Slow Horses season 2, episode 1 recap – who is Richard ‘Dickie’ Bough?

By Adam Lock
Published: December 2, 2022 (Last updated: January 26, 2024)
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Slow Horses is back with another hilarious and tense outing. Gary Oldman’s Jackson Lamb also returns with his iconic sarcasm and vulgar disposition. In this season, the Slough House gang is investigating a murder mystery involving Russian spies that is sure to be another entertaining romp.

We recap the Apple TV+ series Slow Horses season 2, episode 1, “Last Stop,” which contains spoilers. Who is Richard ‘Dickie’ Bough?  Let’s dive in.

If you are itching to see more British spy thriller adventures, then Apple has you covered with a return of their original series Slow Horses, starring Gary Oldman as the delightfully vulgar Jackson Lamb. The second season kicks off with “Last Stop,” opening up a new mysterious case for the disgraced service agents of Slough House to decipher. This season looks set to be just as humorous and tense as the previous batch of six installments, exploring Russian agents and further conspiracies.

Slow Horses season 2, episode 1 recap – who is Richard ‘Dickie’ Bough?

The season starts with your standard British downpour and the interiors of a sex shop. The owner spots a man standing outside in the rain, which triggers awful flashbacks. This man once tortured the shop owner, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bough, many decades ago. Seeking revenge, Richard follows this man through the hectic streets of Soho to a train station. Richard sneaks onto the train and then the replacement bus that follows. It’s a tense opener that ends with Richard having heart palpitations as he struggles to write a message on his mobile phone. The bus comes to its final stop, but Richard won’t be exiting this vehicle, as the driver finds him dead in his seat.

A file on Richard Bough reveals that he was a retired field agent, and for some reason, Lamb wants to know exactly what transpired on the day of his death. Lamb heads down to the bus depot and is informed that Richard died of a heart attack. On the bus, he finds Richard’s phone and his parting message, one word – cicada.

We’re back at Slough House – oh how we’ve missed you – with Catherine Standish kicking in the door just to enter the building, like the good old days of season one. The place is eerily quiet, Jackson and River Cartwright (Jack Lowden) are nowhere to be seen. We are, however, quickly introduced to two new members, Shirley and Marcus. Roddy is his usual detestable self, annoyed to be sharing his office with the newbie.

River is at an interview, as are Louisa and Min. River’s interview starts off well but deteriorates as soon as Slough House is mentioned. The interviewers just want to know funny stories about River’s fearless leader Jackson Lamb. Meanwhile, Louisa and Min meet with ‘Spider’ Webb in the park. He offers them a side hustle, doing security on a confidential meeting. The subject is Arkady Pashkin, a representative of the oligarch Ilya Nevsky. Webb wants them to assess and sweep the meeting location. They gingerly accept the job opportunity.

Naïve River tries to sneak back into Slough House, but Lamb already knows about the failed interview, they phoned asking for a reference the same day. They bring him up to date on their latest assignment. Richard ‘Dickie’ Bough, an ex-service agent who was found dead on a bus. Lamb thinks it is murder, although the coroner’s report states heart failure. The CCTV footage they have found is inconclusive also but hints at Richard following someone, who they refer to as the bald man. Lamb orders Min to fetch the hard drives to obtain more footage. He nervously explains his other assignment that has his full attention. River asks to take over, but Lamb offers the role to newbie Shirley instead.

Out in the countryside, River complains to his grandfather David Cartwright (Jonathan Pryce), about his unfortunate situation. He didn’t get the private intelligence job and Lamb won’t give him anything important to do at Slough House. After saving the hostage Hassan in season one, River expected his slate to be wiped clean, but he is still labeled as a failed agent. The conversation moves onto the subject of Dickie Bough, who David was aware of. They discuss cicadas, sleeper agents embedded in British Society. Richard said he was abducted by a Russian called Popov and interrogated, but they never believed him. David completely downplays Richard’s story and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. This reeks of suspicion.

Min and Louisa scope out the meeting spot and share a sneaky kiss on a rooftop overlooking the city. While Shirley attempts to infiltrate a secure building to acquire the hard drives. She steals a security guard’s pass and has Roddy shut down the power so that she can enter the building safely. Immature Roddy waits tantalizing minutes before cutting the power. The security guards suss out the situation and chase after her in another tense sequence. She manages to pull the drives and escapes just in time.

Slow Horses season 2, episode 1 ending

Shirley and River look over the footage together and discuss how she ended up at Slough House. Shirley explains how her case officer made a pass at her and she decided to knock them out in return. River takes the footage and meets with Lamb at a back alley restaurant. This final scene is a hilarious back-and-forth between River and Lamb that highlights the show’s comedic edge.

Lamb eats disgustingly as River explains the new CCTV footage. The bald man is seen touching Richard on the shoulder. Later Richard grabs at the same spot in pain. River believes he has been injected with a deadly concoction. They discuss cicadas, which River accurately guesses was written on Richard’s phone. Lamb admits that he is right. River thinks Richard wasn’t lying about Popov and may have been killed for tailing the Russian spy. The cicadas might have been reactivated, which could lead to lots more deaths. Lamb tells River to investigate this bald man further, something River was planning to do with or without his boss’s consent.

What did you think of Slow Horses season 2, episode 1? Comment below.

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