Living in the realm of British detective series like Broadchurch, The Fall, and Grantchester with the secretive sisterhood of Big Little Lies, The Pact offers an engaging mystery strengthened by the depth of its four protagonists. Created by Pete McTighe and originally aired on BBC One, the six-part series is full of entertaining twists and turns that remain rooted in reality thanks to the authentic performances of the series’ leads.
The Pact follows four friends Anna (Laura Fraser), Nancy (Julie Hesmondhalgh), Cat (Heledd Gwynn), and Louie (Eiry Thomas) who all work together at a South Wales brewery owned by Louie’s family. Things get complicated when a company party presents the opportunity to pull a prank on the brewery’s terrible boss, Jack, universally despised for his cruelty and selfishness. The friends abduct him, take a few compromising photos, and leave him intoxicated, but very much alive, in the woods. Their consciences get the better of them and when they return to check on him, it turns out he’s now dead.
Like many murder mysteries, the set-up is a bit far-fetched, but once you get past the unlikelihood of some of the events that surround Jack’s death, the story is highly engaging as the four friends vow to keep each other safe. Rather than following detectives – including Anna’s husband Max – searching for the killer, the plot focuses on the four friends as they each struggle under a cloud of suspicion and guilt due to their actions leading up to the death. Though they are challenged by betrayals, secrets, and family loyalties, the group sticks together even as the surprising guilty party is revealed.
“If you want to forget your family, fine, do it. Choose a new one. Choose us,” Cat says to Louie in the finale.
While a murder mystery drives the plot of The Pact, the power of friendship and importance of the family we choose is at its heart.
The Pact is available to watch in the U.S. on Sundance Now and AMC+.