Elite Season 4 Review: Big Changes Result in the Most Compelling Mystery YetPaul Dailly at .
It's been a long wait for Elite Season 4, and there was a lot of uncertainty due to the wide array of cast changes between seasons.
Instead of going full Skins and revamping the entire cast, Elite Season 4 features a mix of old and new, and after the first four episodes, the results are highly positive.
Many TV shows flounder at this point in their runs, but Elite Season 4 makes the necessary changes to keep the drama flowing for fans.
My initial concern was that the new characters, including a new headmaster, his three kids, and a prince, would be hastily thrown into the narrative to amp up the drama.
After the first four episodes, what's clear is that these new additions are crucial to the success of the season, bringing their fair share of baggage into the mix.
Elite Season 3 was strong, but it introduced characters like Yeray and Malick without organically developing them. Instead, they were used as plot devices.
It's hard to pick who is my favorite out of the new crop because they all bring so much to the table. Carla Dìaz is illuminating as Ari, who plays out as more of a mashup of some of the characters we've lost between seasons.
She has a knack for pleasing her father that puts her on the outs with her siblings, Mencía and Patrick. However, Mencía and Patrick are not as concerned with impressing their father, and both tend to play on the more rebellious side of things.
Benjamin, the patriarch of the new family and principal of the school, understandably wants to make some big changes at Las Encinas.
With students being murdered, going missing, and everything in between, the private school is not as lucrative as it once was, meaning there have to be some changes to secure its future.
It's evident there's a lot more going on behind the scenes of this family, and the first four episodes successfully build up the tension.
Phillipe is a Prince who arrives at the school, and as you would expect, that brings some changes in itself with stringent safety protocols designed to keep this royal student safe.
The new characters take up a lot of screen time, more so than I would have thought heading into the season, but it doesn't feel forced.
Samuel, Guzman, Ander, Omar, Rebe, and Cayetana are all back, with the first five as students resitting their final year at the school and Cayetana set as the school janitor.
It makes for a fun dynamic because many of these characters have been held back a year while their peers have graduated onto something else.
Nadia may be in New York, but she is still featured throughout the first four episodes as her relationship with Guzman is put to the test because of the long distance between them.
Rebe is still struggling to get over what happened between her and Samuel, and Samuel is just trying to make ends meet to finish school.
Omar and Ander continue to navigate a relationship that has been tested too much, but they do get a lot to work with in these opening episodes.
It wouldn't be Elite without a mystery thrown in for good measure, and the season-long arc actually seems to be the best to date.
Obviously, I'm not allowed to go into specifics, but the first half of the season digs away at the mystery at a decent pace, and it also seems like the most plausible mystery yet.
As a whole, Elite Season 4 is an encouraging sign for the future of the series. It's clear that characters come and go, and while we will probably lose some more fan-favorites, at least the writing remains top-notch.
The production values also look grander this time, if that was possible. We're in for another killer season, and I'll be running all of the developments down in a season review over the weekend.
Will you be checking out Elite Season 4?
Hit the comments below.
Catch the first three seasons on Netflix around the globe, and be sure to watch Season 4 when it launches on June 18.
Watch the trailer below.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.