We begin episode 4 of Lupin with a drone buzzing through the Pellegrini apartment. With lasers shining in his office, this drone flies effortlessly past them and begins buzzing around papers on the table.
On the way out, this drone sets off the alarms as guards flood into the room. The drone eventually collapses on the ground with a single note attached: “I’ll get you.” Up on the roof, Assane sits with the controller.
Assane catches up with Dumont at a cafe and asks him about Pellegrini. He promises to leave the detective alone, as Dumont spills details about a journalist known as Fabienne Beroit. She happens to be Assane’s next port of call. This immediately sees him head online to do some research, buying Fabienne’s book and deep diving into exactly what this woman knows.
Assane eventually heads over to her house, introducing himself as a fan and asking about Pellegrini. He admits they both have the same motivation – to take him down.
Fabienne is a shadow of the courageous, spunky woman she once was, broken down by the system Pellegrini has worked so hard to establish. Eventually she rejects the call to action and sends him away… at least momentarily anyway.
It turns out Fabienne has been blacklisted and with nothing left – she also has nothing else to lose either. She agrees to help Assane, who in turn introduces her to his base of operations.
Now the dots start connecting, as Fabienne realizes 1995 is the year Pellegrini’s company was on the verge of collapsing; he frames Assane’s father, collects the insurance money and saves the company. It all slots together like the pieces of a dastardly puzzle.
Using the “coward trick”, Assane dons a new disguise as Fabienne rings from outside, allowing Assane to head up and retrieve a VHS tape from the archives. Hurrying away, Assane brings this crucial piece of evidence back to Fabienne.
It turns out this tape holds incriminating evidence against Pellegrini, specifically about a gun deal he was involved in with thugs in Kuala Lumpar back in 1996. Realizing how big this is, Assane decides to launch this on Twitter and cause absolute havoc for Pellegrini.
Back at the police station, Guedira speaks to Dumont about the connection this case has to Arsene Lupin and how the thief is a copycat of that fictional detective. Working inside the police station, Dumont continues to keep Hubert updated.
The officers are closing in too, starting a facial recognition run with numerous different eye-witnesses. Unfortunately every picture they have is completely different thanks to all of Assane’s different disguises. Dumont loses patience and eventually takes Guedira off the case. Guedira is convinced Dumont is part of all this though and refuses to accept this dismissal.
Hubert Pellegrini holds a press conference surrounding the blackmail outside his place. He tells the reporters that it’s complete slander and holds absolutely no weight. He even challenges Assane on TV to release what he has on him.
When Fabienne suddenly shows up and asks about Kuala Lumpar, he ends the press conference and walks away. Fabienne heads home but quickly realizes she’s being followed through the streets of Paris. Thankfully she makes it back to her apartment before she can be caught.
That evening, she helps Assane don a new disguise before heading onto TV to reveal the evidence he’s found. As a present, Assane hands over a pen and encourages Fabienne to write again.
Dressed as an old man disguise, Assane heads onto TV and mentions the attack on the French embassy. With the video tape in hand, he begins playing but unfortunately Hubert has managed to distort the message to save himself.
Realizing he’s been set up, Assane quickly fights his way outside as Hubert rallies the guards to try and track down Assane. Just as he does, he receives a call from Juliette who claims that this Salvator character is actually Assane Diop.
Fabienne realizes her gig is up and quickly leaves a note in her book. As she opens the door, Pellegrini’s right-hand man arrives and demands to know where Assane is. She smiles and tells him a journalist never reveals her source.
When Assane returns to the apartment, he finds Fabienne hanging from the rafters. With the dog under his arm, Assane struggles to hold it together. Picking up the Pellegrini book, he reads her message left behind for him, promising to fight together against this, despite losing the initial battle.
As the episode closes out, Guedira figures out Assane’s identity.
The Episode Review
The penultimate episode of the first part for Lupin ends with the door wide open for where this one may go next. The entire episode serves as a continuation of the cat and mouse game between the police and Assane, while building Pellegrini up as a seemingly unstoppable force.
On top of that, this episode also reinforces that Assane is alone in this fight. While he will have accomplices, they’re all in danger while aligned with him.
The ending is pretty heart-wrenching too and Omar Sy does a wonderful job capturing the conflicted emotions of Assane Diop. In fact, his performance has really elevated the material throughout in this highly enjoyable thriller. In a way, this is quite reminisce of Luther too, with Idris Elba doing well to showcase a conflicted and dark detective in BBC’s series.
Onward to the mid-season finale!