The Pact review: Murder, Kate Bush and pork scratchings – 8 burning questions and theories after episode 2

It’s revealed that Jack was asphyxiated, but who is the Welsh strangler? What’s the story behind Tish’s bite? And what is Arwel hiding? We unpick the evidence...

By Alex Fletcher Published: 19 May 2021 - 10.09am
BBC Aneurin Barnard as villain and victim Jack in The Pact
Who killed Jack (Aneurin Barnard) in The Pact?

The Pact turned up the tension levels in episode 2 as it slowly peeled away the layers of the four women at the heart of this crime thriller.

We learned more about the (unhappy) worlds of Anna, Nancy, Louie and Cat and the significance of their bond and friendship – which is the strongest and happiest part of their respective lives.

The show also teased us with a walloping end-of-episode twist as Jack’s cause of death was revealed, soundtracked by Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work.

“Oh, darling, make it go away,” sings Bush on the famous track. It’s a sentiment that Anna will appreciate as she now faces her husband pursuing a murder investigation that is closing in on her and her friends.

Here are the eight burning questions and theories we have after The Pact episode 2…

1. Who strangled Jack?

The cast of The Pact filming in the woods BBC

It’s the big one. The police are now conducting a murder investigation and the decision of the women to keep silent and hope the whole thing would blow over now looks increasingly reckless.

If it had been a heart attack or overdose, the case might have gone cold. But with the revelation that Jack was asphyxiated, it feels like the walls are closing in on Anna, Nancy, Louie and Cat.

Nancy, Louie and Cat all had potential moments where they could have strangled Jack and we’ve seen enough suspicious behaviour from all three to suggest there could be plenty of motive as well. But the potential suspects lists stretches beyond the women in the pact…

2. Who is the blackmailer?

The lead female cast in The Pact BBC

The women agreed that the best course of action was to pay off the blackmailer with £5,000 and keep all their fingers crossed that they’ll disappear.

They didn’t even wait to identify the mysterious texter. What could possibly go wrong?

In our opinion, the most likely candidates are either Tish or Ade Edmdonson’s gloomy Richard.

3. What is on the pub CCTV tapes?

The police have got hold of footage from a pub near the woods, which they are hoping might show Jack on the night he died.

We know the footage won’t feature Jack as he was taken in the boot of the car, but the tapes might reveal something more important – the killer or killers on their way to Jack.

4. What is Arwel hiding?

He’s refused the police access to his son’s bedroom and belongings and has now started burning all the potential evidence, which might have given the police some fresh leads on motives for his death.

Are these the actions of a distraught parent or is Arwel a man with plenty to hide? The pub landlord, a former classmate of the brewery owner, said that there was more than meets the eye to cheery Arwel. And the anger that simmered as Max questioned him about his wife walking out on the family and his own recent departure to France suggests there is a lot more to be revealed about this father-and-son relationship.

5. What is Louie’s real relationship to Jack?

Eiry Thomas as Louie in The Pact BBC

Maybe it’s because we just watched Line of Duty season 6, but there’s something about the looks that Louie gave Jack and also the pain when she looked at his childhood birthday pictures that made us suspect something could be amiss.

Is it possible she wasn’t his auntie and was his real mother? That might also explain why Jack’s ‘mother’ walked out when he was only five years old.

And what did her comment about children being “toxic” mean? Was this genuine resentment and anger towards kids or a cover to mask her own pain?

6. Is Max really a nice guy?

Jason Hughes as Max in The Pact BBC

At the moment, the local friendly copper is about the only ‘normal’ character on the show and is apparently without any secrets.

But are we being lead up the path by the old romantic husband act? Who would really choose Toy Story over Trainspotting at the cinema? And if he doesn’t cotton on to the fact that something is wrong with his wife soon, he doesn’t deserve that promotion at work.

7. Is Tish a victim or a villain?

Flirting with Cat, lurking around graveyards, making suspicious phonecalls and carrying a scary-looking scar on her shoulder, there’s something big going on with Tish that hasn’t been revealed yet.

She’s openly admitted that she’s glad to see the back of Jack, but we’re more interested in the “ex” who refuses to admit that their relationship is over. And why the sudden change of personality that prompted her to rock up with cupcakes on Cat’s doorstep? Something fishy is going on.

8. Is DS Holland the coolest detective on TV?

Rakie Ayola as DS Holland in The Pact BBC

In episode 1, she gave us her verdict on owls. In episode 2 she was demanding pork scratchings. Rakie Ayola's cool and quirky detective has been stealing the show with her brief appearances so far. We can't wait to see more.

Watch The Pact on BBC One on Mondays and Tuesdays and on BBC iPlayer.

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