‘Blood & Water’ Season 4 Ending Explained & Series Summary: Who Is PoolBoy?


Netflix’s teen drama thriller show from South Africa, Blood & Water, has returned with the fourth season, this time even bringing along a character from its Spanish counterpart, Elite. But while the previous season ended with a promise of more serious and dangerous trouble coming the way of the characters, season 4 does not really continue the same story. Instead, the plot changes drastically as the protagonist, Puleng Khumalo, starts to get blackmailed by a seemingly powerful individual. While the premise still suggests that the human traffickers from the previous season are back for revenge, that is not exactly in play here. Blood & Water season 4 is strictly for fans of the show or teenagers interested in such a presentation and is better to avoid for anyone else.

Spoiler Alert

Plot Summary: What is season 4 about?

Netflix’s teen drama show Blood & Water began with teenager protagonist Puleng Khumalo having a strong hunch that the senior at her new school, Fikile Bhele, was her long-lost elder sister. With time, it was revealed that Fikile and Puleng were indeed sisters, but with different fathers, for their biological mother, Thandeka, had gotten involved with a different man because of a tense time in her marriage. After some serious clashes and feuds, the two sisters had come together to uncover a massive human trafficking ring running in South Africa, and it was ascertained that Fikile had been sold off by this very ring. Although they managed to know and understand many twisted details about their parentage and origins, both Fikile and Puleng had to go through sacrifices, too. The girls also made very strong friendships along the way, which always find the second-most important plotline in each of the seasons. At the end of season 3, the trafficking ring seemed to be planning a bigger act of revenge, targeting Sam Nkosana, who was Fikile’s boyfriend and a very good friend of Puleng.

Season 4 of Blood & Water takes a different trajectory, though, as it begins with glances from the court case that followed regarding the trafficking racket. The two primary accused, Matla and Lisbeth Molapo, had been found guilty of the charges and were sentenced to prison. Even though she was brought down by the law, Lisbeth still threatened Puleng, warning the teenager that she would be back to take revenge. This threat and the overall pressure of being in the limelight of such a major criminal case have taken a toll on Puleng, as she is often mentally absent and tense throughout this year. As a result, she has grown an affinity towards alcohol, and a particular new student at Parkhurst College, Ivan Carvalho. Ivan is a Portuguese student on an exchange program from the Las Encinas school in Spain, as seen in Netflix’s series of the same genre, Elite

Puleng and Ivan gradually get involved with each other, even getting intimate at a party at the house of Chris Ackerman. However, this decision takes a dark turn when it combines with the fact that Puleng was being stalked by someone from the beginning of the year. The girl regularly received threatening text messages from an unknown number intended to grab her attention and create a sense of fear. It soon becomes clear that the stalker was somehow getting access to wherever Puleng was going, including the court and school. But things take a massively serious turn when the protagonist receives a message from the number with a video of her and Ivan in an intimate position, threatening her to finally pay heed to the blackmailer. 

How does Puleng find out about her stalker?

As Blood & Water deals with the lives of teenagers in the modern world, smartphones and the internet obviously play an important role in it. The habit of regularly uploading photos to one’s social media comes into play, and Puleng decides to pursue the matter through this very means. Initially, the blackmailer uploads only a copy of the video with the faces of both parties blurred out, making the school buzz with scandalous gossip without them knowing who the participants in the video were. But Puleng’s long-time best friend Wade figures out from her nervousness that it is she who is involved, and he decides to help her out. Puleng tries to convince Chris to show her security camera footage from his house on the day, but he states that the cameras had been turned off for obvious reasons, because of the party. 

A schoolmate of theirs named Leigh-Anne is very active on social media, and Puleng decides to go through her account, only to find that she had not uploaded anything from around the time of the incident. She also manages to go through Leigh-Anne’s phone and shockingly finds the video on it, making it very clear that she had shot it. When Puleng confronts Leigh-Anne, though, the latter admits that she had indeed shot the video but reveals that she was actually working for someone else. A stranger going by the name PoolBoy had managed to befriend Leigh-Anne online and then also got hold of intimate photos of her by hacking into her phone. He then used the photos to blackmail Leigh-Anne into working for him, which included stalking her and also making an intimate video of her. Although Leigh-Anne is technically not responsible for the fiasco in the greater sense, and she also sincerely apologizes for her mistake, Puleng naturally holds a grudge against her and takes a long time to get over the matter.

During this time, PoolBoy also started blackmailing Fikile, saying that he would hurt both her sister and her if his orders were not followed. Fikile reacts to the matter a bit differently, seeming almost more spooked than Puleng, and she wants her sister to ignore it for the most part. When things start to get out of hand, Puleng decides to tell her mother about the video before it gets released online, totally based on the advice of Fikile. PoolBoy now starts to mention the name of a Gregory Dickinson, telling Puleng to find him in order to save herself. While Puleng remains confused about who Gregory is or why she is being led to him, Fikile actually does her own research and meets with Gregory, who is living in a different city and has even changed his surname.

Fikile does not tell Puleng about any of this, but she admits to Gregory that their past mistake is the reason for this blackmail. As it turns out, Fikile knows who PoolBoy is, and she has no choice but to upload the uncensored video of Puleng and Ivan on the school website. Although she does so to take away some agency from PoolBoy, the act obviously causes a lot of trouble and humiliation for Puleng. Even when she gets to know Fikile’s decision towards the end, this naturally creates a major difference between the sisters. 

What mistake did Fikile commit in the past? 

The main plot of Blood & Water season 4 deals with Puleng’s blackmailer, PoolBoy, and the grave mistake that Fikile had committed in the past. These interlinked matters are explained by the end of the season, as the past of the characters gets highlighted. Puleng recalls how Fikile had indeed done some horrible things to people, and also to her, in the past, and the extent of the girl’s misbehavior is revealed from an incident from a few years back, when Puleng had not yet joined Parkhurst. It was Fikile’s first year in high school, and a boy named Damian became good friends with her. Damian was quite studious and a talented swimmer, but he was not very good with social skills. As a result, he would often face bullying at the hands of the seniors, which included another student, Gregory. On one fateful night, Gregory and his friends wanted to bully Damian in the swimming pool, and they also roped in Fikile for the whole plan.

Since Fikile was close to Damian, and as he was developing a romantic interest in her, Gregory wanted her to bring Damian to the school’s pool that night. Although she did not really support the plan, Fikile did partake in it, not knowing that it would all go out of hand. Damian got drunk with Fikile that night before Gregory and his group walked in and started hazing him, to the point that Damian was about to drown and die. It was only Fikile who alerted the authorities about the incident, and Damian had to be rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed to have suffered a stroke and was nearing heart failure. Since Gregory belonged to a rich and influential family, he managed to walk out of the matter unscathed, for the school internally covered it up. Both Gregory and Damian were expelled from school, and it was only reported that the students had gone swimming in a drunken state and were, therefore, punished.

However, no criminal case followed, and Gregory’s family got away by simply paying money to Damian’s father, which he obviously needed for his son’s expensive treatment. Although Fikile had not technically been at the scene during the crime, she felt scared of being arrested, and so never told anyone about what had actually happened. She did discuss the incident with Matla Molapo, though, but the man had villainously advised her to keep it a secret. Thus, the real identity of PoolBoy is actually Damian, who has returned to take revenge against those who ruined his life. After recovering from the attack, Damian is still physically and mentally affected by it, and his father has also developed diabetes because of all the financial and emotional stress. This is what drives Damian towards forgetting right and wrong and taking matters into his own hands. At present, Fikile and Gregory are his real targets, while Puleng is only a means for him to get at them.

What trouble do KB and Chris find themselves in?

Blood & Water season 4 also features a different sort of trouble for best friends KB and Chris, which is linked to another scandalous incident at Parkhurst College. At the beginning of the year, KB is left devastated after the arrest of both his parents, and he does not want to keep any contact with them. Instead, he finds respite and love in music, and he keeps writing and performing songs. Chris wholeheartedly supports KB and even appoints himself as KB’s manager in his professional career. Chris comes up with an idea to promote KB’s lyrics, and he uses some music from the internet to create songs for his social media videos. The videos become viral because of the songs, and they are all credited to KB, as Chris does not feel it to be a serious matter, despite KB expressing how this was technically theft.

Nonetheless, the two go on making more songs using similar beats, even attending podcast shows and promising more work in the near future. As KB becomes quite popular in the music scene very quickly, another musician, known as Ruff Beats, barges into his life. After all, the beats and music that Chris had stolen off the internet belonged to Ruff Beats, and he now wants 300,000 rand as compensation for it. The veteran musician also happens to be the leader of a criminal gang, which leaves KB and Chris in massive trouble. 

Around the same time, a few students at Parkhurst had come up with a secure and innovative plan to get hold of question papers before the exams, and they had even bettered their grades in the first term. As they want to use the same technique in the final term, the school head girl, Tahira, decides to join forces with them, as her grades are not adequate to get a good scholarship. As a result, Tahira starts hanging out with the delinquents, and this catches the eye of Chris. Believing that she was definitely up to something, Chris and KB follow Tahira and get involved in the cheating scandal as well. 

Chris immediately sees this as a great opportunity to make money, as he and KB photograph every question paper and sell them off to students for a price. Although the duo manages to gather 300,000 rand, the situation turns around very soon when Wendy complains to the principal about the cheating and all the students want a refund. The two boys are ultimately kidnapped by Ruff Beats, and it is Wendy who has to cut out a deal between the two sides. Ruff Beats agrees to let them go if KB publicly apologizes to him and also pays royalty for all his work over the next year. When Principal Grootboom is about to punish the two for the cheating scandal, Chris takes all the blame upon himself. While KB is finally safe from all sides, Chris is expelled from school for having run the cheating racket.

What happens to Puleng, Fikile, and their friends?

During Blood & Water season 4’s ending, Damian kidnaps Fikile and keeps her hostage at the old school building, where his bullying had taken place. Incidentally, it is Matla Molapo who informs the police about the location, as he has figured out where Fikile must have been taken since Matla knew about the incident from the very beginning. Gregory, Puleng, and Fikile all manage to get out, while Damian attempts to kill himself. However, the sisters now convince Damian otherwise, and ultimately, he is taken into police custody, where he will surely receive support and treatment. 

Blood & Water season 4 ends with the graduation of some of the students from Parkhurst, including Fikile, KB, Sam, Wendy, and Tahira. This probably suggests that we will not be watching these characters, at least regularly, in the following seasons of the show. Along with this change, Puleng and her younger brother Siya also move from Cape Town and settle in Johannesburg, as their mother, Thandeka, takes up a new job in the city. Thandeka has also grown close to Anthony Gabisa, the biological father of Fikile, since the two have always had a romantic feeling for each other. Puleng is also seen visiting KB after a few months, as a romance between them is teased once again. By its end, Blood & Water season 4 seems to be more like a filler season, where the supposed attack on Sam, as teased at the end of season 3, does not take place. Perhaps that line of the plot will continue in some future season, while this current one deals with a victim of bullying gone rogue.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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