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August 29, 2015

Brotherhood: Matthew 22:10 (season finale)

by Michael Canfield, posted Sep 24th 2006 11:35PM
Brotherhood(S01E11) Matthew 22:10: The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.

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?

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Does anyone know what the name of the song is in the trailer for Episode 9 (and who sings it)?.... It's lyrics start with "Watching the days go by, aint half as fun as it used to be...."

December 11 2006 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Colm's comment

It's All Right... By Bob Dylan Preformed by Mike Ness of "Social Distortion" Its a great cover and I'm glad they used it in the TV show

May 05 2011 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aaron hastings

Never turn your back on anyone when your a man like Michael.He made the show's muscle & everyone followed his reign.Him being dead in season 2 would be like Al Swearengen dying in deadwood season 2.You can't kill the shepperd and expect the sheep to flock.This show needs more gangster scenes and less cheating wife scenes.

November 13 2006 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i hope michael isn't dead, i think he made the show, he was hard core and didn't take shit from nobody, and if they are going to kill him off they need to find another way than beside getting killed by declan, after all the shit michael has done for declan of all people to kill him would be lame

October 31 2006 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul Freedman

Yeah, it's a cop-out in strictly dramatic terms if they bring him back but that's how it often goes--I personally thought Sopranos lost a lot by turning what worked brilliantly as a one season epic into a multi-season melodrama and the same could happen hereo.

On the other hand this is based, I think, loosely on the real life saga of Massachusetts State Senator William Bulger and his mobster (and he became a big-time mobster) James Bulger--if handled well there is a lot of juice in tracking the parallel rise of the two Caffee brothers in their two parallel worlds--as corrupt cops and Feds bridge the two on the law enforcement side. For me, this is one of the best television series I've seen.

October 22 2006 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great show! Season finale was typical of life, full of surprises and unforeseen turns. Call Eileen a whore if it suits you, but recognize that she is a very typical woman. Witness the success of junk tv shows like "Desperate Housewives" and "Wife Swapping". Also, note Hollywood's growing fascination with AA and other "12 step" programs. The success of Brotherhood rests upon its insightful portrayal of the human condition, our common failings and the way we deal with them. Declan sure beat the daylights out of Michael but modern medicine has saved the lives of many people with worse injuries than Michael may have suffered. A way better show than The Sopranos. Can't wait for next season.

October 13 2006 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually, the cover of the Bob Dylan song "Don't Think Twice" isn't by Social Distortion. The song is by Mike Ness (lead singer for SD) on the "Cheating at Solataire" album. It's available on iTunes.

October 12 2006 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

michael better not be dead he's the only reason i watch this show he takes being a gangster to another

October 11 2006 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bruce: You raised an excellent point about Tommy's character. I kept waiting for Tommy to say that Michael's life was in danger and that he should get out of town as quickly as possible. Never happened. In some ways, Tommy is more shady than Michael, yet everyone looks up too Tommy and looks down at Michael.

I agree that Michael will be back. The question is: will he remember who beat the crap out of him?

October 11 2006 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Del Demeri

I bought Dylan's CD Modern Times and the song that I wanted was not on it. It was played at the bar after the soft ball game and followed the boy out to Eileen's car. I would really like to know the name and artist. DD

October 10 2006 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I saw a preview of this as my friend sent me the link for the trailer and I've followed the series online (it doesn't start in the UK until Monday where I can watch it properly instead of on some awful(and expensive) stream).

Anyway, sufficed to say I was shocked at the way Michael went down. I thought he'd have been more on the ball. I don't like Eileen at all, she's too whiney and pathetic so it would be nice to see something happen to her. Tommy bugs the hell out of me; he feels he's much better than his brother and yet his worse (show me ANY honest politician!), he's a hypocrit.

No I don't think the show would work in all honesty without Michael, the title for one would a be joke - and I bet the writers are so mad that they 'killed' him without factoring the possibility of a season pick up; however, this is tv land and no one has to stay dead, thank God.

I reckon a hospital visit for a few weeks/months and then we can sit back and watch Michael's glorious revenge on an already unstable Declan. Maybe they could bring the brothers slightly more together, but I doubt it. All I can add is DO NOT KILL MICHAEL, he's the only reasonable character in it - and I will happily suspend my disbelief at his surprising survival. :O) I certainly wouldn't bother with the second season if he's is dead.

Can't wait to see it on a proper tv now.....oh and Showtime block their site to the UK as well as Canada - ridiculous isn't it?

October 07 2006 at 5:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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