, I remembered her from "The L Word" and Alias! Damn,
she is looking even more gorgeous than ever. Has royal blood, too,
being the granddaughter to the Shah of Iran. Beautiful,sexy, and what a smile!

December 17 2006 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
yasmin

Farah is played by Sara Shahi. She is a regular on Showtimes' "The L Word"

December 17 2006 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian

I would like to know who Farrah is as well. I can't find her name listed anywhere.

December 15 2006 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Farah Fan

Who is Farah? I am going mad for her. Your help will save my sanity, I have been looking all over the net:(

December 14 2006 at 8:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Farah Fan

Who is this Farah? She is georgeous. I have been searching and searching but no joy, please help. I want to stalk her;)

December 14 2006 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Stig

Farik is an intelligent, worthy adversary who has learned well from Sun Tzu. Fehr does a brilliant job and deserves more recognition for his work.

December 14 2006 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JD

I was a fan of Sleeper Cell the first time around so was thrilled to see it announced that there would be a second season. I must admit though that I wasn't sure how they could possibly integrate the remaining cell members into things and make it work. Well, they did it and I have been mesmerized.

Oded Fehr has done an amazing job with his portrayal of Farik and if he doesn't capture an Emmy nod for his work then something is definitely flawed with the system. As you watch Farik undergo such extreme forms of torture and still maintain the ability to play those subjecting him to it you can't help but gain a deeper understanding of just what makes him who he is. The one glimpse into a a possible crack might have been revealed during his conversation with his wife, but, unfortunately it ended before it was ever begun.

A fantastic series and I can't wait for it to come out on DVD so I can have the extras that we won't get with the Showtime airings..

December 14 2006 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Borat

Let me first say that I am a Muslim (not that religious though), so naturally I was curious about the show. It did give me the creeps and I liked the first season a lot.

I'm enjoying the 2nd season so far, though one has to wonder how 'believable' this show is. I somehow doubt that there is a white/french/hispanic/dutch person who would become a terrorist...most seem to be Arab/Pakistani/African...then again I may be wrong.

It was interesting to see Salim despise Farah at first because she was so 'westernised'. It was apparent at the end that he liked her, though I think she mispronounced 'Ronaldinho' when they were talking about football.

December 13 2006 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tool

Excellent Episode. Wow . . . this is great television and I congratulate Showtime and CBS for bringing us such real, deep and timely drama.

Makes you think about your own religious beliefs and your beliefs about so-called US superiority.

December 13 2006 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
radwimp

This episode was excellent, right on with being one of the best of the series. The actor playing Farik is amazing, I don't know how anyone could make me worry about a terrorist like he manages too. What a great character. Agree with Jeff, 24 has nothing on this show. Those torture scenes were really horrific.

I'm glad the Ilija story is finally going somewhere, it was a major annoyance for me for the first two episodes. I never much cared for Carly, but that one part was rough. I also think he really loved her.

I think I'm finally buying into these new characters as well, I really didn't think much of them at first. They seemed too green and not fit to be a major sleeper cell... especially Mina. Now they're starting to show their different skills and it's a bit more believable that they would be recruited.

I really hope the curse of Darwyn's handlers is true, I really want Russel to get it for this garbage job he's been doing so far.

December 13 2006 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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