I Killed Him – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Anything Goes – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Tie Me Up – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Body – | Review Score – 4/5
Please, Tell The Truth – | Review Score – 3/5
Can’t Buy My Love – | Review Score – 3/5
Toxic – | Review Score – 3/5
Your Side of the World and Mine – | Review Score – 3/5
Some shows are cancelled way before their time. In the graveyard of Netflix Originals, there are a lot of unfinished titles.
Likewise though, some shows outstay their welcome and drag on for far too long. They lose what initially made them appealing and become a shell of their former self.
Elite then is a bit of both in many ways. While there are reasons to keep the show going, it also feels like a series that’s way past its sell-by date. And if season 5 is any indication, it’s time to throw in the towel.
Elite’s cocktail of romance, drama and murder mystery may not be to everyone’s taste but there’s something palpable and gripping with the format. Last season the cracks were there for all to see but an enticing murder mystery did well to paper over some of the issues. Season 5 however, does not have that luxury.
With half the cast moving on and onto bigger and better things, those left behind are joined by new characters who don’t quite have the same allure as their previous stars.
The storyline continues to add a murder mystery element though, and this time it comes in the form of a mysterious figure floating face-down in a swimming pool. With a schoolbag in the depths of the pool and Samuel suspect number 1, these “flash forwards” are sprinkled through the episodes as we cut back in time and follow the new school year leading up to this point.
Drama ensues though when a video from Elodie surfaces, accusing Phillipe of rape. He becomes public enemy number 1 at school, although new student Isadora rallies by his side alongside Cayetana.
With a more draconian rule enacted by Benjamin, including geolocation tracking and a strict police of no physical contact, Patrick finds himself rebelling harder than ever before, turning away from his father and finding comfort in new student Ivan, who has transferred across with his hotshot soccer-star father, Cruz.
Inevitably, the pair end up growing closer together until an unexpected tie with Cruz turns everything upside down.
Meanwhile, Omar is still working at the bar and he welcomes in a kid called Bilal who’s worried about gangsters coming after him. There’s also Ari who continues her romance with Samu (who’s back at school again) while Mencia and Rebe continue to dance around their feelings.
These romances essentially prop up the whole show and it’s clear this year that the mystery is more of an afterthought than a genuinely gripping part of the series. To be fair, there is a lovely little twist at the end of episode 4, which helps to elevate this, but beyond that the show feels muddied and muddled.
Looking back across the whole 8 episodes, there really aren’t any memorable moments beyond that aforementioned twist and a particularly steamy sex scene between Patrick and Ivan. Beyond that, everything here feels indifferently average. That’s a problem, because those who were put off by season 4 are unlikely to be reeled back in here.
There are a few other subplots that show during this year too but a hasty finale, leaving the door open for season 6 (which has already been green-lit) feels more like sequel bait than a genuinely enticing and satisfying resolution.
It’s a shame too because there are glimmers of hope here but they’re quickly extinguished in the wake of so much mediocrity.
Some of the character arcs are poorly written too, including Omar who doesn’t really get a whole lot to do and should probably have been moved on.
Likewise, Mencia and Rebe’s story is weak and poorly plotted, with very little substance to it. And then there’s Isadora. For much of the season it’s unclear what her motivations actually are, but then the show takes a dark turn during episode 7 and personally, it doesn’t sit right with the story, given this is thrown in and almost brushed off insincerely in the finale. No spoilers but those who have watched the series will know exactly what I’m referencing.
In true Elite fashion though, the editing is pretty good and the delightful cocktail of neon-lit visuals and pulsating soundtrack work in tandem to make for a vibrant teen drama.
I’s just a shame that this same brightness doesn’t translate across to the writing, which is average at best. This season is as predictable as you could get, crippled by average characters working an average screenplay; the result was always going to be unsurprisingly average.
Verdict - 4.5/10