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July 25, 2014

Sleeper Cell

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.

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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.

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Sleeper Cell: School

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 16th 2006 11:29AM

Michael Ealy as Darwyn and Said Taghmaoui as Karrar in 'Sleeper Cell.'

(S02E06) One of the things I love about this show is how they pick simple one word titles (the first season did it too) and the given episode stays committed to portraying that title (a theme really) from everyone's perspective. It's a very cool storytelling technique, the way they expand upon everyone but manage to keep it cohesive. Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, and everyone else who has a hand in writing and producing this show deserves a real pat on the back. They've created quite the epic. Entertaining because, well, it is. And scary because... it's real.

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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.

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Sleeper Cell: Faith

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 13th 2006 10:08PM

Kevin Alejandro as Benny in 'Sleeper Cell.'(S02E04) This is turning out to be quite the mini-series. Plenty of twists and turns that I did not see coming, especially after the way last night's episode turned out. Sleeper Cell has been edgy since the beginning, but it would appear that nothing is off limits now.

The biggest development was Salim's story. I honestly did not expect him to turn out gay. I really thought his story was headed in a direction with Farrah and that their romance would lead to issues later on. I like the twist -- the scene in the gym completely caught be off guard. What I didn't like was how the revelation manifested itself. The entire story of Salim's disgust with the Muslim televangelist was a bit over the top. Not to mention the fact that it felt exactly like the story from last season when Christian killed that visiting scholar. It was the exact same progression. The only difference was that Darwyn was able to stop it this time around. From here on out it would appear that Salim won't be a problem anymore because Darwyn can hold that knowledge of Salim's preferences over his head. Unless Salim tries to revolt and take out Darwyn for good?

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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.

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Sleeper Cell: Salesman

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 11th 2006 10:06PM

Omid Abtahi as Salim in 'Sleeper Cell.'(S02E02) This episode perfectly displays what I think most people had problems with during the first season. Sleeper Cell is still spectacular but it can be very uneven at times. I think this is partially the reason that Showtime doesn't air it on a weekly basis because I don't think it would hold the attention of picky television viewers. It's much easier to stay with a show like this when you know it will be completely done in a week's time. Again though, that doesn't mean it's not good. It's beyond good.

Taking the cue from season one episodes, "Scholar" and "Immigrant," this episode basically dealt with one person and what he could offer to the cell (surface-to-air missiles). In question was Hassani, a washed up Pakistani arms dealer who now barely got by in the US by driving a cab and running a tiny halal delicatessen. It was the circumstances surrounding Hassani that made it worth watching.

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Sleeper Cell: Al-Baqara (season premiere)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 10th 2006 10:02PM

Oded Fehr stars as Farik in 'Sleeper Cell.'

(S02E01) Sleeper Cell is an incredibly impressive show. The first mini-series which aired a year ago was publicized quietly and didn't garner the attention it deserved until well after it had aired. Hopefully people are listening to the buzz this time around because Sleeper Cell is the closest thing Showtime has to HBO's The Wire. Yeah... it's that good. Visually impressive, rich in dialogue, a host of characters to love and despise. The list goes on. Not to mention the fact that it's topically relevant and due to it's place on a premium cable station, it can address the issues directly -- often to an uncomfortable extent. Something that a similarly themed broadcast network clock-ticking drama unfortunately can't compare to. Trust me. You owe it to yourself to be watching Sleeper Cell.

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Sleeper Cell returns in December

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Nov 16th 2006 8:08PM

Michael Ealy and Oded Fehr star in Sleeper Cell.Quick! Everyone stock up on duct-tape, plastic wrap, and whatever else we were told to buy! OK, I jest... you don't really need to buy all that stuff. But Showtime's outstanding mini-series Sleeper Cell is back, so you should at least make sure you own a comfortable couch or recliner because we've all got eight great nights of TV ahead of us. As I reported back in June, Showtime picked up the show for a second series but no dates were set at the time. Now we have them. Series two will have eight episodes (the first series had ten) and the premiere will be on Sunday, December 10 at 9PM on Showtime. But don't forget that Showtime bills this show as a mini-series. So the remaining seven episodes will air one at a time on the next seven nights in that same 9PM time-slot. For the die-hard fans like myself, the entire series will be available On-Demand after the premiere airs. Michael Ealy, Oded Fehr, Henri Lubatti, and Melissa Sagemiller are all back to reprise their roles. In the meantime, you can check out a special preview here. So get excited... I am. And I'm serious about that couch thing.

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Sleeper Cell wakes up for second season

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 5th 2006 7:36PM

Sleeper CellGet it? Sleeper Cell "wakes up?" That's a pun... fine, make fun of me later.

Showtime has ordered up a second season of it's acclaimed mini-series Sleeper Cell. Here's a question though. Why did they call it a mini-series? Wasn't it ten episodes long? Shouldn't that make it just a season? Last I checked, ten episodes wasn't very "mini." Anywho, the second go around will have eight episodes, and according to the press release both stars Michael Ealy and Oded Fehr will be back. Last year's two-hour finale will set the stage for the coming events. Production is set to start later this summer.

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Weeds and Sleeper Cell now available on iTunes

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 7th 2006 8:32PM

WeedsShowtime and Apple announced today that the critically acclaimed shows Weeds and Sleeper Cell will now be available for purchase on iTunes. Showtime becomes the first premium cable network to join the family of downloadable programs from the online service. It seems odd that a subscription cable network would go ahead with this, but you never know. This could help to drum up a lot of buzz for the second season of Weeds, but the first was so good that I think there may already be enough.

I missed out on Sleeper Cell but based on the reviews written by TV Squad's own Keith and Ryan, it sounds fantastic.

Kirstie Alley's Fat Actress was also added but this isn't too big a deal since a few episodes were available to watch on Yahoo! a few months ago. I would imagine if Showtime likes the results we'll see The L Word, Barber Shop, and Huff being added to iTunes as well.

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Sleeper Cell: Money

by Ryan j Budke, posted Dec 18th 2005 8:06PM
sleeper"Jihad is cost-effective, not free." Farik mentions this fact more than once on this episode, and it's both horrifying and poignant. There are a lot of sympathizers to the extremist Muslim cause, but not everyone will work for free. The terrorist cell that Farik is in charge of has to make money some way; they've chosen drug trafficking. As Darwyn points out, why not use the infidels' own vices against them. In this episode they do, and it's probably a terrifying reality. On with the show!

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Sleeper Cell: Target

by Ryan j Budke, posted Dec 17th 2005 8:05PM
sleeperShowtime is taking an interesting approach with Sleeper Cell; it premiered at the beginning of last week, and its two hour finale is this Sunday. I'm sure it will be available for a while on the various InDemand services, so if you haven't been keeping up with its hectic schedule, do yourself a favor and catch up. It kind of snuck up on us here at TV Squad, so Keith and I are going to be tag-teaming the reviews to get you up to date. I'm hooked on this show, and while I've never watched The Wire on HBO, I bet it had a similar feel: always on edge and very high tension. Any show that keeps me on the edge of my seat every episode, is definitely worth my time. On with the show!

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Sleeper Cell: Al-Faitha

by Keith McDuffee, posted Dec 15th 2005 11:58PM
sleeper cellThere've been quite a few requests for us to cover this show, and honestly, it hadn't really been on my radar until its recent nomination for an AFI award earlier this week. So I set my Tivo to go wild and record whatever it could, and sure enough, I have a nice cache of episodes, ready to becaught up on.

First up, of course, was the pilot episode. So, is this show worth the hype? Hell yes.

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