Some Netflix shows have a break of several years between shows, but thankfully, that’s not the case for Elite.
Note: This review will cover the first three episodes of the brand-new season as they were available to the media in advance.
Elite Season 5 debuts less than a year after season 4, but there’s just as much angst, drama, sex, sexual fluidity, and, of course, murder, as ever.
Honestly, have you met a group of teens that endured more death than the student body at Las Encinas?
Much like previous seasons, season 5 opens up with Samu arrested for murder, but we have no idea whose body is floating around in the water.
The rotation of interviews with the students provides a snippet of insight, and one might narrow down the victim list to Benjamin, Omar, or Ivan.
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Rebeka informs the cops that the killer is definitely not Samu as he’d like them to believe, but it’s unclear if she actually knows who the murderer is or if she knows it’s not him because it’s her.
There’s enough anger directed at Benjamin from literally everyone in school to make his death plausible. Omar is also an outcast who has made an enemy of the few that still loved him and got himself caught up in a dangerous situation. And Ivan, though innocent at first, has a darkness about him; it’s clear he loves to play with fire. But more on that later.
Because aside from the new victim, there’s also the lingering mystery of what happened to Armando, Mencia’s abuser from last season.
Even all these months later, his existence still plagues the Blanco family because they have absolutely no idea he’s dead.
Only Samu, Rebeka, Guzman, and the audience know he’s at the bottom of the lake. There are a few moments where the secret is too much for Rebeka and Samu and they debate coming clean, especially as Ari tries to move on with her near-death experience and embraces a “you only live once” mentality that puts her in all sorts of questionable situations.
Her fervor for living her best life lends itself to a bit of a tug and pull in her relationship with Samu, who finds himself very loyal to Benjamin, a man he considers to be somewhat of a father figure.
ELITE (L to R) ITZAN ESCAMILLA as SAMUEL, OMAR AYUSO as OMAR in episode 03 of ÉLITE. Cr. MATÍAS URIS/NETFLIX © 2021
Benjamin puts his faith in Samu and wants him to rein Ari in, and thus, Samu finds himself torn and in what can only be described as a three-way relationship with a daughter and her father. And trying to please them both means that he’s disappointing everyone.
As detectives swarm in hopes of finding out what really happened to Armando, they begin to point fingers at family members, including Patrick, whose short temper occasionally gets the best of him. In an effort to erase all of the pain she’s caused her family, Mencia decides to come clean about the arrangement she had with Armando. It’s also why she has decided to live a quieter and tamer lifestyle, which doesn’t bode well for her relationship with Rebe.
Rebe and Mencia skirt the lines of will-they-or-won’t-they, but as Mencia tries to put herself back in the closet, Rebe puts an end to their relationship.
Many season 4 storylines spill over into the new season, including Phillipe’s confession of abuse. Elodie uses his apology to destroy the royal by announcing that he raped her, which taints his perfect image at the school.
He begs Cayetana to confess what happened in the limo so that Benjamin will stop protecting him and kick him out of the school as it would allow him to seek refuge in his home country. She considers helping him out, but after a little persuasion from the new student, she realizes that’s the easy way out.
Honestly, this might be the most important storyline on the series as it holds Phillipe accountable for his actions. He doesn’t just get to ruin lives, run off to his safe space, and do it again. He has to face the people he hurt and the people who know what he did every single day. He needs to build himself back up. He needs to earn a second chance. And most importantly, he needs to want to change. Cayetana drags him to therapy and promises that she’ll be by his side, and it’s sweet, but it’s not helping because he’s not the one initiating it. He’s only going so that she takes him back, which is a terrible excuse to go to therapy.
He pretty much throws a tantrum every time because he’s forced to confront the ugly side of himself and dig into why he did what he did. And when it gets tough, he runs away to his “yes girl” who makes him feel safe by throwing on rose-colored glasses, excusing his behavior, and convincing him that he’s not as terrible of a human as they say he is.
Every new season ushers in a slew of new faces to Las Encinas.
Isadora (Valentina Zenere) joins as an Empress and heiress of a nightlife empire in Ibiza who takes a liking to Phillipe. She’s so adamant about helping him clear his name, in fact, that she suggests they enter into a fake relationship. The logic here is that two pretty and rich people together will make the public forget all about his abuse. And on some level, she likely wants the fake relationship to become real.
We don’t know much about her motivation with Phillipe, but based on a brief heart-t0-heart, it seems as though Isadora is a believer in second chances because she too has paid the price for a mistake in her past.
The second newcomer is Ivan (André Lamoglia), the son of the greatest soccer player in the world who doesn’t know when to stop the party.
Ivan and Patrick immediately click, and while everyone at the school — and likely many fans at home — assumes Ivan is gay, he assures them that he’s very hetero.
Patrick, however, thinks he can persuade Ivan into sleeping with him through his good looks and charm, so he concocts a “no rules” party where everyone is basically encouraged to come naked and hook up with anyone and everyone without judgment.
Unfortunately, the night doesn’t go as planned for Patrick as he doesn’t get to hook up with Ivan.
Samu, however, gets to lock lips with him before Ivan informs Ari that he’s completely smitten with her. She’s kind of into it, but also totally against it. It seems as though she’ll likely give in to temptation by the end of the season given her “live life” attitude.
And as I mentioned before, Ivan’s desire to walk a dangerous path will likely infuriate more than one person, including Samu and Patrick.
ELITE (L to R) ANDRÉ LAMOGLIA as IVÁN in episode 02 of ÉLITE. Cr. MATÍAS URIS/NETFLIX © 2021
Benjamin sets his sights on the students in hopes of forcing them to finally focus on school and less on partying, drugs, and hooking up, but the harder he pushes, the more they rebel.
Patrick’s party, during which he encourages everyone to go on airplane mode so that they can’t be tracked by the adults including his father, who is referred to as the “dictator” by some students, is just one example of it.
Social distancing definitely takes on a whole new meaning on the series as it has nothing to do with COVID.
At one point, in a fit of revenge, Benjamin forces the class to vote on which student they would like to expel as punishment for the drug-fueled party.
Omar is the deciding vote, and he votes for Samu knowing that the “teacher’s pet” won’t actually get expelled.
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Benjamin announces that Samu will be expelled for three days, and the moment is the last straw for Samu and Omar’s already fractured friendship.
Ever since Ander left and hasn’t been responding to Omar’s messages, Samu has felt suffocated in the friendship. Omar’s parent-like vibe is overbearing. It’s likely something they could’ve come back from, but when, Omar takes pity on a man named Bilal who comes to the restaurant looking for food, gets a job, and then is caught stealing at the end of the shift, it throws their friendship in a new direction.
Samu thinks Omar is too trusting, yet Omar opens up the home he shares with Samu as shelter for Bilal, who reveals that she’s trying to avoid some gangsters that are coming after him.
Bilal once again bites the hand that feeds him when he steals Samu’s laptop, and yet, Omar shrugs it off by defending him and saying that he needs it more than Samu.
There’s definitely too much animosity between these two, which leads me to believe that it might just be Omar who will be the season’s victim, especially as he’s gotten involved in a dangerous situation if Bilal is telling the truth.
He has gotten pretty entwined with the storyline, and while he said that helping people might have illuminated the path to social work for him, maybe he gets in too deep?
Then again, maybe Bilal made it all up to take advantage of Omar?
Maybe Patrick kills Ivan in one of his uncontrollable fits of rage?
As the rest of the season unfolds, we’ll get all the pieces to do the puzzle, but until then, what did you think of the first three episodes of Elite season 5?
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