Who Kills Moe aka Alan Black in Slow Horses? Was Alan Black an MI5 agent?

Episode 4 of ‘Slow Horses’ is when things get truly chaotic. The bumbling agents from Slough House are thrown into the eye of the storm when they come across the decapitated body of Moe, one of Hassan Ahmed’s kidnappers. Upon discovering the gruesome crime scene, Jackson Lamb, the brilliant and unapologetically unpleasant head of Slough House, makes a startling revelation.

It appears that Moe, whose real name was Alan Black, might actually have been an undercover agent, making the situation all the more explosive. So what’s really going on with Alan Black from ‘Slow Horses’? We’re here to clear things up! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Who Kills Moe aka Alan Black in Slow Horses?

Hassan Ahmed is kidnapped by a group of right-wing extremists that are supported by a wealthy businessman named Greg Simmonds. However, the kidnappers are largely amateurs, having never committed any serious crimes before. Moe alone seems to have seen any real action and proudly claims to be the only one in the room to have killed someone. He especially targets Curly, who seems to be the least experienced of the group, with his belittling statements.

Ironically, it is Curly that kills Moe. In episode 3, the young kidnapper suddenly becomes suspicious of Moe after Hassan almost escapes. Curly approaches the group with an ax, and it appears that he plans on prematurely killing Hassan. However, it is later revealed that he actually kills Moe, brutally decapitating him with the ax.

In the subsequent episode, when the other kidnappers hysterically ask Curly why he killed one of their own group members, he reveals that Moe was an intelligence agent. Apparently, the man orchestrating and funding the entire kidnapping operation, Greg Simmonds, informed Curly about Moe’s real identity. However, it was never a part of Simmonds’ plan to kill anyone, much less a member of their own group.

Thus, Curly actually kills Moe of his own accord, much to the shock of his accomplices. By committing the murder, the young kidnapper sets them down a path that they cannot turn back from. The fact that Simmonds, who is their powerful and wealthy backer, doesn’t greenlight the murder means that the three amateur kidnappers are on their own and on the run for murder with a hostage (Hassan Ahmed) in their custody. The fact that Moe might have been an intelligence agent makes their crime even more notorious.

Was Alan Black an MI5 Agent?

Episode 4 opens with Jackson Lamb recognizing Moe and revealing that he is, in fact, an MI5 agent named Alan Black. It appears that Alan was actually sent undercover to be part of the kidnappers’ group by Diana Taverner, the head of MI5, who has her own agenda. However, with the agent now dead, there is a danger of it becoming known that a British intelligence agent was involved in the kidnapping of a young British national.

Thus, as soon as Jackson discovers that Alan is actually the undercover agent sent in by Diana, he realizes that she will try and pin the blame for the agent’s disastrous death on the Slough House branch. Thus, he orders his confused underlings to quickly go into hiding before Diana’s MI5 agents intercept them.

Interestingly, it is later revealed that Alan was actually a former Slough House agent himself. Diana also tries to use this fact to her advantage by blackmailing Struan Loy, a current Slough House agent, to claim that Alan and Jackson Lamb were in cahoots. Of course, Jackson sees through all of her plots and realizes exactly what Diana is trying to do.

Read More: Who is Greg Simmonds in Slow Horses? Why Does He Get Hassan Ahmed Kidnapped?