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August 30, 2015

Sleeper Cell: Home

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 15th 2006 12:16PM

Jay Ferguson as Agent Russell in 'Sleeper Cell.'

(S02E05) Sleeper Cell really doesn't quit. It's just keeps moving at you from all angles and once again, things that I never expected happened. For the most part, I think plenty of people have a good sense of predicting what's going to come next in TV and films because often we've seen the same stories and plots told over and over in different ways. Sleeper Cell is just throwing all convention out the window because I keep making guesses that make sense and nothing pans out. I love it because it's genuinely holding my attention as a result.

As I've mentioned before, Ilija's story has pulled a complete 180° and I'm finding it to be probably the most compelling part of the show. I keep thinking that he's going to somehow end up helping out Farik again, especially after the last episode when we found out the nuclear fuel rods were headed to Germany and Ilija was in Hamburg. However, Ilija has continued fleeing -- this time to his home in Sarajevo. He hasn't been home since the war and seeing his return is just really interesting. His story, at this point, is completely exclusive from what's going on in the rest of the Sleeper Cell universe. It's like a show within the show.

The whole theme of "home" was very well done I thought. From Darwyn trying to mend the fence with his father (great turn by Charles S. Dutton who also directed the episode), to Mina's encounter with the father of the children she nannies for, to Farik and his daughter, it all tied together beautifully giving us various looks at their different situations. Farik's predicament was really crazy though. His daughter drew some pictures of him horseback riding. She's an excellent artist and it looked just like him. How cold is Farik though? Knowing that there can be no record of his existence (he's dead to the world), he convinced his daughter that she was choosing her father over Allah and made her burn the artwork. This guy is despicable.

The end was quite the surprise too. I really expected the nuclear rods to be on their way. I didn't see it coming when Karrar turned out to be the "package." It shows you what Farik thinks of Darwyn though. He still doesn't know who Darwyn is but he doesn't trust him. Why else would he have put Karrar in charge of the cell?

What I'm really looking forward to is Gayle's betrayal. Once Darwyn finds out that she's feeding info to Russell? That conversation won't go well. But what happens when Karrar starts looking into Gayle where Mina left off? This is going to get messy. Fast.

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I meant 'Oded Fehr portrays an Arab'.

December 15 2006 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a Muslim I do agree with Scott said...we aren't allowed to draw faces. I always found that a bit weird since I love drawing comic books, and my father/mother told me not to do it every now and then, though never in the way Farik did. I have to say I am really impressed with the way Farik portrays an Arab...the accent is also almost spot-on.

Agreed with the viewpoint on Ilija's story. Nice reminder that we should forget all our differences and focus on what makes us similar. I seriously hope the Serb guy doesn't turn out to be a piece of shit...I hope they get along well and Ilija finds his family, it does seem as if he has 'turned a page'.

December 15 2006 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you forgot to add the beating of the boss of the islam girl...that way to use the bat was new to me.

December 15 2006 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice job on the synopsis, Jonathan.

I've already watched the entire series on VOD. It's an excellent series in every way imaginable. Great acting, great plots, etc.

ABC, NBC and CBS should take some notes on Sleeper Cell, Dexter and The Wire on what 'must see tv' could really be vs. shows that appeal to the lowest common denominator.

December 15 2006 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One comment on the recap. The graven images thing is a real part of devout Islam. That's why there are no depictions of "God's creations" anywhere in a Mosque (just geometric patterns for decoration).

Farik is indeed a cold bastard, but in that case he was at least basing a large part of his objection on the tenets of his faith.

December 15 2006 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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