Under the Banner of Heaven is a crime series creted by Dustin Lance Black 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.
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Under the Banner of Heaven- Episode 7 Summary & Recap
Prophet Onias tells some
Jeb was called that night to assist Detective Taba with Onias. At the dream mines, Onias told Taba that he initially believed Ron was the one, but grew more concerned. Ron forced Matilda to reveal who helped Dianna leave town and Matilda had to name Brenda, Bishop Low and the Stokes. When Jeb arrived, Onias continued his story.
Soon, Ron came up with the list of people to be removed from the world. Although Onias tried to disagree, Dan and some of Ron’s brothers supported Ron and said the list was the word of God. However, Ron hit a bit of financial bump when Robin who was tasked to bet money on horses in Nevada lost it all on another horse.
When asked about Dianna, Onias revealed that Ron read his revelation to Dianna over phone. Ron knew Dianna was in Florida because her son sent a letter with a return address. However, Onias believed that Dianna is dead because she was the first name on the list, before Brenda. After this, Detective Taba got Dianna’s address in Florida through some investigative work and got the help of Detective Lopez in Florida to look for Dianna.
The church tries to intervene again
Stake President Ballard appeared in the police station again, when Jeb and Detective Taba were questioning Allen about Dianna. President Ballard tried to connect with Taba, saying that the Mormons and Paiute fought together in 1857, but the detective dismissed it, saying he heard a different version of the story. The president then implored Jeb to put the reputation of the church first. Hearing this, Allen got angry and accused Ballard for putting the church reputation before justice for Brenda and Erica. Ballard asked Jeb to tell Allen to mind his tongue, but Jeb kept quiet. Getting the hint, Ballard left after shaking dust of his feet as a sign of condemnation for Jeb and Allen.
Jeb was shaken by the condemnation from a church leader, but Allen told him of the times when he came to separate himself from church. He was with Brenda and Erica when he realized that he belonged to his wife right there and then, and not to any church promising an eternity with her.
After that, Jacob Lafferty came to the police station to surrender himself after hearing the news about Brenda. Jacob loved Brenda as she treated him well. Jacob also handed over Dan’s journal to Jeb.
Ricky Knapps and Chip Carnes
In Dan’s journal, it was revealed that Dan and Ron went to Reno after the School of Prophets disbanded. They found a few more converts, a lady named Sandy, Chip Carnes and Ricky Knapps. Jeb later found out that Dianna was last seen four days ago on CCTV- the day of Brenda’s murder. Therefore, Onias might be wrong and Dianna might still be alive. Jeb then went home to pack for Florida despite Becca’s disapproval that he won’t be bearing his testimony.
At the station, Detective Taba found out that Ron’s car was parked outside Chip Carnes’s brother’s house is Wyoming so both detectives head there instead. There, they found Chip and Ricky and Jeb and Taba interrogated them separately. Both Ricky and Chip said Dan and Ron were headed to Reno to make some quick cash since they were out of funds.
Day of murder
Ricky and Chip also told the detectives about the day of the murder. Ron tried knocking on Brenda’s door but Brenda was too afraid to answer and answered a call from Allen instead. So, Ron and Dan drove away. The two Lafferty brothers ended up arguing when Dan claimed that he can hear Heavenly Father too, and believed that he himself is the One Mighty and Strong. Ron lost it in the car. They eventually headed back to Brenda’s home and Dan forced himself in. He punched and held Brenda and later sliced Brenda’s throat and Ron used a vacuum cord to “ensured she’s dead”. Dan then killed Erica as well. The brothers then tried attacking Bishop Low and since his family was not around, they messed up the house. They then stopped after missing the turn to the third house and took it as a sign.
After this, Jeb and Taba headed out to find the murder weapon where Ricky said it would be. Jeb struggled with an internal conflict as Ricky and Chip were atheists and in his whole life, he was taught that atheists are there to lead them astray. But, Taba told him that they have nothing to lose since they were atheist. Taba eventually found the weapon. On top of this, Taba told Jeb that his president Ballard was lying. The Mormons wanted help from the Paiute to attack a wealthy wagon train but wanted to put the blame on the Paiutes. When the Paiute found out about this, they fled but the Mormons continued to slaughter man and women dressed as Paiute.
Thinking about the Mormon scriptures, Jeb eventually believed that Ricky and Chip had to be telling the truth. Ron and Dan had to stay in Reno because there can only be one of God’s Mighty and Strong. Therefore, Ron and Dan would have to each try to kill the other to be the only messenger of God.
The Florida police eventually found Dianna and her children and kept them in custody. However, Dianna escaped and drove to Utah. She broke into Ron’s mother’s home and found Matilda there. She convinced Matilda that her children is okay and got Matilda to escape with her. In a petrol station, the two Lafferty wives were attacked by Sam Lafferty. Sam was released from jail to be placed under President Ballard’s care. Sam pinned Matilda down and Dianna shouted for help. However, in a town full of Mormons who lived patriarchal lives, no one helped her.
Dianna then mustered her courage to yell at Sam for his behaviour and implored Matilda to break free and to show Sam that she’s a strong woman. Hearing this, Matilda fought back and broke free. Sam was shocked by what happened. Dianna then asked Sam’s wife Sara, who was waiting in the car to follow them. But, Sam got scared and drove him and his wife away. Dianna called shame on all the public bystanders who did not bother to help them.
The two women drove out of the Utah border and Matilda thanked Dianna.
Jeb and Taba headed to a Reno casino where CCTV footage caught Ron and Dan gambling. They also found Sandy and her mannerisms indicated that she was hiding someone backstage. Jeb and Taba then led an operation in the casino to find Ron and Dan. They look Sandy into custody and Sandy claimed she was pregnant, presumably by either one of the men. Meanwhile, Ron and Dan were hiding in the bathroom. Ron told Dan that Heavenly Father spoke to him and asked him to erase Dan as Dan was pretending to be a prophet. Dan asked Ron to pray on it, but Ron used this opportunity to strangle Ron with a belt.
Soon, Jeb eventually arrived to break the bathroom door and stopped Ron. Dan was still alive. Ron and Dan were captured, but showed no repentance for their actions on camera.
Before Jeb head home to Utah, Detective Taba who knew about Jeb’s struggle with faith told him a personal anecdote. Taba quoted a prayer and said he still finds solace in these prayers because they reminded him of home, even though they don’t hold any power over him any more. After this, Jeb seemed to find a version of faith that worked for him. He went home to find Becca and his children still there and they say a prayer. Jeb also accompanied his mom and told her that he’s grateful to be with her in the moment.