Lupin: Everything That Makes No Sense About Assane’s Plan

Warning: Major SPOILERS for Lupin: Part 1.

There are a few things about the new Netflix show, Lupin, that make no sense. Starring Omar Sy as heist architect Assane Diop, Lupin is already breaking records that were recently set by other hit Netflix shows like Bridgerton and The Queen’s Gambit – it’s estimated to have already been viewed by as many as 70 million people. The Netflix original series is a French heist-drama inspired by a series of books by Maurice Leblanc that star Arsène Lupin as a “gentleman thief.”

At the beginning of the first episode of Lupin, viewers might have the expectation that the entire series will revolve around the theft of a priceless necklace and, more or less, have an ending reminiscent of Ocean’s 11 or The Italian Job, in which the successful thief rides off into the sunset with their spoils. However, the first episode of Lupin feels much like a shortened version of a classic heist movie. Assane steals the necklace and appears to get away with it. But then Lupin goes on to subvert the genre by showing that maybe he didn’t get away with it after all – and that there’s a lot more to the story than a necklace.

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Lupin Part 1 follows Assane as he unravels both his past and the necklace’s past. Assane’s father, Babakar Diop, was sentenced to prison for stealing the Queen’s Necklace 25 years earlier. In despair, Babakar hung himself, leaving Assane orphaned. Assane becomes determined to find out whether his father was innocent and, if so, who betrayed him. Guided by his favorite fictional character, Arsène Lupin, Assane takes on his “gentleman thief” persona. He uses society’s perception of Black men to his advantage, disguising himself in plain sight as a tech entrepreneur, janitor, IT worker, and elderly man. He misleads dim-witted owners of expensive jewels, creates death-defying illusions, and leads a Paris police department on a hilarious chase by creatively utilizing a mobile food ordering service. Assane is an incredibly likable hero and it’s easy to root for him… even when his plan doesn’t make much sense.

Assane took a huge risk by provoking someone into injuring him. Assane could have reasonably expected to get stabbed, meaning he could have surreptitiously defended himself just enough to stay alive, but there’s no way Assane could have accounted for things like possible infection or inadequate medical care. And unless Assane was somehow controlling exactly where he was stabbed, he could have very well punctured a vital organ and died.

The way Assane faked his death in Lupin Part 1, while difficult to execute, seemed a little to easy to get away with. Whoever cut Assane down from the pipe after he pretended to hang himself might have noticed the basketball net – never mind the fact that the other prisoners probably noticed that the basketball net was missing. He also put himself at risk of actually dying. The pills that Assane takes are fictional, which makes sense from a production standpoint since it avoids encouraging viewers to try the same trick at home. But, in reality, ingesting a handful of any type of pill is incredibly dangerous and potentially deadly, meaning that Assane’s death could easily have gone from fake to very real.

When Detective Guedira, a fan of the Arsène Lupin books, notices connections between the theft of the Queen’s Necklace and the fictional gentleman thief, he immediately brings it up to his coworkers and boss. However, they laugh him off – even when the connections keep growing. This is a bit of a stretch given that in real life there are copycat criminals all the time, and police are trained to look out for patterns and calling cards. The fact alone that Paul Sernine and Luis Perenna are anagrams of Arsène Lupin should have been a huge tip-off to the entire department, leading them to dissect the Arsène Lupin books and possibly get ahead of Assane. But no one listens to Guedira, who is eventually taken off the case.

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Assane and his accomplices were able to concoct a plan to steal a priceless necklace at the Louvre that only involved knocking out three people and disabling some cameras. This shouldn’t have worked – even if it was Assane’s plan all along to betray his accomplices. According to the Louvre’s website, more than one thousand Louvre personnel are dedicated to enforcing security. Furthermore, security would have been heightened before the auction and even more so following the theft.

At the Louvre, it’s almost certain that there are multiple camera rooms with multiple security officers and plenty of redundancies in case one system fails. Not to mention the fact that janitorial staff likely encounters more security checks when entering and exiting the building than Assane encountered in the first episode of Lupin: Part 1. Especially after the theft of a priceless necklace, there’s no way that Louvre staff would allow trash to leave without being inspected – even a bunch of awful smelling diapers. Lucky for Assane, the security at the Louvre on the night of the auction was conveniently abysmal.

Before the Queen’s Necklace is auctioned at the Louvre, there is a great deal of publicity leading up to the event that details the necklace’s storied past. According to the Pellegrini family, who owned and planned to auction the necklace, the Queen’s Necklace was stolen from them 25 years ago, after which the seven large gemstones were removed and scattered around the world. The story goes that the Pellegrinis tracked down all seven stones and had the necklace reconstructed.

After successfully stealing the Queen’s Necklace, Assane takes the necklace to his childhood friend, Benjamin, who is now a jeweler and under-the-table art dealer. Benjamin inspects the priceless artifact and tells Assane that there’s no way the necklace had ever been taken apart. As talented as Benjamin is, it’s probable that the Louvre would have had equally talented craftsman inspect the necklace before the auction and knew the story was a lie. Even if they did, it’s unlikely that they would have played along with the Pellegrinis because of how it would damage the Louvre’s reputation if the truth ever got out.

Though Lupin, like many heist-themed movies and TV shows before, is not perfect and requires some suspension of disbelief, the new Netflix series has found ways to break the heist movie mold. It’s an engaging show with exciting twists and turns, but it’s arguably the characters that really make Lupin work. The human struggles, connections, and complexities often outshine the daring feats and sleight of hand. So, in the end, Lupin can be forgiven for some of its more confusing plot points because the show isn’t trying to be a hyper-realistic crime drama. Lupin prompts its audience to think about the deeper messages about race and economic status through its wildly entertaining “gentleman thief” premise and enigmatic lead character, Assane Diop.

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