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September 17, 2014

Sleeper Cell: Reunion (season finale)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 17th 2006 10:07PM

Oded Fehr as Farik and Michael Ealy as Darwyn in 'Sleeper Cell.'

(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.

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Steve Gaudette

just wanted to stop by and say that it wasn't Gayles mother that was fighting for custody of Marcus, it was her husbands mother.

December 02 2011 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stephanie

Unfortunately, it has been confirmed by the show's creators that Showtime has chosen NOT TO OK A THIRD SERIES/SEASON. The link is below, the creator's are working on a new venture at this time.

Showtime really needs to get it together! First they cancel Dead Like Me, which was fantastic, but waste their time on shows like Weeds. Unbelievable!

This was a fantastic series, and Showtime has really dropped the ball on this one.

http://www.watcherswatch.com/cgi-bin/watch.pl?watch=209071

March 16 2007 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john gula iii

HANDS DOWN, THE BEST MINI SERIES ON THIS SUBJECT. I THINK IT PUTS "24" TO SHAME.

February 08 2007 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debbie

moose9t9 you have the best idea that Ilija will go undercover. How can we find out when Showtime starts making the 3rd season and what's going on with it?

January 21 2007 at 12:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bryan

Sleeper Cells Myspace blog tells us whats next for season 3:

IN THE NEXT 8 HOURS...

Darwyn, Ilija and Farik find themselves on different journeys that take them through the inner-cities of North America to the grand mosques of Bosnia to the Bedouin villages of the Arabian Peninsula. Driven by his religion and sense of duty, Darwyn is determined to break Farik's deadly network once and for all.

January 03 2007 at 2:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Claude

Wow! What a great show. This season was even better than the last. It's right up there with The Wire, which I think is one of the best shows on TV ever. It's nice to have show that doesn't require you to check your brains (or values) at the door. It's going to be harder to get the next season of 24 after this, though I'm sure I will - mindless entertainment has its place too :)

I think there was plenty of depth in Salim's character. So much was packed into every scene. Of course, being gay myself, I'm sure I saw things that others may have missed. I thought the timing was perfect with the Ted Haggart thing happening in real life. It's not only Islam which creates self-loathing gay people. The scene where he asked Jason to go to the Hollywood Bowl with him was heartbreaking. Just as I was beginning to like him. It reminds me of The Sopranos, just when you were beginning to sympathize with the gay character they have him kill an innocent person to remind you that this is still a bad person.

People often talk about straight actors being brave taking on gay roles, but these days, for the most part, that is no longer true. However, in the case of Omid Abtahi (Salim), being of Iranian descent, it really was an act of courage to take this role. And he really is incredibly hot too!

December 31 2006 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Darius

this is a great show i watched season 1 and 2 for my whole christmas break from work and needless to say my wife is pissed! but she missed out.I agree with a lot that was said, the finale was excellent, season 1 was better, but this season was great tv as well. I enjoyed all of it. I'm sure there is a season 3 because its supposedly starting at the end of january, so Ill definetely be getting that torrent. We'll see where they take it. For sure Darwyn wont be a UC (my own belief) I think he'll make appearances though. after all who wants to end Saad more than Darwyn?!

December 30 2006 at 11:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Spice911

Just finished watching Reunion and I am not sure what to believe.
The SUPER-Farik who survives any action, then Darwyn shoots guys getting away and hitting most of them while always missing Farik? Did he just forget how to aim?
Then this idiotic Ilja "I left my wallet..." shit, the guy is not a rapper and certainly not 3r seasons US material. Get real guys, even Darwyn is not that good an actor. Always asking these "nosy" questions. When do we strike, where do we strike... and btw, all characters in Season 2 from the cell members we idiotic. The mexican buddy, what a loser! The moment the strike is going down he starts to worry about his family members thinking he could escape with a SA 18. Then, who is this mysterious homeless buddy, the one that Farik obeyed and took commands from in Season 1, he just gave Darwyn this URL card and never showed up again. Was Darwyn not thinking that this guy was pulling some major strings?
Mina is such a stupid character. A dutch whore in Iraq, seeking revenge for her husband? The CIA agent never followed the target and Gayle into the toilet? I don't know folks, but this whole season kept me on the chair for a week but they would have certainly lost me over time. I think they purposefully screened everything in a week just to get it over with.
What makes me wonder is one thing: do all the shows get watched by wholy warriors who use the portrayed targets and strategies etc. and include it in their own real plans?

December 29 2006 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stephanie

If anyone is still reading this, I have some comments and questions. I just finished watching the series (Christmas break), and here's where I'm confused: If Farik was calling the shots (no pun intended) from Yemen as in Gayle's death, etc., then how is the viewer supposed to believe that he didn't inform others that Darwyn was a "traitor?" What am I missing here? There was that communication where Farik conveys the message to one of the "soldiers" to take Darwyn out. Then why wasn't he taken out? Did I walk out of the room and miss something here? If Farik knew he was FBI was was the LA attack to continue with his involvement?
Also: I am still upset about Gayle's death. I think we expect the good characters to get save in the end, and altho that is silly and shallow, I still want it that way!!!
However, I didn't find the relationship between Darwyn and Gayle that believable this season. (Maybe that's because I wanted Darwyn for myself); but seriously....in the first go round I felt the sparks flying between D and G and I think it would have been much more devastating if she had been killed last season. This season, all we saw was her kind of whining about how busy Darwyn was, and I just wasn't convinced that this was love anymore. I must say, I had a very strong feeling that Gayle was being sacrificed in the name of plot twists, turns, and intensity.
I also thought that something BIG was coming between Farik and Ilija----like Farik executing Ilija, or Ilija teaming up with Darwyn at the end. The camera lingered a bit too long on bits of the "happy reunion" between F. and I., leading me to believe that some surprising twist was being foreshadowed.
Why did Farik run away at the end? He wasn't exactly losing this fight. I think it would have been more logical if he had stayed and finished Darwyn off. I think he jumped into the jeep (van, whatever it was) so that there could be another season.
Darwyn: you can protect me anytime!

December 28 2006 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alli

I had never heard of the series, but since the entire first season was available for free on my cable's on-demand, I thought I'd give it a try. I LOVED THE FIRST SEASON!!! I ended up ordering Showtime last weekend for the sole purpose of watching Season 2 of Sleeper Cell. I just finished "Reunion" last night. Overall, I think the first season was more credible than the first. But Season 2 still had a lot of disturbing, thought provoking, and exciting moments. It might sound cruel, but I'm glad Gayle died. I thought her character was a SERIOUS distraction this season.

I really hope they do a third season soon. If they do, I don't think Darwin (if he survived) can play a major role. Maybe he can be a handler for another UC or go rogue. If Showtime does a third season, I really hope they don't just plug in a new UC out of the blue because it's highly unlikely that any cell will accept a stranger, especially after Farik was burned by Darwin.

There should be more shows like this. Gritty and fun, but still realistic.

December 21 2006 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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