Tommy Caffee is a rising star in Rhode Island politics and the prince of his home ward, a working class Irish district known as the Hill. Local gangster Patty Mullin’s murder opens the door to the return of Tommy’s brother Michael, whom Patty had sworn to kill. As Michael starts reclaiming his lost criminal enterprises, Irish mob boss Freddie Cork threatens to whack Michael unless Tommy throws state contracts Freddie’s way. Meanwhile, Michael gets into a beef with Moe Riley, one of Freddie Cork’s underlings, who is currently in control of Michael’s old turf. Eileen Caffee, Tommy’s wife, has secrets of her own: she’s meeting an old boyfriend, now a postman, at a local motel, where they smoke dope and have sex. In the end, Michael achieves a tenuous treaty with Freddie.
Tommy's frustration with his new role as Speaker Donatello's errand boy leads him to consider a risky career change. With Michael still refusing to speak to Tommy, Colin arranges for both brothers to attend Rose's birthday party. Rose tries to hide her deteriorating health. Eileen struggles to meet the demands of her growing family while becoming more invested in her job at Social Services. Michael's relationship with Attorney General Franklin starts to unravel when Michael hears that Freddie Cork is getting bail. To avoid serious outside scrutiny, Tommy asks Declan to run a special investigation into corruption in the state house. Declan accepts, looking for real justice.
As Tommy begins his reelection campaign, he turns to his sister, Mary-Kate, rather than Eileen for support; Colin Carr (Brian F. O'Byrne), Tommy and Michael's estranged Irish cousin whom Rose deeply distrusts, returns to Providence.
Rose sows unrest between her sons, which leads Michael to throw a wrench into Tommy's big real estate deal; Freddie asks Declan to use his police badge to negotiate with the competition; Tommy and Dana see more of each other.
With the ailing condition of Speaker Donatello, Tommy is next in line for his chair, and Freddie works on getting on Tommy's good side. The Italian mob, the state police, and federal agents are all on the hunt for Michael while he is on his own personal mission to track down Colin.
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