Leopoldo Benavent, also known by everyone as Polo, is the central antagonist through the first half of the Netflix thriller teen drama series Elite, serving as the central antagonist of the first two seasons and one of the two main protagonists (alongside Samuel García) of the third season. He also serves as a posthumous character of the fourth season.
Polo is a extremely wealthy, but also insecure student at Las Encinas. He is submissive in nature and follows the orders of those who are close to him, particularly his two mothers and ex-girlfriend.
He is portrayed by Álvaro Rico.
Polo was seen to be a caring, loyal character keen to protect those around him. Despite this, he was often short-tempered, and willing to use those around him for personal gratification; whether this be socially or sexually. Polo showed an utmost desire to protect his childhood lover, Carla, and he eventually murdered Marina to protect her family. He was extremely remorseful of his actions, however, and spent the rest of his final year at Las Encinas attempting to redeem himself.
It could be said that Polo just wanted to fit in with those at school. His family drew attention from others given he had two mothers. Perhaps concerning was his willingness to use Cayetana to make Carla jealous. Despite this, he had shown a fierce loyalty to those he had grown up with, and forced his mothers to still pay for Lu and Nadia's scholarships despite the way they had treated him. It could also be suggested that Polo was mentally unstable even before Marina's death due to his unwillingness to come to terms with his sexuality and the harsh demanding attitudes of his parents combined with the fact he was being manipulated and pressured psychologically by Carla and Guzmán who were supposed to be people who loved him yet refused to accept this as the truth.
Polo and Carla have been in a relationship since they were twelve years old. Bored with their relationship, they both agree to have Carla sleep with the new student, Christian, while Polo watches. After being caught, Polo and Carla convince Christian to start a polyamorous relationship, and he eventually agrees. The relationship goes awry when Carla's father's watch, containing valuable information about her business, goes missing. Polo and Carla quickly point out Christian, who is innocent. The relationship takes a major turn when Polo meets up Christian without Carla, which Christian tells her about, hoping to take Carla for himself. Carla then breaks up with Polo and begins to get more involved with Christian. After a fight with Guzmán, Ander and Polo against Nano, Christian and his friends, Carla defends Christian when Polo attacks and accuses him of "stealing" Carla from him.
Now determined to get back with Carla more than ever, he pursues the red watch, in Marina's possession. During the school dance, Polo approaches Marina at the school pool, demanding she give him the watch. However, Marina refuses and starts provoking Polo, citing that his friends are all using him and points out that he's crazy to think that Carla would get back with him for retrieving the watch, thus laughing off his vain attempts at saving his relationship with Carla. As she turns to leave, Polo, flying into a rushing rage, picks up the nearby trophy and hits Marina over the head. Marina begins bleeding out and, afraid that he will be caught, Polo takes the watch and leaves her bleeding out in the school pool. She dies moments later, meaning that, according to the Inspector, if he had called an ambulance on time, Marina would've been saved.
Polo has no choice but to tell Carla and Christian what he has done. Both are shocked at the situation, however attempt to cover up the murder, albeit most reluctantly Christian. Christian and Polo exchange shirts and the two, alongside Carla, return to the dance like if nothing happened. Prior to his interview with the Inspector, Carla gives Polo an alibi for him to memorize and deflect any suspicion on Marina's murder from him: Polo was drunk and returned home around 9:40 pm while his mothers were out for dinner and was contacted by Carla because something bad happened. Polo relays this piece of information to the Inspector, who finds his story to be convincing and is let off the hook. Later, Samuel's brother, Nano, is arrested in Polo's place, particularly when Samuel saw him fleeing the crime scene, thus giving them a fitting spacegoat. At Marina's funeral, Polo again tries to get back with Carla, who while grateful that he had returned the watch, makes it clear that it doesn't change anything between them and stay broken up, thus at least gaining Marina (from beyond the grave) the last laugh and proving she was right about this. The three later hide the trophy in a nearby lake and Christian heads off to hang out with them while ignoring a concerned Samuel about proving Nano's innocence.
Despite Carla's worries that Christian might say something about Marina's murder, Polo dismisses this, apparently having moved on from that traumatic experience that has marked him ever since. Nevertheless, when Carla breaks the news to Polo that Christian got deliberately run over by her father on his way to the police, Polo starts having panic attacks and the guilt starts to eat him alive. Polo cannot stand to ask Guzmán for help, given his guilt, and suffers in silence with studying — he begins experiencing hallucinations of blood, a sign of guilt over his actions. Guzmán and Polo talk, and Polo reveals to Guzmán that he's had an anxiety disorder since he was twelve, and that the pills he's been taking for it are no longer effective; he struggles to differentiate between fantasy and reality.
His friendship with Ander starts waning when Polo admits to have killed Marina, angering Ander who demands that he tell the truth to Guzmán or he himself will. Simultaenously, Carla also pushes Polo into turning himself in to the police, but without revealing her involvement in the scheme. Unable to do either, Polo is driven to attempting commit suicide by drowning at the school pool, the very same spot where he killed Marina, until he is rescued by Cayetana Grajera, who takes an interest in him, which Polo does not reciprocate due to her fancy life. However, this changes when Cayetana admits her deception: she is actually comes from a poor background and has been lying to everyone about it. Polo is initially angry at this, but still stays with her. During the Halloweeen party at Rebeka's house, Polo and Ander argue again over Nano when they hear a menacing audio from Guzmán wishing for nothing more than his death, after Cayetana had tipped him off about his presence. After Ander calls him a monster and is about to leave, Polo becomes enraged and grabs a bottle to hit Ander in the head, but is able to stop himself from manifesting his killing frenzy. He is even jealous of Samuel when he becomes suspicious of Carla's intentions with him, believing there is something going on between them. Carla claims it's only to keep Samuel from the truth; ironically, Carla does the same to Polo, who takes back her statement about this, when noticing his closeness to Cayetana.
When Samuel eventually finds out it was Polo who killed Marina, he tries to tell Guzmán, who in turn disbelieves this; thereupon, he asks Polo to confirm this, which he falsely denies. Ander also can't bring himself to tell Guzmán the truth, fearing their friendship will be ruined. Ander also. albeit with a nervous look, replies "no" about this, and Guzmán now believes Nano to be innocent. Samuel suddenly goes missing, with Carla immediately confronting Polo, because he had told Carla's father about Samuel's accusations. In reality, Samuel is still alive and teamed up with Guzmán to trap Carla into confessing. Carla finally cracks and confesses everything, despite Polo trying to stop her. Polo is then arrested as Guzmán looks on in shock and ends his friendship with Ander for hiding this from him. However, it is revealed that prior to his arrest, Polo had told Cayetana about his role in murdering Marina. To return the favor Polo did for her when her poor background and thefts were exposed to the school, Cayetana retrieves the trophy from the lake and hides it in her house, repeating what Polo earlier said to her: "Everyone deserves a second chance". Because of this and Polo falsely denying his involvement to the Inspector, he is released on lack of evidence and returns to the school, to the shock of the entire student body.
Polo is immediately sent home because he is still under investigation and it is revealed that his influential mothers paid for his bail. He and Carla are both cited to the court to compare their different confessions. However, when Polo seems on the verge of confessing, Carla interjects and falsely announces that she had made up the allegations (albeit reluctantly under threat from her father who fears that the police might look into his dirty dealings) to get back at him. Thus, Polo is officially allowed to return to the school like nothing happened, further worsening the students's treatment of him, particularly that of Samuel and Guzmán, who try to make him suffer into confessing: Guzmán punches Polo when he spots him reading some Oxford college flyers, remembering it is the same college Marina wanted to attend after graduating, not taking well the idea of his sister's killer being allowed to study there. Outraged about this, the principal, Azucena, threatens immediate expulsion on any student (who will be forced to repeat the year) should they do this to Polo again. Guzmán asks him if he did truly killed Marina, which Polo denies; Guzmán says that he might be able to trust him again after all. They skip classes and Guzmán invites Polo over at his place, drugging and leaving him tied up. Polo is interrogated and abused by Guzmán whilst Samuel watches, and eventually he cracks, revealing that he did kill Marina, but accidentally. Later on, Samuel and Guzmán, through fake twitter accounts pretending to be Polo, keep harassing him with this method, with Samuel also bringing up Polo's suicide attempt. Unsettled about this, Polo convinces his mothers to change schools for him to finish the year; they agree. Polo's plan is foiled when the tweet is forwarded to all of the British schools; in turn, they refuse to admit him. Unbeknownst to Polo, it was actually Cayetana who had sent the tweet, but suspected Samuel and Guzmán in doing this.
Meanwhile, Cayetana and Valerio, the only two students who stick up with Polo, start a three-way relationship with him, then Polo's friendship with Ander is revived when they start spending time together, particularly because of Ander being diagnosed with cancer, and Guzmán is forced to attend Ander's therapy sessions with him, despite their current conflict. When Samuel notices Valerio giving drugs to Carla, he confronts him and kicks him out of his apartment; Valerio relays this information to Polo, who threatens to report Samuel to Azucena for almost beating Valerio up unless he allows him back. Samuel then reveals Valerio's sell of drugs to the school and Carla, which Polo initially refuses to believe, but is forced to accept this as the truth when Samuel brings up her strange behaviour. Polo confronts Valerio about this, ending with Polo ordering both him and Cayetana out of his house. During Yeray's party, Carla eventually collapses on the pool over her excessive drug use, prompting Polo to dive in and save her.
The following day, Polo immediately grabs Valerio by the throat, accusing him of having sold the drugs to Carla, but the situation is worsened when Samuel intervenes and starts beating him up, with Guzmán and Rebeka trying to hold him back. Then they are caught by Azucena who spots Rebeka's drug bag on the floor. Polo witnesses Nadia and Guzmán arguing over Polo supposedly having tipped off Azucena about the drugs; Nadia cites that he did the right thing. Just then, Azucena comes and summons Samuel and Guzmán to her office. As it turns out, Azucena, staying true to her previous warning, expels (aside from Rebeka and Valerio for the drugs) both Samuel and Guzmán due to one of Polo's mother's complaint about the bullying he is receiving. Samuel is furious about this and tries to charge at Polo for ruining his life, but Nadia, fearing that the scandal might cost her the Columbia scholarship (funded by Polo's mothers), tells Samuel to leave him alone. Samuel knows she is saying so she won't regret accepting it. Polo acknowledges that his reckless behaviour is what led to their expulsion and that they didn't deserve this, let alone on their last day of school. Polo still thinks Valerio gave the drugs to Carla until Rebeka admits to being the true culprit, having done this after Valerio refused to out of jealousy for her closeness to Samuel, but it doesn't mean that Polo lets Valerio off the hook. It is now evident that Guzmán has stopped hating Polo and is ready to move on, although Samuel is not, recognizing that Polo has won and is happier than ever. Because of this, Polo is hesitant to attend graduation, but his mother still insists that he go, citing that Samuel and Guzmán are not worth the trouble anymore. Once there, Polo breaks up with Cayetana, telling her that she is only in love with the life he was going to give her with his wealth. Cayetana refuses to accept this, but Polo has already made up his mind.
During the graduation, when Lu and Nadia are announced as the scholarship winners, they take the opportunity to stand up for their former classmates over their unjustified expulsion while addresing Polo's crime to the shocked audience. As a result of this, their scholarships are cancelled. Realizing his mothers have gone too far this time, Polo finally has the courage to confess that he had truly killed Marina and begs them to reinstate the scholarships for Lu and Nadia.
He arrives at the graduation party to tell Lu and Nadia that his mothers will still fund their New York scholarship, but Lu is too upset at Polo to listen to him and throws her drink at him. Samuel attempts to stab Polo, but is stopped from doing so by Guzmán, who tells Polo to leave before anyone else catches up to him. Polo apologises for the pain he has caused and asks if Guzmán will ever be able to forgive him, however Guzmán tells him that he will not. In the toilet, Polo is drying off, when Lu approaches with the broken bottle-neck seen earlier. They get into an argument that escalates, resulting in Lu accidentally stabbing Polo with the bottle-neck. She is immediately remorseful and tells Polo that she didn't mean to hurt him; he remarks that he understands it was an accident, echoing the way he had killed Marina before and couldn't control himself. As he tries to approach Guzmán for help, Polo accidentally bumps into some people on the dancefloor and crashes through a cracked glass, falling off from a second-floor balcony in front of the scared crowd. Realising that Polo is about to die, he tells him that he forgives him for Marina's death Polo uses what is left of his strength to hold Guzmán's hand before he sadly passes away. Polo's death is covered up as a suicide by his friends, with everyone realising that Polo would not want Lu to suffer for the accident. While only Guzmán, Carla and Cayetana show genuine sadness for his death, everyone recognize that Polo, as much as Lu, was not a real murderer, since Marina's death was an accident as well, so he didn't deserve to die like that. His funeral is short, and afterwards, Guzmán and Ander sit at his headstone, which reads his full name and the short period he lived. Thus, Nano's culpability in Marina's murder is no more (although Nano refuses to return given the police's unfair treatment of him) after the trophy is anonymously turned in to the police by Cayetana and one of Polo's mothers confirms to the Inspector that he had confessed to being Marina's killer before his death, finally ending the conflict once and for all.
Due to him being long dead, Polo does not appear in this season but is briefly indirectly mentioned by Guzmán when he charms Ari into convincing her father Benjamín, the school's new principal following Azucena's dismissal (due to Polo's death being the probable catalyst of those sudden events), to not give Samuel and Omar an exam in order to prove that they deserve to remain on scholarships, bringing up the fact of how he's lost people close to him, referring to Polo and Marina as "best friend" and "sister" respectively. Sharing a grief connection, Ari also admits she's lost people too; namely her mother who died in a car accident while her brother Patrick got bedridden for 2 years. The plan seems to work as Ari agrees to talk to her father. However, Ari changes her mind after Mencía spills the beans about Guzmán's deception, particularly when Benjamín, sick of his daughter's rebellious behaviour, cuts her off financially. Samuel then tries to convince Benjamín, who is having dinner with Ari at the restaurant where he works as a waiter, not to give the exam to Omar, but is caught by his boss who fires him on the spot. Nevertheless, Samuel and Omar manage to pass the exam, thus securing their scholarships. Benjamín congratulates Samuel for advocating to what he thinks is right, but also advises him not to fight other people's battles and focus on his own instead. Polo is mentioned a second time by Phillipe, a prince of French-Spanish royalty, when Cayetana confronts him for secretly recording them having sex; Phillipe explains that it's because a girl he met falsely accused him of sexual assault, while also adding that she had become a controversial figure to everyone for her past actions as a liar and a swindler, as well as her romantic involvement and possible complicity with Polo in Marina's death, referring to him as "a murderer", but that he wants to know her better if she lets him.
Polo is briefly indirectly mentioned by Samuel to Benjamín when he compares the physical abuse he's been receiving at the school for murdering Marina to Phillipe's when most of the student body starts mercilessly attacking him in the halls and giving death threats after the truth about his sexual assaults to other girls, particularly that of Cayetana and Elodie, comes out, with Samuel sympathizing with the young prince as he completely starts to understand how complicated those things were for Polo upon his return to the school just like it was happening to Phillipe, who considered dropping out of the school but was eventually convinced to stay by Cayetana.
- Begoña Benavent - Mother
- Andrea Villada - Mother
- Carla Rosón - Ex-Girlfriend, close friend
- Guzmán Nunier - Former Best Friend, Temporary Enemy
- Ander Muñoz - Former Best Friend
- Lucrecia Montesinos - Temporary Enemy and Unintentional Killer
- Valerio Montesinos
- Cayetana Grajera - Ex-Girlfriend, former accomplice
- Teo Rosón
- Marina Nunier † - Former Friend turned Enemy and Accidental Victim
- Samuel García - Former Archenemy and Bully, Attempted Killer
- Nano García - framed for his crime
- Christian Varela
- Rebeka Parrilla
- Pablo Ruiz - assisted Guzmán in beating him up
- Polo was thought to be the main antagonist of the first half of the series as he is the one who killed Marina, but his ex-girlfriend Carla is the one covered up the crime and had bigger plans than Polo. Despite this, Polo served as The Heavy because he was the one trying to cover his own tracks and the framing of Nano, Samuel's brother, served as a source of tension for the solving of the mystery as he had indirectly made Samuel suffer unfairly at the hands of Guzmán, his best friend, who was on a misguided quest to make Nano pay for his sister's death.
- Even though Polo only wanted to retrieve the red watch to protect Carla's family and never meant to kill Marina, his drastic actions still caused a lot of consequences with Nano's framing and Guzmán unfairly blaming Samuel. In addition, after Carla falsely retracted her statement about Polo under threat from her father, his return to the school was the catalyst of events that led to his mothers funding a scholarship to bribe the students into staying quiet about Polo, eventually leading to the unfair expulsion of Samuel and Guzmán (due to Azucena threatening it on any student who attempted to attack Polo again).
- Even if Polo had confessed to his mothers about killing Marina, it wouldn't have mattered because the damage was already done so Samuel and Guzmán were nevertheless forced to repeat the year, but if it weren't for Polo's mistake, both of them wouldn't have appeared in the fourth season. Still, the confession convinced them to reinstate the scholarships for Lu and Nadia to study in New York.
- Polo's accidental death at the end of the third season was probably the last straw for the boarding school to remove Azucena as principal of Las Encinas and replace her with Benjamín, who had a quite different philosophy to run the school properly, although with some questionable methods.
- Ironically, Polo dies in the exact same manner as Marina did, as both he and Marina said harsh truths to Lu and Polo which they did not take well and had led them to fly into their murderous rages at Polo and Marina, only that Lu intentionally confronted Polo for supposedly ruining her life while Polo only turned to Marina for her to give him the watch back. In addition, their causes of deaths are quite different as Polo hit Marina in the head while Lu stabbed Polo in the chest with a broken bottleneck and their deaths happened minutes later; Marina succumbed to her injuries while Polo accidentally fell off a balcony.