Lupin spoilers follow.
The modern-day gentleman burglar Assane Diop (Omar Sy) is back on our screens once again for the second part of Netflix's supremely popular crime caper Lupin.
In the first chapter, we learned his tragic backstory. The uber-wealthy, morally bankrupt businessman Hubert Pellegrini (Hervé Pierre) framed his father Babakar (Fargass Assandé) for stealing a pearl-and-diamond encrusted necklace, which was gifted to Marie Antoinette by Louis XVI.
Assane's father, who was working as a chauffeur for Pellegrini at the time, was thrown behind bars after confessing to the crime following a conversation with Pellegrini's wife Anne (Nicole Garcia), in which she assured him that his sentence would be reduced if he held his hands up. But that was just the first part of Babakar's ordeal.
During his stint in prison, he was murdered by Pellegrini's henchman Léonard (Adama Niane) to silence him once and for all, and for a time Pellegrini continued his nefarious dealings unchecked. But the tycoon did not account for Babakar's son Assane, who made it his mission to avenge his father by destroying Pellegrini and his empire.
The show's second instalment picked up right where we left off, with Assane and Claire (Ludivine Sagnier) frantically searching for their son Raoul (Etan Simon), who had gone missing during his birthday trip to the seaside town of Etretat. It was detective Youssef Guedira (Soufiane Guerrab) who informed them that Raoul had been abducted by Léonard. Pellegrini had instructed him to use Assane's son as bait to lure him into his clutches and credit where credit's due, it was a solid plan.
Assane and Guedira, who had been tracking the protagonist solo while his colleagues chased shadows elsewhere, raced to rescue Raoul, who was being held at a derelict house in the French countryside. Under the cover of darkness, Assane entered the property, where he ran into Léonard. After knocking seven bells out of one another, he chucked Pellegrini's minion out of a window, but Léonard miraculously survived. He then did the unthinkable, locking Raoul in the boot of his car before setting it on fire and scuttling off into the darkness.
After receiving a text from Léonard about his son's fate, a devastated Assane looked on as the vehicle burned, unable even to mourn properly after Lieutenant Sofia Belkacem (Shirine Boutella) arrived at the scene and handcuffed him. In his mind, Raoul was gone.
Fast-forward to episode two, Guedira had saved Raoul's life while his dad was inside the house looking for him. But on arriving back in Paris, he unwittingly dropped his passenger right into Pelligrini's lap after following the orders of corrupt police commissioner Gabriel Dumont (Vincent Garanger), who was on the magnate's payroll. But Assane had once again outsmarted the police and raced back to the capital, where he worked his magic and prised Raoul from Pellegrini's grubby mitts.
With his son safe, Assane could focus his attention on revenge.
Inspired by Pellegrini, Assane decided to set his sights on his nemesis's daughter. He emotionally manipulated Juliette (Clotilde Hesme) by giving her a bracelet that he stole from Claire and Camille Pissarro's The Seine and the Louvre, which he lifted from the Musée d'Orsay.
Such bold gestures had to be proof of his romantic feelings, right? Once he had Juliette in the palm of his hand, Assane told her that Pellegrini had framed his father for stealing the necklace. He told her to go and speak to her mother, adding: "Once you've heard the truth, you'll do what's necessary."
That's exactly what Juliette did and at the end of the episode, Anne contacted Guedira and informed him about her husband's misdeeds. Pellegrini was arrested but later walked free after he flexed his muscles and had the Minister of the Interior order the police to release him. But Assane wasn't finished with Pellegrini and his greatest trick was yet to come.
By that point, he had already sent a mole right into the heart of Pellegrini's operation. Assane and his best friend Benjamin Ferel (Antoine Gouy), an antiques dealer, hired a young man they met stealing one of the Lupin books in a library to go undercover as a financial expert.
The character that they devised, Courbet, had zero qualms about using questionable methods to boost his clients' bank balances to astronomical heights – music to Pellegrini's ears. One such scheme was to pocket the vast majority of the money raised from Juliette's fundraising concert. The donors believed that they were giving underprivileged children access to arts and culture unattainable to them when really, Pellegrini's pockets would only get fatter.
But that was, of course, a lie, with all of the money going straight to Juliette's foundation, thanks to Assane.
Guedira had already followed Assane's clues and unearthed video footage of Dumont confessing to his involvement in Babakar's set up. With his colleagues, he sifted through more evidence which clearly illustrated the connection between their boss, Léonard, who they knew was responsible for Babakar's murder, and Pellegrini.
The police also had the recording of Pellegrini's confession, obtained by Assane. With a knife held to his throat, he admitted to hiring Babakar so that he could frame him for stealing the necklace, which allowed him to pocket the insurance money.
Pellegrini also confessed to ordering the hit on Babakar to silence him fully. For a moment, it looked like Assane might slit his throat, but he thought better of it. A much more effective, satisfying punishment would be to see him in a grey prison cell without his goons and finery.
And as the finale drew to a close, it looked like both Pellegrini and Dumont were finally going to face justice for their actions. Evidence of their wrongdoing appears to be iron clad but then again, they've successfully wriggled their way out of similar tight spots before.
Public opinion of Pellegrini, however, is certainly now shot after Assane stood on stage and listed his many, many crimes to the wealthy benefactors present in the concert hall.
In part two's final moments, Assane was yet again on the run from the police. Seriously though, does he ever have a day off? In his quest to take down his enemy and restore his father's name, he had broken quite a few laws himself. After a brief reunion with Claire and his son on "Raoul's bridge", he dashed off into the night to lay low. But he did promise them that he'd return eventually, when the time was right.
"I love you both," he said. And with, he was gone.
With Babakar's story seemingly done and dusted, that would open the door for a new driving force, and some new faces. Watch this space for updates.
This month, Digital Spy Magazine counts down the 50 greatest LGBTQ+ TV characters since the Stonewall riots. Read every issue now with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
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