Louie (EIRY THOMAS), Anna (LAURA FRASER), Nancy (JULIE HESMONDHALGH), Cat (HELEDD GWYN)

The Pact finale: why viewers were left sobbing over the BBC crime drama’s emotional final twist

Posted by for TV

Warning: this article contains spoilers for the concluding episode of BBC One’s The Pact

Let’s face it; The Pact has had us gripped from the get-go – and, while some BBC crime dramas don’t always stick the landing (naming no names, Line Of Duty), last night’s big finale has been praised by tearful viewers up and down the country.

Set in mid-Wales, the series has, over six addictive episodes, explored the overwhelmingly suspicious circumstances surrounding the murder of young brewery boss Jack Evans (Aneurin Barnard). A murder which, this writer hastens to add, has seen four of Jack’s employees – Anna (Laura Fraser), Nancy (Julie Hesmondhalgh), Louie (Eiry Thomas), and Cat (Heledd Gwynn) – drawn into a fragile pact of silence.

Why? Well, because their cruel boss was found dead after the women had drunkenly bundled him into a car and dumped him in the woods as a prank.

For almost the entire series, we assumed that one of the four friends had been the one to sneak back into the forest and end Jack’s life. 

The truth, though, caught us all thoroughly off-guard.

In The Pact’s big finale, it was confirmed that Anna’s daughter, Tamsin (Gabrielle Creevy), had fallen pregnant with Jack’s baby after a one-night stand. And so, when she and her brother, Ryan (Aled ap Steffan), found Jack alone among the trees, it wasn’t long before things became heated.

Jack, true to form, demanded that she have an abortion, but Tamsin told him that she wanted to keep her unborn baby. 

Cue the brewery boss absolutely losing his cool and threatening to make her life, and that of her baby, a living hell – and a frightened Tamsin suffocating him with a plastic bag. 

The Pact: D.S. Holland (RAKIE AYOLA), Max (JASON HUGHES)
The Pact has delivered twist after twist after twist.

Of course, when Anna learned what had really happened in the woods, she quickly determined that there was only one course of action; she would protect her daughter by taking the blame for Jack’s death. 

However, she was beaten to the post by her best friend Nancy, who insisted to police that she had a) murdered Jack, and b) acted alone.

Later, Nancy explained to Anna that she had taken the fall as a means of atoning for her own sins; she had taken to blackmailing friends and colleagues after her husband, Richard, ran up some pretty hefty gambling debts.

The bit that really got viewers blubbing, though, was when Nancy gently reminded Anna that Tamsin is a tenacious young woman with her whole life ahead of her – and that, with a new baby on the way, she’s desperately going to need her mum around.

“Bloody hell, I’m crying at #ThePact” one fan confessed.

“Omg what emotions. Superb acting in #ThePact,” another wrote.

Many more piled praise on the series, with one writing: “#ThePact has been utterly brilliant. One of the most compelling shows I’ve seen, such a great cast and cleverly plotted right to the end.”

Another raved: “#ThePact has to be hands down the best drama i have ever watched, amazing!! I loved it. Love love love!”

“That’s some ending, Julie Hesmondhalgh is outstanding #ThePact,” one more wrote.

Another wrote: “Awww Nancy [is] the ultimate friend… what a woman! #ThePact.”

Elsewhere, another viewer said: “Great final episode. #ThePact has been a triumph.”

One more wrote: “Long time since I’ve enjoyed a series as much. #ThePact Brilliant performances from the whole cast. Loved it!”

Our favourite reaction to the finale, though, kept things short, sweet, and to the point.

“#ThePact has been an amazing piece of drama from start to finish,” it read.

Hear hear! Fingers crossed there’s a seasonm two, eh?

All six episodes of The Pact are now available for streaming on BBC iPlayer.

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: BBC

Share this article

Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

Recommended by Kayleigh Dray