When it released earlier this year, Lupin was one of the bigger surprises to come from Netflix. Inspired by the adventures of Arsene Lupin, this smartly written French thriller combined a simple revenge tale with some ingenious heists. The fifth episode ended on an almighty cliffhanger – and an intriguing change in the way Netflix release these shows.
The decision to split Lupin’s season into two parts is an ingenious idea and one that looks like it could become Netflix’s new formula going forward. Too often a great show is dropped on the platform only to fade into obscurity after releasing 10 episodes in one hit. Stranger Things Season 3 being the more popular example of that.
Well, Lupin is not going to follow suit and judging by this effort, there’s plenty more left in the tank for our gentleman thief. This second part wastes absolutely no time picking up where it left off from before. Assane is on the hunt for his son Raoul, who’s been kidnapped by the hitman hired by Hubert Pellegrini. A race against time ensues, as Assane does his best to try and find his son while teaming up with budding officer Guedira.
What ensues from here is a dramatic and tense season that follows Assane as he pushes to stop Hubert Pellegrini once and for all. All of this builds up to a satisfying conclusion at the end while leaving the door open for a possible follow-up. It’s the perfect heist in a way; swooping in and managing to whisk you away for five enthralling chapters.
Once again the acting all round is excellent and that whimsical musical score returns to give the show a distinct espionage flavour. It also echoes wisps of James Bond within the motif too, which helps to give Lupin a level of prestige and excitement.
Much like before, a few of the episodes add more context to the story with relevant flashbacks to 1995, shedding more light on the complicated relationships Assane has between Benjamin and Juliette Pellegrini. These merge nicely with the present day shenanigans of Assane, with satisfying reveals at the end of each episode.
Speaking of which, those “aha!” moments from the first part, where the veil is lifted to reveal the true nature of events, returns here too in an excellent way. One episode plays the long-game with a certain character used as a pawn to set things into motion. Another sees Assane adopt his usual outfits and infiltrate an array of different areas and dupe different officials. These moments heighten the drama and tension, which is only accentuated when the police intensify their hunt for him.
It helps too that the first episode is absolutely breathless. It’s the prefect way to welcome Lupin back and the episode ends with one absolutely shocking cliffhanger too. No spoilers here of course but it’s something that will have you scrambling to punch that “next episode” button as quickly as possible.
Overall though, Lupin’s second part is better than the first, injecting more urgency into the plot and managing to close everything out beautifully with a satisfying conclusion. There’s no big Netflix cliffhanger here; Lupin is a tightly written, highly enjoyable crime thriller.
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Verdict - 8/10