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Under the Banner of Heaven: Episode 5 Recap

Scene from Under the Banner of Heaven episode 5 to illustrate recap

The previous episode ended with Jeb telling the press that LDS fundamentalists could be tied to the case and Morris finding Bishop Low in the mountains. 

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.  

Streaming on Hulu

Under the Banner of Heaven- Episode 5 Summary & Recap

School of Prophets

Lab results indicated that the blood on Sam belongs to that of a squirrel. When Jeb tested him on fake evidence, he found out that Sam was only pretending to be Brenda’s killer to protect someone, but Jeb saw through it. During Sam’s maniac session, he mentioned the School of Prophets. Jeb then questioned Robin on the School of Prophets and Robin gave him the names of two people he knew were involved- Bernard Brady and Onias.


Bill and Jeb then headed over to the Lows to question them on how they got onto the murder list. Although initially reluctant. they revealed that Dan and Ron Lafferty had both been ex-communicated from the church. Bishop Low revealed that Dan wanted to practice polygamy. In order to get his 3 wives, he planned to marrying his two stepdaughters, aged 12 and 14. Matilda was shocked and tried to stop him but once again, Dan used his power as the man of the household to make the final decision. 

As Dan decided to consummate his marriage the next day, Matilda immediately gave her daughters some tools so that they could run away at night. Meanwhile, she distracted Dan by having sex with him. Her daughters escaped to the church and told them what happened. As a result, Dan was ex-communicated. Unfortunately, the church did not put the children in Child Services and so, the two of them ran away again and were now no where to be found.

After hearing the news about Dan, Ron assumed that his brother was ex-communicated due to political beliefs and threatened Bishop Low. Brenda, who heard about acts of violence on Dianna implored her sister in law to seek help.

Scene from Under the Banner of Heaven episode 5 to illustrate recap
Matilda barged into the room when Dan was trying to show Cara some adjustments on her Mormon undergarments. Photo: Hulu

Bernard Brady

It turns out that Bernard Brady is at home, and so Jen and Bill headed over there too to question him. At first , Bernard and his wife only admitted to helping Ron when he was involved in domestic violence. However, when his wife went to the kitchen and when Jeb found a letter from Bernard to himself mentioning eradicating people in a list, Bernard came clean. He told Jeb and Bill that he was involved in the School of Prophets which preached fundamentalist beliefs. Bernard also revealed that the group used to hide out in the family farm house, but Jeb got him to come with them to help look for the place and identify people involved.

Back at the police station, Allen remembered the farm house and how to get there, but could not remember the exact address.

Lafferty farm house

That night, Bill and Jeb headed towards the Lafferty farm house with the help of Allen and Bernard. During the trip, Bernard revealed that Ron defended Dan’s political agenda in church. But in the end, Ron got ex-communicated for threatening his bishop and for domestic violence. After the ex-communication, Ron went home trying to still play the fun dad role. However, his children was afraid of him and kept hiding. His daughter even cut his Mormon undergarments.

Scene from Under the Banner of Heaven to illustrate recap
Dianna suggested to Ron that they go to therapy, but Ron ended up punching her. Photo: Hulu

In the morning, they reached the farm house and found some Canadian women in the house without food, electricity or water. Apparently, Prophet Onias brought them there. In the cupboard of the house was Ron’s jacket and in the pocket of the Jacket was a piece of paper with the list of people the group wanted to perform blood atonement on.

One mighty and strong

On the way back, Allen could not believe that his brother wrote the list and cried a little. Seeing Allen emotional, Bernard kept more information until later. He later told Jeb that after Ron found out about his ex-communication, he went back to his parent’s home. Ron’s mother tried to calm Ron down by calling him “the head of the family” and the “one strong and mighty”. That brooded an ego in Ron and so when Ron visited his bed-ridden father, Ron pointed out what his father had done to him. When Ammon asked for a doctor, Ron ignored him and poured all the water away, presumably killing him. 

This is seen as a parallel story to Brigham Young’s rise to power after Joseph Smith was killed. According to Bernard, Ron proudly told all these to Bernard himself.

Scene from Under the Banner of Heaven to illustrate recap
Ron took the water away when Ammon reached for some. Photo: Hulu

Additional Observations From Episode 5

  • We started seeing Jeb taking a different stance now. When Morris informed him that Heavenly Father led him to Bishop Low, Jeb told him that he was a good cop and followed the clues as expected of him. Jeb credited Morris’s detective skills rather than God for Morris’s success.
  • Bishop Young invited Jeb’s family to stay over at his place one night. Although Jeb let Becca and his kids stay there, he was uncomfortable at the message the bishop was sending by bringing his family there.

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