Sleeper Cell: Reunion (season finale)
(S02E08) Well that certainly didn't disappoint. Definitely a fitting end to what I think was the best mini-series that aired this year. I think it's pretty lousy that Sleeper Cell wasn't nominated for best mini-series in this year's Golden Globes (it was last year), but at least Michael Ealy got a nod for best actor. Although I am a little torn because Andre Braugher was spectacular in Thief and I loved that show too. But I think Ealy may have the edge because this finale was just phenomenal in every sense of the word.
The title says it all. Although "reunion" sounds far too nice and a bit formal. "Showdown" would have perhaps been more appropriate. As I speculated yesterday, and mind you I hadn't been watching the episodes ahead of time, Darwyn going after Farik made the most sense to me. How he got wind of Farik's location was a bit of a stretch I thought. He just happened to hear that the CIA had some intel. It would have made far more sense if he had interrogated Karrar and gotten some info out of him.
Getting the CIA interrogator Erskine to help him out was pretty cool though. I loved when Erskine admitted that he thought Darwyn was only a legend or a ghost and that he considered Darwyn to be the best thing the FBI has done. At least someone was willing to give Darwyn some recognition because it seems like no one ever says thank you to this guy. He deserves more than just words, but it's a start.
The scene with Gayle's sister and Marcus was a real tear-jerker, but it seemed a little forced. Wouldn't it have made more sense for Gayle's mother to get custody of Marcus since she had been fighting for it anyway? Gayle's sister already had two kids with a third on the way. Realistically, even with the money Darwyn gave her, she couldn't handle a fourth child and I would assume the only reason she got custody of Marcus was so this emotional scene could take place. Had Gayle's mother gotten the boy, she wouldn't have even answered the door for Darwyn.
Once Darwyn had infiltrated Farik's camp with Samia as the bait, things escalated quickly. Farik clearly did his homework once he got out of prison and knew who Darwyn really was. However, I never expected Darwyn to stoop to Farik's level. I honestly thought he had plans to kill Farik, not Samia. But once Ilija searched Darwyn and found only a knife and a pistol (no sat phone), you knew something was up. And sure enough, under the orders of Erskine, a guided missile tracked the sat phone and took out Samia right in front of Farik's eyes. Darwyn achieved his true revenge, but how fulfilled could that really make you feel?
I thought it was very interesting that Darwyn spared Ilija when it all went down. Of course it was telling that Ilija never picked up a gun and tried to kill Darwyn either. The guy had changed and I think Darwyn realized that. Anyone who talks nostalgically about their homeland with regret and listens to cover versions of songs by A Tribe Called Quest... that's not the attitude of an extremist Muslim.
The cliffhanger ending was very well done too. Farik got away with some minor injuries but Darwyn took a shot in his left shoulder. But the ending, as he lay there in front of the boys with their plastic guns, was a bit ambiguous. Did he pass out or did he die? Hard to say, but I'm leaning towards him being alive.
There needs to be one more mini-series to wrap this up properly. It could honestly be even shorter too. Maybe just four or five hours? If Darwyn is alive, it'd be very interesting to see him tackle some homegrown terrorism. Perhaps some militant US citizens trying to exact revenge for Mina's Las Vegas attack? Ideally, what I'd like to see, are the ramifications of Darwyn being put in a situation where he has to save Farik's life. I'm not sure how that could be achieved. I just think that would be an interesting set-up. Whatever Showtime comes up with, I'm sure it will be well worth watching. Sleeper Cell doesn't deserve to be put to bed yet.