Lupin Part 2 ending explained: Who is Philippe Courbet?
Netflix's international hit pulls no punches in a dramatic climax with serious James Bond vibes.
Lupin fans, assemble: the show’s gentleman thief lead Assane Diop will soon be back on our screens in Lupin Part 3.
Part 2, which landed on Netflix in 2021, picked up from the cliffhanger ending of Part 1 and delivered an action-packed, Bond-esque climax which saw Omar Sy's character finally clear his father's name and get Pellegrini arrested for his crimes.
Along the way, however, various tricks, misdirection and surprises misled not just Pellegrini but also the viewer in the lead-up to the big reveal.
So, how exactly did our hero pull it off? Ahead of Lupin Part 3 landing on our screens, here's everything you need to know about how Part 2 ended. But be warned: spoilers follow.
Lupin Part 2 recap and ending explained
The penultimate episode of Part 2 – Chapter 9 – saw Assane and his best friend and closest ally Benjamin (Antoine Gouy) go on the run after Assane, like his father before him, was framed by Pellegrini.
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With the police now pursuing him not just for the crimes he did commit but also for a murder he did not, Assane plots his "last show" at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris – where the first Arsène Lupin stage play was performed in the early part of the 20th century, and where Pellegrini plans to hold a charity concert (really a front to fraudulently take money from rich donors).
As the final episode begins, we then flash back to a scene we actually saw at the beginning of Chapter 9 – Assane retrieving a briefcase for a man named Lucas Lacroix after he is mugged.
Chapter 10 reveals that Lucas is Pellegrini's wealth manager and so the gatekeeper to all his financial secrets, the 'mugger' is in fact Benjamin and the theft and subsequent return of the briefcase was all a ruse, with Assane copying details of "company financial statements, offshore accounts, [and] taxes" before reuniting the case with its owner.
The next part of Assane's master plan involves a third party – and in order to find the right person to serve as their accomplice, he and Benjamin stake out a library, lurking near the Maurice Leblanc novels to find a Lupin fan who'll be willing to help. They find their man in "Philippe Courbet" – an alias, we never learn his real name – whose eagle eyes (he notices a spying Benjamin is 'reading' a copy of Leblanc's The Crystal Stopper upside down) prove he has the Lupin spirit.
Transforming Courbet's physical appearance – his haircut, his jewellery, piercings and make-up removed – Assane sends him undercover to pose as a financial broker, taking the name "Philippe Courbet" (a sly reference to the Arsène Lupin books, since artist Gustave Courbet famously painted The Cliffs at Étretat, which feature prominently in the 1909 Lupin novel The Hollow Needle).
Courbet had featured in the series previously, but it is only now, in Chapter 10, that we realise he is a double-agent who has been working with Assane all along.
Courbet tricks Pellegrini, playing to the businessman's greed and convincing him to use the charity concert for his foundation as an opportunity to commit fraud. Having observed Pellegrini's financial transactions, Assane now knows the exact kind of dirty dealings that'll appeal.
Later, Coubert and a disguised Benjamin smuggle Assane into the Théâtre du Châtelet inside a large case ostensibly containing equipment for the concert.
Once the concert gets underway, Assane emerges and gets the drop on Pellegrini, threatening his nemesis at knife point until he confesses to his many and various crimes – including framing Assane's father Babakar (Fargass Assandé) for the theft of a precious necklace in order to claim the insurance money and later having his henchman Leonard murder Babakar, staging his death as a suicide to tie up any loose ends.
He also admits to having Assane's son Raoul (Etan Simon) kidnapped and to ordering the killing of Fabienne Bériot (Anne Benoit), a journalist who worked with Assane to bring down Pellegrini in Part 1.
Read more: Is Lupin on Netflix dubbed?
As he attempts to escape, Assane is cornered by the police commissioner Dumont, who has long been in Pellegrini's pocket, but the Paris police arrive just in time to arrest Dumont, with Assane having previously provided his uneasy ally Guedira (Soufiane Guerrab, playing the equivalent to Maurice Leblanc's character Ganimard in Lupin) with evidence that his boss was a dirty cop.
Guedira is also provided with a recording from Assane's smart watch of Pellegrini's confession, sealing the villain's fate.
Assane is also, by this point, no longer a person of interest in the murder of Leonard, since the footprint of the killer left at the crime scene does not match his size – it was in fact another of Pellegrini's henchman, Pascal (Nicolas Wanczycki), who did the deed.
Taking to the concert stage, Assane reveals to all those assembled the extent of Pellegrini's crimes, including his plans to embezzle charitable funds.
He then flees the scene, disguised with a fake beard and wig, and though one cop recognises him, Assane is able to make good his escape via speedboat. (What did we say? Proper 007 antics. The money, in case you were wondering, is donated to charity, as was originally intended.)
Still on the run – he's no longer wanted for murder, but still very much wanted for his various heists – Assane is able to send a message to his ex-girlfriend Claire (Ludivine Sagnier) and son Raoul using a pager he'd left in their home some time before (during a previous caper, in which he'd snuck into Claire's bedroom to steal a bracelet as a way of proving his loyalty to Pellegrini's daughter Juliette, who Assane was also romantically involved with – long story!).
Reuniting with his old flame and his child, Assane tells them that his mission is finally over with Pellegrini defeated, but that it is too dangerous for him to stick around. Bidding them both a fond farewell, he vanishes into the night, with the police in hot pursuit.
Where does Assane go next? We'll have to wait until Lupin Part 3 to find out...
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