Criminal Code is Brazil’s new entry in the sea of police procedurals on Netflix. The show follows Benício, a cop who lost his partner in a crossfire in a prison about three months earlier. Now, he is keen on catching the guy who killed him, but it’s all mixed up in a large robbery scheme that is transborder. The Foz police department is in for something huge as they try to solve a massive robbery that links to the underworld of crime syndicates that have taken over the Brazil-Paraguay border. Criminal Code begins with a massive robbery at Progard that leads our lead detective, Benício, to the heart of his search for the guy who killed his dear partner. He’s also guilt-ridden because his partner was hungover thanks to his own greed for more on the night before that terrible day.
Benício And The Team
In Foz, Brazil, Benício (a detective known for his rebellious approach) and his new partner Suellen begin their field activities in order to solve a robbery that’s just occurred. Their boss is the newly appointed handsome guy, Rossi (a substitute for the real deal), who is young and ambitious. Rossi is keen on rising up the ranks by solving this deeply intertwined robbery and taking down the biggest criminal organization (they’re also conveniently called “The Organization”) on the border. Benício has one name associated with the case, the guy who he thinks certainly killed his partner, “Soulless.” Benício follows his own gut to solve the robbery at Progard, and despite Rossi not knowing, Suellen and he manage to find out some important details thanks to his gut feelings.
In all the chaos, a massive chase begins in the city, and a key member of the organization that Benício is chasing dies in the crossfire. In the meantime, one of the suspicious guys they’ve caught happens to be “Soulless,” but with no evidence, they have to let him go before any real investigation begins. This is when Rossi gathers a team, with Benício and Suellen as the leads. There’s also Moreira, a used-to-be undercover cop (now suspended), whom Wladamir sends to be a consultant on the case. There’s also Yuri from the forensics team and a new guy (a nepo-baby), Guilherme, who gets appointed by Rossi to the forensics team, which he finds beneath himself. In this investigation, Rossi wants to make a large impact with the help of DNA evidence. Yuri is the mastermind behind the scenes, while Benício and Suellen work day and night to get the DNA.
Moreira is not one to keep quiet, so he goes behind Rossi’s back and finds out more about the case through his contacts from back when he was undercover. According to him, there’s a man who goes by “Ambassador,” who is a rival of The Organization.
The organization is a crime syndicate that carries out large heists with players from multiple other small businesses. After the deaths of some important people in the initial robbery case in Foz, Soulless is tasked with getting all the money back that they lost in that chase in a short amount of time. He contacts a guy named Rolita, who is known for being stealthy and elusive. Soulless plans on robbing some banks for the big bucks they need. Benício is a step ahead, though, and he manages to figure out that they plan on using the river as their escape. Due to circumstances, Benício manages to be reckless again and heads to the river alone, despite Rossi being against it. The team is keen on helping, though, and Suellen, along with Moreira and Yuri, goes to help him. This makes things very complicated because Moreira is suspended and shouldn’t be near the field or even armed.
Even though Rossi wasn’t in the know, he keeps things quiet for the higher-ups, because Benício’s hunch is right yet again. Soulless has lost money, and now he takes the help of another gang named the Ghost Gang. They earned this moniker because they never leave any evidence of their crimes. Just when things aren’t looking great for Rossi and his team, Moreria manages to get some recordings and internal information by being a mole and putting his life at risk. After this, Moerira is taken off the case by Wladamir (the original boss who has been replaced by Rossi), making the whole team more suspicious of him.
The Ambassador And The Organization
The big revelation is that the Organization has actually teamed up with the Ambassador so that they’re able to live peacefully in the area. The only way they can possibly work together is if the Organization can get the Ambassador out of prison in Paraguay before he is extradited to a federal prison in Brazil. Through all the information gathered by the team, specifically Moreira’s work, Benício is able to decode some messages from the Organization, gathering how they’re going to break out the Ambassador from prison. The Ambassador can’t continue his work out of federal prison, which is why he’s agreed to make a deal with the Organization to help him get out of prison. All the big heists that have taken place thus far are related to this one prison breakout, including the one where Benício’s partner was killed.
Guilherme, The Informant
As if things weren’t already very complicated, the head of the Ghost Gang manages to get Guilherme, the rookie, on their side because he’s power- and money-hungry. But this is a massive problem for Rossi and the team, who plan on getting in the way of The Organization during their big prison break. Unfortunately, the Ghost Gang gets a whiff of it before anything’s even started cooking. Now, the ambassador gets picked up by the police, but the Organization ambushes them, stealing away the ambassador again. Rossi and his team are left hung to dry when the ambush occurs, and a huge gunfight ensues. Fortunately, everyone ends up safe, and backup finds its way to the scene in time.
What Happens To Soulless In The End?
The Ambassador is set free by Isaac, who manages to get his cut for the Ghost Gang, but they’re completely unbothered about the organization. Maybe this was the plan all along, and the fewer people to work with, the greater the incoming finances. Finally, Benício catches the guy he’s been desperate for right from the beginning. Seeing as they’ve done fantastic work, despite a lot of drawbacks and rebellious work, Rossi and his team are asked to take over the job of tracking the Ambassador. Benício’s partner Santos was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was killed by Soulless during the first prison breakout connected with the Ambassador. Although Benício has his subversive ways, he ends up keeping his cool when he captures Soulless, even though he’s the guy who shot his partner. Ironically, it’s a similar situation to Santos’ in the prison breakout, with a hostage in Soulless’ hands. Benício knows, though, that Soulless is religious and manages to get him to surrender by condemning him to hell. Soulless even had a wife, Monica, who was the reason he found Jesus in the first place. They had a child together, but because of some wrong moves, Monica ended up being in the wrong books of the Organization. Even though Soulless had become a “good person” after meeting her, he had to go back to his criminal ways because of her. Just before getting caught, he manages to get in a word with her and see his young son, too. Throughout Criminal Code Season 1, we see Benício and Suellen get closer, and by the end of the series, he accepts her as his true partner, a replacement for Santos.
Benício has a son of his own, and from an early age, we know that he’s been guilty of being an absent father. Seeing the fact that Soulless has a child changes his perspective on the man, too. At the same time, by the end of Criminal Code Season 1, Benício tries to be more present in his son’s life, too. Yuri, who had moved to Brasilia after becoming very afraid for his life in the little river chase, is cheated by another teammate, who fakes that his entire research is hers.
Season 2 Expectations
We are not certain there will be a second season for the Brazilian thriller, but Criminal Code definitely leaves everything open-ended. Rossi and his team now have to get the Ghost Gang and the Ambassador. Yuri will probably fight back for his work and return to Foz, where he is more appreciated. On the other hand, Benício and Suellen could not have a stronger bond, but each of them has their own family to look after. Suellen ended Criminal Code season 1 with a separation from her husband, but she certainly wants to be there for her young baby.