Cover of Brigada: Season 2 DVD
Brigada: Season 2 (episode 10) begins several months after Season 1, during the mid-1990s. Egged on by his new "business partner" the former MVD Detective Vladimir Yevgenivich (Andrei Panin), Sasha Belov is making a killing selling weapons to both sides in the First Chechen War. One morning Belov wakes up to a radio news story about teenage Russian conscripts getting slaughtered in Grozny with his wares.
Meanwhile, Cosmos (Dimitri Dyuzhev), tormented by guilt over the Brigade's blood money, has developed a nasty cocaine habit to kill the pain. One day, while Cosmos is driving around Moscow high on cocaine, a black cat crosses the path of his Mercedes sedan, and he wrecks his car. When Belov comes to visit Cosmos after he is released from the hospital, Cosmos reveals that he was the man who shot the Detective's cousin dead in 1989, triggering the four "brothers" life of crime. Cosmos also tells Belov that he doesn't trust Pychela (Pavel Maikov) anymore, because "he would sell his mother to a whorehouse just to make a buck."
Opening of Brigada: Episode 10. This was the beginning of Season 2 on the DVD set with English subtitles available in the U.S. via Netflix. Unfortunately, someone must have hung on to Netflix' only copy, because it is listed as no longer available
Shortly before Vladimir Yevgenivich heads south to Chechnya with $11 million worth of weapons, Belov confronts his business partner in the lobby of a Moscow casino, demanding to know why Vladimir framed him for the murder of his cousin. Vladimir admits that he knew all along that Belov wasn't the killer, but that he framed Sasha anyway because he resented him and his buddies for getting rich quick while public servants like him were left with nothing after 1991. Belov responds to this confession by smashing a champagne bottle over Vladimir's head. This raw display of aggression disturbs the casino's security staff, who politely escort Belov out the door. However, Belov's fury catches the eye of a beautiful blonde actress, who eagerly becomes his mistress.
The bloodied Detective swears vengeance, but decides to wait until he gets back from Chechnya to kill Belov. This proves a near-fatal mistake, as Belov double crosses his business partner and arranges for the arms shipment to be intercepted by Spetsnaz commandos before it can reach the Chechen fighters. Vladimir escapes the devastating ambush, but is badly wounded, and ends up being hauled off to a field hospital by Russian troops.
VBIED in Moscow - Phil, Cosmos and Sasha are nearly killed by a car bomb
Back in Moscow, Belov has sent his wife Olya (Yekaterina Guseva) and their son Vanya off to his new house in Miami for her safety. When Pychela (Bumblebee) proposes a major oil and gas deal in the Caspian Sea, Belov again hesitates, wondering if it is too much of a stretch. As the bratvas drive away from a meeting with their new business partners, a remote controlled bomb goes off in Sasha's Mercedes. Belov and Cosmos escape the blast unhurt, but Phil (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) bails out of the car too late. Doctors manage to save Phil's life, but the former boxer is left in a coma.
Since Pychela was going against Sasha on a business deal and was absent during the attack, Cosmos and Sasha suspect that their "brother" may have betrayed them. However, a surveillance videotape reveals the truth -- the bomb was planted by the jealous ex-boyfriend of Sasha's mistress. Confronted about his philandering and the fact that Phil literally nearly died for his sins, Belov repents to Olya and the "brothers". Olya walks out on Sasha and takes their son to stay at her mother's house in the Moscow suburbs.
One day in 1999, Belov meets the cop from his old neighborhood who tried to arrest him a decade earlier. The two get happily drunk together, and have a few laughs about the "Wanted" posters printed up with Belov's picture on them back in the perestroika days. Unfortunately, Belov is shaken from his reverie when he discovers that the Detective is alive and well, after he was left for dead in Chechnya. Like Belov, Vladimir Yevgenivich has converted his ill-gotten gains into legitimate real estate and construction businesses in Moscow, and he is hellbent on revenge.
Kompromat: The PR war between Vladimir Yevgenivich and Sasha Belov begins -- complete with questions from paid off journalists and Artur Lapshin showing up to testify about how Belov extorted him out of his aluminum business in 1992. Belov responds to this black PR campaign by putting up cheerful billboards advertising his legitimate real estate developments -- and seeking the legal immunity of a seat in the Russian Parliament (Duma).
Thus begins the final chapter in the saga, and the events leading up to the final showdown between the mortal enemies. For foreigners watching Brigada, this part reveals how many Russians today look back on the wild, wild Nineties. For Russians, it is a trip down memory lane to an era when gangsters really could convert their illicit wealth into legal immunity by buying seats in parliament. For their part, film critics will recognize many themes in the final episodes of Brigada taken straight from The Godfather trilogy, including a shocking betrayal and those closest to the heroic protagonist dying for his sins.