The fourth episode of FX on Hulu’s crime series ‘Under the Banner of Heaven,’ titled ‘Church and State,’ follows detectives Jeb Pyre and Bill Taba’s attempts to ensure that the Lows and Stowes are safe from the wrath of the unknown killers. Pyre and Taba arrive at the Lows’ house and realize that the house had been burglarized in the family’s absence. They come across a letter from Dianna, Ron’s wife, in the house, which changes the course of the investigation. The enthralling episode ends with the detectives trying to find the suspected murderer. If you are up for a magnified look at the same, let us be your ally! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Under the Banner of Heaven Episode 4 Recap
‘Church and State’ begins with Pyre and Taba trying to confirm that more murders haven’t been committed in their jurisdiction. While inspecting the burglarized home of the Lows, they find a letter sent by Dianna to Prophet Kimball concerning Ron’s anti-tax and anti-law actions. He contacts Kimball’s office for more information and comes to know that the letter didn’t create any consequences in the married life of Ron and Dianna. Pyre talks to Robin about the letter and realizes that Dan is the one who propagated anti-law ideas in the family.
Dan contested to become a sheriff to make sure that the law wouldn’t interfere with the covenants of the LDS Church members. Robin also tells Pyre about Dan’s wish to follow the ways and beliefs of FLDS, including polygamy. The second eldest Lafferty son even approached his wife Matilda to reveal his intentions to marry again, only to infuriate her. Dan, who got imprisoned for not following traffic laws, preached his fundamental beliefs to his brothers. As far as Dan was concerned, he wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who had married several times.
Even though Pyre and Taba gain a lot of information about the Laffertys’ fundamental beliefs, they fail to connect the same to Brenda and Erica’s murders due to the absence of a motive. Meanwhile, two witnesses inform the lead detective that a green station wagon was seen on the premises of the Lows’ house. Pyre confirms that the car belongs to Ron. The detective, who suspected Dan all along, starts to consider the possibility of Ron following the same beliefs as his younger brother. While interrogating Robin, Pyre asks him whether Ron was attracted to Dan’s beliefs before Dianna wrote the letter, to which he replies affirmatively.
Under the Banner of Heaven Episode 4 Ending: Is Ron the Killer? What is His Motive?
When Pyre and Taba come to know that Dan is a fundamentalist Mormon, the detectives start to seriously suspect him as the individual behind the murders. However, the witness testimonies that lead Pyre to Ron’s car make them realize that Ron can be as involved in the murder as the suspected Dan. When Robin confirms that his eldest brother has been following Dan’s extreme beliefs well before Dianna’s intervention, Pyre connects the same to the letter Brenda wrote for Dianna to theorize a motive. Even though the detectives are yet to determine whether Ron is the killer, his involvement in the murders is almost confirmed.
Although Ron initially believed that the laws of the land are to be followed, it didn’t take much time for him to align with Dan’s fundamentalist ideas and notions. By the time Dianna wrote a letter to Prophet Kimball, detailing the unlawful practices of the Laffertys, Ron had become someone who wanted to uphold the rules and regulations of the Heavenly Father over the laws made by men. As a husband, Ron knew that his wife wouldn’t be able to frame a letter to the higher authority without an accomplice. Since Brenda was the only one who has always challenged the beliefs of the Lafferty brothers, Ron may have identified her as a threat.
As a fundamentalist, Ron must have seen Brenda’s intervention of writing the letter as her stance against the reign of the Heavenly Father’s rules over the inferior laws of the country. Since Pyre and Taba perceive that Ron is a potential murderer, they may consider the possibility of him killing Brenda for challenging their beliefs and turning the higher authority of the prophet against him and Dan. They may also theorize that Erica was killed for her mother’s actions. Since Ron and Dan share the same beliefs, it may not be a surprise for Pyre and Taba if they discover that both brothers are involved in the murders.
Where are the Lows?
When Sam Lafferty reveals the existence of a “holy list” to Pyre and Taba, they understand that more murders can happen. Through Robin, they come to know that the Lows could be on the list, forcing the detectives to locate them. However, the detectives find the Lows’ house empty. The Stowes let the investigators know that they haven’t heard from the family for a week. The family, meanwhile, is having a vacation. Police officer Morris finds the Lows fishing in a river in the woods.
Since Morris finds them, Pyre and Taba are expected to finally confirm that there are no additional murders. The Low family is also expected to help Pyre and Taba concerning the involvement of Ron and Dan in Brenda and Erica’s murders. If the mother and daughter were killed for the former’s involvement with Ron’s wife Dianna, the Lows must have had a similar involvement in the brothers’ affairs, which may help the detectives to confirm the motive of the killer or killers.