Elite Season 2 is finally upon us, which means the students of Las Encinas will soon be back to their sexy, murder-y ways. But given how much twisty drama the show packed into its first eight episodes, you may need an Elite Season 1 recap before hitting play. After that big finale reveal, the other details have gotten kind of fuzzy.
When Season 1 opens, Las Encinas high school is welcoming three new students to its attractive student body: Samuel, Nadia, and Christian. Their attendance is being sponsored by the construction company responsible for the catastrophic collapse of their previous high school, and allows them entry into the halls of the upper echelons of society. To the kids of the one percent, Las Encinas is their playground… and Samuel, Nadia, and Christian are their new prey.
Of course, thanks to some intriguing flash-forwards, we know none of this ends well. There's a murder by the pool, a bloody trophy, and no shortage of suspects. But who died? And who killed them??
Here's your crash course on the drama-filled lives of the nine students at the heart of the series. We'll call it Elite 101: everything you need to know before diving headfirst into the sudsy depths of Season 2.
If the ensemble cast has a nominal protagonist, it would be Samuel, the main focal point for the various goings-on at Las Encinas. He quickly develops a crush on the lively and rebellious Marina, whose father runs the construction company sponsoring Samuel's education. Unfortunately, while Marina is stringing Samuel along (and taking his virginity), she also develops a crush on his bad-boy older brother, Nano. In order to help him pay off some gangsters he owes money to, she encourages Nano to steal some expensive watches from Carla's father.
Another of the three scholarship students, whip-smart and ambitious Nadia is immediately met with friction at Las Encinas thanks to Islamophobia from both the faculty and her peers. She also establishes an instant rivalry — both academically and romantically — with queen bee Lucrecia. Lu assumed she would be the top student and win the trophy at the end of the year, but Nadia's arrival means she actually has to work for it.
It doesn't help that Nadia begins a blossoming romance with Lu's on-again-off-again boyfriend Guzmán. When her orthodox father finds out about the relationship and demands she breaks it off if she wishes to continue her education at Las Encinas, Nadia refuses, announcing her intention to attain both the arm candy and the academic success she desires.
Feeling threatened by Nadia's arrival, Lu recruits Guzmán to get in her rival's head by pretending to have a crush on her, only to break her heart. Naturally, in the tried-and-true ways of the genre, this pretend crush turns into a very real crush when the arrogant Guzmán finds himself falling for the smart and compassionate Nadia. Although he eventually admits to Lu that he's fallen in love with Nadia, after the death of his sister Marina, a grieving and near-suicidal Guzmán once again falls into Lu's seductive arms.
Lu is used to getting whatever she wants, which is why she's so befuddled when she starts losing both her boy toy and her academic trophy to Nadia. It turns out that she had a deal in place with their teacher, Martín, to inflate her grades and ensure she wins the trophy. Marina found out about this arrangement and used it to blackmail Martín into not reporting her when he discovered her smoking marijuana. Although Guzmán clearly loves Nadia, Lu is able to swoop in at the last minute and reassert her control over him when he's most vulnerable.
The third and final scholarship student is class clown Christian, who immediately develops a crush on the haughty but beautiful Carla. The trouble is, she's already in a relationship with Polo, who she's been with since they were 12 years old. Wanting to spice things up, Carla convinces Polo to let her have sex with Christian while he watches. This arrangement soon transforms into a full-blown polyamorous throuple, with Carla sleeping with both boys — often at the same time. But this happy arrangement starts to fall apart when Carla and Polo suspect Christian of being the one who stole Carla's father's watches.
6/7. Carla & Polo
The theft of the watches isn't the only problem straining the relationship between these two long-term lovebirds. Polo grows increasingly jealous of Carla's attraction to Christian… but which of them he's most jealous of becomes an open question. This tangled web of desire culminates with Polo seeking out a sexual encounter with Christian sans Carla. When Christian tells Carla the truth about this dangerous liaison, she breaks up with Polo once and for all and commits solely to Christian, sending her heartbroken ex into a tailspin.
Guzmán's and Polo's best friend Ander is dealing with secrets of his own, since the tennis star and principal's son is secretly gay. When Ander goes to meet a hook-up, he realizes that it's his drug dealer, Omar, Samuel's friend and Nadia's closeted brother, who doesn't go to Las Encinas. The two develop a loving but secretive relationship; eventually, they're discovered while kissing by Anders' mom, but she's surprisingly supportive of the couple. When Nadia learns the truth, Omar initially breaks things off with Ander, but his sister lovingly encourages him to go after him and Omar and Ander start dating again.
When the school year starts, Marina has a bit of a reputation thanks to her scandalous relationship with previous scholarship student Pablo, from whom she contracted HIV. (It's for this reason that the rest of the school treats the new crop of scholarship students so suspiciously.) Although she takes Samuel's virginity, Marina finds herself more attracted to Nano, who ends up getting her pregnant. She and Nano decide to use the watches he stole from Carla's father to run away and start a new life together. Unfortunately, one of those watches contains a USB drive full of evidence proving the construction company's culpability for the school collapse.
At the end of the school year, it's Marina — not Nadia or Lu — who has won the trophy. But before she can celebrate her victory, she's confronted at the pool by Polo, who wants to retrieve the incriminating watch in order to redeem himself in Carla's eyes. When he and Marina end up getting in an altercation, he grabs the trophy and bashes in her head, killing her; Carla and Christian then help him cover up his involvement. Since she was pregnant with his child when he died, it's Nano who winds up the prime suspect and behind bars for Marina's murder.
Will Nano be able to prove his innocence? Will Polo's involvement be discovered? What will happen next to these messy, sexy kids? Find out when Elite Season 2 hits Netflix on Friday, Sept. 6.