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Series / El internado: Las Cumbres

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After the Spanish drama El internado (The Boarding School) ended on 2010, Amazon acquired the rights to stream the show and produce a reboot, El internado: Las Cumbres, which premiered on Prime Video on February 2021.
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A third and final season has been announced, to be released in 2023.

Four students (Manuel, Amaia, Paul, and his sister Adèle) plot to run away from las Cumbres, a Boarding School for "problem children". Adèle backs out at the last minute and Paul cannot bring himself to leave his sister behind, so Amaia and Manuel run off into the woods. Manuel stumbles and is knocked out. Amaia watches in disbelief as a dark figure resembling a Plague Doctor picks him up and carries him away. When she is caught shortly afterwards by Mara the headmistress and Mario the gym teacher, they dismiss her claims as fantasy. Amaia and Paul, and later their friends, take it upon themselves to find out what happened to Manuel. Their efforts lead to an ancient secret society, la Logia del Nido del Cuervo—The "Raven's Nest" (or "Crow's Nest") Lodge— and to other mysteries at Las Cumbres.

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  • Ancient Conspiracy: History books show that The Nido del Cuervo lodge was a society that during the Black Death, made a Deal with the Devil so that they would remain safe. They were persecuted by San Malaquías (St. Malachi) and almost eradicated afterwards.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Caimán, the resident watchdog. For their initial escape, the group plan to feed him a steak paved with sedatives. Even so, he still manages to terrorize Adèle into turning back.
  • Animal Motifs: Creepy Crows feature prominently in the opening sequence and promotional art. A figure with a hood and a crow mask carries away Manu. Amaia and Paul figure out that the Nido del Cuervo (Raven's Nest) lodge is connected to Manu's disappearance.
  • Arc Symbol: While looking for Manu, Amaia and Paul learn about the occult lodge Nido del Cuervo ("raven's nest"), represented by a "death" rune. The lodge members tattooed the rune on their bodies and would carve it in certain places.
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  • Bait-and-Switch: Adèle steals a jar of sedatives from Celia's (a school employee). To avoid being caught with it when she is called to the headmistress's she throws away the jar. Later she searches frantically for the jar but gets caught... by Amaia, who is in on the plan that required her to steal the sedatives in the first place.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: The discipline is harsh at Las Cumbres:
    • Students who misbehave are locked up in chilly isolated cells called "las neveras" (the iceboxes or freezers). The cells are furnished only with a bench and a bucket (not even a toilet), and rats can be seen crawling ouside.
    • Paz's punishment for having a cell phone: getting her long hair buzzed off.
    • Twice Mara makes the students stand at attention until someone confesses to a transgression: once at the dining room without being allowed to eat (another favorite punishment at Las Cumbres); and another time outdoors under the rain.
    • On a flashback to Manu's first day of school, he tries to get expelled as soon as he can by telling a teacher to suck his dick. Instead, he gets hosed down in the front lawn while naked, as all the students gawk.
  • Broken Bird: Inés hears mysterious voices, keeps to herself, and is bullied by Amaia. She was in an accident in Lisbon but does not remember anything.
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: After gym class, a recording reminds the students that a five-minute shower is required and that good personal hygiene is a sign of respect to oneself and others.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Amaia is deaf and must wear hearing aids or else resort to Reading Lips. This talent comes in handy later on when the group finds a video of Patient Zero with no audio.
  • Creepy Crows: Featured in the song Alba sings while jumping rope, "evil black bird, the devil's servant". Often the camera will follow a crow in flight. Or one will land in the window to a room where something bad will happen.
  • Cut Phone Lines: Adèle cuts the phone lines just as Amaia and Paul are about to call the police to report Manuel's disappearance. Mara punishes all the students by making them stand through dinner time without eating until the guilty party confesses.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Poor Alba is found hanging from a tree, barefoot, dressed in a white nightgown, the eyes torn out and hidden behind a bloody blindfold.
  • Death of a Child: Alba and Rita. A flashback shows a mass grave of multiple girls, killed ritualistically. Rita meets the same fate.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: A good way to describe Mario's teaching style for gym class, it includes plenty of verbal abuse and threats. Outside of class, he is Mara's enforcer, who enjoys punishing female students with traumatic haircuts and threatening Amaia.
  • Dustbin School: Mara, the headmistress tells a new teacher that Las Cumbres's thing is to take in students rejected by other schools. It turns darker when she tells a group of students that they are there because nobody else wanted them, not even their own families.
  • Evil Principal: Mara the headmistress. She imposes excessively harsh punishments on students and does not hesitate to tell them that nobody wants them. She also deems confiscating Amaia's hearing aids as an acceptable measure. On top of that, she allows Corax Laboratories to test powerful medications on students. Oh, and she kills Elías too.
  • Fire Hose Cannon:
    • In a flashback to Manuel's first few days at school, he is subjected to being hosed down (while naked no less) by Mario after he shows up to class out of uniform and taunts the teacher who rebukes him.
    • Eric, who was already in one of the "iceboxes" for pulling a prank along with Julio and Paz, gets the Shameful Strip and hose after Mario overhears him boast about putting feces where Mario would step on them and mock him for still smelling of poop.
  • Gym Class Hell: Mario, the teacher, who has been nicknamed "El Nazi" and doubles as The Dragon to headmistress Mara, yells a lot at the students. After the student riot at school and Rita's death Mara decides that the solution is to increase discipline and to make the P.E. class so intense that the students are too tired to revolt. Plus the hot water in the showers is turned off, as an extra degree of misery.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • Elías announces to Mara that they intend to see her in prison for her actions but thanks to a good shove off a cliff, does not live to make good on that announcement.
    • León forces Darío to hand over his watch containing data. In turn Darío lies to grief-stricken Celia, making her think León murdered her daughter Alba. Celia ends up shooting León and Darío recovers his watch.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Adèle tutors little Alba, the daughter of a school employee, in French. During a tutoring session, she asks Alba to go out to the town to talk to the police and report Manuel's disappearance. Shortly after, her body is found, hanging from a tree and with a bloody bandage covering up where the eyes were torn out.
    • Manu manages to climb out of the cell he is kept captive, only to be shot in the back. With a tranquilizer dart that works instantly.
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: Paul and Amaia find an old painting illustrating the Nido del Cuervo's rituals: a bunch of people in plague doctor masks surrounding a guy getting eviscerated, blindfolded girls hanging from trees, and the like. Later on, they bring the rest of the gang to see the painting but it is not there any more. In its place? A jar of eyeballs. Screaming ensues.
  • Lost in Translation: The English dubbing sometimes bowdlerizes the original European Spanish. Just one example: the scene where Pelayo chews out Paz, Julio and Eric, after catching them making out under a stage. The original line in castellano had him call Paz "marimacho", a pejorative term for a masculine girl. The British dub tones down the homophobia in his speech by just making him call her "So unladylike".
  • Meaningful Name
    • Elias is the Spanish version of the name Elijah, like the prophet from the Bible, meaning "the Lord is my God".
    • The monk who saves a distraught Mara from an Attempted Suicide? Friar Salvador, Spanish for "savior".
    • Amaia is a name of Basque origin meaning "high place or end".
    • Corax Laboratories. The scientific name for the common raven is Corvus coraxnote  and reflects the Animal Motif|s of crows.
  • Mysterious Note: Shortly after he speaks with Inés, León, the music teacher, receives a newspaper clipping with the headline "Continúa el paradero desconocido del secuestrador de una menor en Lisboa" ("Kidnapper of girl in Lisbon remains at large") and an attached note reading "TEN CUIDADO" (BE CAREFUL).
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: A teen version, in Inés's case. Paul sees her sketch of a girl in a bloody blindfold and jokingly asks her if she is drawing a heavy metal album cover. After Alba, a school employee's daughter turns up dead, with her body displayed exactly like in the sketch, Inés tries to burn the sketches both in school and at home.
  • Passing Notes in Class: If students wish to communicate in class, this is the only way it can happen. For example, when Amaia is trying to find a way to phone the police, Paul passes a note to Amaia to let her know that he knows how to get access to a phone.
  • Playground Song: Alba is jumping rope and singing this little ditty:
    En los altos de Las Cumbres grazna que grazna el cuervo,
    negro pájaro malvado que del demonio es siervo

    (On the heights of Las Cumbres, the crow caws and caws
    evil black bird, the devil's servant.)note 
  • The Pranksters:
    • As Paul shows Manu on the latter's first day, pranks such as setting a trash can on fire or writing a poem in class so that the first letters in each line spell out "ZORRA" (BITCH) are a coping mechanism.
    • Pelayo catches Julio, Paz and Eric making out and yells at them, calling them wild animals, pathetic clowns, and homophobic abuse. In response, the trio, wearing the opposite sex's uniform, rush the stage during a religious service to honor the White Virgin:
      Don Arturo: We humbly ask for God's forgiveness. (He is interrupted by Eric, Paz, and Julio rushing the stage)
      Eric: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for all us perverts.
      Paz: For the unladylike and the effeminate.
      Julio: (in makeup and pigtails) And forgive us for being worse than wild animals. (turns around and flashes his brief-clad behind to the audience)
      Paz: For the pathetic clowns!
    • Julio, Paz, and Eric leave a bunch of feces right where Mario will step on it. They manage to do so unnoticed until the three are brought to the "iceboxes" for their shenanigans during the White Virgin celebration and Eric brags about how he can still smell the poop. Mario is well within earshot and incensed. Eric is punished via Fire Hose Cannon.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Elvira and Elias try to advocate for treating the students with more understanding. Not that it makes any difference.
  • The Reason You Suck: Paul accuses his younger sister Adèle, who cut the phone lines, of being spoiled and selfish.
  • Screaming at Squick: When Paul and Amaia bring their friends to see a painting, Paz is the unlucky one to pick up a jar left in place of the painting. At seeing the contents—eyeballs—Paz screams and drops it, spilling the contents and runs off.
  • Sexy Priest: Sexy Monk, in Fr. Elías's case. After catching three students making out, fellow teacher Elvira tries to explain to him what the "I never" game is by giving him an example, "I never kissed a Dominican monk." His response, "How about Franciscan?" They kiss.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Adèle is miserable at the school and so desperate to get out that she begs her brother Paul to please behave so that they are allowed to attend their uncle's wedding (said uncle has never kept his promises to take them anywhere). She goes as far as to sabotage Paul's attempt to report Manuel's disappearance.
    • In the first episode, Amaia and Manu attempt to run away from the school, but they get lost in the woods and Manu is abducted. When Amaia is found and brought back to school, Mara cares more about the fact that 500 euros were stolen from her office than about Manu's disappearance, and delays reporting it or notifying his family about it.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Spanish law requires that any health professional who suspects a case of child abuse must report it. Not a single adult reports the corporal punishments, students being forced to skip meals or to stand at attention under the rain, the isolation cells, etc.
  • There Are No Therapists: For a school specializing in "problem students", the staff-to-student ratio is very low. There doesn't seem to be any counselors or anybody qualified to deal with addiction or mental health issues beyond the school doctor who issues prescriptions. And he is collaborating with Darío Mendoza in experimenting on the students. When Elvira mentions a student's ADHD diagnosis, Elías has to be told what ADHD is.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Mara confesses to a sympathetic monk:
    "I pushed him. I pushed him. With these hands. There's not... There's not a day, an hour, or a second, that I don't... That I don't see Elías...falling into the abyss. Do you still want to take my secrets to the grave?"
  • Traumatic Hair Cut:
    • Paz is caught talking on a cell phone after lights out, and Mario, the gym teacher who is monitoring the dorms drags her and buzzes off her long hair. At Mara's office, Mario claims this was Paz's choice to avoid spreading her lice, but Elias is outraged. Mara is indifferent and tells Elias that it's her way or the highway.
    • Rita is also punished like this, but she just gets her ponytail lopped off at the nape, leaving her with wildly uneven locks.
  • Twisted Ankle:
    • Paul, Amaia, and his sister Adèle sneak away from school to go look for their friend Manu. They almost get caught but manage to get away. All of a sudden, Amaia's foot is caught right at the ankle in a bear trap, and the other two have to carry her to where Manuel might be held captive.
    • As part of a plot from the group to snoop around the infirmary, Julio pretends to twist his ankle at gym class and to need his friends to escort him.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Don Arturo, prior of the monastery and director emeritus at Las Cumbres, at least regarding the Nido del Cuervo lodge. He spouts the church party line about the lodge being devil-worshippers.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Mara has one throughout Season 2, leading to bouts of handwashing that irritate her skin so much she must wear gloves at all times. Eventually, this leads to Attempted Suicide.
  • Wild Teen Party: Amaia and Paz notice that there are no teachers or staff around and go off and wake up everyone at the dorms. They end up in the crypts, drinking and dancing, and in Paz's case, making out with Eric and Julio. Of course, they all get caught and punished harshly.
  • Worth It: Eric, Paz, and Julio get cheered by their classmates when they rush the stage during the mass for the White Virgin and disrupt the service. They deem their punishment (an evening locked up at the freezers/iceboxes) worth it for all the attention.
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