Never has there ever been a high school so rich in money and murder than Las Encinas, and season 4 of Netflix’s Elite is only solidifying the prep school’s reputation. The new season of the spanish teen soap opera is bringing it all back, from a new murder mystery to new sexually adventurous teens just counting down the moments before they can hook up with new classmates on school grounds. But, before we get into what’s going down in season 4, let’s do a quick recap of Elite seasons 1 through 3 to really set the scene.
Remember, in the past three seasons, there have been almost as many murders and crimes as there have been hookups at the prestigious high school. First, there was Marina’s (Maria Pedraza) murder, then there was Samuel’s (Itzan Escamilla) disappearance, and, finally in season 3, there was the saga of Polo (Álvaro Rico) — who, despite killing Marina for a watch, somehow got to go back to school and finish out the year before he was accidentally killed by a drunk Lu (Danna Paola) with a broken champagne bottle. And that’s just the murdery stuff. Season 3 also saw Guzmán (Miguel Bernardeau) and Samuel get kicked out of school on the very last day, Ander (Arón Piper) beat cancer with Omar (Omar Ayuso) by his side, and Cayetana graduated only to wind up staying at Las Encinas — as a member of the custodial staff. Then Lu and Nadia (Mina El Hammani) went off to Columbia University, leaving Guzmán with no women to juggle for the first time in two years.
Episode 1: “The New Order”
The Flash Forward
As in every other season of Elite, each episode begins teasing a new mystery, one that will only be solved when the season ends. This time, the flash forward starts with Guzmán, sitting in the Lake Club (the official logo says it’s a “VIP Club”), fireworks going off behind him. A detective walks in and says he needs to talk to him about what happened. Below them, by the water, paramedics gather on the dock, and sirens blare.
At the end of season 3, Guzmán, Samu, Ander, Omar, and Rebe (Claudia Salas) were all ready to start their senior year (some for the second time), but season 4 starts with a huge curveball. Ander’s mom, Azucena (Elisabet Gelabert) is out of a job. The school has brought in a new principal to whip this place into shape. Benjamin (Diego Martín), a former CEO, is ready to make his mark on the school. His first act as principal: single out the scholarship kids, Omar and Samuel, imply that they probably don’t deserve academic scholarships, and tell them that they’ll have to pass an entrance exam if they want to stay the year.
The New Kids
Meanwhile, three new kids are introduced: Ari (Carla Díaz), a confident swimmer who catches Guzmán’s eye by almost beating him in a race, Patrick (Manu Ríos), who approaches Ander in the showers and straight up checks him out; and Mencía (Martina Cariddi), a rebel (you can tell because she’s wearing a harness under her uniform) who vibes with Rebe. But before any real connections are formed, the truth comes out. They’re the new principal’s kids, and, as a sign of loyalty to Omar and Samuel, no one will talk to them.
After their first day, Benjamin takes his kids to dinner at the Lake Club, the fancy country club where Samuel and Omar work now. Mencía and Patrick tell Benjamin how his plan for the scholarship kids is already ruining their time at this new school, but even Ari’s suggestion that he reconsider isn’t entertained. Benjamin dismisses her out of hand, telling her that she shouldn’t worry about his job when she already has so much on her plate with Mencía. (Keep that in mind for later.)
The next morning, Benjamin and his kids arrive at school to find the students staging a sit-in in the front entrance. Mencía joins the group, and later joins them to talk strategy. She tells them that their only hope at trying to reason with Benjamin is to go through Ari. If anyone can make him change his mind, it’s her. Rebe nominates Samuel to go talk to her, but Mencía throws her weight behind Guzmán. He’s not so into the idea. The last time he tried to get close to a girl with an ulterior motive, he ended up falling in love with her, and he and Nadia are trying to make long-distance work, so he doesn’t want to be tempted. (We miss you, Nadia!) But, Omar begs, and so Guzman relents and ends up asking her out for drinks after school.
On their date, Guzman and Ari bond over having lost family members. He opens up about his sister, Marina, and she tells him about her mother, who died in a car accident that almost killed Patrick. Guzman mentions the test, but also accidentally mentions a girlfriend. When Ari presses him, he says, “the past is in the past,” and despite that not being a denial, Ari accepts it.
Meanwhile, Patrick reaches out to Ander and invites him to go out with him to a gay club, implying that, if Ander goes out with him, he’ll give Omar the test answers. Omar doesn’t want Ander to go, but he does anyway. Patrick and Ander get pretty close on the dance floor, and are almost about to hook up right there when Ander finally snaps out of it and leaves. He wants to help Omar stay at Las Encinas, but he won’t betray him.
The other principal’s kid, Mencía, spends the night out with Rebe. The two get along great, but Rebe is still feeling gun shy after Samuel’s betrayal, and she tells Mencía as much. After they kiss, she runs away, scared of getting close to someone again, and leaves Mencía at the bar alone. Instead of going home, Mencía stays out all night, and when she finally returns in the early morning, it’s already time for school. She heads straight past her dad and siblings to her room, and Ari follows, asking her to do better. Can’t she see that what she does hurts Ari, who is being held responsible for her? “Haven’t you hurt us all enough as it is?” she asks, clearly hitting a nerve.
The next night, when Mencía refuses to go to dinner with her dad and Ari, Benjamin announces that he’s cutting her off. He’ll support her with the bare minimum of what the government requires for a parent, but she won’t have access to his bank accounts anymore. Ari tries to get Mencía to turn things around, saying that she dug this hole for herself and she doesn’t have to fight her family. This tactic does not work. Instead of trying to make nice, Mencía lashes out, telling Ari that the only reason Guzmán went out with her was to try to get her to talk to Benjamin about the test.
After their fight, Mencía packs a bag and leaves home. She texts Rebe, but when she doesn’t answer, Mencía ends up letting herself get picked up by an older man, Armando, who buys her a drink, listens to her sob story, and rents her a room at a hotel. He says he won’t pressure her to sleep with him, but that she can stay as long as she wants and order room service on his tab. Mencía decides to sleep with him, asking him to stay the night. When she wakes up, she’s alone… with a small stack of 100 euro bills on the nightstand.
At the Lake Club, Samu decides to make a last ditch appeal to Benjamin, begging him to let Omar continue at the school without taking the test. He can’t afford to lose anybody else, he says, before his boss comes to take him away and fire him. Benjamin isn’t particularly moved, but he asks Ari if she thinks he should ease up. She says no, he should give the exam as planned.
The morning of the test, Patrick apologizes to Ander and Omar and gives Omar the answers to the test. Omar doesn’t trust him, but he doesn’t really have any better options. Both Samu and Omar pass, and even though Benjamin suspects that Omar cheated, he lets them go.
In the pool, Ari gets revenge on Guzmán, beating him in a race by telling him that she DMed Nadia and told her all about their date. She was lying, but warns him that he shouldn’t try to betray her again.
The episode ends with another glimpse into the future. Ander, Samuel, Guzmán, Patrick, Rebe, and Mencía are all standing, waiting and watching. Suddenly there’s a heartbeat, and a voice on a radio says, “The girl is alive.”
Episode 2: “Five Seconds”
The Flash Forward
Ari is alive and on a ventilator. Her alcohol blood levels are high, and if she's not used to drinking this could just be a horrible accident. Benjamin asks the doctor if someone pushed her, but there's no way to know.
Benjamin, Ari, and Patrick are attending a fancy greeting party for a French aristocrat, Prince Philippe (Pol Granch). He's going to be a new student at Las Encinas this year.
At the school, Cayetana is giving the crew the low-down on the new royal in town. (She is the Instagram queen after all.) Meanwhile, the school is installing security cameras and metal detectors as new security measure. This includes background checks on the students and their families. While the students are filling them out, Benjamin heavily implies that he already knows all about Rebe's mother's illegal activities, so now Rebe is convinced that she's going to be kicked out. Though, as Guzman and Samu point out, she's not the only one with a family member with a criminal record.
Unfortunately for Rebe, her future at Las Encinas becomes even more tenuous after Benjamin catches her making out with Mencía in the locker room.
Later that night, Ari confronts her sister, telling her that their dad thinks she's been spending her nights with Rebe. Even worse, Benjamin thinks Rebe has been paying her with her mother's dirty drug money. And when Mencía won't deny it, Ari tells her that she will not let their relationship continue. Little does she know, when Mencía tries to text Rebe, she doesn't get a response, and she ends up texting Armando instead.
At a speakeasy with Armando, Mencía is approached by the owner of the club. The woman warns her that she's seen Armando with other girls like her, and wonders if she really knows what she's doing and if she's prepared for this line of work. Mencía brushes her off.
Meanwhile, there's a new love triangle brewing. Guzman and Samu are both into Ari, despite also both insisting they're not. Guzman and Ari patch things up after their date, and decide to start over. And when Samu calls him out for connecting with Ari while still technically dating Nadia, Guzman challenges Samu to ask Ari out himself.
Later that night, the O.G. crew meets up at the Lake Club. Guzman is freaking out because Nadia pushed back their video call, and he feels like he's the only one making an effort in the relationship. So, to boost his mood, he suggests they throw a party at Samu and Omar's place — no new kids allowed.
Samu manages to get Rebe alone and tries to patch things up between them — again. She slaps him and reminds him that whether or not they are friends after his betrayal is her decision, not his. As she walks away, Samu says that he doesn't need for them to be friends, he just hopes that what he did doesn't make her close herself off from other people.
The next day, it's the Prince's first day at Las Encinas. Cayetana goes old school, dressing up and seemingly pretending to be a student welcoming him to the school. She's getting away with it too, until Ari busts in and not-so-politely asks her to please clean up a spill in the computer room. But, in a twist, Phillippe isn't bothered that she's a cleaning lady. Instead, he brushes it off and informs Ari that he wanted to introduce himself to everybody, "staff included."
Benjamin, Patrick, and Mencía watch Ari in her hospital bed from behind a glass door. Benjamin suggests the cops think someone might have pushed her into the lake, but they're not sure who. Upon hearing this news, Patrick looks especially panicked.
After Ander mentions to Omar how hot it was to be hit on by Patrick, suggesting they might try something new, Omar checks out the new kid in the showers. He admits to Ander that hearing about his dalliance with Patrick was a total turn on, and so, maybe — just maybe — they could consider a threesome. But at the end of the day, it's got to be Omar and Ander, together. They're discussing the best way to approach Patrick with their proposition when Benjamin walks in and suddenly declares everyone. vacate the showers, all so that Phillippe can shower in private.
The next period, when Phillippe walks into their classroom, Guzman leads the kids in a walk out. Only Ari and Patrick stay behind at their desks. Outside, Samuel tries to defend Phillippe, saying that he shouldn't necessarily be held responsible for his parents. But Guzman accuses him of just trying to suck up to Ari.
After his chilly reception in class, Phillippe goes for a swim alone. No students allowed in the gym with him, apparently, but Cayetana, who is mopping the floor, is. She teases him about having no friends, he teases her about being a creepy stalker groupie, and they decide to start over. After their chat, Cayetana lobbies to get Phillippe invited to Samuel and Oscar's party. And when Ari overhears, Samuel decides to invite her and Mencía and Patrick. Guzman tries to scare Ari out of going, declaring that the party is actually a towel party — everyone there must be wearing only a towel.
Not only does Ari rise to the occasion, following the dress code, she also decides to get drunk. She doesn't drink often, but Patrick encourages her. He wants her to loosen up and let her drunk alter-ego, Ira, come out. It turns out that a drunk Ari is a much nicer and carefree Ari. She flirts with Guzman until Nadia calls and then turns her attention to Samu after a towel mishap causes some temporary nudity on his part. They end up hooking up as Guzman has a tough talk with Nadia, who is slightly jealous at seeing her boyfriend partying without her.
Elsewhere at the party, Rebe apologizes to Mencía for ignoring her, and admits she's scared of getting into a new relationship, but Mencía isn't. They kiss and makeup. Then Omar and Ander finally work up the courage to ask Patrick if he'd be into having a threesome with them, and they end up doing it right then and there in the bathroom. Finally, Cayetana makes her move on Phillippe. The two bond over fashion, and they kiss in their towels.
Guzman leaves the party, exiting just in time to see Samu and Ari stumble into his bedroom, and calls Nadia. He thinks maybe she's right, that their relationship is just too hard right now. He suggests they give each other a few days to really think over their relationship.
Ari's heart rate is speeding up, she's crashing.
At school, Phillippe tells Benjamin he doesn't want anybody expelled because of the background checks. The new head of school insists it's all for security, but Phillippe responds that his family hasn't asked for half of the security measures Benjamin installed. Which begs the question: just what are these extreme security measures for, Benjamin?
Benjamin offers to get rid of certain measures, and suggests they take the cameras down, but Phillippe doesn't want that. He likes the cameras. As he says this to Benjamin, we see in a flashback to last night, when he and Cayetana had sex on his bed... in front of a very conveniently placed hidden camera.
More recaps to come.