There comes the point in teen dramas when the storylines reach natural conclusions, and the shows either need to adapt or conclude before they start repeating themselves.
Elite has been the crown jewel on the teen drama front for three seasons, offering high school drama, high fashion, and stunning twists all told through a witty script with the cutest bunch of actors on the small screen.
While Netflix has not officially announced that the entire cast will be changing for Elite Season 4, the trajectory of the storylines and the way they wrapped up essentially confirms it … unless the show plans on moving ahead four or five years.
Without Las Encinas or another private school for the action to play out, it wouldn’t be worth it.
When the Elite Season 3 trailer confirmed Polo was dying, I couldn’t help but shake my head in disappointment. It was the most predictable direction to take things.
However, after watching all eight episodes, it worked well. The mystery peeled back layers in a way that felt true to the story, and the twists and turns kept me enthralled for every single beat of this chapter.
Polo was a complicated individual. He did some seriously messed up things to those around him, and while he was the one to murder Marina, there was a part of me that felt like he was pushed to it.
There was not one perfect teenager on Elite. All of them brought out the worst in each other, and I appreciate the writers for trying to humanize Polo before his demise. Even though he understood his actions, he desperately wanted to be liked.
Killing him off only to have a seemingly endless list of suspects was predictable, but the writing managed to keep me tuned in for every single beat of the eight-part season.
Polo wanted everything to return to normal. He was hurting and willing to move mountains to move on with his life. His split-second decision to murder his best friend’s sister changed everything, and there was no coming back from that.
His relationship with Cayetana and Valerio was a highlight of the season, but they were merely using each other. Cayetana became too reliant on Polo, fully knowing that his family would make sure she lived the high life.
Valerio’s relationship with Polo and Cayetana seemed genuine, but given that he had been cut off and was living with Samuel as a last resort, it was likely he was using Polo.
It could be argued that Polo sought solace in the arms of Cayetana and Valerio, but I loved how it was he who saw through the facade of the relationship. The killer, the fraudster, and the drug dealer becoming a throuple had a certain ring to it.
The positive here is that he started opening up about being the killer ahead of his death. He witnessed first-hand the deadly chain of events his actions had on his inner circle and beyond, but it’s hard to imagine him not killing again if the opportunity presented itself.
Polo spending a life sentence in prison would have also been fun because it would have been quite the fall from grace. He was getting a private education, and the world was his oyster. Why would someone throw that away?
Lucrecia as the killer surprised me the most, primarily because she was the last person that sprung to mind as a suspect. Out of all the characters, her arc was the most fulfilling because she was a horrible person in the beginning but softened up along the way.
Lucrecia thought her whole life was falling apart around her when she got cut off by her father, but it lit a fire under her to press forward on her own path. There’s something commendable about that.
She understood that she needed to knock down some people to get the scholarship, and I especially liked her and Nadia going from enemies to friends in a matter of episodes. The moment they girls started to bond signaled a significant change for Lu.
The way the murder was carried out was perfectly plausible. Driven by rage, Lucrecia didn’t even know she had impaled her rival with the broken champagne bottle before he started bleeding out.
It was a pivotal moment, not only for Lu but for the victim. Polo seemed relieved that his pain and suffering was nearing its end and that he was about to leave this world behind.
I don’t condone murder, but Lu shouldn’t have been sent away for what she did. The last thing she wanted to do was kill him. She merely wanted to highlight the complicated dynamic Polo has instilled on everyone in the school once he killed Marina.
Being one of the biggest villains earlier in the series, Lu did not think she deserved to be spared jail for her role, so she started to shut down when her friends and enemies spun a tall tale to keep her out of jail.
As far as endings go, Lu got a decent one. She dropped that wall to allow people into her life and carved out an excellent friendship with Nadia in the process. Nadia’s request that the scholarship fund to be split between the two of them in New York was beautiful.
Nadia was tired of the rich kids getting everything they wanted, but she understood what was happening to Lu, and their friendship kicked off from there.
Nadia was on the cusp of something great from the beginning of Elite Season 3, when she tried to move on with her life after everything that happened.
Malick was too good to be true. From the get-go, he was all up in her business under the guise of wanting to go to New York with her. Everyone has an agenda on this series, but I did not expect him to pine after Nadia’s brother, Omar.
The way in which the truth about their affair came to light was executed flawlessly. While I doubt Nadia’s feelings for Malick were as strong as they were for Guzman, she cared about him dearly.
But Malick was one of the most annoying characters on the series. He wanted to get close to Nadia to look good in his parents’ eyes. I understand that he was scared to come out to his parents, but he failed to understand how his actions could have affected Nadia.
Yes, he was offering her lots of things, but his desire to immerse himself in her family made him seem like a deranged stalker.
Elite has multi-layered characters, but Malick was one of the weakest links of the third chapter. He wanted his life to look perfect from the outside … even if it meant breaking hearts. To get on board with that type of character, there has to be some likable traits.
He was manipulative in the way he pursued Omar, but that’s not to say Omar was much better. Omar spent much of his life hiding who he was, and starting with the second season, he became someone different, someone Ander didn’t love.
Maybe it was because he wasn’t living under his parents’ rule. They were not only oppressive, but they were horrid to him. They wouldn’t support any of his decisions.
His relationship with Ander has changed dramatically since their first hook up and skipped various steps when Omar moved in because he had nowhere else to go.
Despite the hurdles, they understood how to be in a relationship and that communication was key … until Ander got diagnosed.
While we could argue that it was thrown in for shock value to kick off Elite Season 3, it was heartbreaking to watch Ander’s changing world view. He thought he had his whole life ahead of him, and learning that he could have months or years to live was too much for him to handle.
He took his pain out on the man he loved. In those circumstances, you expect the person you love to always come back to you, but Omar was having secret hookups with Malick.
Omar, as a character, has changed a lot over the years, but he was acting out because he couldn’t handle the pressure of being in a relationship with someone who might soon die.
Ander wanted Omar to be happy, so he gave him multiple ways out of the relationship, while also offering Omar to have sex with other people. Ander tried to make Omar was happy and Omar got several chances to own up to his infidelity.
The best assessment of Omar is that he became selfish. Ander’s pain as he lied to Omar about having an affair with the boy from the hospital was wonderfully played by Aron Piper.
By the end, though, I would have much preferred Ander to ice Omar from his life completely, but at least Omar realized he couldn’t go through with skipping the country.
Now that Ander has the all-clear, his relationship with Omar should flourish. If they continue to clash, they would be better splitting up because they will be in for a lifetime of hurt if they can’t put the past behind them.
One of the most annoying moments was when Ander owned up to his lie, and Omar could only muster “Goodbye.” Omar had a superiority complex in which he thought his actions were more warranted, and it did not sit well with me at all.
He’s lucky he has a great sister in Nadia because she should have cut him out of her life for good.
Carla took a back seat this season, being well away from some of the most prominent storylines. She was such an integral part of the earlier plot that it was a shame for things to play out in this manner.
Her father was a peace of work, who orchestrated murders and takedowns of the people who opposed him, so it was difficult to believe he was so passive about the way Carla was acting with Yeray.
Carla was a puppet ensuring the family’s financial security, and that was horrible. She couldn’t even visit Samuel without her father breathing down her neck, and that resulted in one of the best relationships on the show fizzling out.
Yeray’s introduction into the narrative was messy, and I only wish he built a connection with other characters to allow for Carla to connect with the others throughout her final semester.
Carla’s drug use was problematic because she realied that she could stick out a relationship with Yeray if she was taking drugs. She was pining for Samuel throughout, and I would have preferred them to continue their relationship in secret.
Carla’s ending was decent with her leaving Spain behind and becoming the person in charge of the family finances, but the issue harkens back to her father. He would find a way to threaten the people Carla likes to get her to cooperate.
Instead, Carla left him with Valerio, who would be her proxy while she is out of town. It was comical, but not precisely realistic when you think about the characters.
The chemistry between Carla and Samuel was choked out of the narrative as they were forced to be apart. There is the notion that something could happen down the line, but for now, they are done.
The final scenes would have worked much better if Carla arrived at Samuel’s apartment as he was eating the macaroni. He understood that he needed to let her go, and he allowed it to happen. Was that just a pause, or are they done for good?
We need an answer.
Samuel always tries to do the best thing for the people he loves, but I didn’t like that he was gullible enough to believe his mother and brother would be allowed to return home if he helped take down Rebe’s mother.
He was silly to believe that his deceit would not be exposed sooner or later. Rebe was so blinded by her love for the kid that she overlooked too much.
Her mother should have silenced Samuel before he got the chance to double-cross the family, but that would assume she was a smart businesswoman.
Rebe never did agree with her mother’s illegal activities, and it must have taken a lot for Rebe to tell her she would no longer support her if she returned to a life of crime. Even though Rebe is one of the newer characters, she was still the best written on the third season.
My one true hope for her is that she realizes there is no way Samuel will ever put her before anyone else and that she finds a man who loves her unconditionally.
Samuel, Guzman, Rebe, Ander, and Omar returning to Las Encinas was quite the surprise, but they need to finish high school before moving on to the next stage in their lives.
Hopefully they have a drama-free year that allows them to do whatever they want to do the most.
Cayetana working as a cleaner in the school was surprising, but at least she finally realized that latching on to people to pay for her lavish lifestyle was never going to get her anywhere.
Polo’s mother’s, despite how much they hated her, realized she was only one who stood by their son through everything.
The offer for her to study anywhere in the world she wanted for free was lifechanging, but Cayetana is ready to make a living for herself. There’s something powerful about that.
Elite Season 3 was the perfect goodbye to the current cast. It would be challenging to craft another mystery with every key player from the previous three seasons, so maybe restarting with a new generation would be the best way to keep the franchise alive.
What did you think of Elite Season 3? Were you happy with the mystery? Which ending did you like the most?
Hit the comments below.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.