Review: ‘Elite’ Season 2

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Netflix dropped the eight-episode second season of their hit Spanish series Élite on Friday and it is just as good as season one. Season two picks up soon after season 1 ends, with the aftermath of Marina’s death still weighing heavily on everyone else at Las Encinas. But there’s more to it than that as season two features a new mystery, new relationships and new students.

Here are some of my thoughts on the brand new season:

Samuel’s disappearance

Season two’s mystery focuses on the student that disappeared and why/how that happened. The storytelling follows the same structure as season one, meaning that we learn who it is early on and then have to work backwards to figure out why/how it happened. I personally love this structure and think the writers have really used it to their advantage.

We find out at the end of episode two that Samuel is the one who went missing, but it’s not exactly what you think. As it turns out, it was all set up by Samuel and Guzmán as a way to get Carla to come clean about Marina’s murder. Samuel thinks that if she thinks something truly happened to him because of her father, then she just might break. And she does just that — Carla goes to the authorities in 2×08 and tells them everything about Marina’s murder.

I never expected Guzmán and Samuel to be behind the disappearance, but I really enjoyed that twist and seeing them work together. I hope we see their friendship evolve in season 3, especially now that Polo and Ander have betrayed Guzmán. He and Samuel have more in common than they probably realize, with the Marina and Nadia connections and I think it would be a super interesting dynamic to explore.

Samuel and Carla

I feel like I need to preface this section by saying that I was not a fan of Samuel or Carla’s in season one and didn’t care when either of them when they were on my screen. So with that in mind, I really could have cared less about this storyline.

Samuel had this “genius” plan to seduce Carla and manipulate her so that she would crack and ultimately tell him the truth about Marina’s murder. But then he ends up falling for her and she for him? I don’t quite buy it. Carla has always been manipulative, using guys like Polo and Christian for whatever her heart desires. Samuel is a lot less naive this season compared to season one, and in fact, he is just as manipulative as Carla is this season, using her to find out who really killed Marina to help free Nano. There’s always an element of lies when two people are playing games with one another and constantly using each other, so how can their “relationship” ever be real if it’s not built on the full truth? 

I will say that Itzan Escamilla and Ester Expósito had great chemistry and I thought their sex scenes were super steamy, but overall it wasn’t enough to convince me that these two actually developed feelings for one another.

Guzmán and Nadia

The relationship between Guzmán and Nadia is my favorite thing to happen on television in a long time. Mina El Hammani and Miguel Bernardeau have the most INSANE chemistry, and the way they’ve brought the Nadia and Guzman relationship to life makes me giddy with glee and fills my heart with such love and joy. Their storyline together in season two was everything I wanted but didn’t actually expect to happen for another season or two. 

Season two essentially just emphasized what we all already knew: these two love each other and are meant to be together. But it was nice to see Nadia be the one to act first and let Guzmán know how she felt. I loved seeing her tell him at the red party that she’s scared he’ll keep experimenting with drugs and end up dying way before his time; I loved seeing her text him and ask him to come to the club so that she can kiss him sober; I loved seeing her strut into the boy’s locker room at Las Encinas so that she could officially make her feelings known to him.

On the other hand, the way Guzmán looks at her gives me chills. Each time he looks at her (which happens a lot), you can tell he’s looking right into her soul and not just at how beautiful she is. I don’t think “whipped” is necessarily the right word to describe Guzmán, but Nadia is without a doubt the person who makes everything in his world better and he would clearly do anything for her, as we saw in season two.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with Guzmán and Nadia in season three. They both have a lot to figure out. Nadia has seemingly become celibate again and is now refusing to partake in anything that is deemed unacceptable for a “good Muslim girl”. Guzmán also just lost his entire inner-circle now that he found out that one of his closest friends murdered his sister and the other kept it a secret from him. But I’m hopeful and excited for what’s to come for these two.

Omar and Ander

I was honestly the most disappointed with Ander this season. He was one of my favorite characters after season one but I feel like the writers stunted his character development by having him learn about and choose to keep Polo’s secret. 

First of all, I understand that Polo placed him in a difficult position, but I have a really hard time buying the fact that the Ander we saw in season one wouldn’t have followed through with all his ultimatums to Polo and eventually come clean to Guzmán himself. He and Guzmán are super close and after everything Guzmán went through, I don’t know why Ander willingly let his friend continue to suffer without knowing the truth.

Second, him being placed in this difficult position doesn’t excuse the way he treated everyone around him. Omar especially really suffered the brunt Ander’s moodiness and weird demeanor. I get that Omar and Ander are in love – and I truly do love them together – but if I was Omar, I would not have forgiven him so quickly for the way he treated me. 

And speaking of Omar, I was thrilled to see him finally stand up to his father. It was a joy to watch him begin his journey of self-discovery; I absolutely loved how happy something as simple as getting to dress up as Dr. Frankenfurter from Rocky Horror Picture Show for Halloween made him. I hope we get to explore more of that in season three.

Polo and Cateyana

Polo was my least favorite character in season one and that didn’t change in season two. I always knew it was going to take a few episodes for the truth about him killing Marina to come out, but I truly didn’t think it would take all eight episodes of season two.

I also really hated that he was released shortly after his arrest due to a lack of evidence because Cateyana went and retrieved the trophy from the ocean shore. It’s obvious that she did it to give him a second chance, just like he did for her. It also shows that she’s willing to give him the one thing Carla never did: loyalty. But this act also made her extremely unlikable to me and is probably something I’ll never be able to forgive her for.

And speaking of the Polo/Cateyana relationship, what I don’t understand is why the writers gave us them cute moments between them in the back half of the season in order to try and make us root for them as a couple, especially knowing what we knew about Polo. I mean, I don’t even have sympathy for him on his own and yet they expected me to watch him “fall in love” with Cateyana and vice versa? Nope, I couldn’t get on board with that. 

Lu and Valerio

I have mixed feelings about the Lu and Valerio relationship. On the one hand, I found it fascinating. I think in a lot of ways, Valerio gave Lu what Guzmán wouldn’t — attention, loyalty, trust. But on the other hand, I thought it was beyond weird and extremely creepy. They share DNA and yet they want to have sex with each other? It’s just so messed up. 

However, I’m so proud of Valerio for exposing their “relationship” to their father. By doing that, he redeemed himself a little bit in my eyes.

I’m not Lu’s biggest fan, but there was one specific moment I rooted for her. Lu had a rough season two – she and Carla stopped being friends, Guzman broke up with her, and Cayetana used her. So she decided to get back at everyone who wronged her by calling everyone out in her speech at the charity fundraiser. I don’t always condone revenge but in this moment, it felt like the right response. 

Nano

I’ll keep this section short and sweet: Nano is a precious bean that deserves nothing but the best this world has to offer. Hearing him talk about the act that he kept the slip of paper with the number they were given at the clinic when she went to get her abortion (which they didn’t go through with) because it represented their future together brought me to tears. He was – and still is – so in love with her and it breaks my heart that they can’t be together. I hope that wherever he went, he’s happy and can put all of this behind him. But selfishly, I want him to somehow get wrapped up in all of this drama again solely so that Jaime Lorrente can be a part of season three.

Other Thoughts:

  • I felt that the Christian storyline was disappointing. I really thought he was going to play a bigger role in getting Nano out of jail and bringing down Carla and Polo. I read somewhere that Miguel Herrán and Jaime Lorrente’s roles were reduced this season due to their filming schedules for La Casa De Papel. However, they were able to give Jaime’s Nano plenty to do this season so I’m not sure if that’s a 100% accurate.
  • Rebeca is my hands down my favorite of the new kids, but I hated that she started to fall for Samuel. YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER THAN HIM, GIRL. DO NOT SETTLE!
  • I absolutely loved that they included the Dali masks and red jumpsuits that the robbers wear in La Casa De Papel (aka Money Heist) in the Halloween party scenes. Such a fun little homage to another incredible and wildly popular Spanish series.
  • Lu and Omar’s friendship was something I did not expect but strangely enjoyed.
  • Does anyone else still have a million questions about Nadia and Omar’s sister? They only referenced her a few times this season but I would love to see her make an appearance at some point — maybe in season three.

Élite Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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