Fans of the French mystery series “Lupin” have been excited over the release of part 2 (also referred to as season 2) on June 11. As expected, part 2 begins right where part 1 left off: with Assane’s (Omar Sy) son Raoul (Etan Simon) missing.
The adrenaline of Assane going to find his son becomes even more exciting when Detective Guédira (Soufiane Guerrab) teams up with Assane to save Raoul. Even though Guédira must do his job to turn Assane in, he still remains empathetic towards Assane throughout the show. Some examples of this include: Guédira saving Raoul from the fire, chuckling to himself over receiving Assane’s thank you note for borrowing his phone and most notably, being the link for Assane’s evidence proving that Hubert Pellegrini (Hervé Pierre) and Dumont (Vincent Garanger) are guilty. Guédira’s passion for his job and his knowledge of the book series “Arséne Lupin” play an important role in helping Assane on his mission throughout part 2.
In part 1 of “Lupin” Guédira made the audience nervous by figuring out Assane’s true identity before the other detectives, but in part 2 Guédira becomes a fan favorite by siding with Assane, knowing that he was not as guilty as he originally seemed. In fact, Guédira eventually proves to Lieutenant Sofia Belkacem (Shirine Boutella) and Capitaine Laugier (Vincent Londez) that the framing was done against Assane. If Belkacem and Laugier can be convinced against a tampered case they are so passionate about, then the audience knows that things are moving in the right direction to prove Assane’s innocence.
The audience’s feelings towards Guédira, Belkacem, and Laugier are certainly more appreciative at the end of part 2 than they were during part 1. Another big difference between parts 1 and 2 of “Lupin” is that Assane’s flashbacks focus more on his school life with Claire (Ludivine Sagnier), Ben (Antoine Gouy) and Juliette Pellegrini (Clotilde Hesme) during part 2, rather than focusing largely on his relationship with his father, Babakar (Fargass Assandé). Regardless, the cues noting a flashback scene in “Lupin” are always exciting: the sounds of a coin spinning and a card deck shuffling are combined with a sepia-colored memory. These effective hints show the audience that we are about to learn important background information connected to present time in the show.
Another advancement throughout part 2 includes Assane’s relationship with Juliette. Although the first part introduces their secret relationship, Assane uses his special connection with Juliette to get to her father, Hubert Pellegrini, in the episode titled “Chapter 8”. Personally, it was not obvious at first that Assane was using Juliette to convince her to turn her father in to the police. But at the end of the episode, the story does a fantastic job of showing Assane’s idea becoming a successful reality by portraying the perfectly-executed heist behind his romantic plan with Juliette.
Similar to part 1, racism continues to play an essential part in Assane’s life, both in the present and during flashbacks. For example, Pellegrini got away with framing and accusing Babakar for the stolen necklace solely because Babakar is black. Additionally, it is disturbing to think about the difference between the way the police treated Pelligrini while he was in custody for a short period of time, compared to the way the police barely even gave Babakar a chance to prove his innocence in flashbacks from part 1. Pelligrini was treated with patience and respect compared to the way Babakar was treated by police.
It is also important to notice how racism affected Assane since he was young. Even though Assane was completely capable of paying for Claire’s dream violin in a flashback scene, the violin shop owner forbade Assane to buy the violin, entirely based on Assane’s race. Flashbacks, such as the violin shop memory, are effective ways that the writers of “Lupin ” convey racism as a contribution to unfair consequences in Assane’s life.
Although we come to appreciate unlikely characters such as Guédira, Belkacem and Laugier because they solve Pellegrini’s crimes, Assane is not completely innocent in the end. He is still on the run for his crime of stealing the necklace. Despite the cliffhanger ending of Assane running away, any dedicated “Lupin” fan knows to remain optimistic for the main character’s master plan. One positive confirmation about “Lupin” is that part 3 is in the making! A release date for the third part is not yet confirmed.
Parts 1 and 2 of “Lupin” are available to watch on Netflix.
By Lauren Weber