“Drinking Games” is extremely tense and full of twists, with more hilarious one-liners from Jackson Lamb. The murder case continues to unravel as more criminals enter the picture, and our Slow Horses find themselves in genuine danger.
We recap the Apple TV+ series Slow Horses season 2, episode 3, “Drinking Games,” which contains spoilers.
Slow Horses season 2, episode 2 ended with Min (Dustin Demri-Burns) being pinned to a wall with a gun pressed against him. In episode 3, we get to see exactly what happened to our disgraced secret agent after he got caught stalking the Russian thugs. River (Jack Lowden) takes on a new identity and goes searching for answers in the sleepy village of Upshott. While the other moving parts continue to fall into place as the suspense intensifies in another great episode of Slow Horses season 2.
Slow Horses season 2, episode 3 recap
In an early twist, we find Min downing shots with the Russian security personnel. The gun to the neck was all just an elaborate joke, and they tell Min he can relax now. The trio starts to bond over vodka shots, and Piotr brags about the Russians being better at their job than the British. They knew Min was following them from the very first moment he started cycling after their taxi. The three men laugh and joke as Min gets considerably drunker. He departs, taking off on his bicycle and refusing a cab ride home.
River sports his new secret identity, with some rather fancy, designer glasses. He books in at the local B&B under the guise of an investigative journalist, who is doing a piece on the culture clash between rural life and city life in Upshott. River may not know it, but he is just the bait here. Lamb wants the Russians to grow more suspicious and eventually make their presence known. River overhears the bar lady Kelly chatting with her father on that first night. He has noticed that the guest bedroom is taken. Do we have our first suspect?
The next day Kelly offers to show River around the village. It happens to be a very quick tour, but she suggests giving him an aerial one as well. She’s also a pilot and her father owns the local Flying Club. While they are up in the air performing nauseating loops, her father inspects River’s wallet and phone that were left in a locker on terra firma. River is fully aware that his possessions have been tampered with. Our secret agent is instantly suspicious of this man and speaks with Lamb about his concerns later that day.
While River is used as bait, the other Slow Horses continue their investigation. Roddy is listening in on Andre’s phone and Shirley is sieving through all of the Heathrow CCTV footage. Lamb is informed that one of his team members has been killed. It doesn’t take a genius to work out who is dead – Min Harper. The agent, who was clearly on to something, becomes the second casualty in this Russian saga. Lamb and Catherine Standish drive over to the scene of the crime. It looks like a standard car crash, with the perpetrator shaking to one side. Was this an accident or was Min targeted? I’m veering toward the latter.
Standish informs Louisa of the devastating news and of course, Min’s lover is heartbroken. She asks Lamb if she can stay busy and keep on with the Russian job. Louisa is highly suspicious of the Russians, who she believes are involved in the murder, and she clearly wants to keep a closer eye on these untrustworthy criminals. Lamb accepts and offers up Marcus in Min’s place.
Diana and her team are busy preparing for the anti-capitalist march in London, which is predicted to include over ten thousand protesters. Slimy Home Secretary Peter Judd, who the protesters hate, has decided to give a speech on the very same day. Diana and Duffy are to organize Judd’s security. Webb appears with news of Min’s death. Of course, Diana is already aware of this ‘minor hiccup’ in Webb’s plan, but she is happy for the operation to continue if Min’s death is considered clean. Webb is then knocked down a peg or two by his boss, who warns him not to trust Lamb or any of the other Slough House employees. Later, Judd asks for Diana to ride alongside him instead of Duffy and she unwillingly accepts his invitation.
Lamb knows Min’s death wasn’t an accident and he kick-starts his own private investigation. He gets a file on the driver. She has ties to Russia and he follows her around town. The chain-smoking slob phones up River and updates him on Min’s passing. He warns his field agent to be careful. Moments later, River is invited to Kelly’s parents for a meal.
Slow Horses season 2, episode 3 ending
Back in London, Louisa and Marcus meet with the Russians for the bug sweep of Pashkin’s meeting place. The Russians pass on their condolences about Min’s passing. The sweep runs smoothly and they are then introduced to Pashkin himself. The Russian states that he works on special projects for Nevsky. He repeatedly offers the Brits a drink, which they graciously decline. Is this a harmless question or are they trying to spike their drinks as well?
The countryside meal is rather awkward, with Kelly’s dad Duncan being visibly antagonistic toward River. The writers do a great job of sprinkling these scenes with tension. Duncan clearly has secrets and River’s cover starts to appear paper-thin, to say the least. While River is presented with a delicious three-course meal, his fellow teammates make some stark discoveries.
Lamb questions the driver, who admits that she didn’t actually drive the car and Min didn’t actually die in a car crash. Shirley spots Andre on the CCTV footage, disposing of his phone in a stranger’s bag at the airport, thus creating a decoy. He never got on a flight to Estonia, which means he’s still in the local area. Standish calls River to warn him, but it is too late. At the meal, a man called Leo joins the party. Leo is a large, bald fella with a distinct Eastern European accent. River shakes hands with this Leo character, who is most definitely Andre Chernitsky.
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