Slow Horses (Season Two) is streaming now on Apple TV+.
One of the greatest challenges in TV is following a highly praised first season with a second outing that manages to live up to expectations and build on the characters introduced the first time around. Over the years, many TV shows have failed to navigate this path successfully, but thankfully Slow Horses (Season Two) isn’t one of them. Not only does Season Two build upon the successful foundations of the opening season it allows us to further explore the characters and their motivations in a way that cements Slow Horses’ place as one of the best TV dramas of 2022.
Based on Mick Herron’s second book Dead Lions, published in 2013, Slow Horses Season Two opens with retired spy Dickie Bow (Phil Davis) spotting a deadly ghost from the past in a crowd outside his sex shop in Soho. The ghost in question is a figure Dickie thought was long forgotten, but here he is, walking casually through the streets of London. Dickie closes up the shop and follows the man as he snakes through the streets, boards two trains and finally ends up on a replacement bus service. But as Dickie sits on the bus, his heart begins to pound before failing, his face turning cold as one last breath leaves his body.
When Jackson Lamb (the outstanding Gary Oldman) learns of Dickie’s death, he quickly smells a rat and begins exploring the ghosts of the past with the help of the ever-loyal Standish (Reeves). Meanwhile, as the mystery deepens, River (Lowden) is sent by Lamb to infiltrate a sleepy Cotswolds village posing as a Times journalist writing a piece on village life. While back at the office, tech wizard Roddy (Chung) clashes with the first of our new recruits Shirley Dander (Edwards). At the same time, Louisa (Eleazar) and Min (Demri-Burns) are recruited by Webb (the slippery Freddie Fox) to assist in a secret meeting with a Russian politician. Meanwhile, sitting on the sidelines, our second new recruit Marcus Longridge (Kirwan), waits patiently for an opportunity to demonstrate the steely confidence under his soft exterior.
SLOW HORSES (SEASON TWO) IS STREAMING NOW ON APPLE TV+
Unlike season one, the second outing is routed in a far more traditional story of espionage and spy craft. As a result, the story takes several crafty twists and turns as past and present converge in a web of espionage and political intrigue. Meanwhile, the outstanding Kristan Scott Thomas is back as the calculating MI5 boss Tavener, while Samuel West’s slimy Peter Judd is now an obnoxious game-playing Home Secretary. Here Slow Horses once again unpicks the dark side of the British political system with ease, focusing on the in-house deals, secrets and lies that now seem endemic in our political system.
READ MORE: THE BEST OF BOND: 60 YEARS OF 007
As in season one, Slough House and its band of lovable rejects provide a lively and thoroughly enjoyable six-part ride as we bounce from action set pieces to intrigue and murder through moments of exquisite drama, dark humour, emotion and tension. However, Season Two ultimately belongs to Lowden’s River, Eleazar’s Louisa, and Oldman’s Lamb. Lowden is given the space to further build upon River’s character and demonstrate the doubts that haunt his progress and confidence in his abilities. At the same time, Oldman further unpicks the dark corners of Lamb’s past on a knife’s edge of secrets, lies, mistakes and old wounds. Meanwhile, Eleazar explores the thin line between justice and revenge as she writhes with anger and emotion while slowly slipping back into the spy-craft she has so sorely missed since being transferred to Slough House.
In the hands of an outstanding cast and creative team, every minute of Slow Horses (Season Two) is lovingly crafted, from the performances to the screenplay to Cohen and Chizallet’s stunning cinematography and Pemberton and Toydrum’s score. Slow Horses started the year with a bang, and now Season Two closes the year, leaving us desperate for more, and thankfully, more is on the way in 2023.
Slow Horses started the year with a bang, and now season two closes the year, leaving us desperate for more, and thankfully, more is on the way in 2023.