Slow Horses – Season 1 Episode 5 “Fiasco” Recap & Review


Episode 5 of Slow Horses begins the penultimate episode of AppleTV’s thriller with the group reconvening in the graveyard, right by Blake’s gravestone as agreed. Roddy shows up alone, with Cartwright showing not long after, out of breath and seemingly as quick as Roddy’s driving. What are the odds, eh?

Cartwright confirms that he remembers where he saw Alan Black. He noticed him colluding with Diana Taverner in secret, and he’s actually snapped a photo of the pair together. Only, he hasn’t got it on him – naturally.

Lamb joins Cartwright as they drive to the latter’s apartment, intending to grab the incriminating evidence. In their absence, the rest of the team try to work out if they can actually trust Lamb or not. And they do so, while sitting in a little café together. Wait, aren’t the MI5 after these guys? Why are they not checking the CCTV cameras? Ah well, onwards.

With the news burying the whole Sons of Albion ordeal, Curly tries to convince the others that the jig is up. He wants to make a name for himself and actually assassinate Hassan to put them on the map. With tears streaming down his face, Hassan tries to plead with them, even suggesting paying them off given his ties in Pakistan.

It’s touch and go for a while, as Roddy and the others work in the diner, trying to track down the vehicle that the Sons of Albion are using. At the same time, Lamb shows up in a separate car blaring out loud music and bringing it back to see the MI5. It seems to work too, as he distracts all the guards and refuses to get out the car. He wants to talk to the big boss (that being Diana of course!) Nick shows up and he’s definitely not in the mood for games.

Neither are Hassan’s kidnappers either, who stop at the petrol station and watch as Hassan is the one who fills up the gas and pays. Hassan is concerned but eventually he does pay for the gas and eventually drives back on the road to parts unknown.

Lamb finally does get his audience with Diana, who confirms Alan Black’s body has been found. Diana wants to pin his death on Lamb and his goons – but Lamb has plans of his own. In fact, he nonchalantly confirms there’s actually a bomb in the trunk of his car. Nick is the first one there, but in his absence, Cartwright heads off to get his incriminating picture back from Spider Webb.

The bomb is obviously a dud and unfortunately Cartwright is  captured. Oh, wait… no he’s not. Whoever it is that MI5 have taken downstairs, it’s definitely not River. He’s found the right file and he shows up before Diana with it, slapping down a file with the word ‘Fiasco’ over the front. What is this? Well, it’s Cartwright and Lamb’s trump card.

Meanwhile, the Sons of Albion continue to drive and convince Hassan to start cracking some jokes, given he’s supposed to be a comedian. Unfortunately things don’t go to plan. After spitting truths about Albion’s racial ties, Curly starts laughing before turning to Zeppo and blowing his brains out. “Now that’s funny.” He says, slamming on the brakes.

The Episode Review

What is Project Fiasco? And how does this tie in with the main storyline? With Lamb and Cartwright managing to outsmart the MI5, it seems Diana’s plan is coming unravelled. The whole story has been a little bit like that in truth, depicting the MI5 as both incredibly competent….and incredibly stupid.

We know the group use surveillance footage and across the season we’ve also seen MI5 tracking down Lamb’s whereabout very quickly, sending troops in to buzz around the general vicinity as soon as trouble occurs. But yet, they can’t send them into a little diner where Roddy and the others are working? I mean, it is possible but given we know they’re working the CCTV cameras, it does seem a little farfetched.

That’s to say nothing of Cartwright (who worked for the MI5 for a while and is well-known there by face) manages to outsmart all the security and sneak into Diana’s office while simultaneously using some sort of doppelganger.

I know there’s an element of suspending your disbelief here but it does feel a tad farfetched that he’d be able to do this so easily.

The whole Hassan storyline feels like it’s gearing up for a big finale but right now all we’ve seen is this guy just being driven around for 2 episodes. All the pieces are here though for a bombastic finale to follow, so let’s hope this one closes out with a bang.

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You can read our full season review of Slow Horses here!


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1 thought on “Slow Horses – Season 1 Episode 5 “Fiasco” Recap & Review”

  1. I know this is old but I’m baffled about the stuff you didn’t understand? Did you watch? Fiasco is what webb keeps calling the Stansted training incident “your fiasco”, and Webb is the one river puts in his clothes. Once they find the masked man why would they check the rest of the room? And once they have him river sneaks out because no one is looking for him anymore. Lots of little cafés like this one won’t have CCTV at all and Roddy literally says that he’s hacked MI5’s system so presumably he knows where cameras are. We saw him be in the hospitals camera network in about 30 seconds in the previous episode. Maybe watch the shows your reviewing, “doppelganger”, were you looking at your phone?

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