Elite, Season 4

Dept. of Murder 101


After three hugely entertaining seasons of accusations, bitchiness, fistfights, grudges, reversals, mysteries, and so much sex, the biggest question hanging over the fourth season of Darío Madrona and Carlos Montero’s Spanish language high school drama Elite was: how would it continue after wrapping up all the dangling threads from its main murder plot line last season and the departure of almost half its cast?

In a school where performance is almost as important as prestige and privilege, it was inevitable that some of the student body would eventually graduate. As Elite Season 4 opens, only Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), Guzman (Miguel Bernardeau), Omar(Omar Ayuso), Ander (Arón Piper), and Rebe (Claudia Salas) return for class after the departures of Lu (Danna Paola), Nadia (Mina El Hammani), Carla (Ester Expósito), Valerio (Jorge López) and.. eh… Polo (Álvaro Rico) at the end last season.


With justice, of a sort, having being achieved for the murder of Guzman’s sister Marina (María Pedraza) and almost all the students on good terms with each other (even with former social climber Cayetana, who’s back as the school janitor) you’d have been forgiven for thinking Elite would settle down into a more traditional high school drama.

You’d be wrong.

The arrival of a new tech-bro adjacent principal at the school, Benjamin (Diego Martín) along with his three kids, Patrick (Manu Ríos), Ari (Carla Díaz), and Mencía (Martina Cariddi) upsets everyone’s apple carts all over again, putting Omar and Samuel’s scholarships in jeopardy and igniting all sorts of new fires in everyone’s already spicy relationships.

Here Comes Trouble

What set previous seasons of Elite apart from its high school bound contemporaries, aside from the lashings and lashings of sex, and the high production values it shared with Money Heist, was its flash forward structure. Each season revolved around a traumatic life altering, or for some students, life ending event, that was only fully revealed in the season finale. As the seasons progressed, each episode doled out more and more tidbits about what had happened and who it had happened to. Each episode revealing new aspects of the victims relationships in the weeks prior, expertly shifting suspicion from student to student until it felt like ANYONE could have committed the crime. That’s not to say the show ignores the elements that made other high school dramas so popular, with everyone copping off with everyone else, regardless of gender. Refreshingly, none of the matchups were greeted with disdain, internal or from the rest of the cast, although we can probably all agree that Lu and Valerio was probably a bridge too far.


Season 4 is no different, although perhaps realizing that too many murders in such a small group strains the bounds of credulity, the showrunners have wisely updated their formula. The fate of the “victim” is not quite so… final this year and the finale also acts as a welcome misdirection, setting up a new secret for the cast to keep (and squabble over) for the already renewed Season 5.

The new additions to the cast fit in just as well as those from previous seasons (it’s hard to consider Rebe or Cayatana as “new”). Patrick adds a lot of new wrinkles to Omar and Ander’s relationship, Mencia opens up new horizons for Rebe, and Ari becomes the latest bone of contention between the always enjoyable pairing of Guzman and Samuel.

Brother In Arms

Seeing as the show was originally about the working class Samuel and his friends joining the upper class school and instantly ruffling Guzman’s feathers, it’s a been a joy to see the two dance round each other as their friendship is put to the test.  

Miguel Bernardeau’s performance as the square jawed Guzman has always been enjoyable. His evolution from square jawed jackass to actually decent human being a highlight of the show. Guzman may be a better person now but that doesn’t mean we see a dip in the GPA (Guzman Punching Activities). The maturation of all the characters on the show demonstrates that Elite is not just an “adult” show in the bedroom/showers/classrooms/wherever (they do it everywhere.)


Along with the usual relationship shenanigans, Season 4 also explores themes of exploitation and prostitution, through Mencia’s storyline, as well as examining the (possible?) abuses of privilege as princeling-in-hiding Philippe (Pol Granch) joins the school.

Some cracks are beginning to show in the show’s production – perhaps due to COVID-19 related issues.  After a few location shoots early in the first few episodes, everything else seems to take place at the Lake Club for the rest of the season, making it feel more like the surf club on Home and Away than a snooty club for the rich. Is there nowhere else in Madrid to go for dinner?

It also appears that Benjamin is the only member of the teaching staff in the entire school, with no other adults appearing in the halls except the occasional shelf reorganizing assistant, or Philippe’s security guards.  

Dressed for Success?

The continual shuffling of Omar and Samuel’s work schedules to facilitate their presence at events “above their station” is also getting thin. Just give them an invite already.


Elite, Season 4, easily continues the quality of past seasons. With the apparent departure of two more of the main cast at the end of the season, one of whom is key to what I assume to be the next major plotline on the show. I really don’t know where Elite plans to go next, but I’ll definitely be getting a permission slip to attend.

Final exam result: Grade A.

Seasons 1-4 of Elite are now streaming on Netflix

Irish Film lover lost in Malaysia. Co-host of Malaysia's longest running podcast (movie related or otherwise ) McYapandFries and frequent cryer in movies. Ask me about "The Ice Pirates"

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