The Catatrosphic Mess That Is #Elite6

I have been reading a lot of negative comments and catcalls about the recent season of the Spanish hit drama, Elite.

And yet that doesn’t diminish its popularity. We return to Las Encinas,in the midst of mass confusion and even more turmoil. Nothing new about that, because Elite breeds on murder and mayhem. This season revolves more around Patrivan and it’s quite a welcome change because for almost five seasons, the show was centered around Samuel (Itzan Escamilla) and his random hookups. Original cast members Omar (Omar Ayuso), Rebeka (Claudia Salas) and Cayetana (Georgina Amorós) make a quick exit and we have no idea about what’s happening with them. But fret not, their sudden disappearance is quite consistent with the inconsequential pacing that is uniquely Elite. The storyline doesn’t make much sense, but I guess it’s because we are addicted to the casting that is always nearly perfect. The current season introduces new characters while training it’s lens on social causes relative to the LGBTQ community. High school dramas get boring very quickly and it obviously seems like the scriptwriters are dragging their feet. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this show. Do I want the show to be discontinued? Probably not, I love mayhem and the Elite frenzy feeds on it. Do I want them to get more creative or get the old cast back? Hell yes, the new characters bring a different synergy to the storytelling, but I’m still biased about the original casting (except for Samuel, there’s no way he is returning from dead). The sixth season is surprisingly somber; yes there is sex, random parties and drug addiction, but they are relegated to the background status as the show touches on more sensitive topics. They are unable to do proper justice to this endeavor because of the rushed storytelling; but this might be the beginning of a revolutionary phase that depicts homophobia and social stigmas that victimize the queer community. We are here for the risque LGBTQ representation, so let’s talk about it in detail!

The Relationship That Went Nowhere

The trailer for this show was rather misleading. After Ivan (André Lamoglia) accepts his feelings for Patrick (Manu Rios) and rushes to his aid in the last season, I was expecting a stable romance where they learn more about each other. I was hoping that Ivan would get over his gay panic and treat Patrick like his equal. My wish did come true (for exactly ten minutes before it vanished into thin air). The stability and their newfound happiness goes for a head dive as Cruz (Carloto Cotta), Ivan’s father, decides he deserves a second chance with Patrick and forcibly kisses him. Cruz’s drunken tirades are a phenomenal mess and this scene was no different. His callous attitude towards Ivan is rather appalling, and it shocked me (I was expecting a mess because of the weird polygamy that existed between Ivan-Patrick-Cruz-Ari), but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. Obviously, this private moment is captured on camera and it goes viral. Patrivan are caught in a whirlwind as the situation escalates into unwarranted criticism. Cruz tries to redeem himself by accepting his sexuality publicly, which ultimately leads to his death. Cruz’s death derails Patrivan’s relationship as Ivan blames Patrick. Frankly, I wasn’t even surprised because Ivan’s insecurities always overpower his sensibilities. I wasn’t a huge fan of Patrick’s character in the last season, but he shows a lot of maturity even though Ivan treats him unfairly. Despite the continuous rebuttal, Patrick tries his level best to support his lover, until he catches Ari and Ivan having sex. From there, this romance drowns into a repeated circle of misunderstandings, hurt and pain. After driving Patrick away, Ivan suddenly gets enlightened in the last episode and rushes to make amends. Unfortunately, he meets with an accident and while he is recuperating, Patrick resolutely leaves the city with his siblings and father. Manu Rios and André Lamoglia’s interpretation is more mature than the last season; at least for a while when they are happy together. Especially, Manu Rios must be praised for portraying Patrick’s suffering in a realistic manner; he made me empathize with Patrick’s situation. André’s depiction might make you angry, but it is understandable. Ivan is a teenager experiencing grief and loss, he is bound to lash out. While it did make me happy that a gay couple took center stage in this drama for the first time; their turbulent relationship was a low bow to avid fans who had been waiting to watch this love story blossom into something more substantial.

Homophobia, Hate Crimes and Violence

Not exactly an epitome of parental love, Cruz’s characterization drew mixed response this season. The last season ends with Cruz’s attempts to mend his relationship with Ivan. He tries to resolve his conflict with Patrick and they reconcile because of his efforts. I wasn’t expecting a magical intervention where Cruz suddenly becomes a better person; his hedonistic nature betrays his kind intentions. Cruz’s unusual fascination with Patrick destroys the short-lived peace in their relationship; it’s not that he doesn’t love his son. Cruz often ends up doing regrettable things in a drunken stupor; and most of the times, it further complicates his relationship with Ivan. So, his “Coming Out” was rather shocking; I have always perceived him as bisexual, so his proclamation was rather unexpected. Cruz’s sudden urge to redeem himself sets into motion a series of events that ultimately lead to hate crimes and violence. Cruz repeatedly receives death threats and his soccer game is ripped apart by angry fans, which leads to his death. I’m actually still trying to accept the fact that Cruz meets such a miserable end. There are few dramas that actually place importance on the “Coming Out” phase. It is a rather confusing process for most individuals; but for someone as popular as Cruz, it was a life-changing decision. And yet he does it for his son. Although I wasn’t huge fan of Cruz’s characterization from the start, I wasn’t expecting his sudden death. It would have been better if Cruz had gotten a chance to lead a normal life. But since Elite 6 was all about depicting the hideous reality faced by the LGBTQ community, it does make sense.

Nico’s Tryst with Transphobia and Everything Else

Ander Puig’s Nico returns to Las Enchinas post-transition. He has an on-off relationship with Sonia (Nadia Al Saidi), who absolutely adores him and accepts his sexuality wholeheartedly. But then it isn’t Elite if we don’t screw up sane relationships and so, Nico gets obsessed with our resident toxic Queen, Ari. Fresh from her painful separation from ex-boyfriend Samuel, Ari seems to be grappling with an alternate reality where she is the guardian to her rebellious siblings. The pressure is too much to bear, and she spends the entire season drunk. So, when these two locked eyes at a party and sparks flew, I was instantly on alert. Ari isn’t exactly known for healthy relationships; in the previous season, she kept oscillating between Samuel and Ivan, hurting both of them. I have no idea what most people see in her; because even without the added pressure of handling her family drama, Ari isn’t exactly relationship material. Being the first transgender character in the Elite universe, Ander Puig plays the character with a conviction that is admirable. He openly chides Ari for her overtly transphobic comments and puts her in the right place. Must applaud the scriptwriters for highlighting this common sentiment because most transgenders face this prejudice on a daily basis. The story arc, though inspiring, gets repetitive; when despite his ardent speech, Nico follows Ari like a lost puppy. Their romance loses value because they keep hurting each other without finding the middle ground. Ari makes no efforts to understand Nico’s stance; Nico never makes any attempts to educate her properly, despite realizing that Ari is struggling to understand their differences. This romance was an utter mess from the start and I’m hoping that they don’t get back together. There is nothing worth saving in this relationship.

The Dreadful Love Triangle

Mencia (Martina Cariddi) seems to have sobered up after the tragic events that led to the arrest of their father, Benjamin (Diego Martín). Her former love interest Rebeka Parrilla is nowhere in sight and as such, the lone ranger decides to do some saving. Sara (Carmen Arrufat) and Raul (Alex Pastrana) are a popular “Influencer” couple. In an attempt to save the school’s declining reputation, Sara is a deal- to use her celebrity status to offset the damage incurred. Beneath the happy veneer, Sara is in an abusive relationship with Raul, who has a dominant, controlling personality. Mencia starts comparing her own tragic past with Sara’s current circumstances and decides to protect the damsel in distress. Her misguided attempts to help make the situation even worse while Sara keeps oscillating back and forth. She seems interested in Mencia but is unable to give up on her affections for Raul. The scriptwriters touch on sensitive topics without offering any useful solutions. As Mencia and Sara grow closer, Mencia realizes that Sara isn’t a lesbian; she is merely confusing her feelings of gratitude for love. They decide to remain friends; unfortunately Sara hits Ivan while driving Patrick’s car. She immediately runs back to Raul (because old habits die hard) and he sets up Mencia instead. Ari helps to cover up the evidence by setting the car on fire and warns Mencia to never mention anything about this incident to Patrick. Mencia finally exits the show with her family and the future recourse is still unknown.

Will the siblings return to Las Enchinas? Will Patrivan reconcile? Will Mencia learn the truth behind Sara & Raul’s deception?

The season finale leaves us with more questions than answers. I wasn’t expecting a phenomenal script because Elite has always been a murder saga with requisite amounts of romance and sex thrown in. But truly, this season was depressing enough to evoke bad sentiments and I’m unsure of how the next season will reclaim the lost interest.

Exclusive Update-

☆ Netflix has renewed Elite for the upcoming seventh season. Mirela Balic, Gleb Abrosimov, Nadia Al Saidi, Fernando Líndez, Alejandro Albarracín, Iván Mendes and Maribel Verdú will be joining the cast. Omar Ayuso will return to reprise his role as Omar Shanaa. Filming commenced on November 2, 2022.

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