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‘Slow Horses': How Saskia Reeves’ Catherine Changes the Game With a Phone Call (Video)

Director James Hawes reveals to the TheWrap why the team’s hostage hunt takes a turn in Friday’s finale

Everything is coming down to the wire in the nail-biting finale of Apple TV+’s British spy thriller “Slow Horses,” as the Slough House crew try to find kidnap victim Hassan Ahmed (Antonio Aakeel) before his abductors can kill him, and save themselves from taking the fall for a false flag mission gone terribly wrong.

Director James Hawes, who helmed all six episodes of the series, talked to TheWrap about the satisfaction that Saskia Reeves’ character, Catherine Standish, the veteran agent of the group, finds in Friday’s finale when her old-school skills get results quicker than even those of tech whiz Roddy Ho (Christopher Chung).

Hawes told TheWrap how much he and Reeves enjoyed Catherine’s evolving arc over six episodes, from a grief-stricken recovering alcoholic to the spy she used to be, who can keep a cool head in a crisis, calmly point a gun at a fellow agent, and make a dramatic exit when needed.

“We meet this kind of quite dowdy, quiet, conservative woman [in the first episode], and by the time she’s in the semi-lockdown in the all-night cafe, we see a flash of light in her eyes,” Hawes said as the character’s zest for the job is reawakened in the do-or-die moment.

“[The cast and I] spent several days with an ex-officer of MI6 and Saskia was one of those asking him questions. She gets hugely into this process. And in Episode 4 when you see her with a handgun, she knows exactly how to undo the clip to make the gun safe and she’s enjoying herself in these moments,” Hawes shared.

“People like that were incredibly close to the secrets, because things literally come across the desk and people would know this stuff. And after 20, 30, 40 years in the service, you would be soaked in all of that. Saskia took this on board very powerfully and I think it really comes out as you see the history of her character emerge in those last triumphant moments.”

In a sneak peek clip of the sixth episode shared by Apple TV+, Standish, Roddy, Louisa (Rosalind Eleazar) and Min (Dustin Demri-Burns) can’t go back to their office or their homes until they clear their names, and the best way to do that is to find Hassan alive, on their own, without their usual resources.

Stuck at an all-night cafe, Roddy tells the group that tracking down a rental van online will take hours, but Catherine manages that feat with a simple phone call. In the clip shared by Apple, the group realizes they’ll have to do more than that since the police won’t heed their extremely accurate tip as they can’t identify themselves.

As Catherine snaps, “Who was I to say was calling? ‘Oh, hello Scotland Yard. I’m with the punishment detail at MI5. Although, at present, they’re hunting me for the kidnapping that I’m trying to help you solve.'”

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