Sunday, November 9, 2008

Brotherhood is Back for Third Season - Better than Ever

Brotherhood is back for its third season on Showtime, and if the first two episodes are any indication, this will be a faster, sharper, more powerful Brotherhood than what we saw in the first two seasons - less talk, more conflict and payoff, which could make this the best season of Brotherhood so far.

My favorite character has always been "bad" brother Michael Caffee, harrowingly and reassuringly played by Jason Isaacs, probably best as known in his performance Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. Taking nothing away from Lucius, I find Michael Caffee even more memorable. You can count on him to only be pushed so far, and, then, whatever the consequences, lash out without warning and kill the person who was doing the pushing. Last year it was that horrible hit man. This year, it's the Federal prosecutor. The killings are, as I say, harrowing yet satisfying, because they give just deserts in a world in which people usually get away with all kinds of things.

Michael was nearly beaten to death at the end of the first season, and this figured in the second and now the third season. The second season was weakened, in my view, but making Michael too much the possible basket case from the beating. But it ended with "good" brother Tommy, well played by Jason Clarke, surprisingly revealing to Michael that Tommy knew Michael was about to be attacked, but did nothing to warn him. This year, Michael's not talking to Tommy because of that - refuses to be in the same room with him - but the other reliable thing about Michael is the love he has for his family, so I'm thinking it's just a matter of time until most or all is forgiven.

Tommy has some neat political dealings in the first two episodes of Season 3. One of the real joys of Brotherhood is the backroom political wheelings and dealings we see - in one sense, like The West Wing, but much more gritty and closer to crime because it's taking place on a state and local level.

And, beginning in Season 2, Tommy wasn't the only family Michael needed to live and work with. His cousin Colin - well-played by Brian F. O'Byrne - has become Michael's right-hand man. But it's only a matter of time until Michael finds out that Colin and Kath are falling in love, and the big question about that land mine is whether Michael will view that as an attack on him or a blessing...

Declan (Ethan Embry), Freddie (Kevin Chapman), Eileen (Annabeth Gish), and Mary Rose (Fionnula Flanagan - now of Lost fame) are all back in fine form, and it was good seeing Freddie sell some cars.

The timing is perfect for a show about backroom politics, and I'm thinking this season will be the breakout for Brotherhood.

See also Checking in Brotherhood Season 2 Episode 6: The Simmering Stu and Episode 9: The Anti-Thanksgiving Gem ... Season 2 Finale

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