Slow Horses – Season 1 Episode 2 “Work Drinks” Recap & Review

Work Drinks

Episode 2 of Slow Horses starts with a look at our kidnappers. This group of men – the Sons of Albion – are fronted by an ex-military man who has killed his fair share of soldiers in his time. They’re keeping their victim in the basement, tied up and gagged, with the promise to behead him in the morning. Why? Well, there’s still a lot of hostility surrounding the war in Afghanistan. And that’s led to an increase in racially charged crime.

Naturally MI5 is buzzing with news of this, as Diana shows up to brief the group. Our victim happens to be a Birmingham-born man by the name of Hassan Ahmed. He’s nothing out of the ordinary, but the Sons of Albion are obviously not convinced, fuelled by racism. Interestingly, extra intel from Diana (which she doesn’t share) seems to hint that there could be more going on here.

Back at the office, Lamb berates Catherine, calling her out for her alcoholism despite her being in AA meetings trying to get sober. Catherine’s also haunted by the memories of her past, which we see sprinkled through the episode.

Cartwright learns from Karl that there’s nothing on the USB stick. Not only that, Hobden has no online presence, with Roddy checking that angle to be sure. With this established, Cartwright realizes the only solution here is to grab Hobden’s laptop and go about this the old school way.

Diana meets with Mr Moody, who feeds back intel about Sid and Lamb’s operation. Moody used to be in Slough House for 6 years but when he left, he actually planted a bug in Lamb’s office. He knows a good amount of information about the disgraced boss, prompting Diana to take advantage of this. She tells Moody to do some work for him off the book – and demands he get rid of the bug too.

Cartwright continues to keep an eye on Hobden, eventually tailing him down the street following him using a burner to try an ring Peter Judd, the MP we’ve been hearing about. River continues to follow him though, picking up his burner from the bins and eventually trying to outrun Cartwright. Only, he happens to be on the same bus.

That night, Sid catches up with Cartwright and the pair talk about why he’s after Hobden. After mentioning the suspicion he’s aroused, Cartwright goes on to reveal he’s found steel wool and rusting coffee filters in the man’s rubbish. Iron oxide – which happens to be one of the ingredients for thermite.

We also learn what contributed to putting Roddy in Slough House too. It turns out he once put someone on the sex offenders register because they took his seat on the bus. As they talk, Cartwright queries whether he could use Roddy to find out about why Lamb is there. No chance is the reply from Sid, as the pair sit tight and wait for Hobden to fall asleep in his apartment. Someone called Aunt Zadie keeps ringing Sid, and it soon becomes clear why.

It turns out Sid has been tasked with keeping an eye on Cartwright, watching his every move. However, their chat is interrupted by movement over at Hobden’s.

The two agents jump in and find Hobden up at gunpoint at the hands of a masked assailant. The man sets off an explosive, charges past Cartwright, shoots Sid and leaves the place an inferno. It seems he’s part of the Sons of Albion but everything is left hanging on a precarious knife edge for next week’s follow-up.

The Episode Review

Alas, the plot thickens. Slow Horses returns with another good episode, taking the time to flesh out the supporting characters and their various ties to Slough House. Seeing more of Roddy and Catherine is certainly appreciated, while Cartwright’s ties to this case are starting to send him down a dangerous path.

It’s now clear that Sid has been sent to debunk his work and keep an eye on him for MI5 but to what end? Was all of this staged from the beginning? There are lots of question marks hanging over this case but the way this one has played out thus far has certainly been intriguing.

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