The Sniffer – Season 3 Review

Spoilers ahead, proceed at your own peril. The third, and apparently, final season of the Ukrainian/Russian language TV show is somewhat different from the first two seasons.  There’s a lot less sniffing than on the first two seasons. The protagonist is caught in a complex scenario involving a shady obstetrician who turns out to be The Sniffer’s biological father – absolute proof of parentage is not provided. He’s the villain of the season who kills off several people in Estonia who were involved with him in in-vitro fertilization experiments in the 70s that went awry. I can’t give a more coherent explanation of the main plot than this.

The Katzenjammer plot does not impede one’s enjoyment of the show as it’s protagonists are so well played and charming, or evil, that you forgive the ponderous plot. The Sniffer’s ex-wife returns to complicate his life as she did during the first two seasons. She appeared to be dying at the end of season two after she slashed her wrists in a bathtub. But modern medicine apparently got to her before the grim reaper and she’s back  with scars on her wrists – and she’s pregnant! She says by The Sniffer, but he knows this is impossible. We never do find the identity of the father.

She wheedles a lot of money out of her ex while messing up his romance with the doctor from Season two. The one who was suffering from PTSD after surviving a kidnapping. The obnoxious teenage son has apparently left for London and is nowhere to be seen in this season.

The Colonel is back trying to help his olfactory friend while also falling for a beautiful blond pathologist whom he seemingly impregnates. We never get a definitive answer as to her gravidity of lack thereof. He’s also breaking even more rules than he did in the first two seasons. His disdain for legal decorum gets him fired in the last episode and he apparently departs to live with the beauteous pathologist and their soon to be (maybe) child. The old general who has spent much of the three seasons trying to keep the Colonel out of trouble eventually finds that he can no longer protect him from the vindictiveness of the public prosecutor who was the Colonel’s classmate 20 years earlier and still hates him over one or more old love affairs. At the end of the last episode, The Sniffer having been kidnapped and biologically abused by his DNA father shoots and kills him with a pistol. The mad scientist is flying away in a helicopter. Bringing down a chopper that’s a few hundred yards away with a handgun is quite a feat. Try to hit a stationary target dead center that’s only seven yards away.  So our hero decides to get out of the first cranial nerve business and drives off to parts unknown in his American car.

There are a lot more plot details which would only confuse if I tried to depict them here. Especially, as I’m confused myself as to what exactly happened in the season’s eight shows. Building a new heart using a 3D printer and The Sniffer’s stem cells was a creative, if goofy, example. It was obviously time to wrap up the series. The series was a lot of fun, but it reached the saturation point. The last season’s production values are perhaps even better than they were in the previous two. The acting by all the show’s cast was first rate, especially by Kirill Kyaro in the title role and Ivan Oganesyan as the bad boy Colonel.

The subtitles were sometimes amusing. There were several creative translations. The best, I think, was Montserrat Caballe flashing on the screen as Montserrat Cavalier. Maybe it was a test of the viewers attention to detail. In summary, this is a program that’s worth watching. Its imperfections are easily ignored. Its general excellence mitigates its easily ignorable flaws. Netflix has another winner.