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

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“Slow Horses” returns with a thoroughly enjoyable Episode 4 this week, as the plot thickens, and the immediate future looks sinister. While there is clearly betrayal between the Russians and the British spies, as the former definitely had some suspicious role in Min’s death, there is deception among the Russians too. On the other side, River continues his investigation at Upshott village and leads to some serious revelations. 

Spoilers Ahead


Season 2, Episode 4: Recap And Ending

In Episode 3 of “Slow Horses” Season 2, Jackson Lamb had convinced Rebecca, the woman who apparently hit Min in a fatal car accident, to reveal the truth to him. She now explains exactly what happened and how she was involved in it all. Due to her former association with unlawful Russians and the fact that she often worked as a courier for things between them, Rebecca was known to the gang. On the night of the accident, she was called up to meet at a car park, which was exactly where Min was sharing apparently friendly drinks with the Russian security agents Piotr and Kyril. As Rebecca stepped out and positioned herself behind a wall, she could see Min drunkenly climbing onto his bicycle while Piotr stood and talked with him. Then suddenly, a second man choked Min fatally, while a third man, most possibly Kyril, got into Rebecca’s car and hit the struggling Min. The Slough House agent was still not dead, so the second man, who had choked him, stabbed Min with some sort of poison syringe to finish him off. From Rebecca’s description of this second man, who had technically killed Min, it is clear that he is Andrei Chernitsky himself. There is also some more damning information to be found from the woman—she recalls a fourth man also being present, but she could not see his face, and Lamb suspects this can be Arkady Pashkin. Lamb questions Rebecca about where she had collected the money for this job from, and she says that it was a new spot, an English language training academy of sorts. Confident that Nikolai Katinsky, the ex-KGB agent now living under the MI5’s protection, is involved with this, for the language training academy is the hideout of Katinsky, Jackson Lamb follows this lead. He breaks into the office using his veteran spy skills, but Katinksy calls up the office phone right then, making it evident that he knew Lamb would go there. Katinsky now tells Lamb that his former associates in Russia had earlier told him to help them whenever they asked for it, and now was the time. He simply states that Lamb’s lead to his office was a false one fed to him so that his attention was diverted from something more important going on, but this other event remains a mystery to Lamb, for some time at least. 

Lamb returns to Slough House and is informed by Roddy of every movement Min had made on the day before the accident, all picked up from his smartwatch. Lamb goes to the import-export company warehouse where Min had followed Piotr and Kyril and enquires about what package the Russians had picked up from there. Although the clerk confirms that it was a small package, no information about the sender or receiver can be found as all such data has been cleared. Lamb is now sure that Arkady Pashkin is connected to all of these suspicious activities and killings and decides to carry forward an investigation on his own. As he tells Catherine, Lamb does not trust giving all this information to the Regent Park headquarters because Pashkin and Nevsky, if involved, would all get away with their crimes due to political diplomacy. But Lamb is not ready to let them go after killing two of his associates, and therefore he calls upon Shirley and visits Ilya Nevsky’s luxurious house in London. However, things look suspicious from the very beginning, as there seems to be no activity inside the house, and the front door also seems open. Lamb and Shirley enter the house to find all of Nevsky’s men killed in some sudden attack. The Russian oligarch is also found dead, with a Geiger meter left behind to suggest that he had been poisoned by some radioactive material. Nevsky’s body also has a fatal bullet wound, and Lamb suggests that this was caused by Nevsky shooting himself dead to avoid the painful death from radioactive poisoning. He is also sure that all of this was the doing of Arkady Pashkin, who had apparently worked for Nevsky for this long, meaning that a grand betrayal had been in the works. This attack on Nevsky’s house definitely seems to be the event from which Katinsky diverted Lamb’s attention by making him snoop around his hideout while Ilya Nevsky was being wiped out. The reason for this massacre is still unclear, and the reason that Nevsky’s men killed Min seems to be that they feared Min had seen or found something out about their plan when he had been following them.

Meanwhile, Catherine Standish finds details about a man named Viktor Krymov, who had actually set up the meeting between Arkady Pashkin and James Webb of MI5. Catherine decides to find out more about Viktor since he had been the one to vouch for Pashkin, who now seems to be an extremely shady and dangerous figure. Catherine meets with Viktor and is offered drinks by the Russian, but she turns them down. The two decide to exchange information with each other, but ultimately Viktor does not reveal anything specific or unknown about his relationship with Pashkin. However, Catherine, who had given her information first, tells Viktor about her past relationship with her boss, who had helped her with her alcoholism. Catherine does not mention that the boss had ended up dead one night mysteriously, but the sly Russian informer might dig out some details and use this information against the MI5. Catherine calls up Lamb and tells him about her meeting with Viktor, but Lamb already seems to know the Russian informant well enough. He simply says that Viktor cannot be trusted at all, even if he does reveal any information, and tells Catherine to return home.

Louisa was still on the hunt to find out more about the death of her dear lover and colleague, Min Harper. She had already grown suspicious of Pashkin after meeting him for the first time on her security detail mission. Readying her bag with a mere utility cutter as a weapon inside it, she goes to the same hotel where Pashkin has been staying and walks right into the bar to sit with him. She uses all her flirtatious charm to convince Pashkin that she does believe Min died in an accident, even though she had initial suspicions, and then gets herself invited to Pashkin’s room. After twenty minutes or so, Louisa takes the elevator and moves towards the Russian’s room, prepared to confront the man and threaten him with her utility cutter. However, right before she enters the room, Louisa is stopped by her colleague Marcus Longridge, who had been given Min’s place in the operation. Louisa seems convinced that there is something seriously odd about Pashkin, but the only detail she can provide so far is that Pashkin’s watch is a fake one, meaning that he is impersonating someone he probably wasn’t. Marcus calls up Lamb, who then tells his agents about Nevsky’s murder, and orders the two to keep calm for the night and turn up to their meeting with Pashkin the next day, acting all normal.


How Does River’s Investigation In The Upshott Village Bring Troubles To Him?

River’s investigation continues with him having dinner with the kind and welcoming Tropper family. They had also invited their dear friend Leo, who had suddenly arrived at their house when River was there. River obviously realized that Leo was Andrei Chernitsky, but there had been no way for him to inform his team of this yet. At the dinner table, Chernitsky seems to drop hints that he knows what is going on as he talks about his recent travel on a London bus (where he had actually murdered Richard Bough) and jokingly asks River whether he is undercover. Chernitsky also mentions more than once how he feels he has seen River somewhere, but the agent keeps saying that they have never met before. This makes Kelly, who had been the most welcoming to River, suspicious, and she confronts River about this in private when Chernitsky is leaving their house. River brushes aside this conversation and runs out the back of the house, as tailing Chernitsky is his priority now. Just as the man was about to leave the house, River slipped his service phone inside the Russian’s jacket pocket, and he now calls up Roddy to track the phone’s location. From what Roddy says, River is very sure about where Chernitsky is driving—the Upshott Flying Club. Seeing that their guests had so mysteriously left their house, the Troppers ran out to the main street too. While Duncan and his wife Alex are looking away, the daughter Kelly spots River’s other phone, which he had intentionally left behind on a bench, and she picks it up.

On the other side, River reaches the private airfield on foot and approaches the small hangar with his handgun ready. He sees Andrei Chernitsky and Nikolai Katinsky here, busy discussing something with their backs towards River. The Slough House agent does not want to take any chances, so he approaches the two men and holds them at gunpoint. At the same time, Alex Tropper arrives at the flying club, and she seems shocked to see River and the two Russians in such a strange situation. River tries to explain that Chernitsky and Katinsky are ex-KGB agents who work as handlers for her husband, Duncan, who is a Russian sleeper agent. His tone suggests that he believes Alex to know none of this, but River is very wrong about this assessment. Alex tells him that Chernitsky and Katinsky were very good friends of her and Duncan and that the three of them had decided to meet at the hangar to plan Duncan’s upcoming 60th birthday celebrations. River remains convinced about his theory, but he does not notice that Alex has been moving closer to him gradually. At the end of Episode 4 of “Slow Horses” Season 2, the woman takes down River with a taser gun to his neck, and the agent falls to the ground. Alex then talks to the two men in Russian, making it clear that she and her husband were indeed cicadas, or Russian sleeper agents, living in British society.


What To Expect Next From ‘Slow Horses’ Season 2, Episode 5?

“Slow Horses” has definitely now picked up the pace to prepare us for an expectedly action-packed last two episodes. Now that Min’s murder is solved and Ilya Nevsky has been killed, too, the real identity and motives of Arkady Pashkin become the real focus of the series. The meeting between Pashkin and James Webb might be full of sparks, if not blasts since it is still very unclear as to who the MI5 is dealing with here. River’s situation of getting into trouble was sort of predictable, as it was needed to spice up things on the Upshott side of things, and what happens to him remains to be seen. At the end of Episode 4 of “Slow Horses” Season 2, Katinsky tells Chernitsky to put River out, suggesting either killing him or making him unconscious, and River will probably have to fight back to save himself. It is also unclear whether Kelly knows the truth about her parents’ real identities, and she might somehow get in touch with River since she has his phone now.


See More: ‘Slow Horses’ Season 2, Episode 5: Recap & Ending, Explained: How Does The Show Set Up Season 2’s Finale?


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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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