‘Slow Horses’ Season 3 Review: A Stable of Spies Returns

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Gary Oldman Photo: Apple TV+
It would be a stretch to describe “Slow Horses” as a “feel good” show, except for its ramshackle centerpiece, Jackson Lamb . Played by a deliciously derelict Gary Oldman , Jackson will certainly make the average viewer feel good about his or her own personal hygiene. Digestion. Alcohol intake. Smoking. Diet. Haberdashery, such as it is. And any effort expended to make one’s way through life with a smile. Jackson is a flatulent sea urchin, rolling along the basement floor of British espionage, pricking everyone he meets.
Slow Horses, season 3 Wednesday, Apple TV+
He’s also hilarious, usually right and never modest about it, which may infuriate the poor unfortunates around him but does make him a highly watchable and even quotable post-Le Carré Cold War hero—a reservoir of seemingly passé spycraft that nevertheless becomes critically important from episode to episode, and season to season. (“Slow Horses” now enters its third as one of the best series on television.) As fans of the first two seasons know, Jackson is the veteran officer in charge of Slough House, the rubber room of MI5, the place where they send you when they can’t send you home. The infractions can be minor, but the damage to one’s career and credibility are never less than biblical, the ensuing duties clerical.

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