Netflix’s Latin American series, Rebelde, follows six high school teenagers who arrive at a private boarding school, Elite Way School, to pursue their passion for music. The series explores the relationship between these six individuals who face challenges from a secret society called “The Lodge.” Their personal struggles, college politics, and class conflicts add an extra layer of drama to the show. However, even if the series keeps you entertained, it has little to do with the feelings of “rebel” or “rebellion.” At the end of it all, it’s just another teenage drama that explores complicated teenage affairs.
Directed by Santiago Limón, Rebelde Season 1 has eight episodes of 40 minutes each (approximately). In the series, Celina Ferrer, alumni of EWS who studied at the school in 2004, has now become the principal in 2022. Another character, Jana Cohen’s mother, is an alumnus and ex-member of “The Lodge,” and uniforms of the former RBD band make an appearance too, making 2022 Rebede a direct sequel to the 2004 Telenovela series of the same name.
‘Rebelde’ Season 1: Synopsis & Important Characters
As the new term at Elite Way School begins, six students from different backgrounds but with a shared passion for music join the freshman year to hone their talents as musicians. Our freshmen students are:
- Jana Cohen Gandia is a famous social media star who wants to be more than a model and sharpen her skills as a musician to become a lead vocalist someday. Her mother-cum-manager is an ex-student of EWS and doesn’t want Jana to leave her successful career as a model to become a musician. Jana is dating a senior at EWS, Sebastián “Seba” Langarica, whose mother is the city’s Mayor.
- Estebán Torres lives with his widowed father and has earned a scholarship to study in EWS. He enrolls in a boarding school to learn the truth about his mother, who left him during his childhood. Estebán falls in love with Jana, and they begin a romantic relationship.
- Luka Colucci is the son of a wealthy Argentinian businessman, Marcelo Colucci. Marcelo is an estranged father who wants Luka to join the business program at EWS instead of the musical excellence program. Marcelo is also a vital board member of EWS and takes important decisions on behalf of other members. Though Luka joins the freshmen band with Jana and others, he consistently breaks the team spirit through his college politics.
- Guillermo “Dixon” Alvarez is a Colombian street rapper born to wealthy and influential lawyers in Colombia. However, Dixon hides his affluent background, believing it may spoil his street image. Dixon aspires to be a rapper and has feelings for another freshman, Maria “MJ” Jose.
- Andi Agosti is from a middle-class family, who wants to stay away from her mother’s toxic boyfriend. She is a lesbian and is attracted to a senior named Emilia Alo. Later in the series, she begins a romantic relationship with Emilia.
- Maria “MJ” Jose is an evangelical Christian who hails from California. MJ lies to her parents about EWS and tells them she has enrolled in a religious musical conservatory in Mexico City. Though MJ has feelings for Dixon, she joins Seba’s band in the end.
As soon as the new students settle in their dorms, EWS principal Celina Ferrer informs them about the musical excellence program (MEP) audition. However, before the audition, some masked seniors who are part of the secret society called The Lodge drag the freshmen out of their rooms at 3:00 in the morning and try to haze them. But why? Let’s explore further.
What was “The Lodge”? What Did They Want?
In the Rebelde universe, the Lodge is a secret society created by wealthy and affluent students to bully the kids who enroll in EWS with a scholarship. Basically, it was formed to force poor and middle-school students to quit school so that the rich could maintain their supremacy. The secret bully society was led by Sebastián “Seba” Langarica, who was the son of Mexico City’s most powerful person, the Mayor.
Through the Lodge, the Rebelde series tried to draw a line between the rich and the poor students. For example, when Dixon attended his first class, a senior bully named Kuri threw racist remarks at him. Later, Luka found the hazing video recorded by the masked seniors on Kuri’s phone, which pointed out that Kuri was a member of the Lodge. However, they spared Dixon because he wasn’t poor in reality and hid his real identity. The Lodge’s main target was Estebán Torres, who got admission into EWS under a special scholarship.
Besides the class conflict, Seba had also grown a personal enmity with Estebán, who had started a relationship with Seba’s ex-girlfriend, Jana. Seba was jealous of Estebán’s natural talent and wanted to get him expelled. Through Luka, Seba blackmailed Estebán to sabotage the semi-final round for their band, “Without Name.”
Estebán enrolled at EWS to find out about his mother, Rocio Esquivel, who used to work as Luka’s music teacher before she disappeared. Luka promised Estebán to inquire about Rocio from his father Marcelo only if Estebán would replace the music video with another video to sabotage his band’s chances to win the Battle of the Bands. To get his mother’s whereabouts, Estebán did what Luka and the Lodge wanted, and disappeared from the school.
At the end of Rebelde, Seba accepted Luka as a part of his secret society because Luka was the son of a wealthy businessman. His father, Marcelo, was a close friend of Seba’s mother. In short, Seba was just playing the rich, spoiled brat who wanted to declare his class supremacy. Fortunately, Luka was not a typical Colucci. He not only declined Seba’s offer but also exposed the bullies to the world.
Who Was Rocio? Why She Left Her Son Estebán?
Another layer that Rebelde tried to explore (but failed miserably) was class domination by the elite class. At several intervals, characters, through their dialogues, suggest that the arts are more about connections, networks, and economics than talent. The primary examples of this theory were Jana Cohen and Sebastián Langarica, whose affluent parents supported their passion and made their journey easy. Emilia pointed out that Jana’s father was a music producer who produced singles for his daughter.
This class conflict in the arts was majorly discussed in the subplot centered around Estebán’s mother, Rocio Esquivel. Rocio used to work with Marcelo before she became Luka’s music teacher. During this time, she was married to Chava but began a fling with Marcelo. She became pregnant with Marcelo’s child and gave birth to Estebán, who was Marcelo’s son. When she revealed the truth to Marcelo, he asked Rocio to stay away from his family and, in exchange, offered her money. The same was written in a letter sent by Marcelo to Rocio that was found by Estebán.
Rocio didn’t want to end up as a mother, and thus she left Estebán with Chava and disappeared to follow her passion. Later, Estebán found out that his mother had become a famous jazz singer. A fan at the club where Rocio was performing commented that one needs more than talent to make it in the music industry. It’s less about what they have and more about who they know.
Nevertheless, in the end, Estebán told Luka that he was his step-brother from another mother. The two brothers hesitantly tried to embrace their new relationship and get revenge on their common enemy, Seba.
‘Rebelde’ Season 1: Ending, Explained – Who Won The Battle Of The Bands?
After a notable transformation, Luka tried to correct his past mistakes. He brought the band members together and, with their help, exposed Seba and his secret society, the Lodge. Celina Ferrer, the principal, was surprised to find out that her secretary, Anita, was a part of this association. Anita’s involvement with the Lodge was a bit flawed as she didn’t belong to the elite class, a point that Luka underlined sarcastically. She only got the membership because she was sleeping with Seba.
After the bullies were exposed, Ferrer expelled all the seniors and Anita, but the board decided not to touch Seba because he was the Mayor’s son. Instead, Marcelo ordered Ferrer to rusticate Luka, who would then be compelled to join the business program and carry on their family legacy. In exchange for their silence on the matter, Ferrer granted “Without Name” a wild card entry into the finals, where they competed against Seba’s band (XY) and Laura’s band.
Seba’s duet partner Emilia left his band, XY, and expressed her feelings to Andi on the stage during Laura’s performance in the finale. However, Maria Jose felt sorry for Seba and decided to betray her own band and join Seba for the final performance. She knew about Jana’s plan to bring Luka on stage. In that case, Ferrer would have disqualified the band and crushed their chances of winning the competition. MJ didn’t want to lose the battle of the bands, her failure would lead to her parents taking her back to California, shattering her dreams of becoming a pop musician. Hence, she decided to betray Dixon and her band for her own selfish ambitions.
Before their final performance, Jana and her band shared Seba’s video, publicly exposing him and his secret society. They won the hearts of their audience by performing Rebelde’s original musical single, “I am Rebellious,” at the end, but unfortunately lost the competition.
Marcello disqualified the band for their indiscipline and indecency. Though the result was not announced, it was clear that Seba won the competition. In that case, the authorities would be forced to expel Seba too. As a result, Laura’s band will win the Battle of the Bands.
‘Rebelde’ Season 2: Expectations
Before their final performance, Jana broke up with Estebán because she wanted to discover herself before thinking about love and relationships. She advised Estebán to stop doing things for other people and figure out what he wanted to do in life. In the series, Estebán only came to EWS to find out about his mother and really had no goal or ambition for his talent. Hence, “Rebelde” Season 2 will probably follow Estebán’s journey to discover his dream, while the subplot will further explore the relationship between Estebán and Jana.
Seba found a new partner in MJ, and Season 2 will most likely continue his relationship with her. On the other hand, Luka left the school, but he dropped the bomb on his father by revealing about his step-brother. Though Marcello already knew that Rocio was pregnant with his child, he didn’t know his son was studying at EWS. Hence, Season 2 will explore the storyline with Estebán and Marcello at the center of the conflict, while the freshmen students will graduate to their final years. Another round of Battle of the Bands is on the way, and “Without a Name” will undoubtedly win the next time around.
Rebelde is a 2022 Coming of Age Drama Series directed by Santiago Limón. Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.