Despite receiving failed reviews by critics who clearly don’t know what they’re talking about, Sleeper Cell was one of those original mini series that really aimed to break through stereotypes. Not only did it attack the idea that all Muslims are terrorists, but it took a diverse look at different types of terrorists, their backgrounds, their motivations.
My only frustration was having to wait for the second part to air. Luckily, you don’t have to wait. This is one show I definitely recommend you take the time to see!
Here’s a quick review courtesy of Maxim:
When religious fanatics threaten freedom, there isn’t a better ally to have than Darwinism—which is precisely why the Feds dump undercover agent Darwyn Al-Hakim into the lap of known terrorist Faris Al-Farik. But Darwyn soon discovers that joining a sleeper cell in the U.S. doesn’t include a lot of napping. Instead, he finds himself in a race against time to decipher the terrorist objective before it’s carried out.
Showtime ambitiously scheduled the entire ten episode season to air Sundays through Wednesdays over a two-week stretch, a time table that will both satisfy dedicated viewer anticipation, while also eliminating all ability to maintain human relationships. Thanks to crafty writing, the members of the cell are more than just faceless villains, and even occasionally dredge up sympathy over disgust. The end result is a series that lays out the welcome mat for Muslims, drawing a distinction between the pious who live for their god and the extremists will kill for him.
Aside from showing a variety of Muslim profile from the extremist fuel, what really hits home in this series is the dilemma Darwyn faces by straddling the fence. His allegiance torn through a developed sympathy for both sides, we witness the quintessential problem faced by some Muslims today – those who can see past terrorist labels to reach an inner humanity while also vividly aware of the greater issue. Without giving away spoilers, season two’s ending is perhaps even more poignant when we see what happens when these individuals are faced with a changing world.