Lupin: Assane Diop is the Main Act

By Sorenya Miller

Score: 9/10

After a much-anticipated wait, Lupin Season 2 has returned to Netflix and it did not disappoint. The show follows the character Assane Diop, who makes it his life’s duty to take vengeance on Hubert Pellegrini for the wrongful accusation and untimely death of his father Babakar Diop. 

To prove that his father was framed, Diop imitates the famous French gentleman burglar and master of disguise, Arsène Lupin. After religiously studying the burglar’s mannerisms, methods, and art of disguise for years, Diop successfully used his tactics to steal a valuable diamond necklace from the Louvre which his father was accused of stealing from Pellegrini 25 years earlier. That initial heist sets up the entire series with many twists, surprises, and wow moments.

Following the conclusion of Season 1, with the onset of Season 2 fans are met with Assane and Claire (his ex-wife) being on the move looking for their son Raoul who was kidnapped by Leonard, one of Pellegrini’s henchmen. Pellegrini, who can be presumed as the show’s villain, is your typical white, old, shady businessman that is obsessed with money, control, and power. However, the fictional character isn’t any dumbwit and practically matches all of Diop’s moves. The back and forth between Diop and Pellegrini is very well written, and it’s almost like they are playing a game of chess. 

Episode 1 presents the audience with a crisis that is meant to throw off Assane. The setup for this episode was good because you are led to believe that Assane has let his guard down and is blindsided by Detective Guedira. So far, Guedira is the only cop beside his corrupt boss Commissioner Dumont that knows the real identity of Assane. Dumont is another classic example of how rich men with influence can easily have cops on their payroll. The acting from Dumont is virtually comical as he frantically follows Pellegrini as a lapdog and latches onto the false idea of becoming rich. 

Another worthy mention from Episode 1 is the relationship between Assane and his best friend Benjamin Ferel. They are basically “ride or die” friends and partners in crime, similar to Bonnie and Clyde but obviously smarter. The writers proficiently interject timely flashbacks to show the dynamic duo’s origins. Both actors naturally feed off each other and you might even think that they are best friends in real life. 

As the plot thickens, emotions, suspense, and surprises are imminent. In Episode 2, Assane continues to track down his son, who ends up falling into the hands of Pellegrini. It doesn’t take long for Assane to outsmart him, but Pellegrini has other plans up his sleeve. 

In Episode 3, Assane takes the kidnapping of his son very personally and devises a plan to get back at Pellegrini by bringing his family into the mix. We are once again provided with flashbacks and get the chance to find out more about the relationship between Assane and Julia (Pellegrini’s daughter). The pair rekindle an old flame and Julia blindly falls for Assane’s charm.  They start to meet regularly, and she gives him an ultimatum.  Assane easily obliges with Julia’s demands and ends up stealing a few valuables to prove his commitment to her. Finally, Assane opens up to Julia and explains to her the real reason why he is after her father. Julia becomes emotional and helps to expose her father. Pellegrini finally gets arrested but with the commissioner on his payroll, he is easily released. 

However, in Episode 4 the French police finally uncover Assane’s identity and raid his hideout. We get an inside look at his costume collection, props, and disguises. The countless number of suits they find in his apartment reverberates the gentlemen’s burglar aspect of Lupin. Although Assane gets exposed and is now the most wanted man in France, the cops and Pellegrini just can’t seem to capture him. He proves to be a truly tactical and efficient escapist, even as the most wanted man in France. 

In the final episode, Assane proves that he was always one step ahead. Overall, the show was brilliant, every time you think that Assane would falter or make a mistake he always found a loophole.  The relationship he has with Benjamin is eccentric and very much relatable. It shows that you only really need one true friend in your corner. The writers also exemplify the father-son relationship.  They made sure that Assane has a close relationship with his son, just like how he did with his dad and keeping all of them connected with the Lupin books.  

Regarding the background music, it adds suspense and builds up anticipation for the nail-biting scenes. The song choices are also relevant for U.S. viewers, so you can expect to hear familiar music. The show is well-paced and keeps you glued to the screen. You will definitely binge it all in one day. However, the English dub is terrible for English-speaking audiences and almost cringeworthy. 

In the end, you cannot deny that Assane is a genius, and he’s definitely the main act.

Published by The Second Stylus

The Editor

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