The Donnellys are four young, working-class Irish brothers involved in New York City's organized crime. Detectives investigate Joey Ice Cream, a life-long friend of the Donnellys who introduces the four brothers, setting the scene for the series.
Kevin Donnelly feels that he's on a hot streak, but when his gambling begins to add up, the eldest Donnelly brother, Jimmy, is forced to kidnap the bookie that Kevin owes money to. When the news of the kidnapping spreads around the neighborhood, connecting the Donnellys to the incident, the youngest brother, Sean, pays the price for having the Donnelly name. Meanwhile, Tommy Donnelly, the most reliable of the brothers, has to sacrifice for his family when Jimmy's plan lands Sean in the hospital.
While the Donnellys await on word surrounding Sean's condition, Jimmy sits in a police holding cell. Tommy and Kevin have trouble accepting their role in what happened as they sit at Sean's bedside. Tommy turns to longtime friend Jenny Reilly for support, leading to their relationship growing to one that's more than just friends. Meanwhile, the brothers ultimately tie up loose ends and pay their debt to the mob. Elsewhere, Nicky Cottero gains control of the Italian mob.
A guilt-ridden Tommy is shocked when Kate, Huey's widow, asks him to hold Huey's wake at the Firecracker. At the wake, the brothers discover that their taps are dry, which sends Kevin and Joey Ice Cream out to find alcohol. However, the best they can come up with is kosher wine. Jimmy arrives to pay his respects and Dokey begins to think that Huey may have been killed by Jimmy, leading to a standoff.
Aeone -- Across the Water, The Ordinary Boys
-- Boys Will Be Boys, The Doves
-- Caught by the River, The Fray
-- Heaven Forbid, Caleb Kane -- In Your Own Way, Frou Frou -- It's Good to Be in Love, Colin Hay
-- Waiting for My Real Life to Begin
Tommy is hit with the hard realization that the Italian mob boss, Nicky Cottero, is not one to mess with when he threatens the brothers' mother, Helen. When Tommy runs out of options, he opts to take Dokey's bribe and steals the box that Dokey wants while visiting Huey's widow. Jimmy and Joey Ice Cream find Louie Downtown's cell phone and start to collect his payments after they find out he was behind a major gambling circuit. Meanwhile, Sean is able to come home from the hospital and Jenny has to face Tommy after sleeping with Samson.
Tommy gets thrust into Jimmy and Kevin's bookmaking when one of his friends, Maxwell, is about to get punished for not paying up. Tommy decides to track down the money, but ultimately is forced to do the punishing. Jimmy has Kevin get rid of Louie Downtown's cell phone and they meet up with Whitey who helps them transfer all of the numbers. However, a glimpse into the future reveals trouble ahead. Meanwhile, Jenny discovers her father's medical condition when she looks into why the diner's deposits haven't gone into the bank.
Songs: Télépopmusik -- Don't Look Back, Ben Broussard -- Hold On To Me, Emiliana Torrini -- Today Has Been Okay
As Tommy and Kevin collect payments, Jimmy repaints the bar and tries to keep Sean away from the business they've been working. Meanwhile, a flashback makes Kevin think he's a lucky gambler. Elsewhere, Jenny tends to her ailing father while keeping up the family business.
Tommy helps a woman who wants to get rid of the drug dealers in her apartment building, but ends up finding that doing so will be harder than he thought. Meanwhile, Jimmy tries to take over the neighborhood, but hits an all-time low when he has to get a payment from Jenny. Elsewhere, Nicky finds out the truth behind what really happened to Louie Downtown.
Tommy is finally able to pursue his passion in life -- art. Kate is able to help him land a job at an art studio, but Tommy finds it hard to break away from the family business. Meanwhile, Nicky decides not to kill Kevin and offers to partner up with the Donnellys.