The Mechanism (TV series)

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O Mecanismo
O Mecanismo official artwork.jpg
Also known asThe Mechanism
GenrePolitical drama
Created by
Written by
  • Elena Soarez
  • Sofia Maldonado
Directed by
  • José Padilha
  • Felipe Prado
  • Marcos Prado
  • Daniel Rezende
Country of originBrazil
Original language(s)Portuguese
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)
Production company(s)Zazen Produções
Original networkNetflix
Picture format4K (Ultra HD)
Original releaseMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23) –
May 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
External links

O Mecanismo (transl.The Mechanism) is a Brazilian political drama television series created by José Padilha and Elena Soarez, directed by Padilha, Felipe Prado, and Marcos Prado, and written by Elena Soarez. The show depicts Operation Car Wash (Portuguese: Operação Lava Jato), an ongoing police taskforce that discovered a widespread corruption scheme involving the Brazilian government and several prominent engineering firms.[1][2] The series premiered all episodes of the first season March 23, 2018, worldwide, on Netflix.[3]

On May 28, 2018, the series was renewed for a second season.[4] The second season premiered on Netflix on May 10, 2019.


Marco Ruffo (Selton Mello) is a Federal Police delegate obsessed with the case he is investigating. When he least expects it, he and his apprentice, Verena Cardoni (Carol Abras), are already immersed in one of the largest diversion and money laundering investigations in Brazilian history. The proportion is so great that the course of investigations completely changes the lives of all involved.[5]




In April 2016, Netflix announced that it would produce an original, still untitled series that would follow the investigations of Operation Car Wash.[6] The series was produced by José Padilha, Marcos Prado and the production company Zazen Produções and written by Elena Soarez and Sofia Maldonado. The series was directed by José Padilha, Felipe Prado, Marcos Prado and Daniel Rezende.[7]


The Mechanism started its production in May 2017. Filming locations included the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Brasília.[8]

Similarities with real life events[edit]

Despite the recurrent disclaimer at the start of each episode, declaring the screenplay is loosely based on a true story, with characters and events adapted for dramatic effect, many characters and companies depicted (but not all facts regarding them) can be easily traced to the actual people and companies involved in Operation Car Wash. Some such associations are:[9][10][11][12]

Character/Company Counterpart Actor
Petrobrasil Petrobras
Constructor OSA OAS Group
Constructor Miller&Brecht Odebrecht
Roberto Ibrahim Alberto Youssef Enrique Diaz
Judge Paulo Rigo Judge Sérgio Moro Otto Jr.
Former President João "Gino" Higino Former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Arthur Kohl
President Janete Ruscov Then-President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff Sura Berditchevsky
Senator Lúcio Lemes Senator Aécio Neves Michel Bercovitch
Vice President Samuel Thames Then-Vice President of Brazil Michel Temer Tonio Carvalho
Mario Garcez Brito Márcio Thomaz Bastos Pietro Mário
João Pedro Rangel (Pepê) Paulo Roberto Costa Leonardo Medeiros
Ricardo Brecht Marcelo Odebrecht Emílio Orciollo Netto
Lorival Bueno (OSA CEO) Léo Pinheiro, then OAS Group CEO Sidney Guedes
Attorney General (no name in the show) Then-Prosecutor General of Brazil Rodrigo Janot Lionel Fischer
Prosecutor Dimas Donatelli Prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol Antonio Saboia
Maria Tereza, Miller&Brecht Personal Assistant Maria Lúcia Tavares, then Odebrecht Executive Assistant Anna Cotrim
Police Chief Verena Cardoni Police Chief Erika Marena Caroline Abras
Agent "China" Newton Ishii, agent of the Federal Police of Brazil Fábio Yoshihara


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
18March 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)
28May 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No. in
TitleEnglish titleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Lava Jato"Car WashJosé PadilhaElena SoarezMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)
The family of federal delegate Marco Ruffo is being threatened after he tries to frame Roberto Ibrahim for money laundering.
22"Halawi"HalvahFelipe PradoElena SoarezMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)
10 years later, Verena continues to investigate Ibrahim and the doleiros who work with him.
33"Ventos Frios Vindos do Sul"Cool Winds from the SouthFelipe PradoElena SoarezMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)
The Federal Police team works hard to carry out an operation with multiple targets, but important evidence disappears.
44"Fundo Falso"False BottomMarcos PradoElena SoarezMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)
Guilhome gets some unexpected help. Verena goes after João Pedro, and Judge Rigo reflects on a decision that can change everything.
55"Olhos Vermelhos"Red EyesMarcos PradoElena SoarezMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)
Verena has a feeling she can not trust anyone else. Ibrahim's wife is furious to find out what her husband has done in jail.
66"Eles Sabiam de Tudo"They Knew It AllMarcos PradoElena SoarezMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)
To force João Pedro to speak what he knows, investigators are seeking charges against his family. But a leak puts the whole operation at risk.
77"O Último Respiro"One Last BreathDaniel RezendeElena SoarezMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)
The "Clube dos 13" (Club of 13) rush to close an agreement with the attorney general. In dealing with a sewage problem in the neighborhood, Ruffo has a balcony and understands the origin of everything.
88"Juízo Final"DoomsdayDaniel RezendeElena SoarezMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)
Verena receives devastating news. Ruffo reevaluates his priorities. Dimas and Cláudio learn of the fate of Operation "Juízo Final" (Doomsday).

Season 2 (2019)[edit]

No. in
TitleEnglish titleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"De onde vem a lama?"Where Does the Mud Comes From?José PadilhaElena SoarezMay 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
Ruffo gets a valuable price from the secretary of the 13th contrator, Ricardo Bretch. Verena and Guilhone find themselves under investigation.
102"Del Este"Del EsteJosé PadilhaElena SoarezMay 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
Vander's illegal wiretap pays off. When Ibrahim's new venture gets off to a bad start, his money-hungry wife makes a fatal error.
113"Adictos"AddictsJosé PadilhaElena SoarezMay 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
Ruffo gets a surprise when he visits his wife at the ranch, and later makes a deal with Maria Tereza, who is followed home after picking up her son.
124"O grande ilusionista"The Great IllusionistJosé PadilhaElena SoarezMay 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
Disciplined as ever, Bretch gets to work on a plan and gives his wife instructions. To find Ibrahim, Ruffo follows another trail Luz Maria has left.
135"Ponte da Amizade"Friendship BridgeJosé PadilhaElena SoarezMay 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
Following the cigarette lead, Ruffo heads to Paraguay. When Guilhome learns Ruffo is pursuing Ibrahim alone, he sets out to find him and bring him back.
146"Réquiem"RequiemJosé PadilhaElena SoarezMay 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
Verena finds herself at Ibrahim's mercy. When Eva is unable to convince Bretch to talk before Ibrahim does, she calls a political ally for help.
157"O fim e os meios"The Ends and the MeansDaniel RezendeElena SoarezMay 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
When Tom Carvalho tells Verena and the DA's office about shady deals involving former President Gino, Rigo issues orders that ignite a public firestorm.
168"Canastra Suja"Dirty CanastraJosé PadilhaElena SoarezMay 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
Rigo is unable to ignore the new wiretap recording. The prospect of Thames becoming president spurs Verena to find a way to break Bretch's silence.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Golden Trailer Awards Golden Trailer Best Foreign (TV Spot/Trailer/Teaser for a series) Nominated [13]
2018 São Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards Best Director José Padilha Nominated [14]
2019 Associação Brasileira de Cinematografia TV - Best Cinematography Episode: Juízo Final (Doomsday) Nominated [15]


  1. ^ "Série sobre Lava Jato dirigida por José Padilha é anunciada pela Netflix". Pop & Arte (in Portuguese). 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  2. ^ "Começam as filmagens de O mecanismo, série com Selton Mello sobre a Lava Jato". G1 (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  3. ^ The Mechanism — Official Trailer [HD]. Netflix. 2018-01-18. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  4. ^ "Netflix anuncia 2ª temporada de O Mecanismo para 2019". UOL (in Portuguese). 2018-05-28. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  5. ^ "O Mecanismo" (in Portuguese). AdoroCinema. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "Netflix anuncia série sobre Operação Lava Jato para 2017". O Estadão (in Portuguese). April 15, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  7. ^ "Começam as filmagens de 'O mecanismo', série com Selton Mello sobre a Lava Jato". G1 (in Portuguese). May 15, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  8. ^ "Começam as filmagens de 'O mecanismo', série com Selton Mello sobre a Lava Jato". G1 (in Portuguese). May 15, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  9. ^ "Quem é quem em 'O mecanismo', série da Netflix inspirada na Operação 'Lava Jato'". 14 March 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  10. ^ "O mecanismo: A série que quer mostrar para o mundo como funciona a corrupção". 23 March 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  11. ^ Pernambuco, Diario de (23 March 2018). "O Mecanismo encara o desafio de retratar a corrupção brasileira". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  12. ^ "O Mecanismo: mapeamos todas as referências que você não percebeu". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  13. ^ "GTA19 NOMINEES (2018)". Golden Trailer Awards.
  14. ^ "Séries ultrapassam novelas e lideram indicações da APCA aos melhores da TV". Universo Online. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  15. ^ "Associação Brasileira De Cinematografia Anuncia Os Finalistas Do Prêmio ABC 2019". Associação Brasileira de Cinematografia.

External links[edit]