Slow Horses season 1, episode 6 recap – the finale and ending explained

By Adam Lock
Published: April 29, 2022 (Last updated: December 30, 2022)
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Apple TV+ series Slow Horses season 1, episode 6 - the finale and ending explained


The spy thriller is wrapped up in fine form, with further shoot-outs and many twists as you have come to expect from this exceptional series.

This recap of the Apple TV+ series Slow Horses season 1, episode 6 — the finale and ending explained — contains spoilers.

Check out the archive for reviews, news, and recaps for Slow Horses.

The season one finale of Slow Horses is titled “Follies”, a word with two meanings that both aptly fit within the context of the concluding chapter. The most obvious meaning is foolishness, which our Slough House relics are branded with on a regular basis, although the MI5 hot shots and the terrorist group Sons Of Albion happen to make many a foolish decision over the course of this six episode series. The second definition is a lesser known meaning, in architecture it is a fake, ornamental castle or ruin, which happens to be the location of the final showdown. But will the hostage survive and how does it all play out for our disgraced agents?

Slow Horses season 1, episode 6 recap – the finale and ending explained

The finale opens with Jackson Lamb, leader of the gang, fast asleep at a stakeout. The MI5 top dog, Diana Taverner is interrogating right wing politician Peter Judd at his swanky abode and the Slow Horses are assessing the situation. Judd is connected to the journalist Hobden, who has dirt on Diana. She’s desperate to tie up all loose ends and bury the whole false flag debacle. Meanwhile Roddy, the hacker, has tracked down the whereabouts of the kidnapper’s van and they inform the security agency. It’s great to see the underdogs outsmarting the bosses at every turn. The MI5 agents descend upon the location, but the Slow Horses want a share of the spoils too.

Lamb and River speed over to the terrorist’s location in an ancient banger, with Min and Louisa in hot pursuit as well. Lamb confesses to River in private that Sid is dead and in a moving moment, the old has-been opens up. Gary Oldman is superb as the sluggish chain-smoker with buried depths. He tells River to expect death and destruction as per the job and speaks honestly about his own troubled past. All the main players head towards one nondescript woodland car park, where the kidnappers were last spotted for a tense cat and mouse chase.

The terrorist party have had their own chaotic journey here, which ends in a tense, action packed conclusion. The psychotic killer Curly has offed his second team mate and now has the gun aimed at Larry, who drives. The hostage Hassan nervously sits in the passenger’s seat with an unhinged Curly barking threats. He directs them to this secluded spot and walks them into the woods. Larry manages to axe the killer and escape, but poor Hassan is stalled in his own getaway. The wounded racist guides him to the titular location, a fake castle, which he sees as a perfect execution point.

The ending

Slow Horses has delivered many suspenseful sequences and this may not be their best, but it is still a worthy resolution. River’s gunfire stops Curly from assassinating the hostage, with Hassan disarming the terrorist himself with a perfectly aimed rock throw. River calms the warped captive just in time for the MI5 helicopter to arrive on the scene, circling above. Diana wants Curly killed, to keep her narrative airtight, yet the Slough House agents have other ideas. They crowd around the body to keep the perpetrator alive. Justice is served and it’s a feel-good victory for the Slow Horses. This seems like a fitting ending, although there’s much more still to come.

We’re privy to the fallout of this dramatic event and then in a final twist, Lamb explains to Standish what happened to Charles all those years ago, yet he lies. The reality being much bleaker. It’s a sinister end, as Lamb kills Charles in a flashback and River’s grandfather David shows compliance. The plot thickens leading up to an already filmed second season teaser, which Apple TV+ advertises before the end credits. This has been an outstanding series, which rightfully deserves a follow up. The ending may not have been as explosive as promised, but it still packs a punch. Here’s to more from the Slough House gang.

What did you think of Slow Horses season 1, episode 6 (finale), and the ending? Comment below. 

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

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