Lupin (Season 3): Netflix’s ‘Lupin’ is a widely popular French-language mystery thriller series created by George Kay and François Uzan. Starring charismatic Omar Sy in the lead, it follows the story of a gentleman thief, Assane Diop, who is determined to seek revenge for his father’s death. Assane styles himself after the fictional character of Arséne Lupin from the Maurice LeBlanc novels. The first part of the series follows Assane on his mission against business tycoon Hubert Pellegrini, whose immoral behavior led to his father’s demise.
Then, the second part/season shows Assane continuing with his attempts to bring the truth about Pelligrini to the public. He faces a series of challenges, including the kidnapping of his son and being wrongfully accused of a murder he did not commit. In the end, we see him make a run for his life after putting Pelligrini behind bars.
The third season answers the question we were waiting to know – Where is Assane Diop? The seven-episode Part 3 / Season 3 of Lupin follows Diop as he tries to introspect what matters in his life. Now that Hubert Pellegrini is in jail, Diop’s life’s purpose isn’t just to seek revenge for his father’s death. So, while staying on the run, he gravitates more and more toward his family.
Lupin (Season 3) Recap:
What is Lupin Season 3 about?
Lupin Season / Part 3 on Netflix shows Assane Diop (Omar Sy) on the run after exposing the truth about the evils committed by Hubert Pellegrini (Hervé Pierre). The authorities still consider him a suspect in a murder that he did not commit. We see him making some big life decisions while battling the unsurmountable odds with the suave charm of a gentleman thief. Police officer Youssef Guédira (Soufiane Guerrab) still deeply admires Diop’s thought process and geeks over how it closely resembles the Arsene Lupin novels.
Lupin Season 3 Episode 1 Recap:
Lupin Part 3 begins with Assane Diop effortlessly flaunting his skills. Since the police still look for him in Paris, he stays in Marseille. While he can bear the burden of public scrutiny, he cannot bear the thought of his wife, Claire (Ludivine Sagnier), and their son, Raoul (Etan Simon), being subjected to insistent questioning and harassment by the press. So, he returns just to see Claire in person. He suggests they should start new lives as a family, away from Paris. But, unlike him, she does not see it as a sign of happy co-existence. She doesn’t want Raoul to live a life on the run.
Despite Claire’s advice, Assane refuses to turn himself in. Instead, he plans to work on a heist with his long-time companion, Benjamin (Antoine Gouy). He mentions that it would be the riskiest plan they have ever worked on. Benjamin still agrees to support his friend. Soon after, Assane enters an art gallery and manages to trick a local worker into letting him inside. Eventually, she hands over a letter to her senior manager, Mr Embert, which Assane gave her. Through the letter, Assane informs the gallery management about his plan to steal the Black Pearl. As a result, Lieutenant Sofia Belkacem (Shirine Boutella) arrives with her team to ensure that Assane does not succeed in his mission.
Assane’s Black Pearl Robbery
The news covers this story, which informs people about the time and place of Assane’s grand plan. Before that time, a huge crowd gathers around the building and cheers for Assane. They consider Assane to be a Robin Hood-like figure and so root for him. Finally, when the time comes, Assane manages to steal the Black Pearl despite the tight security. While running away in a uniform, he gets caught by Commander Felix. So, is this an end to Assane’s adventurous life? No. Because Felix worked with him on the plan since its inception. He also helped Assane know the map of the building and its security codes.
Eventually, Assane staged his own arrest with Felix’s help in order to escape. But later, while running away from the cops, Assane falls down from a building and injures himself. Meanwhile, two journalists for The Objector, Tim and Fleur, try to fight to get their stories published on the front page. Tim gets jealous that Fleur gets the scoop much earlier than he does. Besides these present-day scenarios, we see young Assane (Mamadou Haidara) receive a letter from his mother. She hoped for him to not stay in touch with her. So, he couldn’t get over the trauma of being abandoned by her. With no family to call his own, he asks Bruno if he could stay at their place. That’s where their friendship began.
Lupin Season 3 Episode 2 Recap:
In Lupin Part 3 Chapter 2, Guédira arrives at the scene where Assane fell down from the roof. The bystanders inform him that the man died. But Guédira does not believe that Assane is dead. He knows that Assane’s actions are largely informed by Lupin’s tales. Since Lupin never dies, he believes Assane would not die either. Meanwhile, Benjamin and Philippe (Stefan Crepon) bring Assane’s body to the hospital morgue. Philippe uses his strong persuasion skills to not let them get Assane’s biopsy done. Finally, during Assane’s funeral, Guédira asks the casket to be opened to ensure Assane is inside. But he fails to prove that Assane is alive.
Guédira’s suspicion about Assane’s life bears truth. Turns out, Assane had meticulously planned his exit from the casket. He gets out and meets Ben for his next plan. While the nation mourns Assane’s loss, Raoul also grapples with denial. Meanwhile, Assane finds a classified ad in the newspaper – asking ‘Sanni’ to call a particular number. He recalls that only his mother calls him by that name. So, it evokes some painful memories, which rekindles his long-lost hopes. Anyhow, he calls the number on the ad. The woman on the other end is his mother – Mariama. She asks him to come to a particular church with the Black Pearl. Besides, she also sings a song which Assane associates only with her. Despite their other plans for the deal, he comes to the church – hoping to save his mother.
Assane & Mariama’s Past
In the past, Assane decided to look for his mother no matter what she told him. Claire (Ludmilla Makowski) stayed by his side in his pursuit. He soon finds his mother’s contact details and speaks with her. But she said the same thing she mentioned in the mail, which frustrated him. While Assane was in that vulnerable state, Bruno brought him to a boxing institute run by his foster parent – Jean Luc Keller. The old man understood how anger motivated Assane and decided to benefit from it.
Lupin Season 3 Episode 3 Recap:
In Lupin Part 3 Chapter 3, Assane puts on a disguise to be a part of the criminal organization of someone named Cisco. At the time, Assane is supposed to procure Monet’s Chez Tortoni within three days from this gangster. While in Cisco’s house, Assane walks into Cisco’s mother’s room to find the painting. Soon after, he tries to create a rift between Cisco and his right-hand man to benefit from their petty rivalry. Meanwhile, Claire meets Benjamin and asks whether Assane just staged his death. Despite knowing the truth, Benjamin hides it from her.
Fleur and Guédira meet each other because of their shared interest in Assane’s actions. The two strike a deal to share the information from their ends to further the investigation. Later, Fleur tries to check whether Claire knows anything about Assange. Meanwhile, Sofia visits Benjamin’s store unannounced to check if he is hiding something about Assane. But she does not learn anything new about it. Benjamin and Assane try to figure out who is behind Mariama’s kidnapping. They consider their past, wealthy rivals as their current adversary. Meanwhile, Assane puts on another disguise as Raoul’s sports coach, Alex, to stay close to him and Claire.
The Monet Painting
In the past, Jean Luc refused to let Assane continue his boxing practice without the fees. So, Assane pulled out a trick to steal from a wealthy man – as he read in a Lupin novel. In the present, he helps Cisco’s gang in one of their robbery attempts. After getting the stash back in their basement, Cisco suspects Assane worked against them. Assane manages to evade their attack and point the robbery on Cisco’s head. Meanwhile, he steals the Monet painting and drives to deliver it to one of the kidnappers. But all he gets in return is just a short phone conversation with his mother. With a tracking device inside the painting, Assane goes on a journey to find his mother.
Lupin Season 3 Episode 4 Recap:
Thanks to Benjamin’s tracking device, in Lupin Part 3 Chapter 4, Assane comes face-to-face with his mother’s captor – Manon. She puts Mariama on call, who tells Assane that he needs to do whatever the kidnappers tell him to. For his next task, he is supposed to steal a bracelet called The Red Sea during a big event. Despite his initial reluctance to help Assane, Benjamin sketches out an elaborate plan for this mission. He also joins Assane at the actual event. Meanwhile, Claire starts getting more and more interested in Alex, who seems to fill the hole left by Assane – while not knowing that Assane is underneath the disguise.
Despite this new interest, Claire considers the theory that Assane is alive and tries to solve the mystery by herself. She even sneaks out with a book on Lupin from the library. On the other hand, Sofia notices a part of their investigation being out in the papers. She realizes that Youssef lied to her about Fleur’s identity and expects him to stop leaking information to reporters. Meanwhile, Assane and Ben trick the lawyer of the wealthy party into signing a document as a part of their heist attempt. On the day of the event, they presented it as proof of the man’s resignation.
Why does Assane betray Benjamin during the Red Sea robbery attempt?
By the end of the night, Assane takes off the Red Sea bracelet from a woman’s hand while handing over her coat before leaving. Instead of going into Ben’s hands, the bracelet falls down. So, to others, it looks like Ben tried to steal it. So, the cops run out to catch Ben as the thief. Assane had a reason for betraying Benjamin. Turns out, Mariama’s kidnappers insisted Assane get Ben caught in the robbery attempt. That’s why he framed his friend for the crime. Meanwhile, in the flashback of events from 1998, we see Bruno getting into a fight against Assane because of petty jealousy. Jean Luc got angry and expected them to understand that they were part of one big family. This is probably where Assane started questioning the way this ‘family’ operates.
Lupin Season 3 Episode 5 Recap:
In Lupin Part 3 Chapter 5, Benjamin gets imprisoned for stealing the Red Sea bracelet. Guedira tries to know details about Assane, but Ben stays faithful to his friend and lies that Assane is dead. Meanwhile, Mariama manages to call Assane and inform him that the kidnappers will kill her after selling the painting. Soon after, Assane decides to come face-to-face with Guedira. He shows up at the police station and tries to let him in on his plan to save his mother. In exchange, he offers a video proof agreeing to have lied about his death. Back home, Claire starts investigating on her own to know that Assane is alive.
Claire meets The Objector reporter Tim to find out who informed him about Assane’s death. She realizes that it was Benjamin. So, she goes to meet Ben in the prison and tries to check her suspicions about Assane. Ben ends up accepting the truth that Assane is alive. Meanwhile, Assane brings Guedira up to speed on his plan. He lets Guedira in as a wealthy party interested in a deal for the painting that the captors were trying to sell. Guedira enters in disguise as Justin Ervisto (inspired by Lupin novels) and plays the part with expert finesse.
Who is behind the kidnapping of Assane’s mother?
Right after disguised Guedira finalizes the deal, Sofia and the officers arrive at the scene and arrest the female captor. Guedira reveals his real identity to Sofia and says that he partook in the fake deal to retrieve the Manet painting. But to his surprise, Assane does not turn himself in as he promised. Besides, he learns that Assane tipped Sofia about the deal and told her to come there with backup. Assane walks out to find his mother and soon realizes that the kidnapper is none other than Jean Luc Keller. The woman present at the deal was the girl he and Bruno got into a fight with.
In a flashback scene, we see Claire upset about Jean Luc making Bruno and him pitting against each other. But, at the time, Assane sided with Keller instead of her because he gave him a sense of the family.
Lupin Season 3 Episode 6 Recap:
In Lupin Part 3 Chapter 6, Assane calls Benjamin to prison and sends his favorite meal as a part of his apology for the betrayal. He reveals that the captor is none of the wealthy people they robbed by a ghost from his past – Jean Luc Keller. Assane worries that Keller must be after Claire and Raoul. Meanwhile, Claire sees someone following her and calls Alex to help her ensure their safety. Thankfully, she saves himself from this man working for Keller. Eventually, she invites Alex for a meal with her and Raoul. After dinner, she approaches him for a kiss, but he backs out. Before leaving the apartment, he keeps the ketchup bottle upside down in the fridge like Assane used to do. So, Claire suspects that Alex is Assane in disguise.
How do Assane and Mariama meet?
Meanwhile, Manon refuses to share any details on Jean Luc’s plans with the cops. Sofia orders Guedira not to hide any further communication with Assane from her. On the other hand, Mariama manages to escape from Keller’s place. She goes up to Assane’s father’s house to learn that Assane does not live there anymore. While walking around the city looking for Assane, she notices the news about him in The Objector. So, she puts up an ad for Sanni – to send Assane a message. Assane shows up in an old man’s disguise at a subway station to hear Ave Maria playing in the background. That’s where he finally manages to meet Mariama. Guedira arrives just a moment late to catch Assane.
Jean Luc Keller’s Narcissism
As Alex, Assane ensures Claire is safe from Jean Luc’s team member – Ferdinand. Despite his devotion, Jean Luc ends up almost murdering Ferdinand. It shows how Jean Luc was motivated by narcissistic impulses more than anything else. In a flashback sequence, we see Jean Luc terrifying his foster son, Bruno, for letting a social worker inside his house. It reflects the same narcissism masked under his pretense of family. Even later, he makes both Bruno and Assane agree to help him commit a robbery. In the present, Ferdinand reveals that Keller is behind, getting him almost killed.
Lupin Season 3 Episode 7 Recap:
In Lupin Part 3 Chapter 7, While Claire is about to go to sleep, Keller shows up at her house. She realizes that and hides herself and Raoul in a closet. Then, she sends a message on their telephone, addressing Raoul where she would be. That’s how she manages to get Keller out of her house. Meanwhile, Mariama finally tells the truth about why she did not stay in touch with Assane. Back in Senegal, she was betrayed by the manager of the place where she used to work. Since she tried to steal the money for her efforts, which was rightfully hers, the manager abused and harassed her and then turned her in for stealing. Assane feels sorry that his mother had to face all that turmoil.
Later, Claire and Raoul wait to meet Alex. That’s when Assane shows up and reveals that he is alive. He brings them to meet his mother, and the family finally gets together. After her talk with Mariama, Claire agrees to move somewhere away from Paris. Afterwards, Assane shows up at a minister’s house for his next robbery. He arrives in disguise as army official Ali. Over there, he manages to make a colonel buy into his life and let him in. Upon meeting the minister, he introduces himself as the son of Mariama and Babakar. Revealing a part of his real identity shows his immense confidence before stepping into a risky mission.
Lupin (Season 3) Ending Explained:
Why does Assane plan to rob a minister?
Assane walks into the Minister’s cabin and opens his secure locker with the help of a stethoscope. Meanwhile, a security guard alerts everyone else about an intruder. Mariama helps Assane with creating a distraction when he sneaks into the cabin. Eventually, when Assane rushes out of the cabin, the security cannot find anything on him. That is because Assane left the minister’s phone inside the locker for Mariama to find it and get it out. He deduced that no old woman would be checked at the exit doors. Finally, when the earlier security guard spots Assane, he and Mariama escape through a tunnel.
Later, Assane calls the minister and threatens to get the list of his questionable contacts out in public. To stop this from happening, he tells the minister to get a person out of prison. While we assume that he would ask for Ben’s release, he rather makes the request for Manon a part of Keller’s team. Once she gets a release, he tries to make her realize how Keller brainwashed her into doing things for him. Assane seeks her help to find Keller. To convince her to work against Jean Luc, he recounts a story that reveals the man’s narcissistic nature.
As a kid, what made Assane leave Jean Luc Keller behind?
In the past, Jean Luc had expected Assane and Bruno to carry out a theft for him. Despite Assane’s opposition, Jean Luc pressured them both into agreeing to the mission. Although Assane managed to open the locker with a stethoscope, the plan went awry. Eventually, the police started following them. So, to save himself from prison, Jean Luc told Bruno to shoot the police officer with a gun. Assane tried his best to persuade Bruno against doing this. But Bruno was so devoted to Jean Luc’s service that he ended up shooting a cop. Soon after, their car flipped over. While Jean Luc got arrested, Assane escaped with Bruno. That incident made Assane determined to leave Jean Luc Keller’s ‘family’ for good.
Does Assane leave Paris with Mariama, Claire & Raoul?
After getting Manon out of prison, Assane tries to find Keller. Before that, he texts a photo of Place de l’Etoille to Guédira. He realizes that Assane just sent a signal to find him there. As he rightly deduced, Assane meets Jean Luc at the road junction and asks to return the pearl. Once he receives it, he tells Jean Luc a way to make an escape. Along the way, Sofia’s team arrests him. Jean Luc tells Guédira that Assane has the pearl. Guédira rushes to find Assane with open arms, agreeing to get arrested. Turns out, he managed to get the pearl out through another way. Eventually, Manon gets hold of it.
Will there be a Season 4 of Lupin?
Towards the end of Lupin Part 3, we see Assane turn himself in. While he is in prison, he manages to get Benjamin out. Although Claire agrees to leave Paris with him, Assane decides to do the right thing – to turn himself in. Benjamin arrives with a letter from Assane about his decision to choose freedom for their family. At the end of Lupin Part 3, we see Assane receive an envelope inside his prison cell. Assane opens it to find a novel – Arsène Lupin The Cagliostro’s Revenge. Apparently, Hubert Pelligrini sent it, which hints at his plan to seek revenge against Lupin – with another person from Assane’s life – being a possible antagonist in his future. Such an explosive ending warrants another season for Lupin. So, even though there is no official confirmation about Lupin Season 4, the cliffhanger ending has enough potential for it.
Lupin (Season 3) Review:
Before delving into the show itself, I would like to share an anecdote. An investment banker I happened to eavesdrop on spoke about why he despises Money Heist. He hated it because, in his opinion, it justified stealing – which it doesn’t. More than my personal views about the popular show, I was appalled by how tone-deaf people with positions of power and wealth treat others – and choose to look at the choices they make. So, although Lupin isn’t an ideal man we should look up to, his narrative deserves to be considered for the sheer humanity of portraying an orphaned thief
Anyways, we know that this thief steals from white-collar criminals who keep getting wealthier under the pretense of hard work and generosity. Even Clotilde Hesme’s character jokes about philanthropy in the previous season, which shows the show’s self-awareness. But enough of this digression. The newest third part of Lupin is a thrilling achievement in terms of a mystery thriller. Despite leaving its previous antagonist (Pelligrini) behind, the narrative builds enough tension to make us invested in the stakes. It still benefits from the humanist nature and its believable arcs of love, friendship, and fatherhood.
Themes & Performances
Besides the earlier season’s themes, the new part also discusses the idea of an alternate family after the likes of Kore-eda’s Shoplifters. I appreciate how the makers take a daring step in addressing the opportunistic nature of individuals who benefit from the vulnerabilities of others. These ideas are carefully interwoven into a drama that keeps us root for the gentleman thief. Omar Sy is just as charismatic and evocative as in other seasons, and his performance is supported by a splendid supporting cast from Ludivine Sagnier to Antoine Gouy, from Soufiane Guerrab to Shirine Boutella.
The new character additions seem more inclined toward addressing parts of the narrative than being rounded characters themselves. E.g. Fleur & Tim from the Objector. Their reporter characters are only a getaway to forward the plot rather than give us much knowledge about them. At times, the thriller loses its grip with its past-to-present intercuts, not always being as effective. Nevertheless, there is enough substance to the story that it wins you back soon after it might lose you. Assane and Guedira’s shared geekiness toward Lupin novels is a delight to watch. Guedira’s childlike excitement toward decoding Assane’s is absolutely adorable. With a believable series of twists and emotional closures, Lupin season 3 becomes another compelling addition to the series’ impressive streak.