Elite - Season 2 - Review: Living Their Best Lives? By Marko Pekic (September 14, 2019, 3:06 pm)
Throughout the 8 episode season 2 the Elite protagonists tried to live their best lives. Did they succeed? Of course not. Yet it was a major joy to watch them try. Elite season 2 was smarter, better paced and quite more sexual than season 1. Let`s dive in the juicy sexescapades of the Las Encinas kids.
While certainly not my favorite part of the season, I appreciated how well the show paced and placed all the scenes and teases through the episodes ahead of the finale. The revelation at the end, quite predictable though. As the season progressed it was more and more obvious that none of the major characters would really benefit from Samuel`s disappearance and death wasn`t an option at this point. Guzman`s involvement was a surprise, certainly, but my jaw didn`t really hit the floor. The possibility of Samu and Guzman starting a bromance seems very promising, very Lucas and Nathan OTH. Itzan and Miguel are part of the stronger actors among the cast so them hitting it off may be a welcome addition to next season.
The lack of Christian and Nano was quite palpable. They were so deeply entangled into the whole Marina story that the way they were taken of the table just left a major void. I hope they find a way to keep them in the present time and come back if their shooting schedule allows it (ICYMI both were busy shooting Casa del Papel/Money Heist).
The Perfect Villain
After last season wrapped the choice of Marina`s killer left a bad taste in my mouth. Polo was a secondary character with or without him the show wouldn`t have changed much. Akcent on WAS. Alvaro Rico was the breakout star of this season. In every scene, he showed a new facette brought layers and added complexity to Polo, which I sincerely thought wasn`t possible back when I wrapped season 1. The writers succeeded in creating a complex character who indeed was torn by his actions yet didn`t want to go to prison. He didn`t want to lose all that he had and live with the scrutiny didn`t seem like a possibility either. Still, in all this mishmash of emotions, he didn`t back away from emotionally blackmailing Carla or Ander to keep his secret. Polo`s breakdown in front of Guzman about his self-medication and anxiety struggle was really powerful.
While watching I found myself comparing Polo to 13RW`s Bryce and how the writers indeed succeeded in making Polo a relatable character but still being true to his devious ways. None of the Elite characters is perfect and Marina`s death was an accident but it is all about living up to your sins and Polo wasn`t able to. The writers weren`t that subtle with Cayetana scoring that trophy for him at the end but I appreciated that they have laid the groundwork for it and didn`t just pull the twist out of their heads.
Should have the Polo story been wrapped this season? I personally would`ve appreciated it. How many violent Guzman outbursts do we have to witness before his sister`s murder is captured? The decision to keep Polo around could certainly backfire but let´s not judge before we see how season 3 will wrap.
Introducing three new characters within an eight-episode run is very tricky, but it seems like the Elite writers live to shut me up at this point. Claudia Salas, Georgina Amorós and Jorge Lopez perfectly blended into the shenanigans of the Las Encinas and added their own personal flavor to it. Seeing Rebeca`s and Cayetana`s stories unfold was especially entertaining. On one side there was Rebeca the one who had it all but didn`t want to change because of the status change and Cayetana on the other side who had nothing and tried everything she could to be one of "them".
Rebeca from the begging hit all the right buttons and secured a space on my faves list. The natural approach Claudia gave to her and the nonchalant ways of executing those lines provided just the joy the dark lives of our previous protagonists needed. Her fierce fashion choices, hidden family business and pining over Samu provided enough complexity to make her more than comedic relief. Also, Nadia and Samu needed someone on their side to balance the story out and Rebeca was a perfect choice.
Cayetana meanwhile didn`t make herself very popular by the way she treated her mother. It really brought up some rage issues with me, mistreating parents always does it with me. Her story was a nice mirror of society and the way kids think they have to act and present themselves to be popular and accepted. And while I don`t support the way she handled herself, after seeing how nasty Lu and the others were to the trio last season I can`t really blame her. Prejudice and classism is something very deeply rooted in our society no matter where you live and the desire to be accepted is as old as age. Her being an accomplice to a murderer, certainly doesn`t give her a freebie to heaven yet shows how grateful and loyal she is. Cayetana at her core is just girl tired of the tough life she and her mother had to go through and after taking away all of the make up she put on her life you see a hard-working smart girl who just wanted to be accepted. She didn`t stash that trophy away out of the purest place of her heart. So let`s see where her story heads in season 3
Last but certainly not least, there is our new trouble maker, Valerio. While I completely despise the relationship story they sent out with his character, Valerio won me over the curse of this season. His carefree nature and shady plotting just added so much light to this season. Yes, everything he did he did to get closer to Lu, still he did phenomenally and brought so much light to the show. Where he scored a negative point on my list was recording the locker-room sex scene between Nadia and Guzman. Showed just how selfish and spoiled he was in his path to get what he wants and that isn`t a pretty color on anyone. We shall see if season 3 explores his character more.
Relationship Status: It`s Complicated
1.) Lu and Valerio
Ugh! Isn`t this enough about them? I really got chills as I`ve realized the writers indeed were heading that way. And while I don`t really get why the had to be half-sibling, would`ve been just as gross if they were step-siblings, the writers wanted to go dark with them and show how lonely it is in their situation. The forbidden fruit is a story that goes through so many shows and is handled in very different manners. As the writers went ahead an alienated Lu from everything she thought of worthy the hook up was inevitable. The way Valerio destroyed her afterward was simply cruel, to be honest. He idolized her, idolized her care and compassion and as she stripped it all away and showed her dark colors he realized that what he felt for her wasn`t really love. The question is, will this change Lu? I love Lu. She is phenomenal and awful at the same time. A Bench who was brought up thinking she is superior and she could spend time only with the "likes of her". I can`t hate her for that. Is it wrong? Of course, but that is the only thing she knows. Being the greatest, the richest, the one with the best boyfriend.
2.) Ander and Omar
The main theme going through their story this season was: Is love enough? The rollercoaster ride these two took this season was filled with pouty faces, friendly jerk offs, drag styles and self-discovery. And while Ander multiple times said that 10 minutes somewhere in the dark isn`t enough, he wasn`t ready to meet full on Omar. And nevertheless, I found their path this season very authentic, even though it had a bit too much drama. Polo jerking Ander off (with Guzman sleeping next to them) was certainly a shocker. It certainly served as a way to create a stronger bond between the two, who previously barely shared screentime, as it set up the further story of the season. Ander finding out Polo`s truth certainly put a torn into his relationship with Omar and neither handled it well. Living together after 3 months of dating certainly didn`t help, still, keeping such a big secret when you are currently all about your truth put a damper on Ander. It felt a bit out of character for Ander to keep Polo`s secret but having someone`s death on your conscious certainly doesn`t feel nice either. Omar meanwhile after liberating himself from his father`s grip was living his truth as loud as he could and Ander wasn`t really loving the sound. It was refreshing seeing Omar happy and carefree and while both had issues adjusting, seeing stepping up for his boy when Ander`s dad was a prick was empowering. Did it fix all their issues? Of course not. They have so many issues to figure out but loving each other so much is certainly a good base for anything that comes in the future.
P.S. Was I the only one living for those Lu-Omar scenes. What great interaction! We definitely need them more next season. Peak Lu:
Lu: We`ll have laser Hair removal in Hell.
3.) Nadia and Guzman
And THEY are there! They are finally dating, at least I hope they are, can`t be really sure with these two. Stucken by grief, Guzman was the same prick we got to know last season, except to Nadia. The push and pull they went through this season was something else. Nadia wasn`t really sure where she was in life and who she wanted to be. Las Encinas changed her, let her see the charms of the life she was forbidden to experience. And just as said earlier, the taste of the forbidden fruit seems to be just too good. I saw many comments online that the writers choosing her to let go of her hijab were islamophobic and while I don´t agree I don`t think it was necessary for that matter. The hijab was portrayed as a symbol of her oppression and I don`t see them as that. Certainly a very bold choice on the writer's side. Torn between her love and who her parents, Nadia had it quite rough this season. In the meantime, Guzman was still with Lu, which didn`t sit really well with me either. Being with Lu and then trying to approach Nadia and sleeping with Nadia while still dating Lu, won`t make him a candidate for Gentleman of the Year. Still, there is always something so pure about their interaction and how they bring out another side of each other.
4.) Carla and Samu
Oh boy! Someone bring in a fire extinguisher cause it is getting hot in here. Watching season 1; I could never see them being such a good match. They surpassed Carla and Christian by miles. The three months before we meet the two of them weren`t the best for either. Carla was tormented by the secret she kept, while Samu struggled to live with his cheating ass brother in prison. The estrangement and vulnerability served as the "perfect" stepping stone for their relationship. Something I really appreciate about the way the Elite team does their scenes is that sometimes it seems like the time has stopped. Like everything surrounding them is frozen in time and only their words and bodies are alive. And those moments give the show live. Samu and Carla had so many of them across the season. It certainly peaked towards the end when true emotions were born between them.
Carla: We both have lost.
Samu: What have you lost?
Carla: You played with me and you won
Samu: I lost you.
Carla: You never had me.
Ester Exposito brings in so much passion and sensuality into her words. It is overwhelming. She and Itzan have so much chemistry and I really hope you watch the show in Spanish with subtitles cause otherwise you shouldn`t watch it isn`t the same. With everything falling apart and Samu playing Ester so he would clear his brother`s name, the future for this couple seems especially grim. Let´s see if season 3 provides a path where they can meet each other again.
That`s a wrap on my side, guys. I hope you`ve enjoyed my thoughts on season 2 of Elite. Season 3 is hopefully coming soon, cause I am already overdue my next fix of drama. Till next time. In the meantime scroll down and let me know what are your thoughts on the season.