Under the Banner of Heaven Episode 5 Recap and Ending, Explained

Image Credit: Michelle Faye/FX

After suspecting Ron’s involvement in Brenda and Erica’s murders, detectives Jeb Pyre and Bill Taba try to find him in the fifth episode of FX on Hulu’s crime series ‘Under the Banner of Heaven.’ The episode, titled ‘One Mighty and Strong,’ begins with Pyre and Bill finding out that Sam Lafferty wasn’t involved in the murders. During the interrogation, Sam reveals the name of a group, which leads the detectives to know more about Ron’s past. They encounter an acquaintance of the Laffertys, who sheds light on the involvement of faith in the crimes. Since the episode ends with an astounding discovery, let us decode its nuances for you! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Under the Banner of Heaven Episode 5 Recap

‘One Mighty and Strong’ begins with Pyre and Bill finding out that the blood found on Sam’s clothes isn’t Brenda or Erica’s but a squirrel’s. During the interrogation, Sam mentions the School of the Prophets. Although he refrains from explaining what it is, Robin directs Pyre and Bill to Bernard Brady, another member of the group. The detectives also talk to the Lows, who inform them that Dan and Ron were excommunicated from the LDS Church. As per Low, Dan wanted to marry his stepdaughter to practice polygamy, which paved the way for his ex-communication. It was followed by Ron’s, especially after he threatened Bishop Low for interfering in his family’s affairs.

Image Credit: Michelle Faye/FX

Bill and Pyre arrive at Brady’s house with a search warrant. Brady and his wife let the detectives know that Ron used to physically attack his wife Dianna. During the search of the house, a police officer finds a letter authorized by Brady. Pyre opens the same and comes across a list of names of people, who are deemed as the ones who deserve “eternal consequences.” Brady agrees to help the detective in return for not letting his wife know about the letter. He informs them about an old house referred to as “the farm,” used by Ron and his brothers. Pyre and Bill go to the house to find any evidence connecting Ron to the murders.

Under the Banner of Heaven Episode 5 Ending: What is Ron’s Yellow Note About? Why Did He Leave it at the Farm?

While searching the farm, Pyre comes across a shirt in a cupboard, with two pieces of paper inside the pocket. He picks up the papers and goes through the same. On a yellow note, Pyre notices a list of names. The detective eventually comes to know that the shirt and papers belong to Ron. The yellow note is “the holy list” Sam mentions during his interrogation. The list comprises the names of people who were considered obstacles in God’s path. Since Pyre confirms that the list belongs to Ron, he realizes that the eldest Lafferty son played a principal part in the murders.

Image Credit: Michelle Faye/FX

Dan’s fundamentalist beliefs influenced Ron to think that they are the true believers of the Heavenly Father. When the actions of the brothers, which range from leaning towards polygamy to anti-law practices, paved the way for their ex-communications, Ron began to think that the people who are against him are against the fundamental beliefs of their faith. Ron believes that everyone else, whether it be the church officials or Brenda, is compromising on their faith by invalidating his beliefs, which might have led him to compose the list.

Pyre believes that Ron left the list intentionally at the farm for the officials to find it. After possibly committing the crimes in the name of God, Ron may want to be revered by his community as the “true prophet” of the Heavenly Father. He likely is expecting the world to know that he has fulfilled God’s wishes by possibly committing the murders when the LDS Church officials were forgetting the fundamentals of the faith in his eyes. As Pyre notes, Ron may have left the list for the world to proclaim him as the modern time’s Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith.

How Did Joseph Smith Die? What is the Significance of His Death?

When Nauvoo Expositor published its first issue, critical of Joseph Smith, the prophet and his associates deemed the newspaper as against their beliefs. Smith and others paved the way for the destruction of the newspaper’s printing press. As per Allen, some of Smith’s followers, who were against Emma’s intervention in the affairs of their faiths, tricked him to surrender to the officials for destroying the press. After the surrender, he and his followers were attacked by an armed mob. While he was under custody, several armed men tried to barge into his room to kill him. Smith tried to escape through the window but got shot, only to fall to the ground. He got shot again and killed.

Allen tells Pyre that Smith was tricked to surrender for him to not seek the opinion of Emma anymore. He adds that other leaders of the faith were wondering whether Emma’s stand against polygamy would influence Smith as well. When Smith got killed, Brigham Young became the next president, who practiced polygamy. In the same way, Pyre thinks that Ron may have killed Brenda and Erica and targeted the Lows and Stowes to establish himself as his time’s Brigham Young, to follow the fundamentalist beliefs of his faith including polygamy.

Read More: When and Where is Under the Banner of Heaven Set?