Who is Richard ‘Dickie’ Bough? Slow Horses character explained

The case of the cicadas in ‘Slow Horses’ season 2 began with the death of a man named Richard ‘Dickie’ Bough and ended with Lamb honoring him. The character is played by Phil Davis.

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bough is an ex-service agent who gets killed on a bus while following a bald, strong man, later identified as Andrei Chernitsky.

Lamb investigated his death and discovered a phone Dickie hid on the bus before dying. The phone had a note written on it, which read ‘cicada’.

River mentioned the name of Dickie in front of his grandfather, David, who fairly remembered the agent and why he got kicked out of MI5.

Dickie’s connection with the cicadas

Back in the day, there was a rumor that a faction of Russian sleeper agents had infiltrated British society. These agents were known as cicadas. Many believed they were real until an investigation into the matter suggested that the rumor was a hoax.

Who is Richard 'Dickie' Bough? Slow Horses character explained 1
Dickie follows Andrei Chernitsky

The leader of the cicadas, Alexander Popov, himself was a bogeyman. The rumor did nothing but stir panic. The discussion around cicadas was brought up again when Dickie went missing and showed up drunk at work.

He told everyone that Popov and a thug abducted him, interrogated him, and poured drinks down his throat. The authorities believed that it was the worst possible excuse to get drunk and wasted no time in kicking him out.

Why does Lamb honor Richard ‘Dickie’ Bough?

Towards the end of ‘Slow Horses’ season 2, Nikolai Katinsky, an ex-KGB agent who defected to the UK, reveals himself to be the mastermind behind the cicadas.

He misled Lamb initially and claimed that he had heard about Alexander Popov. It turns out that Katinsky himself is Popov. The Russians agreed to let him go in exchange for some future assistance.

At present, he helped them, and to avenge the death of Charles Partner, the First Desk at MI5, he asked for the names of the people who killed him. Lamb admitted that he killed Partner because he was a traitor supplying information to Katinsky.

Katinsky defended Partner, calling him his joe, and when Lamb claimed that Dickie was a joe too, Katinsky corrected him, stating that Dickie was an alcoholic Lamb didn’t think of for the past 30 years.

Another man involved in Partner’s death is David Cartwright, River’s grandfather. Katinsky sent Chernitsky to take care of David, but River had given his grandfather a heads-up. David shot Chernitsky dead with a shotgun the moment he answered the door.

Katinsky realized that his plan has failed. He then proceeded to shoot himself instead of surrendering to Lamb or the authorities.

At the end of season 2, Slough House members gathered to honor Min at a church, where they placed his name on a wall that honors agents who served their country.

When everyone left, Lamb placed a normal piece of paper on the wall that had Dickie’s name on it. The paper read ‘DICKIE BOW, SERVED BEHIND THE WALL, A JOE’.

During his conversation with Katinsky, Lamb clarified that he prefers Dickie over Partner. Though he was kicked out and no one believed his story about cicadas, Dickie didn’t betray his country and send his colleagues to their deaths while smiling at them.

Lamb decided to pay his respects to the ex-service agent. The paper fell off the wall seconds after Lamb walked out of the church.

Also Read: Slow Horses season 2 review: Brings an intriguing and mythical mystery

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