Lupin Part 3, Netflix’s captivating French crime-drama series returns with new twists and turns as our gentleman thief makes his return to Paris. Created and written by George Kay, the series stars Omar Sy as our titular “Lupin”, with the supporting cast featuring Ludivine Sagnier as Claire, Etan Simon as Raoul, and Antoine Gouy as Ben Ferel.
This season’s directors included Louis Leterrier, Hugo Gélin, Ludovic Bernard, and Marcela Said. Following the second part’s finale, most loose ends seemed wrapped up in a satisfying conclusion to our gentleman’s story. However, the third season is equally enthralling, with more jaw-dropping twists and turns that keep audiences guessing until the end.
In Lupin part 3, it has been one year since Assane Diop fled Paris to protect his family and evade capture by the police. Diop, now the most wanted man in Paris, has an unexpected return to the city, ready to risk it all for one last heist to secure a life for his family. However, things go differently than planned, leading to enigmatic twists and daring thefts.
The third part brings more action, suspense, and twists than its predecessors. The primary plot centers around the heist and pursuit of a priceless black pearl that leads Diop to face some adversaries from his past as he tries to protect and return to his family. Part 3 also dives into Diop’s past, specifically the trauma from his mother’s absence and the cruel influence of a former mentor and boxing coach during the 1990s. Part 3 also offers additional storylines focused more on the supporting cast, allowing the story to develop and unfold from different angles.
The additional storylines that do not center entirely on Diop, although lacking some interest at some points, made the supporting cast feel less like props in Assane Diop’s story and more like key players instead. This is clear in Diop’s narrative development as we see it through two competitive reporters fighting over how the public should cover Assane’s story. This angle eventually contributes to the over-arching plot when Fleur Belanger, a Black woman journalist determined to crack the real Assane Diop, joins forces with the Arsène Lupin superfan and cop Youssef Guedira.
This season explores an emotionally charged journey and challenges for Assane as he is confronted by the demons from his past and the consequences of his actions as a thief and father. However, Assane does not regret his criminal activities as it helped him to exonerate his father’s name. However, his actions have also forced him to be absent from his family’s life, particularly his son’s life most of all.
Assane comes to terms with how his mother’s absence from his life leads to the intergenerational trauma that could affect his son Raoul. Replicating the cycle of hurt that young Assane felt, he has to fight the ghosts of the past. This profound exploration of abandonment issues within the dynamic between Diop and his son adds complexity to their characters and their relationship. Diop becomes more self-aware as he reckons with how his actions and separation from his family have impacted his son’s life.
In contrast, Raoul clings to the hope that his father will one day return to him, even if it means enduring the hardships of bullying in his father’s absence. We even get brief moments focused on Raoul as he tries to crack his father’s cases. These moments feel like Raoul is becoming more of a contributing character with agency in the series instead of just a prop or plot device in Assane’s story.
To fully enjoy the chemistry and acting on display in Lupin, watching the show in its native language, French is strongly encouraged. Omar Sy delivers his lines with charm and wit in English and French. However, the same can not be said for the other characters in the show. Compared to the French dub, the English dub voices for the supporting cast lack some emotion and depth.
Some of Diop’s master of disguise techniques feel slightly more questionable this season. When he wears a rather flamboyant and poorly installed wig, that makes you question if his skills are slipping. I chalked this up to his disguises carrying some satire this season. This season, some of his disguise tactics highlight how people often view Black men looking so much alike that it is easy for Assane to fool anyone with a simple wig, facial hair, or wardrobe change. At other times, he just body walks around without a disguise and fools people by leading into certain stereotypes, claiming he is just another Black man who looks like France’s most wanted there.
Although it is somewhat minor to the plot, this season touches on corrupt social systems and the top percent that benefit from them. During the police manhunt, Lupin has become an anti-hero for the public. He can charm and persuade everyone, even certain police officers, into questioning the existence of a corrupt social system that benefits the one percent. Assane Diop’s capers and defiance against the broken system and its rules. In a world that yearns for an anti-hero to believe in, Lupin delivers to the
I am glad to say that casting has improved immensely this season by adding more Black characters, specifically recurring roles for Black female characters. Previous notable complaints of Lupin noted that it lacked Black characters in a series starring a Black man in a country whose population of Black and African immigrants is made up of roughly 3.2 million people. So I was thrilled to see this season’s casting improved by including Naky Sy Savane as Mariama, Martha Canga Antonio as Fleur Belanger, Steve Tientcheu as Jean-Luc Keller, and Sandra Parfait as Manon, new characters that really shine this season.
Lupin Part 3 is a gripping ride that will keep you guessing until the end. Lupin returns with an abundance of heists, twists, and emotional depth that deepens the characters. In previous seasons, Omar Sy’s performance and charm have carried the show, but this season’s storylines allowed the supporting cast to take some of that weight, too. This season delved into the complexities of family trauma, identity, and societal injustices, adding more layers to the narrative and its characters. With improved casting that includes more Black characters, Lupin Part 3 continues to captivate audiences, delivering a compelling blend of action and suspense that makes it a must-watch for fans of crime dramas.
Lupin Part 3 is streaming now, exclusively on Netfli.
Lupin Part 3
With improved casting that includes more Black characters, Lupin Part 3 continues to captivate audiences, delivering a compelling blend of action and suspense that makes it a must-watch for fans of crime dramas.