‘Slow Horses’ Season 2, Episode 3: Recap And Ending, Explained: What Does River Find In Upshott?


We are getting halfway into the second season of “Slow Horses” already, and episode 3 builds up the tension even more after the two episodes last week. Min got into some enormous trouble at the end of the last episode, it seemed, and episode 3 begins right after. Along with Min’s fate and the investigation of River at the village of Upshott, a third plot line is also introduced in episode 3, which will probably continue through the entire season.

 Spoilers Ahead

Season 2, Episode 3: Recap And Ending

Min is seen seated at a table while the camera pulls away from his face tensely, and it is revealed that the man is actually having a rather friendly drinking party with the Russian security agents. Piotr, the man who had caught Min following him around earlier, says that he and his companion understood Min was tailing them from the very beginning since they, too, are trained security personnel. Someone else also walks into the small apartment that the three characters are in, but this man does not come into the frame and instead walks into a different room. He does seem to have a word with Piotr, and more heavy alcohol shots follow at the table, with Min looking rather drunk towards the end. By the time he walks out of place, he can barely walk straight. Piotr seems to suggest in a friendly manner that he can call a cab for Min since cycling in such a state might be risky, but Min feels otherwise. He does seem to have a hunch that the Russians made him drink too much on purpose, but he is perhaps too drunk to act on it. Disaster strikes shortly after, as Jackson Lamb receives a call and rushes to the scene of a road accident along with Catherine Standish. Min had been killed by a car that crashed into his bicycle on his route back home, but Lamb does not want to believe such a story, for he doubts there is something suspicious in the works. He is seen taking Min’s smartwatch from his body and giving it to Roddy back at Slough House, telling him to track all movements over the past day on it.

Louisa is obviously shaken by the sudden death of her lover, and she cannot help but blame herself for it. Since nobody knew that Min had walked into the Russian warehouse the previous evening, Louisa felt that the man had been drinking heavily because the two of them had had a disagreement the previous day. Although she is distraught during the initial period, Louisa also replaces her grief with professional determination soon enough. She goes straight to Lamb and asks him not to get her off the current security detailing job. Louisa clearly wants to continue working for James Webb, and she tells Lamb clearly that she is not to be taken as a grieving agent incapable of work. Perhaps Louisa also suspects that the Russians are involved in the death of her colleague and lover, and she wants to find out more about it. Another agent from the Slough House, a new recruit named Marcus Aldridge, is assigned to the case in place of Min, while Louisa keeps her place. It is later revealed that the reason Marcus had been demoted from MI5’s other illustrious offices to Slough House was that he has a terrible gambling addiction. Marcus even places bets during the security detailing mission and then gets a call from his bookie informing him of his loss, all while making others wait and grow suspicious of him. But to Marcus, his gambling addiction does not really affect his professional work. When Louisa and Marcus meet with Piotr and his companion Kyril for the mission, the two sides carefully scan the entire building for any bugs or red flags but do not seem to find any. They are then also introduced to Piotr and Kyril’s boss, Arkady Pashkin. After her conversation with Pashkin, Louisa seems to have doubts about the exact reason for the meeting between the Russian and her employer in this job, James Webb.

Diana Taverner and her entire team at Regent Park are busy planning for an anti-capitalist march set to be held in London, and the MI5’s work is made more difficult by the Conservative politician Peter Judd. The MP, who was seen in last season too, is now set to hold a political speech on the very same day of the anti-capitalist march, near the same location where the march will take place. He calls up Taverner to talk about this speech of his, and the MI5 Second Desk head asks him to at least shift the location of his speech. Taverner mentions how the location of his speech really could rile up the people participating in the march, as it suggests Judd’s clear support for capitalists. But Judd is sure that changing the location will paint him in a bad light, and he insists that both events can take place together with no problem, which he wants the MI5 to ensure, of course. He then also informs her that he does not want to be accompanied by MI5’s head of internal affairs, Nick Duffy, and instead wants Taverner to be present with him during the speech. Diana Taverner has no option but to agree to this, owing to the political hierarchy.

Ever since Min’s death, Jackson Lamb has worked on his doubts and employed his connections in the spy network to find out details about the accident. He learns about the woman who was supposedly driving the car that killed his Slough House agent. Jackson starts tracking the woman, Rebecca, as she has a history of being associated with Russian gangsters, and eventually breaks into her house and waits for her there. After getting rather shocked by this presence, Rebecca claims that the matter had been a simple road accident, where the drunken man appeared out of nowhere right in front of her car. However, Lamb does not buy into this, and he instead presses with the information he has on the woman. He also finds a stack of money in the woman’s bag, suggesting that she had received this money for the hit job. Finally, Rebecca admits that Min’s death was no road accident, and reveals that it was not she who had been driving the car and that it was also not her car that had killed Min.

What Does River Find Out In Upshott?

River Cartwright drives back to Upshott village under his new identity as Jonathan Walker, a journalist from London for The Times. He rents a room at the local pub and tells everyone that he is working on an article on village life in England. From the very first day, River makes good acquaintance with the barkeeper of the pub, Kelly, and the woman is very warm and welcoming to him. Both of them are about the same age, and there is almost a connection within a few times of their conversation, and Kelly offers to take River around the village to show him around. Together they walk through the small village, and then Kelly wants to take him to the local flying club, which is incidentally owned by her father, Duncan. River agrees, obviously, since his whole stay in the village is to find out more about this local airfield, as their target, Andrei Chernitsky, had met with someone at this airfield. River takes photographs of the place and then has to leave his wallet and phone in a locker before getting up on the plane. Kelly flies the small private plane as he sits by her side, looking rather uneasy due to the sudden movements of the flight, and at this time, Duncan walks into the empty flying club building. When River returns to the place after the flight, he notices that the position of where he had kept his phone and wallet has changed, making it evident that Duncan had gone through them. After returning to his room at the pub, River calls up Jackson and informs him of his findings so far, wondering whether Duncan was actually sloppy in making his search evident or whether he wanted River to know that he was being watched.

Soon after, the man gets invited to Kelly’s house by her mother, and River attends to get to know the family better. It is revealed that Kelly and her parents had actually moved to Upshott from London sometime in the past, apparently to avoid the crowds and violence of the metropolis and live a calmer life in the village. Kelly now jokingly mentions that her parents were actually student radicals, which was possibly the reason they had shifted from London, and the mother quickly mentions that it was mostly Duncan and his best friend Leo who were involved with this. Duncan, who was already not very welcoming and rather suspicious of River, now gets irritated by this conversation and asks the man to just concentrate on the dinner. By this time back at Slough House, Shirley and Roddy had figured out from airport CCTV footage that Andrei Chernitsky had not actually flown to Estonia like was previously found, but he had cleverly put his phone in the belongings of a music band on their way for a tour in that country. This meant that Chernitsky was almost surely still in England, and Catherine calls River up to inform him of this. The veteran agent was earlier seen in a conversation with Jackson Lamb over the fact that Lamb was actually using River to bait out Chernitsky and his associates in Upshott. Lamb believed that the Russians would get wind of River’s investigation in the village and would turn up to possibly put an end to it. While Lamb tells Catherine that River was fully aware of him being used as bait, the woman most likely did not believe him. The call that she makes to River is probably to warn him of Chernitsky’s presence. At the very same time, another guest arrives at Kelly’s house, and this new man is introduced as Duncan’s dear friend Leo. As River is introduced to him, it is revealed that Leo is none other than Andrei Chernitsky.

What To Expect From ‘Slow Horses’ Season 2, Episode 4?

There are a number of mysteries building up in season 2 of “Slow Horses,” meaning that there is a lot to expect from the upcoming episodes. The death of Min is highly suspicious, with the Russians possibly involved in it. However, why the Russians would get Min killed, especially before a secretive meeting between high-profile spy agents, seems unclear. Could it be that British intelligence itself was involved with the murder since they had already taken part in creating a false case solely for the show’s image in “Slow Horses” Season 1? The true identities of Chernitsky and his dear friend Duncan also need to be explored more. Although Kelly becomes friends with River, it is possible that she, too, works with her father to keep an eye on every new guest that turns up at the village. If that is the case and if River’s cover is blown by chance, then the Slough House agent will be in deep trouble, having to escape the situation on his own, and that would make for an interesting watch.

See More: ‘Slow Horses’ Season 2, Episode 4: Recap & Ending, Explained: Who Had Killed Min? What Happens To River?

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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