Arsene Lupin is one of the most popular fictional characters, with uncanny similarities to Sherlock Holmes. Written by Maurice Leblanc, Arsene Lupin is a gentleman thief who is widely known for his masterful disguises. However, the popular Netflix thriller series Lupin, released in 2021, is not based on the life story of this fictional character but follows an ordinary Frenchman, Assane Diop, who is inspired by Lupin’s story and his cunning techniques to carry out the thefts. Assane, with the baggage of a troubling past, has only one motive in life, which is to vindicate his father, Babakar Diop, and unmask the real culprit, bringing him to justice.
Part 1 Recap: Who Is Assane Diop?
Assane’s father, Babakar Diop, had found a job as a driver for an extremely arragoant and French business man named Hubert Pellegrini. It was quite evident from the beginning that Hubert was racist, towards his employees. However, his wife Anne and daughter Julliete were not like him; instead, they sympathized with Babakar and his son. One day, when Hubert insulted Babakar in front of his family, Anne personally apologized to him for her husband’s rude behavior. She asked him to choose any book from their library. Babakar chose a storybook on Arsene Lupin and gifted it to his son for his birthday. His son, Assane, was fascinated by Lupin’s stories, becoming a huge fan of his masterful disguises and stealthy tricks. Meanwhile, one day, when an expensive diamond necklace was stolen from Hubert’s locker, he suspected Babakar had a hand in the theft. Although Babakar was innocent, Hubert framed him for the theft and forced him to sign a confession that he was the one who stole the necklace. When Babakar was sentenced to prison, he could not bear the humiliation and decided to commit suicide. Babakar’s death left Assane, who believed his father was an innocent man, devastated, despite the fact that Babakar had signed a confession.
25 years had passed since this tragic event, and Assane was all set to plot revenge for the injustice done to his father. At the same time, after all these years, the Pellegrinis were able to recover the necklace and put it up for auction. Assane took this opportunity and, taking inspiration from Lupin’s story, set out on a mission to steal the necklace. He hired some local gangsters and came to the auction under the false identity of Paul Sernine. He even bid the highest amount and successfully got a hold of the necklace. After that, Assane’s plan was to trick the authorities during the police check and leave the museum, stealing the necklace. But even though his plan was successful, his goons betrayed him. Beating him up, they stole the necklace and escaped, not knowing that Assane was always one step ahead. He had already tricked them with a fake necklace while placing the original necklace in a trash bag. Assane’s plan was eventually successful, while the other goons were caught by the police. Officer Guedira recognized that they had been duped by someone from the auction and uncovered that the highest bidder, Paul Sernine, was not a real name but an anagram of Arsene Lupin.
The police started their investigation. Meanwhile, Assane visited his school friend Benjamin, who ran an antique shop. When the necklace was stolen 25 years ago, Hubert Pellegrini spread the word that Babakar had broken the necklace into pieces and sold it in multiple places. However, when Assane visited Benjamin and asked him to check the necklace, he discovered that it had never been broken, indicating that it was never stolen in the first place. Assane was convinced that none other than Hubert framed his father. Disguised as a delivery boy, Assane met Juliette, his childhood sweetheart. Through Juliette, he learned that Hubert faked the necklace’s breaking to increase its market value. But Juliette still believed that it was Babakar who was responsible for the theft. Later, the police, having taped their conversation, arrived at the scene but found no one but Juliette. She didn’t reveal anything to the police about Assane, probably because she still had some feelings for him. Meanwhile, Assane, by decoding some clues left in the Lupin book, realized that his father was actually an innocent man who was forced by Anne Pellegrini to sign a confession of the theft. Assane met Anne, who revealed that she didn’t want this to happen in the first place, but Hubert forced her to make Babakar sign the confession. She was told that if Babakar confessed to his crime, his sentence could be reduced and he could be released from prison. But that didn’t happen, so Anne decided to enroll Assane in a prestigious school to rid herself of her overwhelming guilt.
From Anne, Assane also learned about Officer Dumont, who was investigating the necklace theft case. It was he who participated in persuading Babakar to sign the confession. Wasting no time, Assane hatched a plan and kidnapped Dumont to get the truth out of him. But in the process, Dumont learned that it was Babakar’s son, Assane, seeking revenge. However, even though Assane’s initial attempts failed, he continued to press Dumont for the truth. Forced by circumstances, Dumont revealed to him the name of a journalist, Fabienne Beriot. Assane met Fabienne, who told him that during the time when Babakar was found guilty of the theft, the Pellegrinis’ business was already in ruins and could have collapsed any time. So, by framing Babakar as a thief, he managed to land a huge insurance payout and get his business back on track. Fabienne also gave him a VHS tape that contained strong evidence against Hubert. This video showcased that Hubert was actually responsible for orchestrating an attack on the French Embassy. Assane made the video go viral, and consequently, all fingers started pointing at Hubert. But Hubert, realizing Fabienne’s involvement in helping Assane, sent his henchman Leonard to kill her. Assane, under a different guise, appeared on a talk show intending to release the VHS tape, but the evidence had already been destroyed by Hubert’s men. Assane quickly returned to Fabienne, but she was found dead.
Assane had a pre-teen son named Raoul, with his ex-wife, Claire, who used to work in a hospital. While Assane was with Claire, he had an external affair with Juliette, leading to his breakup with Claire. However, Raoul was the ultimate reason for Claire and Assane still having a connection. Assane even gave his son the book of Arsene Lupin stories. As a result, Raoul, just like his father, also grew fascinated by the fictional character and was excited to attend an Arsene Lupin cosplay festival on a beach. However, on the day Assane took Claire and Raoul to the festival, he found Leonard following them. Initially, he managed to elude Leonard, but Officer Guedira began to follow him. However, Leonard didn’t give up on Assane so easily, and in order to trap him and eventually kill him, he kidnapped his son, Raoul.
Part 2 Recap: Did Assane Manage To Bring Hubert To justice?
During the Arsene Lupin festival, Assane stumbled upon Guedira, who at first did not introduce himself as a police officer. Instead, Guedira informed Assane that some goons had kidnapped his son and wanted to help him. Guedira and Assane arrived at the location where Leonard hid Raoul, but while Assane believed that his son was inside the dilapidated house, Leonard had cleverly hidden Raoul in the trunk of his car. When Assane confronted Leonard, a heated argument ensued. Assane pushed Leonard out the window and began searching the entire house for Raoul. But Leonard had already managed to set the car in which Raoul was being held ablaze. Seeing the car on fire, Assane realized that his son must be inside the car, but before he could do anything, Lt. Sophia, Guedira’s colleague, arrived at the scene and arrested Assane. Meanwhile, when the car caught fire, Guedira managed to rescue Raoul. Chief Dumont, under pressure from Hubert, ordered Guedira to bring Raoul safely to a hotel. Hubert intended to capture his son and lure Assane into his trap, but Assane realized that his son had been rescued and taken away by Guedira. As a result, he once again managed to evade the police, making his next plan to get his son back. In the meantime, at the hotel, Juliette was conducting a meeting for her fundraising event for the children. Assane slyly appeared as a waiter at that meeting and managed to get his son out of the hotel. On the way home, Assane told his son everything, starting with the framing of Babakar and his motive to catch the real criminal. Raoul realized that his father was not a criminal but was instead trying to bring a criminal to justice.
Meanwhile, while Raoul was in Hubert’s clutches, Claire visited him to return the diamond necklace in exchange for her son’s safe return. But Hubert told her that he was not interested in the necklace but in Assane. Claire agreed to help him capture Assane. However, when Assane returned home with his son, Claire hinted to him that Hubert’s men were there to kill him, but Assane managed to evade their capture.
Eventually, as Assane began to make bigger plans to unmask Hubert’s true face in front of everyone, he began to bond with Juliette in order to win her trust. When Juliette finally began to trust him again and believed in his loyalty towards her, Assane asked Juliette to confront her mother to find out the real truth behind the theft of the necklace 25 years ago. Juliette, hearing all the truth from her mother, was surprised to find that none other than her father, Hubert, was the one who destroyed an innocent man like Babakar’s life.
Assane found out about Juliette’s fundraising event at an auditorium from her. In this event, Hubert Pellegrini would also be in attendance. He and Benjamin hatched a brilliant plan and recruited Courbet, another fan of Lupin’s stories, into their next plot. Benjamin and Assane managed to get information on Lucas, Hubert’s financial advisor, who knew every minute detail of Hubert’s crimes throughout his life. They hijacked Lucas’ briefcase for a few moments and managed to get all the information out of it. Later, they arranged for Courbet to be a young financial adviser to Hubert. Courbet contacted Hubert and impressed him with his abilities. On the side, he also got to learn from Hubert that at the children’s fundraising event that Juliette was organizing, most of the donations would be transferred to Hubert’s account right under his daughter’s nose. But Courbet also learned that in that event, Hubert was going to arrange for heightened security so that Assane could not enter. Assane had already left a clue for Guedira, and by decoding it, he found a USB drive. Through this USB drive, he learned everything about the 25-year-old case of the necklace theft in which Hubert framed Babakar, and his most trusted partner was Officer Dumont. Connecting all the dots, the officers decided to attend the fundraising event, where they suspected something bigger was about to happen.
With the help of Benjamin and Courbet, Assane managed to sneak into the event and conduct an attack on Hubert. He held Hubert at knife point and made him blurt out everything about Babakar’s framing, which Assane recorded on his smartwatch. Hubert knew that Assane, probably because of his heightened security, would not return alive from the hall, but the scenario changed in the end. As Assane tried to escape from the hall, Dumont confronted him with a gun pointed at him. But by then, officers had arrived and surrounded Dumont. They did not arrest Assane, who appeared on the stage and presented Hubert’s confession to the public. He was able to reveal the truth and successfully clear his father’s name. But before escaping from the police, he met his son, Raoul, and Claire on a bridge and bid them farewell. He knew that staying there with his family would put him and his loved ones in danger because the authorities were already after him, so he wasted no time and escaped to live underground for a while until the authorities calmed down.
In the upcoming Part 3 of Lupin, which is all set to air its episodes on October 5, we’ll learn more about the aftermath of the incident, Assane’s current status, and what happened to the Pellegrinis. Until then, just wait for the new season to arrive only on Netflix.