Thomas "Tommy" Caffee (Jason Clarke) is a successful politician, working to overcome his older brother Michael's (Jason Isaacs) reputation as a gangster, but occasionally slipping into less-than-favorable behavior himself if that's what it takes to get ahead. Eileen (Annabeth Gish) is Tommy's wife, but she is none-too-faithful as the early episodes of the season touch on last season where she was doing drugs and sleeping with another man, one who apparently died recently. Eileen's cheating ways give Tommy the excuse to cheat himself and he decides to take a mistress in Dana Chase (Janel Moloney), on the suggestion of the Speaker of the House, and his marriage to Eileen continues to decline. Meanwhile, Michael has plenty of troubles of his own. Having suffered a terrible head injury last season at the request of local crime underlord Freddie Cork (Kevin Chapman), Michael is having trouble getting back to normal. The doctors say he's fine, but sometimes he just stares off into space or puts the keys into the ignition 20 times and then just as quickly, he'll pop out of his trance. His girlfriend, Kath Perry (Tina Benko) is right there by his side supporting him the whole way, but she is worried that he won't admit he has something going on. When Kath finds out she is pregnant with Michael's child, everything is bliss until Michael snaps while painting the nursery and announces he doesn't want the baby. Kath is forced to abort the child and finds herself leaning on a newcomer to the neighborhood and show, Colin (Brian F. O'Byrne), Tommy and Mike's cousin from Dublin. He sort of shows up out of nowhere, the son of Rose Caffee's (Fionnula Flanagan) sister. We eventually come to find that his father is Judd Fitzgerald, one-time love and current compadre of Rose. He's actually pretty entertaining.
Declan Giggs (Ethan Embry), dirty cop with a conscience, finds himself in a bad way this season. His wife Cassie (Georgia Lyman) doesn't want anything to do with him since she found out the dirty dealings he's been involved in. Well, things worsen this season as he goes deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. He finds himself working with the FBI to bring down Freddie Cork and is often at odds with Mike, since Mike is under Freddie's employ. But then Mike joins the force to bring down Freddie and its no holds barred. The people flipping on each other in this series nearly had my head spinning, since it was difficult to figure out how everyone fit into the grand scheme to begin with. People will die and lives will change.
There's a lot of drama and double-dealing that goes on in this season, and from what I have gathered, in the show in general. This is also one of the more violent shows that I have seen on Showtime. Now, Dexter can get down and dirty, no doubt, but at least there's plenty of comic relief to be had. Not so with Brotherhood. The violence is brutal and plentiful and while I am not really squeamish, I had a problem with the brutality of it. Seeing men raise their hands to their wives and girlfriends, only to have the ladies turn and bash them with pots is just not how I like to be entertained, personally. In addition to the violence and strong language, there is a ton of sex in this show, so its definitely not for the younger audience.
The acting is excellent, I mean really good and the writing and all is about what I have come to expect from Showtime - really well done. However, this show just didn't grab me. I think I found the characters mostly unlikable and that has a lot to do with it. Even the matriarch of the family, Rose, was just completely selfish and rotten. I was also really disappointed that there was a real lack of special features on this set. They did include Biographies of all of the major players from the show, plus a photo gallery, but I don't see why there wasn't a making-of featurette or interviews with the cast or something more along those lines. However, that being said, they did include the first episode of Season Three of Dexter, which is awesome.
It was hard coming in on the second season, so if you decide to get into Brotherhood, do yourself a favor and see Season One before moving on to Season Two.