Slow Horses season 1, episode 5 recap – “Fiasco”

April 22, 2022 (Last updated: December 30, 2022)
Adam Lock 4
Apple TV+, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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Apple TV+ series Slow Horses season 1, episode 5 - Fiasco


The Slough House agents dodge the enemy in another nerve-racking installment. Gary Oldman continually steals the show as their witty and wise leader.

We recap the Apple TV+ series Slow Horses season 1, episode 5, “Fiasco,” which contains spoilers.

It is official, the second season of Slow Horses has been confirmed, with the news coming weeks before the first season’s finale, which is reassuring indeed. The penultimate episode, “Fiasco” showcases just why this espionage comedy has been renewed. Episode five is brimming with tension and twists, peppered with comedy, mainly from Gary Oldman’s surprising performance as the head of the Slow Horses, Jackson Lamb. This chapter amps up the suspense as the disgraced agents fight for their freedom.

Slow Horses season 1, episode 5 recap

Min and Louisa hop a fence to the graveyard rendezvous point. Lamb, Standish and Roddy aren’t far behind them. They explain how Struan has been compromised and River is assumed missing in action after deciding to pay ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Sid a visit in the hospital. An exhausted River Cartwright appears just in time for one of Lamb’s inspirational speeches. The lethargic leader delivers a less than motivating pep talk, divulging Diana’s dastardly scheme. They are the scapegoats in this false flag operation, but River has some dirt on Diana that might just save them all.

What follows is one tense interaction after another, in this fast-moving thriller. River and Lamb formulate a plan to infiltrate MI5, whilst the others look into the beheaded agent Alan Black’s past. There’s some great scenes, where Oldman continually steals the show, including a righteous moment where Lamb blasts The Proclaimers, smoking a cigarette, surrounded by armed guards.

Whilst the agents attempt to blackmail Lady Di, the terrorists fumble through their own plot. The hostage is still taped and bound in the boot. The bloodied racists are heading for a seemingly unlikely escape, although their getaway car is running low on petrol. Tensions rise when Zippo (Layer Cake’s Stephen Walters) draws a gun on the killer Curly. More nail-biting drama ensues when they must fill up the car in a petrol station. This really is edge of your seat stuff.

The penultimate episode doesn’t disappoint, with more smartly written reveals and an onslaught of drama. This spy thriller has it all, delivering a British tale of double-crossing espionage firmly embedded in the 21st century. A modern masterpiece with a stunning cast and meticulously plotted scripting. What more could you want?

What did you think of Slow Horses season 1, episode 5? Comment below. 

You can watch this series with a subscription to Apple TV+.

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4 thoughts on “Slow Horses season 1, episode 5 recap – “Fiasco”

  • April 22, 2022 at 9:58 am

    Brilliant in every respect, casting, production, plot, script, music. Am a devoted fan of Mick Herron’s
    books and this adaptation of Slough House has exceeded my expectations – can’t wait for the finale and the second series.

  • April 22, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    Do read the book Slow Horses before watching it on TV. It’s an “anti-Bond” masterpiece and the film is captivating too. Raw noir espionage of this quality is rare, whether or not accompanied by occasional splashes of sardonic hilarity. Slow Horses is an “anti-Bond” classic from the same genre of thoroughbred stables as the fictional Harry Palmer, Carter or Cole, based on Len Deighton’s spy novels or the fact based Edward Burlington, the protagonist in The Burlington Files espionage series by Bill Fairclough. If you enjoyed any of these you should delight in Slow Horses and vice versa.

  • April 23, 2022 at 11:09 pm

    I think the quality of the shows on Apple+ is getting better and better. This one has not only an amazing cast but the script and production are first rate. Anxiously awaiting the last episode but then I will be sad that it’s over!

  • April 24, 2022 at 11:22 am

    Don’t shed a tear … you can always watch it again and again and it gets better. You can always read the book too … it’s great even after watching the TV series. Don’t worry if you are hungry for more espionage thrills and spills … there’s almost too much on the menu for those of us hooked on absorbing and addictive espionage novels to find time for reading in a safe house far away from the tsunami of grim news we face in real life now. For starters there are fictional thrillers like Charles C*****g’s Box 88, John Le Carré’s Silverview or Len Deighton’s noir anti-Bond masterpiece Funeral in Berlin. As for the main course, there are down to earth, raw and noir, often curious fact based Cold War thrillers you’ll never put down such as Bill Browder’s Red Notice, Bill Fairclough’s Beyond Enkription in The Burlington Files series or Ben Macintyre’s The Spy and the Traitor. As for dessert, as already recommended maybe something laced with the distinctly sardonic and singular humour of Slow Horses from the Slough House ‘stables’ by Mick Herron. We are spoilt for choice.

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