oded2.JPGFull disclosure. What I’m about to do is whorish. Jewlicious recieved a lovely DVD collection of the second series of Sleeper Cell from Showtime’s PR department. Since I was a huge fan of the first, CK was kind enough to hook me up with the first six episodes on condition that I’d write something on Jewlicious. Please be advised that major spoilers for season one can be found below and a few minor spoilers for the new season. Consider yourself warned.

The new season, entitled “Sleeper Cell: American Terror”, picks up where the first season left off, just a few months after the mega-attack at Dodger Stadium was thwarted by undercover FBI agent, Darwyn Al-Sayeed (played with casualness, intensity and ease by Michael Ealy). While Agent Sayeed is enjoying life without the pressures of infiltrating a well funded and organized terrorist cell and looking forward to a safe future teaching at the FBI academy in Quantico, in true television fashion it isn’t long before he’s “pulled back in.” Why? Because, he’s the only one capable of doing the job. Which is true. He’s the Jack Bauer of Showtime. Except he’s a little less excitable than Jack Bauer. And substantially more chill. Think Bauer on downers but equally methodical. And Muslim. Yes, our hero is an observant Muslim, sickened by the behavior and thoughts of the terrorists and fundamentalists who distort Islam’s true message. Agent Al-Sayeed is on a jihad. A jihad to save Islam from those who dirty its name as well as on a mission to save American innocents from another 9/11. Darwin infiltrates a new cell, once again comprised of Muslims who don’t exactly fit your everday stereotype of an Al Qaeda cell. Last season featured a French convert married to an Algerian, a Berkley raised white boy and Bosnian explosives expert Ilija Korjenić, all led by the incredibly charismatic Faris al Farik. This season features an equally colorful batch of terrorists. We have a widowed Dutch woman, a Latino gang member who converted in prison and a London-based Iraqi who, let’s just say, is really confused about a few things.

Faris al-Farik is the Yin to Agent Al-Sayeed’s Yang. Farik is a Saudi extremist played by Israeli-born actor Oded Fehr, who you might know from The Mummy, but I know from Deuce Bigalo. Farik is an evil, evil man, but Fehr plays him with enough humanity that makes this arch-terrorist quite sympathetic at times – especially when he’s being tortured rather gruesomely. But you never like him that much – he is, after all an arch-terrorist. We ended last season with Al-Farik’s arrest by the FBI, but we now find him in CIA custody, where we learn early on, that he’s quite strong and hasn’t give up squat.

The hip hop loving Ilija Korjenić, the only other surviving member of the last cell, we learn is in hiding, but jihad is still on his mind. This season features three distinct plotlines – Darin’s undercover work, Farik’s experience in the hands of the USA and Korjenić’s life on the run – which we must assume will converge at some point.

The new season of Sleeper Cell: American Terror will premiere tonight on Showtime, with a new episode being shown every night for eight consecutive nights. You can watch the first episode by clicking here and using the password: sneakpeek.

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harry

8 Comments

  • We don’t need no stinkin’ sleeper cell to find famous ‘Merican’s who hate Jews & hate our freedoms. Don Imus is one:
    [http://mediamatters.org/items/200612080006?src=clip200612080006]
    Cheers, VJ

  • VJ – How can you be so right on and so off-topic at the same time? Anyways, I’m sure MediaMatters also post about Imus’ anti-semitic tirade against Simon and Shuster last year?

    Listen, Imus is a well-rounded asshole, an equal opportunity hater. As VJ would know by this MediaMatters post:

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200411190009

  • the only thing that spoiled the series slightly for me was the fact of living in israel 35 years and being quite aware of the fact the oded fuer is israeli and not arab. otherwise the 8 episodes in year 2 were, in my opinion, quite well done.
    judging from the end of episode 8, it seems it was left open for a sequel. does anyone know this to be the case?

  • i think it was pretty good too. and i think it is pretty cool that an arab is played by an israeli…that has to be difficult. looks like for those who cant wait for more sleeper cell…there is a sleeper cell contest going on now too.

  • my intention was that having been in israel 35 years i see oded fuer as an israeli and not an arab while other actors in the series who portrayed arabs were acutally arabs.
    for an american he may not percieve the diff but it is a moot point.

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