Nyukhach (2013–…): Season 1, Episode 4 - Episode #1.4 - full transcript

In an act of goodwill, The German Ministry of Culture decides to return one of the greatest paintings of a revered and celebrated Russian genius, Ilya Repin. The painting is exhibited at a beautiful venue jam-packed with journalists and reporters. "I love the smell of genius" - says The Sniffer. He makes a step forward only to find that the painting in front of him is, in reality, a fake. The Sniffer makes a bold statement concerning the authenticity of the painting, which unavoidably causes an international scandal.

-Good day to you, Keller.
-And a good day to you.

-It is beautiful indeed.
-That's right. Original Repin.

-Are the documents ready?
-They are.

And what about the
commission's conclusion?

Why do we have
to give it to the Russians?

That's none of our business.

Your job is to pass it on to me.

My job is to deliver it to Russia.

Bundes counselor's act of goodwill.

Hope everything goes well.

Quite sure it will.

Idea by Artem Litvinenko

Kirill Kjaro

Ivan Oganesian

Maria Anikanova

Nina Gogaeva

Nikolay Chindyaykin

Make-up by Ludmilla Semashko

Wardrobe by Elena Rukavishnikova

Sound by Sergei Stepanski

Music by Nikita Moiseev

Casting by Elena Prilipko

Artwork by Evgeniya Lisetskaya

Cinematography by Andrej Lisetsky

Editing by Vladimir Zapriagalov

Executive Producer Andrei Rizvanyuk

Producer Viktor Mirsky

Screenplay by Artem Litvinenko
Andrey Babik

Directed by Artem Litvinenko


I can't recall ever seeing
a woman of your beauty.

Thank you.

Hope I'm not disturbing.

Svetlana. I actually needed
to have a chat with you.... Excuse me.

My congratulation, Victor.
So young and a colonel already.

So what was that "work stuff"
you needed to talk to me about?

Sveta, why don't we celebrate

The two of us?

You Victor,
I would take you up on your offer

if only you didn't think of me

as just another star on your strap.

Congratulations on the promotion.
And another star on your strap.

Vitya, can I talk to you for a minute?

This situation is becoming bothersome.

Your friend gets invited
to all the crime scenes,

undertakes his own investigations,
has access to classified information

and yet he is not under our employ.
It's messy.

He is somewhat
of an independent artist, sir.

Well this is not a community center.
This is a secret organization.

Listen here, Lebedev.

Either you pull the proper strings

and get your buddy
to work for us as a liaison

or I never want to see him here again.

Your call, colonel.

Would you like some more cognac?

Ilya Efimovich Repin.

I didn't know our Ministry
employed such beautiful women.

Dead paints.


Acrylic paint. Coloring pigment
dissolved in polymer emulsion.

The smell of polyacrylat
blocks all the other scents out.

The painting loses its individuality.

You have a funny way
of appreciating art.

I like oil paints. They have character.

This is the first time ever posed
as a journalist to see an exhibit.

How did you pull this off?
You're not a journalist, are you?

An Editor in Chief
of a certain newspaper owes me.

I think it's starting. Let's go.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Today is a great day
in the history

of Russian-German relations.

In an act of goodwill,
The German Ministry of Culture

is returning
one of the greatest paintings

of a revered and celebrated
Russian genius.

Bitte, Herr Keller!

Danke, Mr. Tropinin.

Ilya Efimovich Repin.

The sketch for
"Meeting of the Council of Government"!

The press conference will
begin it twenty minutes.

In the meantime I would like
to invite the press

to a glass of wine and some finger food.


Alexander Yurievich! A few questions!

Guess we're the only
ones who came for the art.

I love the smell of genius.

Many great paintings have
been lost to us during the war.

These great paintings find their way
back to their Motherland quite rarely.

It's a fake!

We are witnessing a
great achievement today...

Sir, what are you doing?

It's a fake! It's a fake!

Yes General!

Do you have a sore throat or something?

Not at all.

Pull your pants up
and get down to the office!

Watch the news.

I'll call back.

...stated the Prime-Minister.

In other news,

the scandal
concerning the Repin painting,

presented by the German Ministry
of Culture to its Russian counterpart,

is quickly gaining momentum.

No one could have thought that a gesture
of good will would turn into a mockery.

The painting "Meeting of the
Council of Government"

was thought
to have gone missing in the war.

But the unexpected happened
during the ceremony of its return.

It's a fake!

Repin never used acryl based
paints. This is clearly a fake!

The statement made by the Expert
from the Special Bureau of Investigation

caused an international scandal.

This is provocation. I am convinced
that the painting is genuine.

In other news,

the citizens of Primorskij Region
were left without electricity.

The Minister of Emergency
Situations had flown...

Since when are you a SBI expert?

What was I supposed to say?

Thanks a lot buddy!
Stay where you are, I'm coming.

Yes, General sir.

Independent artist, you say?

- What the shit?

Why in the hell is he calling himself
an Expert for the SBI?

Have you any idea of the calls I've
been getting? Listen here!

I've had it up to here.

Get down to the Gallery and be at my
office in an hour with a report on hand.

Is that clear?

-Crystal, sir!
- Execute .


What was that, pet?

I need to leave you
for another forty minutes.

I should also go.

When will I see you again?

Tomorrow. You have an appointment.

You still want
to write that dissertation?

Of course. Such a famous patient.

I only wanted to tell them
that it was a fake.

I had no idea they
would raise such a fuss.

You went viral, by the way.

You got most views on YouTube today.

NADPIS "SBI expert spots fake!"

I have to go. See you tomorrow!

I'll see you at three!

-Good luck!
-Thank you.


So you got hungry for fame,
Mr. Expert?

Hello, SBI Colonel Victor Lebedev.

Secretary of the German
Embassy Dieter Keller.


And you are the owner
of this Gallery, Pankov Gennady...

Vladlenovich. Gennady Vladlenovich.

Mr. Keller, you insist that

the original painting
left Germany, correct?

We have official documentation.

We will need to examine it.
How was the painting transported?

In a special case.
It was placed in an armored vehicle.

Two guards, a driver and I
were there the whole time.

Did you make any stops on the way?

Stops are against protocol.

Excuse me
but what about biological needs?

There is an installed
bathroom in the van.

Where did they come from?

They are Government Security Services.

Your expert tripped the alarm
when he approached the painting.

Where was the painting
located before the opening?

In our warehouse.

I will need to examine it.

Yes, of course.

Do you have a glass of water?


So here it is.

So what do you think, Mr. Expert?

Sodium fluoride.

So what about it?

Everything is treated with sodium
fluoride here. Antifungal treatment.

Nothing I can put a finger on.

Was the painting
transported in the case?


Bring it upstairs.

The painting, well, the forged
one anyway, was in this case.

Yes. I am certain.

Right. We are taking the painting.

You have no right!

Until the documents are signed
the painting belongs to Germany.

Fine. Put the painting in the case,

into a warehouse and put
the warehouse under my watch. Gut?

Are you able to determine
whether the painting is genuine?

Our expert would be happy

to answer any questions
you might have.

Any comments?

-I'm listening.
- Herr Expert, this is Keller.

His Excellency the German Ambassador
would like to request your presence.

Do you have a chance
to come to the embassy?


Right now if you could.

This is rather urgent matter.

Considering the traffic
I can be there in an hour.

We await your arrival. See you soon.

Take a seat.

Can I offer you tea?
Coffee maybe?

No, thank you.

I won't deny the gravity
of the predicament

we find ourselves in.

This farce

is not exactly
helping Germany's reputation.

We are certain that
the original arrived in Russia.

Help us prove it.

Of course you will be comp-a-sat-et.

The painting is a fake.

I will agree to undertake
this assignment

on one condition.

I am only interested in the truth.

Who's reputation that truth will
damage is none of my concern.

Good. Herr Keller will
brief you on the details.

But please, be discreet about us

I hope you can understand.

I do.

Good luck.

Oh, of course!
Good luck.

Thank you. I am very pleased
you decided to help us.

Don't hesitate to call
when you find something.

I won't. I'll call you
when I know something.

To determine whether or not
the painting is real,

we need to examine the frame,
the paints and the canvas.

We don't have access
to the canvas and the frame,

they still belong to Germany. But
we managed to get paint samples.

-And nothing.

Judging by the depth of the cracks, the
painting is about one hundred years old.

The art experts have concluded
that these are the paints Repin used.

Well perfect then.

Case closed.


I want to get an opinion from the SRI.

What's the SRI?

The only institute that deals
with paint development and testing.

The art expert could have
made a mistake, not the SRI.

Maybe he didn't.

During a meeting

in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
the Germans announced

that they have started their own
investigation. Guess who they hired?

I get it. He's a private
investigator, he needs the press.

So he raises a ruckus,
garnered a bit of publicity

and will make a tidy sum from all of it.

And here I thought
you were such great friends.

Didn't he tell you?

Still wanna head down to that institute?

Anyway Lebedev.

The Germans are having

their independent examination
at one today.

If they decide

that the painting is, indeed, real,
I'm closing the case.

-No, sir.

Be careful please.

-More water?
-No, thank you.

So that was
our main problem with oil paints.

They dry way too slowly.
Too slowly.

We undertook
all kinds of experiments,

added all sorts of polymers
on an acrylic base.

-But that never got us anywhere.
-So what happened?

During this time

we were also studying gumptions,
essential oils of carbon acids.

-How is that connected to the paints?
-The paints?

They are directly connected.
You know how Viagra was invented?


While testing the effects
of a new heart medicine,

they found that it has
an irrelevant effect on the heart.

But on other organs...


So I had an idea:

what if you combine
the oil from the paint

with a mix of acryl
and the essential oils?

Great idea. And?

After a series of experiments
we managed to get unique results.

The paint dried incredibly fast.

Adhesion was 98 percent!

I was supposed to receive
an award from the Government but...


In two weeks all the experimental
samples we had

were covered in cracks.

The paint literally aged
in front of your eyes.

It turned out to be completely useless.

And then what?

Nothing. Who needs cracked oil paints?

The work was cancelled, all the
documents went into the archive.

And then the age
of new paints came around

and everyone
just kind of forgot about oil.

Ilya Leonidovich, can I
have a look at the archive?

Yes, of course.

Come, I'll show you.

Back in the day this place used to be
full of life. Twenty-six laboratories!

And that's just our department!

Today, of course,
science has been forgotten.

Today, it seems, commerce is progress.

The rival firm.

My boy, could that be you?

My God, how long has it been?
You haven't abandoned science, I trust?

I saw you on the news today!
Such a scandal with that forgery!

Hold on...

Yes... And you said,
"Who needs oil paints"...

-Let's keep moving.

What are you doing here?

I am investigating a case that
was on the brink of being closed.

What are you doing here?

Decided to visit Ilya Leonidovich.

You never forget
who your friends are.

-Anything you'd like to tell me?

So... working for a foreign government?

Are you doing it for the money
or for ideological reasons?

Last time I checked you were an Expert
with the SBI. Or are you over that?

The smell of cash blocks
everything else out?

That does not concern you.

Fine. But don't even
think of calling for help.


Which year was it?

Acrylics, acrylics...

Here it is!

Here it is! Here it is!
This is the full report.

Good God!

Where is the report?

This is getting interesting.

Ilya Leonidovich, try to remember
who requested the experiment.

It is very important.

Wait a second.

I suppose you're not planning
on sharing information either.


Here it is!

Say what you will about the old days,
but at least there was order.

Agree. I'm not saying anything.

Shall we get started? Bitte!


Hello. Who do you want
to buy flowers for?


Please...Tulips for example...

Of course!

Just smell it! So fresh! Shipped
from Holland just yesterday!

Firstly, they got here three days ago.

And not from Holland but
from the Moscow countryside.

They stood in water sprinkled
with sulfur based preservatives.

I suggest you switch
to activated charcoal,

the effects are the same,
it's just more natural.

I knew I know you
from somewhere!

You're that dog-man!

What dog?

Can I snap a picture with you?

Good day!


Consider this compensation
for a ruined evening.

Why "ruined"? I had a lot of fun!

I have a surprise for you as well.

"Germans slip a forged Repin!,

Scent of an empress!".

My favorite: "Dog man..."

"Sniffs out German phony".

You read that one?


I see you're not flattered.

I feel like a sideshow freak.


In need of some assistance?

- Turn on the TV.
-What? Why?

Turn on the TV.

Where is the remote?


And so, the mystery of the so-called
Repin forgery has been solved.

Forged Repin,
the German forgery,

a nasty-smelling gift.

These are some of the many
headlines displayed in many newspapers.

And today we finally know the truth.

The international committee undertook
a thorough examination.

The results of the analysis
offer an answer to the question:

" Is original or fake?"

The international commission
officially finds

the "Meeting of the Council
of Government" to be genuine,

belonging to the brush of Ilya Repin.

We remind our viewers that the scandal
was sparked after a man,

posing as an SBI expert,
stated that the painting was a fake.

I am actually baffled that everyone

bought the word of some impostor.

If you are a Dog Man
you should be seeking help

not sniffing paintings. Am I right?

The ceremony of the paintings
transfer will take place tomorrow

at the "Russkiy Art" gallery
as planned before this scandal.

Lies! The painting was a fake.
And I'll prove it.

Hello, Svetlana!

-Good Day, Colonel.
-How are you doing?

Good. You? Still getting used
to being called "Colonel"?

Only you call me that.

And what do the others call you?

Just Victor.
Like at the party,


You took the life out of that
place soon as you left, you know?

What about that little star you met?

Didn't she give you a twinkle?

So I have no chance then?

Take a seat.
I took a look at your report.

So what do you think?

Lots of babble of missing papers,

deranged professors
and not a single piece of evidence.

An international inquiry
has been made and the results are final.

The case is closed. Done.

I found something else, General sir.

Forget it, Lebedev!

Our job is catching terrorists
and murderers.

Not sloppy art theft.
The case is closed.

Can I go now?

You can.


Mr. Expert! This is Dieter Keller.

The Embassy of Germany
no longer requires your services.

Furthermore, we are filing a lawsuit
against you on charges of slander

and will expect compensation
for the damage you have caused

for the reputation of Germany.

Good day.

Goddamn it!

Is it true that the German Embassy
is suing you?

Who paid you to organize
this provocation?

What do I smell like?

Shit. All of you reek of shit.

- Herr expert!

You fail with painting!

But I bring knowledge
that will make you happy.

Under two conditions:
You apologize now...

We'll see about that.
What's condition two?

I don't have to wear
your protective condom!

We'll see about that too.

I am sure the painting is a fake.

Well since you're imploring me
I'll share some information with you.

The development
of the paints was commissioned

by The Ministry of Transportation.

The deed was signed by a Zasmagin G.V.


Zasmagin G.V. resigned from
the Ministry after 6 months.

After some time he becomes co-owner
of a restoration firm called "Palette".

Amusing coincidence, no?

After that Zasmagin's trail goes cold.

But the name of the second
co-owner becomes prominent.

A certain Surikov D.I.

Today this Surikov
is the hard working and, hopefully,

honest Headmaster
of Arts School Number Eight.

I'm going down to that
school tomorrow. As a guest.

-But the case is closed.
-It is.

Does that mean I can't visit people?

What are your plans Herr Expert?

I forgot!
You're no longer a Herr.

Cut it out.

Don't let it get you down.
I will help you.

If I get comp-a-sat-et...

Good day. I need to speak
to the headmaster.

Dmitry Ignatievich?
He is with a class right now.

In workshop number three. Down
the corridor, second door on the left.

Thank you.

I'm sorry, may I ask who's asking?

Everything was going good at first.
The crazy nineties, loose money.

"Palitra" was flourishing:

everyone wanted
to have reproductions

of famous paintings.

Then the economic crisis hit
and, well...

art sort of fades into the background
during trying times.

Most of our clients disappeared.
We had to close the firm.

What about Zasmagin?

I haven't seen him in over ten years.

Supposedly he moved
to the States but I'm not sure.

If you are done, I would like
to get back to the children.

I'm teaching.

Yes. Thank you.

What do you think?

Nothing. He seems clean.

That was our only clue... Are
you sure the painting is fake?

I'm not sure of anything anymore...

I need to see that painting again.

After the mess you've caused
they won't let you.


I need your help.

Hearing that from you means a lot.
When is the opening?


this small mishap could
not disrupt the public's drive

to see a great painting
of a great artist.

Smells like... Repin.

As promised,
finger food and wine. Please.

The night is a success, Herr Keller.

We've been spotted. Let's go!

-It's a fake.

-Are you sure?

Time to see the general.

And where's the proof?
The case is closed.

To reopen it you need to present
concrete evidence. Do you have any?

We do.

The gallery is exhibiting
the forged painting.

An international,

I repeat, international examination
proved the opposite.

So all the experts are stupid

and the only smart one
is a certain you-know-who?

And furthermore,

I can't just start
an investigation based on theories

presented by someone outside of the SBI!

They switched the paintings.

-This is how it happened.

The Germans brought the original.

In the gallery it is exchanged

and they put the forged one
up for exhibition.

I blow the whistle. Scandal
leading to the examination.

They make the switch again
and the original heads down

to the lab for the examination.

Loud statements are made
putting me up to my ears in shit!

This is beneficial to them.

They can just as easily
put the forgery back on display

and not fear another
scandal or examination.

The painting is placed
under government protection.

There are cameras
all over the place.

How could they make the switch?

I don't know.

But somehow they do.
The experts were right... But so am I.

Let's, for a second,
assume that I believe you.

Nevertheless there is but one
way this case is being reopened!

The man who refers to himself
as an SBI expert

must, in fact, be an SBI expert.


Well I can bend the rules a little
and put you under our employ

as a civilian liaison.

And what will I be doing?

Same thing you are doing now.
But officially.

-And my clients?
-By all means!

You are, after all, a civilian.

the case gets archived, the paints
disappear and you become a myth.

I doubt that is what you want.

-I have one request.
-I'm all ears.

I can leave whenever I want.

And no one will stop you.
Date and signature.

What now?


I have one idea.

Good day, Herr Keller.
General Bondarev speaking.

Berlin, 1990.

They said that they are with the SBI.

One flashed a badge but
I couldn't remember the name.

The other one is the guy
who raised that whole ruckus.

Son of a bitch! Did they find anything?

I don't think so.
They looked like they bought it.

Bought it, you say? Then why were
they at the gallery again, huh?

What did you tell them?

Are you out of your mind, Zasmaga?
How long have you known me?

I told you not to call me that! Never!

Good evening, Mr.Keller.

New information
has come to light in the forgery case.

We have decided to undertake
a second examination.

The painting needs to be ready
for transporting at ten tomorrow.

I don't understand! There has
been two examinations already...

We have taken this decision. And please,
refrain from talking to the press.

Goodbye Mr. Pankov.


Keller called! Says the
painting need to be ready by ten.

Ready for what?

For transporting.

For transporting?

We are so screwed! What do I do?

Nothing. Let them take
their painting. Their painting, get me?


And don't call here anymore.
I'll contact you myself.

Listen to me very carefully...

We have liftoff.

Gena, you are a genius.

And here's Pankov.

Want some?


How can you eat that crap?

Quite a few people.

This is the good part.

They are taking it to lockup.

So where are they going
to make the switch?


Put it in here.

I'm not getting this. Are they going
to make the switch in the morning?

Or have they already made it?

He left, colonel!

I can see that!

Can I have a smoke?

Go ahead.

I don't understand.
Where did we go wrong?

I don't know.


Yeah Maxim, call it off.

-What is it?

He's back! Along with some jerk-off!

Give me the painting.


To the right!



And this is Repin's "Busted".

Thank you.

Come in, please.

This time tomorrow you will
be looking for employment.

How do you do, Alexandr Yurievich!

SBI Colonel Lebedev.
Please, take a seat.

What gives you the right to apprehend
the Deputy Minister of Culture?

All will be revealed.

Bring in the suspect.
You really should sit down for this.

Colonel, you are
entering a world of pain.

Gennady Vladlenovich,
do you know this man?

I do.

This is Tropinin Alexandr Yurievich,

the coordinator and leader of our...

criminal organization.

I have no idea what he is talking about!

He is lying, Colonel...
He came up with the mechanism.

Even opened the gallery for it.

I only own it on paper.


Mr. Zasmagin, how did you become Pankov?

I was implicated

in a scandal when I worked
for the Ministry of Transport.

Tropinin helped me
change my name to Pankov.

And then?

I told Tropinin about the paints.

He decided to use them to forge art.

What was the purpose of Surikov,
the Headmaster, in your organization?

Surikov was forging the paintings.
He worked for pennies.

Tropinin was keeping all the money.

You little shit. After
all I've done for you...

Alexandr Yurievich,
you're the Deputy Minister of Culture.

Show some restraint.

Real Repin.

What makes oil paint so individual
is the dying pigments.

For example, two shades of brown:
umber and asphalt.

Umber is a mix of ironstone
and manganese oxide.

It is found in Umbria, Italy.

hydrocarbons of the paraffin

were brought all the way from Damascus,
Syria. And that's just two paints.

I had no idea this would
be a chemistry class.

I was naively hoping
for a second chance to have a date.

Well...I think that...



So you decided
to mix work with pleasure.

Excuse me for a moment.

You were supposed
to be here an hour ago.

I'm sorry. Traffic and such.
Are you having a date here too?

It's not a date.

Whatever you say. Let's talk shop.

The original?

The forgery is exactly the same.

If it wasn't for you not a single expert
would tell the difference...

Did you come here
to shower me with compliments?

Not just that.

Walk with me.

Have a look.

What do you mean?

That's another...

A fake. Also went
through Pankov's gallery.

There are dozens
of these in our museums.

And what now?

We'll find them.
Put them back. But quietly.

We've had enough Dog Man scandals.

Anyways. I will disturb you no more.


-Have a good day!
-Thank you.

So. Have you made up your mind
about what out meeting really is?

I have.


My place?