Elite Season 2 Review: Class (Warfare) In Session Back to School

September 6, 2019
Jonathon Wilson 1
Netflix, TV Reviews
3.5

Summary

Netflix’s soapy Spanish whodunit returns with another eight episodes of class division and murder mystery, hitting the same beats as the first season with a touch more ambition.

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3.5

Summary

Netflix’s soapy Spanish whodunit returns with another eight episodes of class division and murder mystery, hitting the same beats as the first season with a touch more ambition.

This review of Elite Season 2 is spoiler-free. You can also check out our thoughts on the first season by clicking these words. Elite Season 2 was released globally on Netflix on September 6, 2019.


Netflix’s soapy Spanish whodunit Elite turned out to be a surprise hit when it was released last year, proving both the validity of the streaming giant’s aggressive international acquisition strategy and the eternal appeal of pretty teenagers getting up to no good. With eight new episodes debuting globally today, Elite Season 2 takes us back to school for more of the same, introducing new students, old mysteries, and the same class-conscious undercurrent that had eager viewers worldwide ironing their blazers for enrollment in the elite Las Encinas academy.

Elite Season 2 allows series’ creators Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona to play more with the show’s time-bending back-and-forth structure and delve deeper into its characters, most of whom began as archetypes and gradually evolved into more complicated or outlandish versions of themselves. New students — including “influencer” Cayetana (Georgina Amorós) and chip off the old block Rebeca (Claudia Salas) — are much the same in how they present as one thing and then reveal themselves either as another thing or that one thing dialed up to an extreme.

The secret of the first season, which remains a potent weapon in Elite Season 2, is that the show is a murder-mystery in which the question of whodunit doesn’t really matter; its procedural elements — one might call them tropes — exist to provide a narrative throughline, but they mostly exist to provide an excuse for an evolving teen drama. The show’s always at its weakest when it focuses too much on crimes or on teasing them out with its fancy-pants structure — a formal conceit that requires a delicate balancing act and isn’t always maintained.

But when it works, Elite Season 2 really does work as an examination of class, family, teenage angst and the expectations of both youth and a certain social standing. The show is uniquely Spanish in its style and aesthetic, with all the cultural idiosyncrasies that entail, but it’s also appealingly universal. The success of its first season — enough that a third has already been commissioned — has only helped Elite Season 2 double-down on what already worked about it, a self-awareness that’ll doubtlessly please binge-watching fans this weekend.

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