Netflix’s Brazilian series, “Brotherhood,” or “Irmandade” in Portuguese, depicts a world of street thugs who raise their voices against police brutality and violence inside the Colonel Roberto Tibirica penitentiary, also known as the “mousetrap,” situated in Itapeva, São Paulo. Edson Ferreira runs a faction inside the prison whose sole motive is to stand up for prisoners’ rights and fight oppression against them. However, their methods of seeking justice are incredibly violent, because of which they are labeled as a criminal organization. The prison-in-charge, Oliverio Noronha, and officer Jose Carlos Andrade, employ any means possible to curb the violent rebellion. Amidst such chaos, there is a woman named Cristina “Cris” Ferreira, Edson’s younger sister, who works as a criminal lawyer under the District Attorney in Itapeva. As the series begins, Cristina comes across Edson’s file and finds out about the criminal faction that he is running in prison and, under whose extremist ideologies, he has planned the brutal murder of a snitch who was working for Andrade to bring down the Brotherhood. As an act of redemption for her past actions, Cristina tries to help her brother, which instantly pulls her into the world of crime from which she tries to escape throughout the series.
“Brotherhood” Season 1, created by Pedro Morelli, is set during the mid-90s. In eight long episodes, the narrative majorly follows Cristina in her struggle to escape the shadows of her own older brother and protect herself and her younger brother from the world of crime. However, her blood relations and close ties with a violent criminal complicate her situation as a character, which further adds captivating conflicts to the story.
‘Brotherhood’ Season 1: Plot Summary – What Is The Series About?
Cristina “Cris” Ferreira works in the District Attorney’s office and lives a peaceful life with her younger brother, Marcel, who sells hotdogs on the street to support himself and his pregnant girlfriend. In the office, Cristina comes across Edson’s file, who was arrested in 1974 for drug possession and committed a number of crimes inside the prison, because of which he has been in jail for 20 years now. Edson is charged with yet another murder that involves the brutal murder of a prisonmate who was stabbed 10 times and then left in the prison yard. The investigating officer, Jose Carlos Andrade, informs the judge that the person murdered was helping the police in their investigation, and thus Edson and his close associate, Marcio Siqueira Rocka, aka Scavenger, planned the murder. Scavenger escaped from the prison some time ago and has been running the operations of the Brotherhood from the outside, i.e., occasional heists and other related crimes to fund the organization.
Due to past guilt, Cristina attends the trial, and Edson’s wife, Darlene, notices her shedding tears for her brother. She meets Cristina sometime later and requests that she save Edson from the hole where he is being tortured by warden Oliverio Noronha. Darlene reminded Cristina how she ratted on her brother years ago and informed her father about the drugs that Edson had been hiding inside the house. Their father, a righteous man, didn’t wait a moment and called the authorities, who threw Edson into jail. Cristina holds herself responsible for her brother’s miseries and thus tries to convince the DA to take legal action against Oliverio and help Edson in his cause. However, when her senior refuses to participate in it, Cristina forges her signature and meets with Oliverio, where she threatens him to take Edson out of the hole. Oliverio agrees to do so but smells foul play and hence hands over the legal notice that Cristina brought to him to Andrade, who arrests Cristina instantly after he finds out that she tried to forge legal documents. Andrade puts forward a condition in front of Cristina, according to which he will burn the papers and let her go if she becomes a police informant and makes contact with Edson in order to find out Scavenger’s whereabouts. Inevitably, Cristina becomes the rat, the thing Edson hates the most. Cristina gets stuck between the police and the criminals as she tries to crawl her way out. She is pushed deeper and deeper into the world of crime, from which there is no escape.
Major Spoilers Ahead
How Did Cristina Get Scavenger Arrested?
For the first time in 20 years, Cristina finally went to the prison to meet her brother, Edson, and asked him to let her work for him as an attorney for the Brotherhood. However, Edson had his doubts about the whole deal, yet his wife, Darlene, convinced Edson that Cristina wouldn’t betray them. Slowly, with the help of Darlene and Edson’s lawyer, De Paula, Cristina met Scavenger. They were planning to rob an armored vehicle. However, due to their suspicion about Cristina, Scavenger didn’t reveal any information in front of her. Cristina understood that it was impossible for her to get any information from Scavenger, and thus she went for the soft target, Darlene, who already trusted Cristina. She convinced Darlene to snitch on Scavenger after he tried to misbehave with her. On the hotline, Darlene gave Scavenger’s whereabouts to Andrade, who arrested him and sent him back to prison.
However, after Scavenger’s arrest, warden Oliverio Noronha requested the authorities to send him back to the mousetrap. Oliverio planned to fuel the rivalry between Edson and Scavenger in order to dismantle the Brotherhood and influence them to fight against each other. Scavenger blamed Darlene for his arrest, but Edson refused to accept that his beloved wife was a snitch in the gang. As the tension built-up inside the prison, Scavenger formed a new gang called the Cult, while Darlene planned a prison breakout so that she could get Edson and other gang members before they got caught in a gang war.
Why Did Darlene’s Plan Fail?
After Scavenger’s arrest, Cristina and Darlene took care of the armored car robbery and saved a lot of money that they used to hire men to dig up a tunnel in the basement of the house that led to the Colonel Roberto Tibirica penitentiary, aka the mousetrap. However, after the heist, the police had been keeping an eye on Darlene, and hence she went underground while handing over the responsibility of the tunnel to Cristina. Everything was going perfectly until the diggers met a dead end as they found a concrete wall in between them and the prison. Cristina and Darlene planned to blow up the wall with the help of Ivan. However, the explosives would have made a lot of noise, and hence they decided to execute their plan during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. They believed that if Brazil won the final, then there would be a celebration all around them, and they would be able to hide the sound of the explosion amidst the noise of firecrackers burning all over the city. Everything was planned perfectly until Marcel was arrested.
A member of the Brotherhood betrayed the gang and pointed a gun at Cristina. He threatened Cristina to give him all the heist money, and he was about to shoot her when Marcel intervened and killed the person blackmailing her sister. Cristina and Marcel tried to dispose of the body, but Marcel accidentally dropped his business cards near the scene, which brought police officers to his doorstep. To save her brother, Cristina contacted the devil, Andrade, and informed him about the prison break in exchange for Marcel’s release. However, Andrade decided to play nasty, and thus, during the bust, he opened fire on the gang members and hunted them down like animals. All the gang members who broke out of the prison were shot, but fortunately, Edson and Ivan survived. Later, they were sent back to the mousetrap.
The media applauded Andrade’s heroic efforts, and he got back the recognition that was tainted after the armored car robbery. After the success of his mission, Andrade let go of Cristina and Marcel, but Cristina was emotionally tormented as she blamed herself for the death of Edson’s best friend, Viola, and many others who were mercilessly shot by the police for no apparent reason. Andrade had promised Cristina not to harm any of the prisoners, and it was a part of the deal, but Andrade betrayed her; hence, she decided to take revenge on him.
‘Brotherhood’ Season 1: Ending, Explained: Is Andrade Dead? What Happened At The Mousetrap? What to Expect From Season 2?
Cristina and Darlene kidnapped a news reporter named Lidia Neves and brought her to the hideout, where they threatened her to read a letter in front of the camera that would inform the authorities about police brutality and violence and the injustice caused to the prisoners at the mousetrap. Darlene sent the videotape to the news channel and blackmailed them into playing it if they wanted to see Lidia alive. However, Andrade intervened and tried to find Lidia himself. He was keeping an eye on Darlene, and hence, she requested Cristina to lead the operation and send Lidia’s severed finger to the news channel to make them realize the seriousness of the situation. Cristina was hesitant about committing such a crime, but when Andrade busted their hideout and shot Viola’s son, Jonathan, Cristina, out of anger, did what she never expected from herself. After the finger was sent to the channel, the footage was immediately telecasted on the news channel and brought enough attention to Brotherhood and its cause.
Oliverio Noronha tried to curb the rebellion and stop Edson from gaining power, and thus brought him back to the mousetrap as soon as he gained consciousness in the hospital. In the meantime, Oliverio persuaded Scavenger to stab Edson in the infirmary so that he could rule the prison yard in Edson’s absence. The Scavenger quickly approached Ivan, who had access to the infirmary, and convinced him to stab Edson in exchange for his freedom. Ivan agreed. However, inside the infirmary, he had a change of heart, and instead of killing Edson, he assisted him in taking an officer hostage, which helped Edson to take over the entire prison. In a one-to-one battle, Edson killed Scavenger in the prison yard and later captured the prison. Oliverio had his SWAT team ready to contain the situation. However, due to the release of news footage, he couldn’t go around slaughtering prisoners anymore. Hence, Edson had the upper hand this time, and he used the opportunity to bring in the secretary of public safety at the mousetrap for further negotiations. As soon as the secretary arrived at the scene, Edson demanded the immediate resignation of Oliverio Noronha in front of the media. To save the hostages, the secretary agreed to Edson’s demands, and the entire Brotherhood celebrated their victory.
Meanwhile, Darlene found out that Marcel had been arrested by the police and was released a day before the slaughter of the members of the Brotherhood gang. She believed that Marcel was the snitch but later found out that it was Cristina who had been leaking the information to the police, especially Andrade. When Darlene confronted Cristina, she confessed to being a snitch. However, to save her life, she promised to help Darlene take revenge on Andrade and also recover a voice recording through which he was trying to blackmail her.
Cristina called Andrade and arranged a meeting at his private office, called the Gallery. Darlene, her thug, and Cristina reached the office early and burned down all the papers while they waited for Andrade’s arrival. However, while Cristina and her thug were busy disposing of the evidence, Cristina saw the voice recorder and took the cassette from it, and as Andrade arrived outside the office, she hinted to him about the impending danger. Andrade killed the thug in a gunfight while Darlene tried to shoot him. Cristina used the opportunity to escape. However, before she could leave the building, she heard a voice, and when she returned, she saw Andrade trying to suffocate Darlene. Cristina waited for Andrade to kill Darlene, and as soon as he finished the job, she pointed a gun at Andrade and shot him in the head in her attempt to cut all her ties with the world of crime. She wanted to leave everything behind and get back to her peaceful life again, but the closing shot of “Brotherhood” Season 1 depicted that Darlene was still alive.
At this point, Andrade might be dead, but Darlene already knew how Cristina snitched upon the gang, and because of her, the Brotherhood lost some of the important members. She might reveal this information to Edson in “Brotherhood” Season 2. However, Cristina still possesses the voice recording of Darlene that established the fact that she was the one who got Scavenger arrested. Hence, in Edson’s court of law, both his sister and his wife are the snitches, and probably without involving Edson, the two would crack a deal to stay out of each other’s lives. If not, then Season 2 will bring further twists and turns to add to the drama.
Inside the prison, Edson and his gang might have achieved the resignation of Oliverio Noronha, but it is no guarantee that the next warden is going to be less cruel. If the government wishes, they will impose heavy regulations on the prisoners inside the mousetrap so that they might not plan another rebellion like this again. Another thing is, after the Scavenger’s death, the Brotherhood has no connection left with the outside world, and hence their financial funding is hampered. Sooner or later, Edson might feel the need to escape the prison, but will he be able to? Season 2 will follow the story further.
‘Brotherhood’ (or Irmandade) is a 2019 Crime Thriller series created by Pedro Morelli.