Brotherhood: Matthew 22:10 (season finale)
A big Irish wedding, and Freddie Cork finally makes a move, ordering a hit on pain-in-the-ass Michael (Jason Isaacs), after going back and forth every other week over whether they are friends or enemies. The first surprise is Pete, who appears at the wedding all cleaned up -- this, after the last time we saw him, snorting coke outside an AA meeting with Eileen Caffee (Annabeth Gish). Judging from the selection played at the wedding, music stopped developing around 1983. (Spoiler -- a big one -- after the jump.)
The entire cast attendeds the wedding. Though most, like Declan, are "on the job" in one sense or another. Ellis Franklin of the US Attorney's office seems to be playing both sides to nail Tommy. On the one hand he's got informant Marty Trio wired up to get the dirt on Tommy (Jason Clarke), and he's also tapped by kingmaker Judd to try and help convince Tommy to give a deposition against brother Mike and also Freddie Cork -- just to "short-circuit any smear campaign that might surface" when Tommy seeks higher office, as he surely plans to. Judd offers the world to Tommy. And all Tommy has to do is choose between loyalty to his criminal brother and basically every other thing he wants out of life. Declan's really become a much more interesting character late in the series. The high esteem in which his wife holds him is on the line here, and watch out for Declan when he loses that! This is very much Declan's episode, as we'll see soon.
Once Tommy begins to put it all together, and warns Freddie not to harm Michael, Freddie tells Tommy exactly what his brother really is: a plague on the neighborhood. Any threat made by Tommy is laughed off by Freddie, who has enough dirt on Tommy to ruin his career. Here at last, Freddie has called it. Michael really is a plague on the community. Tommy is capable of seeing this but has been incapable of acting against his family to this point. Michael and Tommy have a good scene, basically parting ways. Michael has said he would never hurt Tommy, and now Tommy asks him to do the one thing he doesn't want to -- leave again, and this time never come back. That, or Tommy must throw Michael "to the wolves." Michael tells him to do it. Simple as that.
Cut to surprise ending. Brotherhood has been renewed for a second season, which makes me wonder if what appears to have happened actually happened. The whole thing felt really sudden and abrupt. Is that it? Guy comes to town, stirs up everyone, gets bludgeoned in a fit of temper, the end? Hm, maybe Michael's not dead, which would be pretty cheap, if so. The sort of thing that happens in movies and on TV all the time, but I'd like to believe this premium-cable series is aspiring to a higher level than that. Or maybe he is dead, and the ten-episode second season will be about the neighborhood and the family dealing with the aftermath of his dead. To me it looks like his eyes are as he's laying there on the cold ground.
In the last shot Eileen, after some weeks of painful self-examination, turns to her husband Tommy. "We need to talk," she tells him. Boom, cut to credits, life goes on ...
How do you -- the few, the proud, the Brotherhood audience, feel about the series, and especially the way it ended (or didn't) for Michael Caffee?