Elite season 4 ending explained: Who committed the Lake Club crime?

Netflix's Spanish teen drama answers one mystery and starts another, in an explosive conclusion to the fourth season. **Contains spoilers**

ÉLITE (L to R) ITZAN ESCAMILLA as SAMUEL, MIGUEL BERNADEU as GUZMÁN in ÉLITE. Cr. NIETE/NETFLIX © 2020

Every season of the Netflix Spanish teen drama Elite begins with a mystery, typically involving a dead body. Season four continues this tradition, but with a twist! The format is still the same, with the police trying to draw out answers from the students regarding the tragedy, but no murder has occurred. Or has it?

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The death of Polo and the departure of several original cast members at the end of last season wrapped up the mystery that had enveloped this group of friends. However, the arrival of four new students only adds more fuel to the fire in season four — and one of those siblings is the body found floating in the lake at the end of “The New Order.”

“The girl is alive,” is the surprise announcement, after attempts to resuscitate Ari (Carla Díaz) are successful. She is not out of the woods yet though, and the doctors tell her father Benjamín (Diego Martín) that the next 48 hours are critical. They don’t know why she was in the water, or who attacked her, and the events leading up to the Lake Club New Year’s Eve party reveal several suspects.

The love triangle between Ari, Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), and Guzmán (Miguel Bernardeau) is at the heart of the conflict. Did one of them lure Ari there? Or is another person responsible for this act of violence?

Carla as Ari in Elite (Netflix)

To explain what happened in the final episode, and how Ari’s inability to choose between Samu and Guzmán ensures the writers can point fingers at both of them, we need to go back to the arrival of Ari, Mencía (Martina Cariddi), and Patrick (Manu Rios).

The first episode of season four introduces us to three siblings, who are also the children of the new Las Encinas principal Benjamín (Diego Martín), sent to fix the issues that have been plaguing the school (two murders will do that). Even though Guzmán is in a long-distance relationship with Nadia (Mina El Hammani), he is instantly taken by Ari and is jealous when Samu sleeps with her at the towel party (the theme of this party means all the teens are wearing just a towel. OK then.). Class is a theme that runs through Elite, and Samu’s scholarship status means his limited financial situation is often thrown in his face. He was previously the secret boyfriend of Carla (Ester Expósito) and he certainly has a type. 

Guzmán and Nadia realise long-distance isn’t working for them, but it doesn’t take him long to rebound with Ari and the pair start dating. Guzmán returns to some of his worst behaviour toward Samu, and while they are meant to be friends, Guzmán loves to point out the wealth disparity. Throughout the season we see both Guzmán and Samu getting questioned by the police and being told they cannot see Ari while she is in hospital. Samu is arrested when a text message reveals Ari had asked him to meet her where she was found in the water, and his claim that he never received the message is flimsy.

However, the flash-forward to New Year’s Eve shows Guzmán intercepting the text. So did he do it? 

Having spent so much time with Guzmán and Samu, it is hard to believe that either of them is capable. but the early evidence points to them. In the lead up to the party, Ari professes her loves to them both, but the message to Samu indicates her heart lies with the humble waiter. During the finale, as the clock counts down to midnight, Guzmán and Samu are embroiled in a fight while Ari waits at the dock.

Her twin brother Patrick has not accounted for his whereabouts and his temper is a factor to be considered as he accidentally struck Ari in a previous episode. His alibi is solid though, as he is hooking up with a stranger in a bid to get over Ander (Arón Piper). Meanwhile, Ander and the recently reunited Omar (Omar Ayuso) are the one couple having a fantastic night, even if they have decided that Ander will go travelling around the world after all. 

ÉLITE (L to R) MIGUEL BERNADEU as GUZMÁN, MARTINA CARIDDI as MENCÍA, ARÓN PIPER as ANDER, MANU RÍOS as PATRICK, CLAUDIA SALAS as REBECA, CARLA DÍAZ as ARI in ÉLITE. Cr. NIETE/NETFLIX

Ari has also been locked in conflict with Cayetana (Georgina Amorós) about her relationship with Prince Phillipe (Pol Granch), who has started at Las Encinas to distance himself from a scandal brewing at home in France. He has been accused of sexual assault and it has been kept out of the media, however Ari moves in similar circles and is fully aware of his reputation. Cayetana is now working at the school as a janitor and dreams of being whisked away by her own personal Prince Charming but quickly learns the reality is far from a fairy tale.

Ari’s words of warning have a big impact, and so Phillipe is on the suspect list (or one of his people). But his name is quickly dismissed and he actually calls the girl who originally accused him to admit to his crime. In the penultimate episode, he doesn’t listen to Cayetana when she tells him to stop, and she has to jump out of his limo to escape.

Meanwhile, Ari’s rebellious sister Mencía (Martina Cariddi) has found herself in a scary situation that began with what she thought was a one-night stand with a rich man called Armando (Andrés Velencoso). When she wakes up and finds cash on the nightstand she realises that he thinks she is a sex worker. Cut off financially by her father, Mencía continues with Armando until her new girlfriend Rebeka (Claudia Salas) finds out the truth. Armando refuses to let Mencía go and blackmails her into keeping up their business transactions (bear in mind she is a minor and he is at least 40). He threatens to tell her father everything and she complies, but loses Rebe because of this.

On New Year’s Eve, Rebe tells Ari everything about what Mencía has been doing in a bid to save her, and they see Mencía fighting with Armando on the dock. Rebe (who is a proficient boxer) beats Armando off her girlfriend and the pair run. In her inebriated state, Ari approaches Armando and tells him that her father will ruin his life. In response to this, Armando attacks Ari and is interrupted by Guzmán (who has come to confront Ari about Samu). Ari tells Guzmán to run after Armando to stop him and is lying on the dock when he leaves. Disorientated by the fireworks, the beating and the amount of alcohol consumed, she falls into the water when she stands up. It takes a while for her to be found, which is why she is on the brink of death.

Meanwhile, Guzmán catches up with Armando in the boathouse and is outmatched by the older man. However, Guzmán picks up a flare gun and shoots, hitting Armando square in the chest. He dies instantly. Rather than tell the police what happened (these teens don’t trust the criminal justice system), Rebe and Samu help him hide the body. Weighing him down with rocks, they throw him into the lake and the imagery is reminiscent of when the murder weapon from season one was tossed into the water.

All season it seemed like there would be no dead body – but it isn’t Elite without at least one major crime getting covered up. The season ends with Guzmán going travelling with best friend Ander, but nothing stays buried forever on the Netflix drama. Plus, Mencía tells her father everything about Armando, and his violent outburst suggests this will continue to have ramifications. 

Where do the Las Encinas teens go next? And will Guzmán and Omar return for season five?

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Seasons one to four of Elite are available to watch on Netflix now. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage.