Who is Leila in Netflix series Grand Army?

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 16, 2020 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
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Grand Army Season 1 Recap
Grand Army Promotional Image Courtesy of Netflix

This article “Who is Leila in Netflix series Grand Army” contains spoilers. 

We recapped every episode — check out the archive. 

Grand Army does well to represent different backgrounds and ethnicities, and there’s one character who truly struggles with her identity for various reasons — so who is Leila in Netflix series Grand Army?

What does Leila do at the school?

Nothing much really, however, she does desperately want to be part of the drama class and get cast for roles.

What is Leila like as a person?

It isn’t easy to discuss Leila. The character is purposefully confusing mostly because of how she feels about herself. As an American citizen of Chinese descent, the first few episodes show the character struggling with her identity, often bullied by the other Chinese students who bully her in Mandarin. But despite her being bullied, she presents specific behaviors throughout the series; some audiences will agree with but others will not.

Is Leila in any romance with anyone? (minor spoiler)

Kind of but it’s one-sided — Leila is very desperate for attention so allows herself to be played by George who flagrantly wants to use her for sexual reasons. Leila updates her best friend regularly about George and loses sight of what is important — she becomes the person she didn’t want to be. She also has a heavy dislike for Joey because of how that girl is perceived — she’s a little hypocritical.

So with Leila battling for her popularity and attention while also trying to get into the cast of a school play, she finds herself losing her best friend and also losing herself.

What does Leila do? (major spoiler)

Leila is mad at the end of the series because she takes advice from a Rabbie to be more accountable, but it does not work. Instead, she decides to schedule send an email to the faculty office which implies that someone is going to attack the school — this cancels the school play, and with the fear bubbling over, Rachel makes friends with her again.

This was a twisted move by the character.

We also get the sense of what her problem is; as season 1 ends, she heckles her mother for adopting her from China and nothing of the consequences, giving her a popular white name like Leila. This is a character that struggles with her identity to a degree that makes her reckless. She struggles to understand what she represents.

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