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Under the Banner of Heaven: Episode 2 Recap

Scene from Under the Banner of Heaven episode 2 to illustrate recap

The premiere episode of Under the Banner of Heaven ended with Robin Lafferty arrested. Allen told stories of the past and warned Inspector Pyre against his own religion.

Under the Banner of Heaven is a crime series based on the nonfiction novel of the same name by Jon Krakauer. The story revolves around Inspector Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield), a devout LDS believer as he investigates the murder of a mother, Brenda Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and 15-month old daughter from a big, conservative LDS family.  Read the summary of the Episode 2 down below.

Streaming on Hulu

Under the Banner of Heaven- Episode 2 Summary & Recap

Some clues

The next morning, Inspector Jeb Pyre and Detective Taba talked to Brenda and Allen’s neighbour. According to the neighbour, four bearded man came by the house, proving Allen’s claims. Taba wanted to go to the media but Jeb wanted to wait for their boss to come back and make that call. The two agreed to put out an APB for the three bearded men while Detective Taba would contact the Forest Reserve. Lab results later on showed that Allen’s fingerprints are not at Robin’s and that Allen’s prints did not match the handprint on the front door and nursery door of his home.

Robin and Allen were kept and questioned separately. Jeb tried using church choir music and tugging at Robin’s Mormon faith while interrogating Robin. However, Robin’s view of religion is rather radical and quite absolute. In some ways, he believed that he was chosen by God and that his interpretation of God’s words is the absolute truth. Robin told Jeb that he ran from the police because the police ran after him, and that he had nothing to hide because he is a “good LDS man”.

Meanwhile, Allen admitted to having seen the bearded men before, where two of them were actually Dan and Robin. They were in an anti-tax organization called “Patriots of Freedom”.

Pressure to succeed

Scene from Under the Banner of Heaven to illustrate recap
Robin said that the government was in their way of doing God's work. Photo: Hulu

It turns out that back then, the Laffertys suffered some financial issues. Dan and Robin tried to learn some new chiropractic techniques that require them to pray as they treat patients, but this backfired and people stopped coming. Matilda, who had to take over the patient records and bills gets more stressed as they could no longer pay bills and taxes. She confided in Brenda, who advised her to listen to the Holy Spirit. 

This caused more problems when Matilda claimed to have heard the Holy Spirit telling her to ignore the taxes, resulting to men coming to seize their assets. Dan got extremely angry and believed that the tax should not be a hurdle for the LDS members as they are doing God’s work, but the the tax officer retaliated and sprayed him with mace. Brenda tried to ask Ron to help the family and also gave her opinion on recession, but Ron dismissed her views.

Brenda also tried to climb the success ladder on her own. She noticed her professor making advances on her and blackmailed him instead, so that she could read the news. The Lafferty brothers watched this and did not seem happy, but Allen likes her ambition. Brenda’s bishop dad also disapproved of Allen because he was too conservative, but Brenda said she already fell in love with him. Allen also admitted that he started seeing things the way Brenda’s family did.

Scene from Under the Banner of Heaven to illustrate recap
Brenda blackmailed the professor for locking himself with her in a room. Photo: Hulu

Parallel stories

The series flashbacked to the times of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. After moving to Kirtland, Ohio, the people killed a dog who killed a lamb despite Joseph Smith offering his watch for the dog’s life. Joseph became more adamant to build a city of Zion. Then one night, Joseph and Emma were dragged out of their houses and Joseph was accused of infidelity. The authorities threatened to cut Joseph’s tongue and penis, but Joseph declares a prophecy. Scared, they merely asked Joseph and the Mormons to leave. The next morning, the Mormons did as they were told but Bringam Young stole some weapons.

Meanwhile, Allen also told a story about his father and a dog which Ron received on his birthday. Unlike Joseph Smith who showed sympathy towards the dog, Ammon instead killed Ron’s dog in front of the Lafferty brothers because they had not done their chores. Ammon viewed it as a way to teach his sons “responsibility” and to show them their “rightful place”.

Scene from Under the Banner of Heaven episode 2 to illustrate recap
Ammon Lafferty killed Ron's dog with a metal bat. Photo: Hulu

Detective Taba

As all the interrogations happen, Detective Taba was lured into the woods by a young girl, but fell into an animal trap. He later got out and spotted a car and a house. He peaked through a hole on the house’s wall and there was a gun. It was a cliffhanger as to whether the detective survived. Meanwhile, the police officers and Jeb were on their way to the woods as Detective Taba had not contacted them by 12.30pm.

Additional Observations From Episode 2

  • As he was busy with the investigation, Jeb asked Sister Doren to help him with his daughter’s birthday party.
  • Allen revealed that he turned away from LDS because he couldn’t let his daughters be forced to obey men for the rest of their lives. This thought affected Jeb, but he brushed it off.

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