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'Keeping the Faith' is Worth Investigating
May 7, 2018  | By David Hinckley
 

Eve Myles sells the new Brit mystery drama Keeping Faith.

Keeping Faith, whose eight-episode first season becomes available Monday on the streaming service Acorn, echoes other recent TV dramas in having Myles’s Faith Howells (top) question how well she really knows the person she always assumed she knows best.

Evan Howells (Bradley Freegard, right), Faith’s husband and fellow solicitor in the family law firm for which they both work, heads off one morning and seems to have vanished into the ether of the Welsh countryside. 

As it slowly becomes clear he’s missing and didn’t just decide to take the boat for a spin on a nice day, word spreads through the small fictional town of Abercorran. 

Faith’s best friend Lisa Connors (Catherine Ayers) gets to ask some of the foundational questions, like whether Faith and Evan had been having problems lately. 

Faith’s mother-in-law Marion (Rhian Morgan) and father-in-law Tom (Aneirin Hughes) quickly offer support, along with the first incipient hints that Evan may have had secrets. 

By the end of the first day, Faith has found a few of those indications herself, leading her to realize there could be a serious problem. At the same time she also tries to shield their children – daughters maybe 12 and 7 plus an infant son – from the potential trauma of their Dad vanishing. 

The complexity of the situation multiplies because even though Faith and Evan apparently had a few standard marital and parenting issues, the little we see of them together before he drives away suggests they have an easy and happy relationship.

He also seems to be the proverbial great Dad, joking with the kids and patiently reading them a bedtime story for probably the two hundreth time. 

While the whole community seemingly knows him that way, including his policeman brother-in-law Terry Price (Matthew Gravelle), secrets don’t stay secrets forever under these strained circumstances in a small village. 

That’s good in the sense that Faith seems to keep finding little scraps of information or little hints that can point her in new directions. It also means she has to deal with those who have their own opinions of the Howells family.

That includes Detective Susan Williams (Eiry Thomas, right), who is no fan of Faith’s and is in a position to make things difficult. It also includes several past and present clients of Faith’s and Evan’s.

Good for the drama and bad for Faith, she doesn’t have time for any of this. As the series begins she’s still on maternity leave, which abruptly ends when Evan blows off an important client meeting and Faith has to step in. 

Working, mothering the kids and hunting for Evan gives her three jobs, really, and it doesn’t help that her whole life threatens to become disoriented because of what she’s learning, or hearing, about Evan.

While there’s an element of Big Little Liesin Keeping Faith,that’s mostly in the broader sense. Where Big Little Lies was an ensemble piece, Keeping Faithfocuses relentlessly on Myles, including frequent close-ups of her face at emotional moments. 

Don’t expect a quick resolution here. Keeping Faithhas already been renewed for a second season. And that’s okay. Watching Myles, you’re in no hurry for it to end.

 
 
 
 
 
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