Following the action-packed second season, fans of the Netflix crime drama Lupin were eager to see what would happen next to the eponymous swindler Assane Diop, played by Omar Sy. Part 3 picks up several months later with Assane desperately trying to make amends with his estranged wife Claire and their son Raoul. However, the season falls short in exploring their dynamic and relies heavily on flashbacks for storytelling. Despite these shortcomings, Lupin Part 3 maintains its snappy and fun nature, staying true to the spirit of the gentleman thief.
Assane’s Desperate Attempt to Reconcile
The season begins with Assane returning to Paris to protect Claire from the media frenzy surrounding their lives. However, Claire is not receptive to his presence as she holds him responsible for their current predicament. Assane’s motive to win her back leaves a bitter taste, and his actions throughout the season only amplify this feeling. While the show eventually addresses his character development, it repeatedly delays this essential growth. Assane’s family life is portrayed in an unsettling manner, making him come across as a creep.
Thrilling Heists and Intricate Capers
Despite the shortcomings in Assane’s personal storyline, Lupin Part 3 continues to excel in its heist-centric narrative. The score by Mathieu Lamboley adds a jazzy and energetic atmosphere to every sequence, maintaining the show’s thrilling momentum. Assane must overcome various hurdles and pull off complicated capers to achieve his long-term goal, all while keeping the audience guessing with cleverly inserted flashbacks. The immersive storytelling puts viewers in the front seat, experiencing the plot as it unfolds.
Unfulfilled Promises and Intriguing Shadows
Unfortunately, the show’s focus on Assane’s past and the introduction of new characters overshadow the foreground narrative. While some newcomers serve their purpose as pawns in Assane’s game, there’s a lack of investment in their development. Part 3 introduces a shadowy kingpin who poses a threat to the master burglar, but the show takes a long time to provide any clues about this antagonist. The constant hopping between timelines adds an element of complexity, but it’s not always executed effectively.
Missed Opportunities and French Identity
One missed opportunity in Lupin Part 3 is the failure to incorporate the backdrop of France’s 1998 soccer World Cup campaign into Assane’s ongoing story. The show has always revolved around modern French identity, yet this season doesn’t capitalize on it beyond a surface level. Assane’s ability to manipulate perceptions of his Black identity is skillfully portrayed but underutilized. The proletariat-versus-bourgeois backdrop, highlighted in the premiere episode, doesn’t receive continued exploration.
Sy’s Debonair Performance Shines
Despite its flaws, Lupin Part 3 remains an enjoyable watch, largely due to Omar Sy’s captivating performance as Assane. He effortlessly blends charm, protectiveness, and fury, captivating viewers from start to finish. Sy’s portrayal, combined with the show’s stylish framing and music, creates an undeniable coolness that keeps audiences mesmerized. Assane’s presence alone becomes the ultimate diversion, making it impossible to look away.