Chris Connor reviews the fifth episode of Slow Horses season 2…
Slow Horses’ second season has continued to build on the work of the first, skilfully adapting Mick Herron’s Dead Lions while subtly changing the narrative for the small screen. The series continues to be a relentless thrill ride but not losing the pitch-black exquisitely delivered dialogue with Gary Oldman continuing to be the perfect Jackson Lamb and the series as a whole cementing itself as one of the strongest espionage shows on TV at present.
The penultimate episode, ‘Boardroom Politics’, sees River reeling from the aftermath of the betrayal in Upshott, as the extent of the cicadas begins to become clear and he struggles to persuade the Troppers of why he’s really there. There is an added element of a race against the clock as River tries to stop the plane from reaching the marching protestors in London. Lamb meanwhile continues to investigate Mins death and convince the dogs namely Nick Duffy that there is a grander conspiracy at play.
The episode sees the arrival of Molly Dolan, archivist at The Park and an old ally of Jackson, here helping Lamb decipher what exactly links all the series’ proceedings. Things are escalating as Louisa and Marcus gear up for the meeting with the Russians but its’ certainly not the smooth ride they’d hoped it would be. The ending of the episode is explosively shocking and among the most action packed moments of the series as it becomes clear not everyone from either side will make it out of the confrontation in one piece.
This episode also gives Shirley, Roddy and Catherine an important part to play as they look to stop a major catastrophe from occurring. This makes all the members of Slough House feel integral to the narrative, it appears the extent of Rivers mission in Upshott was drastically reduced due to the pandemic and filming restraints so this facilitated an expanded role for other members of the team.
This episode wonderfully manoeuvres all the key players into place for a thrilling finale, building a pressure cooker atmosphere and showing what is at stake for all involved. Daniel Pemberton’s score which has been stellar across the two seasons, here comes into its own building momentum at a thundering pace and really capturing the Slow Horses’ predicament and the rush to stop the Russians.
This season, as with the opening season earlier this year, has been a huge success for Apple TV+ and with the news of adaptations of Real Tigers and Spook Street, filming at present, fans can rest assured that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Jackson Lamb, River and co. This episode ferverently whets fans’ appetites for the finale and how all the various loose ends will rectify themselves.