Slow Horses: Footprints
December 27, 2023 10:42 AM - Season 3, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Season finale. The Slow Horses fight for their lives. Lamb shares some devastating truths with Catherine.
posted by ellieBOA (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Initially, it felt a little sour that Cartwright allowed his grandfather to burn the file. I figured, fine, it's a TV show, and there's got to be a return to stasis. Very pleased to see the photocopy.

Even after an explosion, I loved River still asking for the gun back.

During Lamb's conversation with Diana, I realized that by far my favorite parts of this show are Gary Oldman talking with anyone who is supposed to be in charge of him. His line about the number of bodies Diana dropped to get her job was so coldly accurate.

I'm glad I couldn't binge this time around. I think I enjoyed the show more one week at a time.
posted by gladly at 10:50 AM on December 27, 2023 [8 favorites]

This has been my favourite show of the year!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:35 PM on December 27, 2023 [4 favorites]

Have not seen this last episode yet. But this is one of my favorite shows in a long time. I found season 2 the weakest, all the stuff with the airplane just felt out of place. Season 3 is awesome and I hope it sticks the landing. From comments her, it sounds like it does!
posted by SoberHighland at 3:52 PM on December 27, 2023

From a thematic perspective, I appreciate the consistent lack of any actual outside threat to the Park in most of the story arcs so far: it's just labyrinthine, poorly considered internal machinations and then increasingly bumbling attempts to clean them up. (Taverner's professed moral indignation with Tearney is kind of hilarious given...the entire first season.)

Very much enjoyed Lamb's little Home Alone moment, as well as Roddy's game changer actually shocking him out of his usual HR-nightmare mode into proper corporate ragespeak. "Can you talk me through your thinking here?”

Did not really enjoy the action scenes at the facility, which felt like they tipped over from Our Plucky Band Of Losers Defy The Odds completely into just generic action hero sequence stuff, even if the slow horses did occasionally stop to make little "oh shit" faces in between steadily working their way through an entire unit of highly armed opponents.

But overall a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to the next season.
posted by eponym at 4:03 PM on December 27, 2023 [5 favorites]

This one got me to finally download the first book. I'm glad Standish finally got to learn the truth about her old boss, even if it wasn't welcome news; hope she's walking to a meeting (despite what happened last time she did)...
posted by mabelstreet at 8:21 PM on December 27, 2023 [1 favorite]

Yeah it was weird to eliminate every Chieftan to a man. Many of them should have run away. Season 1 feels like a long time ago when they united to shield someone from a helicopter sniper.

Standish is so likeable. I extra-appreciated the confrontation between Lamb and Standish because frankly I had forgotten all the little revelations and insinuations, so I needed it all to come out lol. Watching episodes week to week, on the trickle, I think I care less about longer term setups and payoffs.

Really liked the nicknames Scratch and Sniff. I like the characters and actors but I didn't like their little action movie tbh. It felt like a different, worse show with them, often. I wanted Duffy to die a different way.

I liked how they just dropped Sarah Dunn off at the hospital, just the coldness of it. She's left with nothing, discarded with no consideration. The good guys are not good guys. I wanted more epilogue to know what happens with her; there's dead bodies in her house after all. I suppose MI5 cleans it up. Also there was something about her look, plus her dedication, plus her facility in choking out a guy, that made me wonder if she was a foreign asset.
posted by fleacircus at 5:49 AM on December 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

Yeah, it mostly stuck the landing. I could have done with a lower body count, not because I dislike violence, but because it became a bit outlandish and the fighting just dragged on too long. The trope of people experiencing hundreds of bullets being fired in a closed, echoey space — yet still being able to hear each other perfectly — always bugs the hell out of me. I hope season four pulls back on some of the action and lets the characters breathe some more. A very solid season, but the first season is still my favorite.
posted by SoberHighland at 6:10 AM on December 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

Slow Horses Season-Finale Recap: Home Alone [Vulture / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:26 AM on December 28, 2023

I like Lamb as boogieman, scaring shit agents!
posted by Pronoiac at 11:47 AM on December 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

In the next season preview, Lamb says one of his teams dies. And now I have to wait to find out who?

Not cool.
posted by cooker girl at 5:05 PM on December 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was honestly kind of surprised that wossis-big-ears Dog was killed in the home invasion - I sort of figured they'd contain the body count to the Chieftain rent-a-merc assholes, but not actually kill any fellow MI5 agents. Like Duffy _might_ have survived getting his head stove in with an unrealistically large block of concrete, right?

Did they specify whether the file was actually leaked (per Grandpaps Cartwright's fear), or was institutionally acknowledging the existence of it enough to get Tearney out of her position?

And yeah, I hope Standish makes a return next season, I like her.
posted by Kyol at 6:26 PM on December 28, 2023

When Lamb and Diana are talking, she tries to thank him for leaking the file, but Lamb tells her it was Cartwright.

I really don’t want to wait a whole year for more of this show, especially if it’s already filmed. This may be enough to get me to try the books.
posted by gladly at 6:55 PM on December 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

The books are excellent and the show so far has followed them in broad outline, with the usual amount of changes that you might expect in an adaptation. It looks like the next season will continue the pattern and basically do book 4.
posted by dfan at 7:02 PM on December 28, 2023

Roddy Ho is even more loathsome in the books, if you can believe it.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:10 PM on December 28, 2023 [4 favorites]

Huh. I mean, I caught that, but I'd think that _leaking_ leaking that sort of information would be kind of career terminal even to a slow horse, as opposed to "we know what you did in this file and what you did to keep it secret, and the rank and file will never respect you again, Tearney", y'know?
posted by Kyol at 1:07 PM on December 29, 2023

This is one of my favourite shows but this went beyond silly. I was waiting for Doctor Who to appear.
posted by night_train at 3:32 AM on December 30, 2023 [4 favorites]

I thought the shootout was done pretty well in that pretty much everyone involved was somewhere between utter shit and mediocre in their abilities. Only one person managed to consistently shoot straight, but then he got shot and eventually ran out of ammo.

It also reinforced one thing the show has been saying since the beginning: It's not that the slow horses are, for the most part, particularly shit at being MI5 agents, they're just seen as damaged goods because of personal foibles or a spot of bad luck. They're not top level talent by any means, just middle of the pack, not well rounded, and out of practice.
posted by wierdo at 11:53 PM on December 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed the shootout although I like this show more for the intrigue than the action.

Also this is the season I finally realized that "Slough House" sounds like "Slow Horse".
posted by mmoncur at 6:12 PM on December 31, 2023 [3 favorites]

The Tearney/Taverner scenes, where they sipped Macallan 18yr and waited out which of their respective groups were going to emerge from the storage facility alive, so. freaking. absurd. It makes me wonder if Kristin Scott Thomas and Sophie Okenodo, both very capable actors, afterwards had a few drams in their trailer, shaking their heads about the whole blessed thing.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:28 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]

yeah on one hand, the tearney.tavener chat was magnetic because of the actors charisma and distdain.

but the script? serial monologue please confess all now in expository dialogue a la james bond villain.... was..... WEAK.

beneath the good writing of the books.

this is becoming a worse show, not a better one. more political machination, less explosions, PLEASE.
posted by lalochezia at 7:15 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]

They're not top level talent by any means, just middle of the pack, not well rounded, and out of practice.

And unrepentant which I think is the big part of it. Like none of them seem to really be like "Oh I would do anything to get out of Slough House" if it involved not doing whatever their thing is (coke, gambling, not "taking one for the team," being sexist, being gross, whatever). I just finished this episode and yes, agree, not cool to imply one of the team dies next season and not tell you who. After they killed off Min I was wondering who else was next. Was sad about Spider only because Fox was such a terrific asshole and a great actor. Not sad to see the end of Duffy and the big-ears guy (who was also a great actor). Oldman looked just a little less shabby this season (cleaner hair, less stained clothes) and I notice he has a goatee next season. Curious what they do with him. All in all continues to be a good series. I like Tierney and I wonder if we'll see her in some other capacity.
posted by jessamyn at 7:53 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]

Well, it could be a new member of the team who gets killed off?

I’ve only read one more (unfilmed) book but big set pieces with everyone shooting is the exception. It will be back to jousting with The Park.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:50 AM on January 3

Can we agree that Lamb and River are for all intents and purposes Rick & Morty? Old, boozy, food-stained know-it-all with plot armour and the ability to get out of anything; wide-eyed naïf blundering into perpetual danger.
posted by Shepherd at 4:39 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]

Just finished watching all three seasons in 2-3 weeks. I liked it! Agree with the comments that this season had far too much shooty shooty stuff. That's boring, the show's strength is the unusual characters and their interactions.

I came to like young Cartwright this season quite a bit. He sure knows how to take a punch. Gary Oldman is truly a master though and the main (dis)appeal by far. I think Standish could be too but they never give her anything to do! I think this season was supposed to be her story but she was so passive. If they'd had 3x of her instead of the gunplay it would have been better.
posted by Nelson at 8:25 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]

The series is great. My favorite current show. So well done. Follows the books pretty closely.

In the next season preview, Lamb says one of his teams dies. And now I have to wait to find out who?

You could read the book. But you'll probably be very shocked. And angry. I wish I didn't know.
posted by dobbs at 4:14 PM on March 24

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