Our list of the best quotes from Apple TV+ spy thriller series based on the novel of the same name by Mick Herron. Slow Horses follows a team of British intelligence agents, led by Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldman), who due to their career-ending mistakes, have been banished to the agency’s lowest department, an administrative purgatory for service rejects, known as slow horses. However, because of the newly-exiled agent, River Cartwright (Jack Lowden), determination to get back on the field, the unlikely team gets caught up in a top-secret dangerous mission.
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1. Failure’s Contagious
Jackson Lamb: I thought spooks were supposed to be stealthy. Another day dawns on MI-F***ing Useless.
Catherine Standish: [as River’s going through the garbage] What are you looking for?
River Cartwright: A reason not to blow my brains out.
Struan Loy: Catherine, before you go, these two stick-in-the-muds are giving my idea of a pub quiz team a big thumbs down.
Louisa Guy: Actually, I gave it a fat middle finger.
Struan Loy: Come on, guys! What about team spirit? Catherine?
Catherine Standish: No.
Struan Loy: “No”, as in “Ask me later”, or no…
Catherine Standish: As in, “no”.
Roddy Ho: [to Catherine] Is today the day you finally give me something remotely challenging?
Catherine Standish: Transport police are asking if you can stop scaring people away from that bus stop.
Jed Moody: They could be watching us.
Catherine Standish: Or they could be waiting for a bus.
2. Work Drinks
Catherine Standish: What’s wrong?
Jackson Lamb: The fact that you’re still here talking to me, for starters.
Catherine Standish: No, it’s mid-morning, and you haven’t had a drink yet.
Jackson Lamb: Why, in the old days you’d be on your third stomach pump by now.
Catherine Standish: That’s your first taunt of the morning. You’re slipping. Something’s definitely up.
Jackson Lamb: When Cartwright comes back, tie him to his desk by his bollocks. I want my people in here, doing nothing.
River Cartwright: Okay, look, I get it. We’re just slow horses. We’re grunts. It’s just good to get feedback when we’ve done a nice job.
Spider Webb: Of course you didn’t do a good job. You’re slow f***ing horses.
Catherine Standish: Where were you?
River Cartwright: Just getting some air.
Catherine Standish: We have air in here.
River Cartwright: Yeah, well, it’s pretty fetid.
Roddy Ho: My fingers are weapons. My thumb is more powerful than Nero’s.
River Cartwright: Did he have a strong thumb, did he?
Roddy Ho: Thumb up or thumb down determined whether you lived or died in the arena.
River Cartwright: Oh, right. I didn’t know that.
Roddy Ho: And in the online arena, I am somewhere between an emperor and a god.
3. Bad Tradecraft
Min Harper: You know, Lamb’s password is “password”.
Louisa Guy: Password? How do you know?
Min Harper: Ho told me.
Louisa Guy: And what did that cost you?
Min Harper: Nothing. He just wanted to tell someone, didn’t he? To prove how clever he is.
Louisa Guy: [as they’re making out in Slough House] Did you hear that?
Min Harper: Hear what?
Louisa Guy: I don’t know. A noise.
Min Harper: Like a mouse?
Louisa Guy: Do we have mice?
Min Harper: Yeah. Yeah, we’ve got lots of mice. Or something that does mouse droppings around the place.
Louisa Guy: [referring to the masked man that attacked them] No pulse. I think you broke his neck.
Min Harper: He broke his own f***ing neck.
Jackson Lamb: [to River] A shoe in a bag? I’m embarrassed for you.
Jackson Lamb: [referring to Sid] They say she might live.
River Cartwright: Oh, thank Christ.
Jackson Lamb: No thanks to you.
Jackson Lamb: Your phone!
Min Harper: F*** off. I Face Time my kids on this.
Jackson Lamb: I don’t care if you A**Time the Pope on it. Give it to me. The service phones have tracking enabled. We need to disappear.
River Cartwright: I’ve definitely seen him before. I recognized him.
Min Harper: Who?
River Cartwright: The head.
Louisa Guy: He’s one of us. Was one of us.
Ingrid Tearney: I want Lamb and his rejects off the street and into the Park. I need to know exactly our level of exposure here. Where is the boy.
Diana Taverner: I’ve pulled everyone in. SO15 are standing by, and command center is aware.
Ingrid Tearney: Clean this up by the time I land. And if it is the Slow Horses behind it, bury them.
Louisa Guy: How did Lamb know to go to that house?
River Cartwright: Taverner, must be. He met her earlier.
Louisa Guy: What is this? Lamb and Taverner?
Min Harper: F***ing hell. Lamb’s cut us loose.
River Cartwright: That envelope he took off Moody, that was his flight fund. If he wanted to, he could just disappear.
Jackson Lamb: [as they meet at the graveyard] Cartwright?
Roddy Ho: Went to try and wake Sleeping Beauty. Sid. She’s in a coma and is a beauty. Or was, till she got shot in the head.
Louisa Guy: Oh, Jesus, Ho.
Jackson Lamb: Taverner will pick us off one by one. Find someone to turn. She and Black had a plan. Now that’s gone to s**t, she’ll try and play it as Slough House gone rogue.
Louisa Guy: And what about the boy? What happens to Hassan?
Jackson Lamb: If he’s not dead already, he soon will be.
Jackson Lamb: Look, I don’t normally do these kind of speeches, but this feels like a big moment, and if it all turns to s**t, I might not see any of you again. You’re f***ing useless. The lot of you. Working with you has been the lowest point in a disappointing career.
Jackson Lamb: Cartwright, you’re with me.
Min Harper: Wait. What do we do?
Jackson Lamb: Well, try not to get caught for as long as you can. My money’s on about thirty minutes.
Louisa Guy: Well, we can try and save Hassan.
Jackson Lamb: Oh, that’d be a sure way to get him killed. Go lock yourselves in a toilet somewhere.
River Cartwright: [to Lamb] I wonder what the others are up to. I could have called them if you hadn’t thrown away Min and Louisa’s phones. Should let them know they’re not being hunted anymore, in case they’re halfway through some dodgy backstreet plastic surgery.
Roddy Ho: Can’t hack the satnav.
Min Harper: Because?
Roddy Ho: Cheap b****rds didn’t hire one.
Louisa Guy: Or the flash b****rds had their own.
Diana Taverner: So, you know why I’m here?
Peter Judd: I’ve no idea why you’re here.
Diana Taverner: I think you do. Otherwise, you would have asked.
Peter Judd: I’ve a woman in my kitchen I’ve met a few times on the cocktail party circuit. I’m more concerned with how I’m going to explain your presence to my wife.
Diana Taverner: I can give her a précis if you like.
Diana Taverner: I’m guessing there might be some numbers you don’t want your wife to know about. Those to the mothers of the children she’s not aware of, perhaps?
Peter Judd: I have a very open marriage.
Diana Taverner: I don’t give a f*** about your marriage! I have a dead agent at the scene of a kidnapping, and a boy who’s God knows where, who’ll be next to die, all because of a phone call you made.