Elite season 1, episode 4 recap: Las relaciones problematicas


Halfway through Elite’s first season, the problematic nature of two relationships comes into focus. But does the show address it properly?

While I’ve previously written about how Elite is not an entirely cliché teen drama, in episode 4, the Netflix original series leans into a pretty big trope, not once but twice.

I’m referring to the trope of problematic relationships being simultaneously sensationalized and overlooked for the sake of the plot.

Now, on the one hand, it might seem dumb to criticize the use of this trope — like complaining about water being wet. Elite is a teen soap, after all. Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars are certainly guilty of using the trope, too.

But, fair or not, it matters that Elite is airing in 2018. This particular cliché is more glaring than ever before. From the pilot, it was pretty clear that Nadia (Mina El Hammani) and Guzmán (Miguel Bernardeau) would end up falling victim to it. But in episode four, it becomes clear that they’re not the only ones.

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Marina & Pablo

At Elite‘s halfway point, we finally get the backstory on what became of Pablo (Alberto Vargas). He wasn’t technically expelled from Las Encinas, but he didn’t necessarily leave by choice either.

The biggest bombshell is that Marina (María Pedraza) was apparently only 14 at the time and Pablo was 17, making him guilty of statutory rape. However, Marina’s parents didn’t press charges and actually paid off Pablo so that Pablo wouldn’t press assault charge against Guzmán.

Guzmán, with Polo (Álvaro Rico) and Ander’s (Áron Piper) help, jumped Pablo in the school locker room. He seemingly beat Pablo nearly to death even as Polo and Ander started begging him to stop.

Knowing about the age differential now, Guzmán’s anger makes much more sense. He may not have been in the right when he brutally beat Pablo, but his rage was justified. Even if Pablo didn’t know he was infected, he must have known how old Marina was since they went to the same school. From Marina’s perspective, she consented, but Pablo took advantage of her nonetheless.

Perhaps, Elite will eventually address that and Marina will realize she shouldn’t be giving Pablo a pass for it, but I’m expecting to be disappointed.

In episode four, Marina and Pablo’s age gap is only revealed to expose Guzmán’s violent past and prove he’s probably capable of murder. So, essentially, Marina’s trauma is not only not explored, it’s used by showrunners Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona to further Guzmán’s plotline and Elite‘s overall murder mystery.

Nadia & Guzmán

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Speaking of Guzmán, in the present, he has officially broken up with Lucrecia (Danna Paola), but things between him and Nadia couldn’t be worse.

In episode three, she found out about what he’d planned to do to her. He didn’t tell her. Lucrecia told Nadia to hurt her. Then, in trying to defend himself, Guzmán called Nadia a slut for flirting with him while drugged.

In episode 4, Guzmán is desperate to earn Nadia’s forgiveness — his first attempt is to give her a present, later revealed to be a hijab — but Nadia wants nothing to do with him.

To scare him off, Nadia says he needs to apologize to her parents. That night, he actually tries to do so, though, before she drags him away. She rightly accuses him of attempting to just beat a challenge. In other words, he doesn’t care about her. He just wants to win.

At the end of the episode, after realizing that his father (Ramón Esquinas) is an unfeeling fraud, Guzmán decides to become a better person. He tells Nadia that he doesn’t “deserve” her forgiveness or her. But a touched Nadia tells him, “Ahora sí,” (Now you do).

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While Guzmán’s newfound humility is seemingly not an act, his relationship with Nadia is still a problematic and outdated storyline. It’s one thing for Nadia to forgive him, it’s quite another for them to start dating, which is definitely where this plot is headed.

What do you think of Elite so far? Were you also disappointed by how these storylines were handled? Let us know in the comment section below.