Major, major spoilers for Elite on Netflix are ahead. In the premiere episode of Elite season 4, “The New Order,” Las Encinas newbie Ari Blanco (Carla Díaz) is found in a lake — bloodied, unconscious, but alive. It seems obvious that someone pushed Ari; viewers are meant to assume a member of Elite’s main cast is the culprit because they all do look quite guilty. Samuel Garcia (Itzan Escamilla) and Guzmán Nunier (Miguel Bernardeau) become the leading candidates, especially as we see the romantic rivals vie for Ari’s affection throughout the season.
Elite’s season 4 finale, “Before I Go (Part II)”, however, upends nearly everything previous flashforwards suggest about Ari’s attack. The reality of Ari’s assault and its deadly aftermath is a horrifying twist that successfully sets up the prospective core drama of Elite season 5, which has already been ordered by Netflix. Neither Samuel nor Guzmán laid a finger on Ari. Instead, Guzmán murdered the man who hurt Ari and the true villain of the season: Armando (Andrés Velencoso).
Armando is a wealthy adult man who identifies Ari’s little sister Mencía (Martina Cariddi) as a young girl in crisis, capitalizes on the situation, and begins paying her for sex. Armando works to groom Mencía the same way Cruel Summer’s Martin Harris (Blake Lee) does with Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt), albeit in a much more soapy, over-the-top manner. In the second half of the season, Mencía attempts to end her “relationship” with Armando, but he starts blackmailing her in order to continue seeing her. It is this decision that leads to the carnage at the finale’s New Year’s Eve party.
Despite Mencía’s insistence that she wants to be done with Armando, he shows up to the Las Encinas celebration at the ritzy Lake Club. At this point in the season, Mencía’s girlfriend Rebeka de Bormujo (Claudia Salas) has informed Ari of Armando’s manipulation. A drunk Ari confronts Armando on a pier and tells him she is going to tell their rich and powerful father Benjamin (Diego Martín) everything. In an effort to keep his secret, Armando beats Ari and tries to leave her for dead. Guzmán — unaware of the violence at the pier — shows up at this exact moment to talk to Ari about their failed romance. An almost incapacitated Ari asks Guzmán to go after Armando for her.
Guzmán chases Armando to a boat house on the Lake Club property. Armando drops a series of shelves onto Guzmán, hoping to flee while his pursuer is immobilized. Armando’s plan fails. Guzmán finds a flare gun and shoots Armando in the back, killing him instantly.
Around this same time, Ari stands up on the dock to pick up her father’s phone call. Still woozy from her assault, Ari passes out and falls into the lake — no one actually pushed her at all.
Guzmán, shocked by his actions and unable to find Ari, turns to Rebe and Samuel for help. The group decides to call the police to report Ari missing. This is how emergency workers are able to find Ari in the lake and revive her. Guzmán, Samuel, and Rebe leave Armando’s involvement out of their report, allowing them to cover up his murder. Before the police arrive, the trio wraps Armando’s body in nautical rope, attaches a huge weight to his corpse, and drops him into the lake. They are now either murderers or accomplices to a murder.That is why Guzmán chooses to accompany Ander Muñoz (Arón Piper) on his international backpacking trip at the close of the finale, giving both boys a definitive road out of Madrid. After the death of his sister (María Pedraza) and best friend (Álvaro Rico), two painful breakups, and an unthinkable trauma, Guzmán needs a vacation.
Guzmán and Armando’s deadly scuffle adds entirely new, devastating depth to season 4’s mystery. Unlike previous seasons, which were about student-on-student crime, season 4 is about an abusive man attempting to kill a teenage girl — and then getting offed for his behavior (and thereby stripping Guzmán of whatever shred of innocence he had left). Since no one is looking for Armando, it is unlikely the authorities will go searching in the lake to find his body — at least for now.
But this is Elite after all and Armando’s corpse will not stay hidden forever. Now that Ari is awake and responsive, it is possible she will tell the police Armando is the one who attacked her. While such an admission will clear Samuel and Guzmán’s names, it will also lead to a city-wide search for Armando. There’s also the possibility that an errant wave will push Armando’s corpse to the surface, revealing his murder to the world (it’s not like he accidentally wound up bound in a lake with a weight fastened to his body). Either way, it is likely this development will draw Guzmán back to his hometown and the endless mayhem of Las Encinas. Unlike last season — which saw the much publicized farewells of multiple cast members, including Danna Paola — Guzmán’s portrayer, Miguel Bernardeau, isn’t going anywhere.