On Friday, the French heist thriller that became an international hit earlier this year returns for the second part of its first season. What’s next for Assane and Co. in Lupin Part 2? The Ringer staff makes its predictions below:
What are you most hyped for heading into Lupin Part 2?
Miles Surrey: Continuing to fall for Omar Sy’s wily charm, like many of the people he’s duped.
Jomi Adeniran: I’m excited to see Assane backed into a corner. He’s so clever, but with his son missing he’ll have less of a margin for error. Can he deliver with everything on the line? I’m excited to find out.
Micah Peters: There may not be much room for Omar Sy’s goofy schoolboy charm in Part 2—Assane’s son was kidnapped last season, so he has to fulfill his fatherly duties by finding and apprehending Leonard, or else killing him. But that really is the best and purest thing about Lupin.
Ben Lindbergh: I loved that Lupin Part 1 subverted genre conventions by starting with a huge heist instead of building up to one, and then revealing that the necklace is mostly a means to an end. But I still want Part 2 to end with another elaborate, multipart caper that probably wouldn’t be possible and may or may not make sense.
Justin Charity: I just want to do crimes.
Alison Herman: I know I should say something like “learning more about the characters,” but Omar Sy smirking is development enough for me!
David Lara: I’m a sucker for dupes. Anytime they reveal how Assane committed a robbery or plan it’s my favorite part. It always reminds me of Ocean’s Eleven.
What’s been Assane’s most impressive dupe so far?
Herman: When you start your show with a break-in at the Louvre, it’s kind of hard to go uphill. Lorde would be so proud!
Peters: I don’t know about most impressive, but maybe the slickest one was having the old widow whose husband helped Belgium annex the Congo bring Assane her most valuable possessions as he just, you know, sat and waited. Bonus points for having the cops stand guard the entire time, and never arousing any suspicion. Despite flashing the fakest looking badge ever.
Surrey: The jewelry heist in the premiere is hard to beat, while also setting the tone for the rest of the series. In short: Lupin is a vibe.
Adeniran: The Paul Sernine dupe in the first episode gets me every time. From the hiring of a crew to duping them, and then to the escape, it’s incredible. It was Diet Ocean’s Twelve and from then on, I was in on the series.
Lara: I don’t know why, but I strangely loved the bicycle dupe, when he escaped from the police using a bunch of delivery bikers as decoys.
Lindbergh: Probably the Louvre theft, which evidently didn’t even require a full disguise. But one thing I like about Lupin is how slapdash some of Assane’s plans are. Not only is he self-taught, using the collected works of Maurice Leblanc as an instruction manual—we see him learning how to apply makeup—but he’s sometimes slow on the uptake. He doesn’t realize Anne Pellegrini is the anonymous donor paying for his education. He doesn’t initially crack the code in his dad’s note. The cameras he places in Dumont’s home are easy to spot. He gives himself away to Dumont as Babakar’s son. His TV station scheme is half-baked at best. (Did Assane not make a copy of the entire tape? Why not just tweet it out?) We could complain about the plot holes in Assane’s far-fetched plans or conclude that Lupin-like ruses aren’t plausible in the present day. But in my Lupin headcanon, the dubious narrative twists are just the slipups of a talented amateur who’s figuring out this thieving thing as he goes along—and who often gets away with it thanks to the biases of the racist, xenophobic social circles he inhabits. Assane wouldn’t be so sympathetic if he never made a mistake.
Charity: His dupes aren’t so showstopping. This isn’t BBC’s Sherlock. There’s no spectacular wit, just a casual magic to how he moves through the series. I’m rather captivated by Assane’s savoir faire.
Rank the following characters’ likeliness to ally themselves with Assane: Detective Youssef Guedira, Juliette Pellegrini, Anne Pellegrini, Commissioner Gabriel Dumont.
Lindbergh: Anne, Guedira, Juliette, Dumont. Anne already offered (and gave) Assane her help. Guedira has the same taste in novels and no love for Dumont. Juliette and Assane were an item. Even Gabriel could be capable of a face turn, whether to atone for his bad behavior or to snip his puppet master’s strings. Hubert may be the only character who’s really rooting against Assane.
1. Detective Youssef Guedira: He’s a huge Lupin fanboy. I think Assane reveals the truth to him and he jumps on board to help.
2. Anne Pellegrini: I’m hoping her guilt will actually prompt her to make herself useful to Assane, tbh.
3. Juliette Pellegrini: She works very closely with her father. As much as I want her to help, I think she’s fearful of upsetting him and won’t really assist Assane.
4. Commissioner Gabriel Dumont: I think Commissioner Dumont has only one real intention, and that is to capture Assane and close the case.
Charity: The French are socially and morally inscrutable to me, so I really can’t say. I don’t trust any Pellegrinis, but I could see Dumont backtracking into my good graces.
Herman: Juliette gets the rare most and least likely spot; as a former love interest, she’ll probably (re)join forces with Assane, but also double cross him. I imagine the cops will get on board fast enough—first the detective on the ground, then his boss. I don’t see a widow acknowledging her inherited fortune is soaked in blood anytime soon.
Adeniran: In dead last, we have Commissioner Gabriel Dumont. He’s been no help to anybody through the first five episodes. Third place is Anne Pellegrini. She basically sent Assane’s dad to die and she doesn’t seem all too beat up about it. I can’t imagine she changes her mind. In second, I could see Detective Youssef Guedira coming through with a clutch save, seeing how big of a fan he is. But coming in at no. 1, I think Juliette Pellegrini could be Assane’s biggest asset. Given their history, once she finds out about her dad’s misdeeds, she’ll turn around and help Assane when the going gets tough.
1. Detective Youssef Guedira: He spent the entire last season doing anagrams and looking at CCTV screen captures. He just wants to hang out, man.
2. Juliette Pellegrini: There’s gotta be a realized romantic arc somewhere in Part 2.
3. Anne Pellegrini: Eventually she’s gotta get some actual licks in on her husband, whom she openly despises.
4. Commissioner Gabriel Dumont: Hah.
Surrey: I think the Pellegrinis will always ally themselves with money, and the commissioner needs to keep pursuing Assane to keep the plot moving. (The show wouldn’t be as compelling if the authorities were like “Actually, Assane has a point, let him do his thing!”) That leaves detective Guedira, who seems destined to understand Assane’s motivations, sympathize with him, and be further alienated from the majority of his colleagues because of it.
Which character’s intentions are you most suspicious of?
Lara: I’m torn between Claire and Juliette, I could see both veering off and trying to stop Assane. I’m leaning toward Juliette more than anything since she works closely with her father.
Herman: Juliette! That pool flashback had “femme fatale” written all over it. You can’t have a good crime caper without one.
Surrey: Again: Why would you trust any of the Pellegrinis? At the end of the day, the rich care only about themselves.
Lindbergh: Claire. In Chapter 5, she mentions that there are moments when Assane can’t help ruining everything. She may think about betraying him to prevent more of those moments from hurting her son—or maybe just to stop him from getting obsessed with the same series of books that turned her ex into a criminal.
Charity: Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos. I’ll chalk the two-part structure of this first season up to the pandemic. But I worry the decision to release the second half of the first season five months after premiering the first half will be a critical blow to the earlier momentum for this series.
Adeniran: I can’t trust anyone completely in this show besides Assane, honestly. I know he’s pretty much the bad guy, but I’d like to know why Hubert Pellegrini is such an opp. Is it for completely selfish reasons or is he just evil? Hopefully we get to find out.
How much of a role will Claire’s not-yet-seen doctor boyfriend play in Part 2?
Charity: I watched Luther, I know how this sort of thing goes: Assane will be constantly shouting the man’s name into his phone during a kidnapping sequence any minute now.
Lindbergh: After the Richard debacle on Mare of Easttown, I’m over red herrings. As long as the doctor boyfriend is out of my sight, he’s also out of my mind.
Herman: As a tertiary antagonist to Assane/bit of comic relief and hopefully not much more.
Adeniran: Zero? Unless Assane needs a bullet wound patched in a hurry à la John Wick, I don’t wanna see this dude. There’s a missing child! Let’s focus on that, yeah?
Lara: I could see the doc helping Assane with some sort of hospital dupe, but it’s really hard to gauge at the moment.
Peters: I mean, at least we’ll both see and hear him? We’ll finally have proof that he’s not just someone made up to torture Assane?
Surrey: Very little, unless Ludivine Sagnier has been playing her character from The Young Pope this whole time and Lupin actually takes place in the Papal Cinematic Universe. I can see it now: White smoke emerges from Assane’s apartment as newly elected Pope Voiello tells him about the “Vatican Initiative.”
What is your one big prediction for Part 2?
Adeniran: Commissioner Gabriel Dumont bites the big one and Assane is framed for it, in a typical “This goes higher than you could possibly imagine”–type twist. I’m ready.
Charity: Dude’s pop is alive.
Lara: I think Claire is in on the scheme of attempting to get Assane in trouble. I have a feeling she knows about his affair with Juliette and wants to get revenge. An alternative: Assane’s father faked his death and will reveal that he’s alive.
Surrey: That I will order a lot of cheese, meat, and pastries from my neighborhood boulangerie before bingeing the next five episodes of the series.
Herman: That it’ll be as breezy, deceptively easygoing, and fun to watch as Part 1. I don’t go to Lupin for big themes, or even theories; I go for elaborate heists that help the surprisingly shrewd class commentary go down.
Lindbergh: Going way out on a limb here: Assane isn’t going to get caught. At least not for long.
Peters: Somehow, J’Accuse…! will be the key.