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August 31, 2015

Sleeper Cell: Fitna

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 16th 2006 10:33PM

Thekla Reutan as Mina in 'Sleeper Cell.'(S02E07) Wow... I'm not even sure how to react. Absolutely shocking. If it's even possible, I don't know how tomorrow night's finale could even top that. I'm sure it will, but that's a tall order. This was by far the best hour of this entire series up to this point.

All that being said, I'm still going to nit-pick a wee bit. The more I've been thinking about the whole Mina/Gayle thing, it's doesn't make complete sense to me. Why wasn't there a greater sense of urgency when Mina first made contact with Gayle? Russell and Co. decided to take advantage of this budding relationship, but why was it never considered a breach in Darwyn's cover? Technically it was, right? Even though Farik and Karrar had no idea who Darwyn really was, Mina's approaching Gayle should have signaled something to the FBI. Like I said, in retrospect, it just seems a little off to me. Regardless, the way it ended between those two (in the middle of nowhere) was gut-wrenching to watch. Darwyn's job got Gayle killed. How could you ever forgive yourself for that? I don't think I'd be able to.

The way it ended was shocking too. Mina's task? Stuff like that is terrifying and she made it seem so easy to pull off. An entire banquet hall full of US soldiers, their spouses, and their children. And to blow them all up without even flinching? The way the episode ended, with that flash of white outlining Mina's silhouette? Sent chills down my spine.

I think my favorite part of the episode was the conversation Salim had with Jason in the hours before they went to the Hollywood Bowl. Anyone else pick up on the duality of what Salim was telling Jason? Everything Salim was talking about applied to his homosexuality, at least to Jason's ears. But he was actually talking about his choice to be a martyr and what it would mean when his family found out and so on. I actually watched the scene twice. It was just really well written and Omid Abtahi played it wonderfully.

Despite my praises of this episode, there were a few things that I found slightly anti-climactic. Farik and Ilija's reunion wasn't as big a deal as I had hoped. Did anyone else think that Farik was setting Ilija up in front of a firing squad? I got that impression at first. The FBI raid on the safehouse wasn't super thrilling either. Remember last season when they waited until the last minute and swarmed on Dodger Stadium? It was much tenser. Now I've got to wonder what's going to happen in the finale? The cell's plot has essentially been foiled. Only Mina succeeded. What's next?

Although, I suppose they could get something out of Karrar. Darwyn only shot him in the leg. He's the only survivor and they could always interrogate him and find out something. Farik's whereabouts perhaps? I don't know though. There would be no reason to go after Farik. Darwyn can assume he's alive, but without the right intel, how would the FBI know he had a hand in this new cell? I guess we'll find out.

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What are you talking about Jonatan Toomey?

Mina is a terrorist.
Do you want her to cry before she goes through with it?
Do you not understand the evil of the show?

Some people are more hardcore than others.
As a women convert she tried to be even harder in her beliefs than others.

All she had to do was press a button.
There is no flinching.
Button press = Dead

We might be sad to see a room full of soldiers die, but she's not.

I thought 2 season of this show would help people understand the sickness in the terrorist's mind.

December 18 2006 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I didn't see Farik as setting Iliya up, but did find it interesting that he suddenly seemed to be seeing the man through different eyes then he had previously. Maybe it was his having come so close to his own death, or knowing that he will soon be facing it, which I have no doubt he believes he will be doing. His sharing with Iliya the fact that he had a wife and child was a nice touch, as was the show of emotion when he told him that his daughter would be turning 12 in a week. I couldn't help but think that even as he told him he was thinking that he might not be alive to awknowledge it.

I agree that this series is stronger than the first, especially as far as the character developments are going. We're really getting a chance to see inside these cell members. You spoke of Mina and Salim, what about Benny, when he called his mother and warned her to leave the city before he went to meet his own death?

I have to speak on one disappointment though and that is that Oded Fehr and the series itself didn't pick up Golden Globe nominations along with Michael Ealy. I think they missed the boat on that one.

December 17 2006 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The finale will almost certainly focus on a larger plan that Farik has, but yeah, I'm puzzled as well as to what there is left to do, since Darwyn's entire cell is dead or in custody.

Is it a double-length finale like last year?

December 17 2006 at 4:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode, Mina's endgame was extremely shocking. Though I'm also left wondering what's left to be done in the finale. 50 minutes of aftermath? Setting something up for perhaps another season (We can only hope)?

December 17 2006 at 1:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another nitpick . . . Mina was getting out of her car at her hotel in Las Vegas. Not. It was the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. I'm sure not many people would catch that, but since I live two blocks away, I noticed it. I walk by it 2x every day with my dog.

Otherwise a sensational conclusion to a great week. The season/chapter 2 finale Sunday will almost surely be a let down unless they can top this.

December 16 2006 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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