Lupin III isn't the kind of guy to give up on something he's set his sights on, and so this fifth episode of Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna begins with him having another stab at trying to seduce Fujiko herself.
As you might expect of such an accomplished seductress, in no time at all Fujiko has Lupin off on something of an errand for her - to retrieve a fabled, incredibly valuable "smiling peacock" from a recently discovered pyramid in Egypt. Fujiko or not, our titular character is never likely to be able to resist such a temptation, but equally predictably he isn't the only one after this particular artefact, meaning that Daisuke Jigen makes his return to the series.
Once we reach the pyramid, everything pans out pretty much as you'd expect of this series and storyline, with Lupin trying to outwit Jigen with some of his trademark trickery, before both of them almost come a cropper on account of some of the real booby traps laid by those building and trying to protect the pyramid upon its creation. Although Jigen seems to have the early upper hand, it's never wise to write off Lupin... or, for that matter, Fujiko herself, who seems quite happy to use her two fellow thieves as the key that unlocks the door to the smiling peacock. There are, of course, only more twists and turns ahead however, which leaves Fujiko in particular with a difficult decision to make.
I must admit that by the half-way point in this episode, I was all ready to label this week's Lupin III as the most "by the numbers" instalment so far - we've all seen the "robbers trying to break into an ancient tomb while fighting each other and avoid all the traps" story a million times in various forms, and this felt like another variation on that theme. In fact, it is another variation on that theme, but it's saved by a simply marvellous second half, filled with wonderfully considered and crafted twists and turns that were often obvious but no less enjoyable for it as it gave a smart sheen to an already pretty enjoyable jaunt that made perfect use of its trio of characters as they played off (and against) one another. In short - I'm still absolutely loving Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna, and that doesn't look like changing given the show's current vein of form.