Sleeper Cell takes viewers behind the veil of an U.S. home-grown terrorist group, tracking the harrowing challenges faced by a FBI agent determined to learn its secrets. Having posed as a prisoner inside a federal penitent... more »iary, a young agent (Michael Ealy) develops contacts that enable him to infiltrate an Islamic terrorist cell in Los Angeles. The cell is led by an intimidating, charismatic extremist (Oded Fehr), who considers all acts of violence moral when serving the greater good of his cause. But early in the investigation something goes wrong, placing lives ? and the integrity of a three-year mission ? in serious jeopardy.« less
Marianna S. (Angeloudi) from HOLIDAY, FL Reviewed on 8/31/2008...
I did not expect to like this mini-series that appeared on Showtime, but it was fascinating and extremely interesting. Radical Muslims are among us, where we least expect them. A very exciting series- 10 one hour episodes on 3 DVDs.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
"Brother, what is the greatest jihad?"
Luan Gaines | Dana Point, CA USA | 12/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the shell-shocked aftermath of 9/11, Americans sought information about a culture and religion ensconced in an ongoing political dialog of the Middle East that received only sporadic attention in the media. Suddenly, people were asking, why do they hate us? A few years have passed, the war on terrorism settled into a predictable good guys-bad guys debate that yields few answers to a troubling question. Along comes Sleeper Cell to inform the public, a fictitious fanatical terrorist group infiltrating Los Angeles with plans to claim more lives for the Al Qaeda cause. Through the offices of an FBI undercover agent, Darwyn (Michael Ealy), the government monitors his activity within the rapidly evolving plot, the day of destruction more imminent in each new episode. The king of the villains is Farik (Israeli-born Oded Fehr), charged with the overall success of the mission. The other group members are Christian (Alex Nesic), a Frenchman who has found Allah; a bitter Bosnian teacher, Ilija (Peter Lubatti); and blue-eyed all-American boy turned Muslim, Thomas Allen Emerson (Blake Shields): "The history of Islam is written in two lines: One is the black of the scholars' ink, the other the red blood that the martyrs shed."
This series would be successful as non-stop action drama worthy of the accolades of the "24" aficionados, but the writers of Sleeper Cell add another level to this white-knuckle series, the subtleties of extremism contrasted with the true religion of Islam. Darwyn is a committed Muslim, sorely tested in his role as informant, ever on the lookout for an opportunity to spread the true word of Islam as millions practice it in America, without the taint of fundamentalism. Whenever one of his "brothers" blurts a fanatical slogan, Darwyn is ready to clarify in the true words of the Quran. Farik, on the other hand, is firmly entrenched in his hatred of everything American, harboring no mercy for innocents in his pursuit of revenge. Speaking of his mission to a superior, Farik declares, "A man is not a Muslim until his tongue and his heart are submissive. If I fail again, you may take them both."
In one of the most affecting episodes, a soft-spoken sheik approaches a dedicated terrorist in a Yemen jail, armed only with his knowledge of the Quran. The questioning begins, "Brother, what is the greatest jihad?" When he hears the answer, "War with the infidels", this holy man explains the true nature of jihad, the battle within the self to become Allah's holy warrior. He teaches the extremist to go beyond the hatreds he has embraced, to discover the true meaning of his religion, to live his convictions. That such a terrorist can change is a tribute to the power of this religion. When the holy man travels to America to deliver a fatwa against any Al Qaeda operating in this country, Farik is charged with stopping him by any means; this fatwa would render a death blow to the entire endeavor. With his usual canniness, Farik chooses Christian to do the deed, the one man who had sought a private meeting after hearing the sheik speak at the mosque.
In this riveting series, the terrorists move through the streets of LA with impunity, across the border to Mexico to tap financial resources from drug dealers and child purveyors, drive anthrax across the Canadian border into the States, and purchase explosives from White separatists with heroin. Meanwhile, the LAPD blunders into the middle of the FBI surveillance and Darwyn struggles to maintain his cover, until all converges in an explosive ending. Luan Gaines/ 2005."
One of Showtime's Finest Shows
Mr. Bey | Riverside, CT United States | 01/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this show so much because it was so much different than any other show on TV these days. Sleeper Cell dealt with the very sensitive matter of terrorists and I think they handled it very well. Not only that but I walked away from this show knowing a lot more about Muslims than I did when I started watching it. It was also very interesting that Tommy who is white was a Muslim and it was very interesting to see how it played out over the course of the show.
The show follows Darwyn who is an undercover FBI agent who tries to get recruited into the Sleeper Cell, a terrorist organization run by Farik. Darwyn is recruited to help Farik and fellow Muslims Khashul, Tommy, and Iilija as they plan to set of a bomb in LA. Through the ten hour show Darwyn must perform gain Farik's trust by ways that aren't legal and raise the eyebrows of the FBI. He also is in a relationship with Gayle who slowly starts to uncover what Darwyn is doing when he is not around her. The show is similar to Over There in being about a current conflict in the U.S. but it deals with the terrorists and a lot of it focuses on Islam. The authentic Arabic dialogue adds to the glory of this show and I think the acting was excellent.
My only problem with Sleeper Cell is that it was only nine episodes. The finale left me craving for more and I'm glad this DVD is priced so well, so I can relive the adventure as many times as I want. I hope that they include the Sleeper Cell: Know Your Enemy documentary with it and the additional special features look good. This was a great mini-series and I highly recommend it. "
The most RIVETING & intelligent show on TV today
P. Virji | 02/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SLEEPER CELL is set in present day, post 9/11 America and capitalizes on the country's fear and paranoia about terrorist organizations. Michael Ealy stars as Darwyn Al-Sayeed, a muslim F.B.I. agent who has managed to infiltrate an Islamic terrorist cell in Los Angeles, led by Farik Al-Faris (Oded Fehr). Darwyn tries all along to uncover the groups plans of attack, trying to diffuse them or put a stop to them as best as he can with the help of his F.B.I. partner Ray (James LeGros).
SLEEPER CELL is a brave and intelligent show that delves into the grey areas and doesn't just look at the world in black and white, or good and bad. The show explores the reasons why the "terrorists" choose the path of Jihad, and also goes deeper into the lives of all of the characters to give us a better understanding of each one's personality. It also explains and teaches us about the rift that is within Islam, between those that wish for peace and say the Quran's true teaching is peace and love and those who wish to fight Jihad in the violent way.
This show manages to get a lot of points across and is handled with such sensitivity and compassion, I wish there would be more such shows on TV.
The cast is excellent, they all have a really good chemistry that makes you forget they are acting, which I think is the mark of a good production. Oded Fehr is just a tremendous actor, since The Mummy when he took on the small part of Ardeth Bay and created an unforgetable character. Michael Ealy slips seamlessly in this role, I cannot of anyone else who could have played Darwyn better, and Alex Nesic and Henri Lubatti make for great supporting characters.
The soundtrack is hauntingly good as well!
Its great to watch good intelligent TV, Sleeper Cell is such a breath of fresh air amongst all the other mind-numbing TV shows. Plus, it is such a riveting show that you keep on thinking about it, long after you've watched it. I'd give it 50 stars if I could.
A Great Mini Series!
S. Ninburg | Orange, Ca. United States | 01/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved each and every episode I saw on Showtime. I thought it was going to be the next best series of all time, and was so dissapointed that it was a mini series. I want to see further episodes if any are in the making and will be chomping at the bit till hopefully they can turn some more out."
Israa G. | Saudi Arabia | 06/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"People are comparing this show with 24. I love 24 and I just get hooked and would watch a whole season over a weekend... but 24 is all about the action. Unlike Sleeper Cell which I really feel proud that it has been created and showed. As a Muslim, I thought I would be offended by the content of this show... but I was surprised to feel the extreme opposite and I am actually talking my non-Muslim friends into watching it... just to get a clearer picture of what true Islam is about and to erase the idea which most people have that Islam = Terrorism. People should now learn not to Generalize and that there is the bad and the good in every religion and nation.
I'd like to add that I was also surprised that the character Farik was played by an Israeli. I was really impressed!
I thank the writers of this show for being accurate conveying the message.