How the 'Lupin' Part 2 Finale Could Set Up a Thrilling Part 3
Assane Diop is on the run now!
This post contains spoilers for Part 2 of Lupin.
Assane Diop, the gentleman thief protagonist of Netflix's French heist series Lupin, doesn't always come out on top. He frequently tricks his enemies, deploying a drone to score secret intel or wearing a disguise to slip by security, but he's just as often scrambling to avoid getting caught. The ending of the show's most recent batch of episodes, released as Part 2, once again found Diop, played with subtle panache by Omar Sy, evading capture from the police, embarrassing his wealthy foes, and frustrating his family. He remains both somewhat in control and a little bit messy.
After watching this batch of five episodes, which largely resolve the conflicts carried over from the surprise hit's first five back in January, would you have it any other way? In reimagining author Maurice Leblanc’s famous Arsène Lupin character for the contemporary moment, creators George Kay and François Uzan designed a story that toggles between the past and the present while examining the intricacies of race, class, and privilege. It's also a revenge narrative outfitted with elaborate suspense set pieces, circling complicated themes while providing jolts of excitement and pleasure. To help you sort through it all, and to prepare for Part 3, here are some elements of Part 2 we're still piecing together.
How did Assane Diop take down Hubert Pellegrini?
The opening of Part 2 of Lupin found Diop at his lowest point. Desperately searching for his kidnapped son, Raoul (Etan Simon), and on the verge of being sniffed out by detective Youssef Guedira (Soufiane Guerrab), Diop looked like his days of stealing expensive jewels, riffing on his favorite novels, and pursuing justice for his immigrant father might be coming to a close. But by the time "Chapter 10" rolled around, Diop was looking more like the daring burglar introduced back in the first episode. He had a target (crooked business tycoon Hubert Pellegrini), a flashy location (the Paris opera house Théâtre du Châtelet), and an elaborate scheme (tricking Pellegrini into embezzling donations made to a charity through a phone app during the concert).
In order to pull off the job, Diop recruits frequent collaborator Benjamin (Antoine Gouy) and fellow Lupin fan "Philippe Courbet" (not the character's real name, but played by Stefan Crepon), who Diop finds at the library inspecting the rare Lupin books. Through a series of flashbacks and briskly edited montages, the pieces get laid out. Courbet convinces Pellegrini to commit the fraud, Benjamin and Courbet sneak Diop into the building, and Diop sneaks up on Pellegrini. Was it a little unlikely that Diop would be able to surprise Pellegrini like that during such a heavily guarded event? Maybe, but with many plans executed on Lupin, you just have to go with it.
Placing a knife to Pellegrini's throat, Diop manages to get his nemesis to confess to a number of crimes. The initial insurance scheme involving the necklace and the framing of Diop's father? Oh, he confessed to that. The killing of the journalist Fabienne Bériot (Anne Benoit) from back in Part 1? He confessed to that, too! He even came clean about kidnapping Diop's son and having his father murdered in prison. (Diop also records this confession on his watch and sends it to Guedira.) In an appropriately theatrical twist, Diop takes the stage during the concert and reveals Pellegrini's true nature to the audience—and then disappears in the dark by dressing as a fireman (with a wig and beard, of course) and piloting a boat as a getaway. Very smooth.
Why is Assane Diop still on the run at the end of Part 2?
Though Diop has cleared his name for some of the larger crimes he was suspected of—like murder—he's not exactly free to go about his normal life. He's committed some crimes along the way; he's a "gentleman thief," but he's still a thief. When he invites his ex-girlfriend Claire (Ludivine Sagnier) and Raoul to meet him in the middle of the night on a bridge, the encounter isn't strictly a joyful family reunion. Yes, there are hugs and kisses, but the tone of the scene is in line with the end of The Dark Knight, a moment where the hero must (temporarily?) move into the darkness to protect the people he loves. "You won't see me, but I'll be watching," says Diop, preparing to slip into the night.
What could the end of Part 2 mean for Part 3?
The ending of Part 2 feels definitive in certain ways—Pellegrini is captured! Police commissioner Dumont is under arrest! Benjamin gives away the last diamond!—but there are a number of loose threads that the show could pick up in the inevitable Part 3, which doesn't have an official release date but gets teased in text on screen at the conclusion of Part 2. There's still plenty of ways for the show's villains to wiggle out of the tough situation they've been put in.
Also, how does Hubert's daughter, Juliette (Clotilde Hesme), who has a complicated romantic history with Diop, feel about everything that happened? Though she appeared in the Part 2 finale, she was a chess piece in Diop's scheme to get to her father. Will the creators send Diop to another region of France or keep him in Paris? How will Pellegrini's confession, which was made at knifepoint, hold up in court? Are we absolutely sure that Diop's father Babakar (Fargass Assandé) isn't secretly alive somewhere? (This is the twist I thought Part 2 might be building towards.) Presumably, Part 3 will answer some of these questions while introducing a whole set of new ones—hopefully with some new wig/beard combos, too.