Again no creative introduction here, but Elite is a good show. The Spanish soap opera about a group of poorer, state school kids getting a chance to attend a richer private school on a scholarship may sound naff but it’s actually alright. Also, just as a quick aside watch it with subtitles, not dubbing as it’s actually quite off-putting otherwise. Bar that debate, the show features some good performances, storylines and a decent soundtrack. So, before I get into the best Elite episodes list properly, here is some history about the show.
Elite first debuted on Netflix in October 2018 and is currently in its 5th season with a sixth on the way. As mentioned in the introduction, Elite follows three working class students who gain scholarships to Spain’s top (and fictional) private school Las Encinas. While enrolled at the school, Samuel, Nadia and Christian, find themselves involved in the dangerous and unstable relationships within Las Encinas. Whilst the show does have some high points, it often feels like a guilty pleasure show.
This is the case that while the show does have some pretty decent representation, especially in terms of sexualities, it does share a lot of similarities with soap operas. How is this the case? At points, it does devolve into who stole whose partner. Yeah really…. So without further ado here are the best episodes of Elite ranked. But what edition will open our list of the best Elite episodes?
10. Saturday Night (S1, E3)
Kicking off the list of the best Elite episodes is Saturday Night. Now what makes this episode so good? Well, it all starts when series lead Samuel throws a party. Seems innocent enough. That is until his brother Nano makes a move on a girl he really likes, Marina. Remember when I mentioned Elite’s similarities with soap operas? Yeah this is a pretty good example of that. Other decent plot points include someone spiking the punch and it affecting more than one couple at the party. Oh and Nadia finds out the truth about why Guzman is making a move on her and it isn’t because he really likes her….
9. Love Is A Drug (S1, E4)
What better way to follow up entry number 10 than the episode after Saturday Night: Love is a Drug? Well, Guzman is desperate to earn Nadia’s forgiveness. This might be due to the fact he tries to seduce her for a bet… Yeah really. Also, we see Lu bribing a teacher and Polo and Christian bonding at a gala. Also like everything in Elite the bonding between Polo and Christian definitely doesn’t lead to weird and slightly disturbing. And if that’s not enough for you, Nano finds himself needing to complete a dark mission to pay a long-standing debt. How mysterious, but nevertheless a worthy inclusion on our best Elite episodes list.
8. Rebeka (S3, E6)
Next up on our rankings of the best Elite episodes is Rebeka. What makes this episode so good then? Well, we finally find out who won the Columbia scholarship: Nadia or definitely not briber Lu. This adds to the rivalry that’s been built between the pair since the first season. Other episode highlights include Nadia’s momentous and potentially season-defining decision, Samuel’s concern about Carla and the issues this causes between him and Lu’s stoner half-brother, Valerio. Yeah I know that sounds a bit mad but actually it’s quite entertaining.
7. 66 Hours Missing (S2, E6)
Aah yes, if there is one thing Elite does really well it’s the season-long arcs. Case in point, Season 2’s arc of where on Earth Samuel has disappeared to. This is obviously the driving point of the episode as we see how various characters deal with the disappearance, including Rebeka and Carla who both shine throughout the arc. But it’s not just a one-arc episode as other highlights include Lu blackmailing Nadia about her relationship with Guzman and the utilisation of multiple timelines when it comes to the main arc. All of which explains its #7 spot on our list of the best Elite episodes.
6. Nadia and Omar (S3, E7)
Again something else Elite does really well is its portrayal of sexuality and how other characters deal with it. Case in point, this episode really fleshes out Nadia’s relationship with her older brother, Omar, which leads to some wonderful development for both characters. So besides the titular characters, does anyone else’s development stand out? Yes and that person is Polo. While he may have started out as a bit one dimensional, this episode sees him properly stand out with him trying to make his mother’s reconsider their decision to move away from Las Encinas. Truly great stuff here, though it just misses out on the five best Elite episodes.
5. Ander (S3, E5)
And at the halfway point of the best Elite episodes is Ander. Now whilst Ander may be the titular character, another character very nearly steals the episode. Who is it? Well it’s Rebeka. After the truth about where her mother’s wealth comes from, she is desperate to find out who betrayed her and her mother. Now if that’s not enough, some big revelations in regards to relationships come out during a blackout party in a club. And yes I know that’s probably quite cliche in terms of soap operas/ romantic series but it does further a lot of character development.
4. Everything Explodes (S1, E7)
While the title may be slightly hyperbolic a lot of stuff does metaphorically explode in this episode. So what are some examples of these explosions? Well, we see the furthering of the Guzman-Samuel rivalry due to Samuel’s closeness with Guzman’s sister, Marina. This obviously leads to a fistfight between the pair over Marina’s secret. Other highlights of this episode include Omar’s dad making plans for his future and Carla becoming suspicious of Mariana’s potential involvement in a theft. An intriguing episode, then, but it doesn’t make the three best Elite episodes in our eyes.
3. 84 Hours Missing (S2, E7)
And now we return to the best season-long arc from Elite in my opinion: the “where on Earth is Samuel in season 2” arc? Once again, the use of multiple timelines really helps the episode maintain a steady pace throughout. Also, speaking of Samuel we see him and Omar worrying for his fate due to certain things that he may have done. Other highlights include Lu finding out Cayetana’s secret whilst helping her at a fundraiser party and Ander’s friendship with Guzman developing further. Overall, a very good episode, and so it’s amongst the best Elite episodes.
2. 0 Hours Missing (S2, E8)
Narrowly missing out on the top spot is the conclusion to the “where on Earth is Samuel arc”? Now I won’t go into massive details about where and what the circumstances were behind Samuel’s disappearance. This is because they have some serious implications for several characters, and not just Samuel. However, surely there’s other stuff in this episode right? Yes, there is and it’s just as good as Samuel’s arc. This includes Ander and Omar reconciling and Polo re-emerging into the main arc. A great outing for the show, but it doesn’t top our list of the best Elite episodes.
1. Polo (S3, E8)
And the best episode of Elite is….. Polo. If there was one character who nearly stole Season 3, there is a strong argument for Polo. This is because of the fact he is the centre of so many characters’ stories. Take the ending for example. Here, his involvement manages to unite everyone after nearly tearing everyone apart. So he’s only slightly important then…. Other highlights of this episode include a new world order forming for Season 4 to replace the old guard leaving. So I guess you could say this episode isn’t that important in the grand scheme of Elite. And that’s why it heads up our list of the best Elite episodes.
What are your favourite Elite episodes? Let me know in the comments below!