After binge-watching Elite season 1 and 2 over Christmas simply because I was so tired of seeing the trailer on my Netflix, the Spanish teen drama has returned for its third season and as expected, from the very first episode I was hooked.
Elite follows a bunch of rich kids at a private school tearing each other apart while in between dealing with murder, sex and lies. This season, we follow the aftermath of Polo being revealed as the killer of Marina and the potential backlash this has for characters such as Samuel and Guzman who seek revenge. As we get into the season, in classic Elite form, we then flash to the future to find Polo dead and the other students scrambling to place the blame and find the culprit.
On paper, this show probably sounds terrible and a knock-off version of How To Get Away With Murder. However, it is very heavily character-driven and that’s what makes it such a compelling TV show despite the very repetitive plot. This is a show that also deals with very real and serious issues such as class differences, poverty, racial injustice, LGBTQ+ characters and their lack of acceptance by their heavily religious parents and much more, portraying deep matters in a realistic light making you forgive the mediocrity of the rest of the show. What made season 3 great for me was Carla. Slowly becoming one of my favourite characters in season 2, her endless looks and sass as she slips between real and fake emotions are intensified in the new season and gives her a new presence that you can’t ignore as an audience member.
Each flash-forward had me questioning who actually did it and in the end, I was pretty torn between all of them.
As with season 2, there are also new characters. For example, Malick. Introduced in a comedic and fun light, his relationship with Nadia is interesting to watch. However, unexpected both from the trailer and from the first 4 episodes, his relationship with Omar left me extremely uncomfortable and was unnecessary drama at its finest. If I could describe it in one word it would be incompetent writing from the producers, as Omar would never cheat on his boyfriend (who by the way has cancer this season) and who Omar has been supporting non-stop up until this point of the relationship.
Another thing this season did particularly well was in making me believe that everyone had a good reason for wanting Polo dead. Each flash-forward had me questioning who actually did it and in the end, I was pretty torn between all of them. I particularly liked how you thought you knew the murder weapon but then another character would go get some champagne and bam, another potential murder weapon. It was extremely confusing but effective, all in all. That being said, Lu being the killer pissed me off – out of all the characters, it just didn’t feel right. The scene was also extremely anticlimactic.
The ending of season 3 was also very satisfying. Carla was happy, Nadia and Omar’s parents were finally supportive and the general support for Lu was heart-warming to watch. Even the couples such as Guzman and Nadia had an overriding message that your individual dreams are not with the person that you love, but your future, and you will come back for that person and you will do that together. It’s ending was bitter-sweet but overall, enjoyable.
The writing surrounding Ander and Omar’s relationship, and even Samuel and Carla’s relationship, was messy this season
However, season 3 did have a lot of flaws. For example, there could have been a better introduction to the story-line surrounding Ander’s cancer and a bigger focus on this in general. That’s a whole other article though (Can the writers please let my favourite characters be happy? Can we please stop making him push Omar away?). I also think the writing surrounding Ander and Omar’s relationship, and even Samuel and Carla’s relationship, was messy this season which was highly disappointing as a big fan of these two ships. I genuinely thought we were going to have happy scenes and Ander finally opening up, but no…you just have to give the gays the sad drama. That scene where Ander cries in the hallway? It left me broken. How many times can they break them up before I stop giving a shit?
I also think a lot of things just came out of nowhere. For example, the relationship between Velario, Polo and Cayetana was very unnecessary almost to the point that it didn’t make sense and it was just being put in there to fill in the gap that Polo, Carla and Sebastian’s relationship left in the previous scenes.
Overall, season 3 wasn’t my favourite season but it still delivered with many of its characters getting the development arcs they deserve but also the pain (I’m still mad over Ander) but what can you expect from a teen drama? What stands at the heart of Elite and what makes it a show I will always return to, though, is the fact that these characters will always have each other’s backs. They have strong friendships; they have strong bonds, and despite the season being much like The Hunger Games regarding competition in University, relationship dramas and murder sprees left to right and centre, these characters will ALWAYS support one another.