“0 Hours Missing” had its fair share of revelations, some better than others, but it exposed a problem with popular Netflix shows — they never really end with the finale.
This recap of Elite Season 2, Episode 8, “0 Hours Missing”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
“0 Hours Missing” reveals the truth of Samuel’s disappearance and apparent death, but it also reveals a problem with popular Netflix shows, which is that they never seem to end. This is another finale in an increasingly long list that doesn’t really feel like one; it resolves some subplots and abandons some others, but at the end of it, everybody involved ends up in more or less the same position they started in. Nothing is really resolved, there’s no strong sense of payoff for all that has happened until now, and the overall effect is basically of an hour-long advert for the already-commissioned third season. Disappointing, then, but also not a complete disaster, as we’ll see.
Some of “0 Hours Missing” feels a bit ridiculous, and some of it feels intentionally obfuscated by the past, present and future all colliding. The melodrama is turned up a notch, and viewers who weren’t entirely sold on the show’s second season — probably, all in all, an improvement over the first in some important ways — might consider the finale the straw that broke the camels back. For instance, Polo (Álvaro Rico) being finally exposed as Marina’s killer is long-overdue, but his last-minute return to school — courtesy of some diving shenanigans on the part of Cayetana (Georgina Amorós) — essentially repositions him in the exact same place he was in at the start of the season: Guilty, but free, and with no evidence to prove what he did.
Cayetana having Polo’s back seems like a decent payoff for Polo getting her re-enrolled at Las Encinas after the whole Instagram influencer scandal, as well as bankrolling her family — everyone deserves a second chance and all that. There are more second chances given out in “0 Hours Missing”, including Omar (Omar Ayuso) forgiving Ander (Arón Piper) for remaining tight-lipped about Polo’s guilt. But sometimes a second chance is just an excuse to keep things as they were, and that’s a bit how it felt to see Polo arrive back at school in a two-weeks-later epilogue. Perhaps he’ll be next season’s victim.
As for Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), he’s neither missing nor dead — his whole disappearance and presumed murder was a scheme concocted by him and Guzmán (Miguel Bernardeau) to force a confession out of Polo and Carla (Ester Expósito). How much this does or doesn’t make sense is kind of besides the point, since it’s so deliciously soapy that it feels like Elite embracing its own identity in a way that’s almost impossible to dislike. Those who are a**l about plot particulars will almost certainly hate this development, but then again anyone who’s a**l about plot particulars won’t have watched two full seasons of Elite anyway.
The question after “0 Hours Missing” is who’ll be left watching the third season — I will, since I’m professionally mandated to do so, but with this season ending on something of a sour, inconclusive note, one has to hope that the next outing of Elite will also be its last — there’s only so far you can stretch this story and these characters until they snap.