Brotherhood: The Second Season

Brotherhood: The Second Season
Described by many as Showtime’s response to HBO’s The Sopranos, Brotherhood is a far less ostentatious and much more reflective and humanized version that suffers only from being less accessible to an audience accustomed to instant gratification and crystal clear exposition. Overriding themes of brotherly competition, in addition to the inherent corruption that exists within all positions of authority, be it politics, policing or organized crime, are explored through the varying degrees of putrefaction and honour that exist within their surprisingly similar moral codes. While deeply complex and impressively written, the often-abhorrent traits of each character make it difficult and occasionally trying to embrace the world that’s on screen. Their tendency to manipulate, use and exploit others regardless of repercussions is entirely sincere, and is truthfully a large part of what makes the show so effective, but may distance viewers with more tender sensibilities. Season two starts out by examining the after-effects that the failed hit on Michael Caffee (Jason Isaacs) had on those who planned it and those in his life. Since Michael’s head injury has led to his forgetting many of the events leading up to the violent act, his brother Tommy (Jason Clarke), a politician who was aware of the hit, reverts to acting as though he has no knowledge of the conspiracy. Meanwhile, Tommy’s marriage struggles following the revelation that his wife Eileen (Annabeth Gish) has been screwing many of her friends’ husbands and doing recreational drugs. Their relationship is tested further when Tommy’s cousin Colin (Brian F. O’Byrne) shows up from Ireland looking for a place to stay. Colin’s arrival is particularly troubling to the Caffee matriarch Rose (Fionnula Flanagan) for reasons that reveal themselves as the second season progresses. These are just a few of the many plotlines that the impressive second season of Brotherhood follows. Thankfully, no deterioration in quality is evident as the show progresses. The second season DVD release has no special features aside from some biographies, a photo gallery and the season three premiere episode of Dexter. (Paramount)