Slow Horses, Episode 6 — Old Scores Review

This Is The End…

So, there you have it, episode six of season two of Slow Horses in the bag and it feels like no sooner has it started than it has stopped. This, obviously, is a shame as the program is probably one of the best things on TV at the moment.

Having said that, I have not quite felt the same love for season two as I did for season one. The new characters have not been as strong, perhaps because they’ve had little to do for the most part, and the storyline always felt a tad…obvious might be the wrong word, but it wasn’t exactly a head scratcher.

That said, as usual, there are fantastic performances abound, particularly from Gary Oldman (“ Darkest Hour”, “ Killers Anonymous “) as Jackson Lamb, the head of Slough House and the Slow Horses.

Lamb is very much a modern, much lazier and, you’d imagine, smellier, Sherlock. Much as Arthur Conan Doyle gave his protagonist flaws to go with his brilliant mind, so too Mick Herron, the creator of Slow Horses, gives Lamb his flaws, albeit far more visible than Sherlocks ever where.

In season one we had Oldman bouncing off the excellent Kristin Scott Thomas (“ Tomb Raider”, “ Darkest Hour “) as Diana Taverner, second desk at MI5. Season two leaves the pair apart more than they’re together which is a shame as their interactions are always fun.

Jack Lowden (“ Fighting with My Family”, “ Dunkirk “) continues to impress as River Cartwright and this time round he’s more in the field and we get to see his naivety and lack of experience first-hand. He’s much more of a comedic, bumbling British agent in this season which, thankfully, Lowden pulls off well.

That just leaves Rosalind Eleazar (“ The Personal History Of David Copperfield “, “Uncle Vanya”) as Louisa Guy. Her second season and she is given a much larger place in things this time round and is more than up to it. You can feel her anger oozing from the screen as the season progresses.

The rest of the cast are reduced to bit parts and ‘also rans’, often making way for the Russians who, frankly, are as any bad guys you see in the movies, or TV. Which is perhaps why this season felt a little more cliched than previous.

Anyway, in this final episode things are all wrapped and explained, in case you didn’t quite get what was going on. Scores are settled, questions are answered and deals are struck, some of which set up things for the third season, others you imagine will go no further.

Slow Horses is still an epicly good series and is definitely something you should seek out if you have not seen it already. The heady heights of season one were perhaps, on reflection, always going to be difficult to hit again, or maybe they set their own bar too high, either way season two doesn’t quite hit them, but it’s still good, very good.

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