Episode 1 of Lupin Part 2 begins on the morning of December 11th. Guedira receives a message, linking him to the same train Assane and his family are on. He eventually catches up with Assane and points to the parking lot. Raoul is gone and Assane implores Claire not to get the police involved. Hotwiring a car, Assane takes off with Guedira along for the ride.
Meanwhile, Raoul is bundled into the trunk of a car as Pellegrini’s hitman, Leonard, makes his way to Normandy. After phoning Pellegrini and informing him what’s going on, the boss is not happy and demands he sort his mess out.
Well, that mess is about to get a whole lot more rowdy as Lupin and Guedira spy Leonard in his grey car and quickly make haste to chase them down. The game is afoot.
Despite managing to narrowly avoid being hit by a train, Lupin and Guedira lose Leonard and desperately try to pick up the scent again.
Assane soon receives a text from Raoul who claims he’s managed to take the phone away from Leonard. Assane tests that theory though by replying with details about Lupin’s daughter, which of course is a big ploy to oust Leonard.
In an old, abandoned house, Leonard loads up his shotgun and prepares for Assane’s arrival. Raoul meanwhile, sits tied up to a chair with nowhere to go. Assane finally rings, with Leonard picking up. He threatens the hitman, warning him against hurting Raoul as everything looks set for a big showdown.
During flashbacks we cut back to Claire and Assane’s childhood, where a racist shop owner refuses to allow Assane to buy a violin. He’s desperate to impress Claire though and eventually breaks in after school and takes one, being discrete and managing to evade capture.
Back in the present, Assane levels with Guedira and admits that he knows he’s a cop. In doing so, he manages to tie Guedira to his car and even take his ID too. With the police en-route, Assane has an hour at most to grab Raoul and get out.
Tension mounts though as Assane sneaks into the house and engages in a game of cat and mouse with Leonard. The two wrestle, with gunshots cracking the air sporadically. Eventually though Lupin bests the hitman and throws him out the window. Raoul however, is gone. He’s actually in Leonard’s trunk and with the hitman still alive, he pours gasoline over the car and ignites it.
A haunting but well-shot set of scenes then interweave together. The violin owner arrives in the past and notices Claire playing the instrument at her recital. She immediately drops the strings as she notices police arrive. Now she understands that Assane lied and the violin is indeed stolen.
The other scene is far more harrowing and shocking. The car explodes as Assane receives an antagonizing message from Leonard. “Next time, check the car.” As the vehicle explodes and envelopes in flames, Belkacem arrives and forces Assane down to the ground as he screams in grief-stricken pain.
The Episode Review
Wow, welcome back Lupin! It seems Netflix are trialing a new model of releasing these seasons in chunks and it’s actually a really smart move from the streaming giants.
This idea of releasing 5 episodes and then another 5 later in the year is something that should help more of the originals released every week from fading into obscurity. With La Casa De Papel following suit later this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Stranger Things and Umbrella Academy follow suit.
In terms of this episode though, Lupin storms back with an explosive and action-packed romp brimming with tense set pieces and one almighty shocker at the end. Is Raoul really dead? It seems like he is but it could also be a ruse too. Either way, it’s a shocking moment and one that sets Lupin up for a bitter revenge-fueled quest to follow.