‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ Episode 4: Recap And Ending, Explained: What Happened To Bishop Low?


Robin Lafferty told Detective Jeb Pyre in “Under the Banner of Heaven” Episode 3 that there was a list of people who were now being perceived as a barrier by Dan Lafferty as they interfered in his religious research. Dan was not only against the federal laws but had also started questioning the contemporary teachings of the Church. He believed that the original commandments of the heavenly father were a bit different from what was being preached today. Robin had taken the names of two families who he believed were under threat: the Lows and Stowes. Now, these were some influential people of society who were serving as Stake Presidents and Bishops. Jeb Pyre had realized that it was not just a murder. These people were waging war on humanity itself. It was a battle of ideologies. Their actions were convulsing the society and were ousting the people of their beliefs. Jeb Pyre himself had started to question whatever he had believed to be true until then. He didn’t know whom to believe. He was seeing the dark side of people whom he had put on a high pedestal. Maybe he had forgotten that even when an individual was being called a prophet, he was still a human at the end of the day. Yes, there is a sanctity to the position that they hold, but that doesn’t make them otherworldly. Be it a Bishop or a Stake President, everybody has their own perceptions, and somewhere it influences them to act in a certain manner. As a matter of fact, it is true that they are serving the greater good, but deep down, their actions are not totally independent of their own agendas. These spiritual leaders are like the shepherds who have nothing but bona fide intentions for the herd, but still they lead the herd where they wish to, as they believe that if the sheep are left unchecked, then it wouldn’t serve its purpose and be lost. But what we don’t realize is that the sheep never fulfils its own purpose per se but that of the shepherd, who misunderstands his own perceptions to be the universal truth.

Who Was Dianna Lafferty Referring To In Her Letter? Did Ron Agree To Dan’s Beliefs?

Jeb Pyre and Bill Tada went to visit Bishop Low’s residence. They saw that the porch lights were off, and the house was in a messy state, as if someone had vandalized it. The detectives didn’t find anyone at the residence, and they hoped that the family was not kidnapped by the Laffertys but had gotten out before anything could have happened. Jeb and Bill are relieved to find out that Lafferty Stake President, Mr. Stowe, and his wife were still alive, as Robin had hinted that their names too were on the hit list.

In “Under the Banner of Heaven,” Episode 4, the Stowes told Bill that they hadn’t heard from the Low family for a week. Jeb assigns a young police official named Morris to the case and asks him to start looking for more evidence. Jeb had found a letter that was written by Dianna, Ron’s wife, to the President of their Church, as she was worried about the questionable behavior of the Lafferty brothers. Jeb had a theory in mind. He thought that Dianna might not have felt comfortable asking her husband to go against his own brother, or maybe she thought that Dan was too dominant to listen to anybody else, except the Prophet himself.  That is why she would have felt that if the President intervened, then they might be able to put an end to all the questionable actions of Dan Lafferty. Though, in all probability, what Jeb was proposing seemed to be true, it still needed to be corroborated with proper evidence.

Jeb got in touch with the President’s office and got to know that the case of Dianna Lafferty was being handled by Leconte Bascom and Bishop Low. Now, as the Bishop was still missing, Jeb scheduled a meeting with Leconte Bascom. Ron had contacted Bascom, as he wanted to get a loan approved. Bascom recalls that Ron was angry with his brother Dan because it had led his business to incur huge losses and moreover his loan was not getting approved due to the anti-government stance of his brother. Dan had started his anti-government movement while he was contesting the election for the post of Sheriff and was urging every citizen to stop paying taxes. On being asked whether Ron was angry with his wife Dianna for informing the authorities about his brother Dan, Bascom replied that Ron shared an amicable relationship with his wife and was only angry at his brother. But this was not completely true. Bascom was hiding facts because he had been told by the Church to do so, which led to Jeb believing in a distorted timeline of events. 

Dan’s father, Ammon Lafferty, had a problem with him running for the election. He had told Ron to convince Dan and put some sense into him. He felt that Dan was indulging in immoral acts.  But the opposite happened. Ron started to buy into the fundamentalist beliefs of Dan. He was becoming convinced every passing day that what the Church was propagating was a fabricated truth. The events of “Under the Banner of Heaven” Episode 4 lead us to a revelation. Pyre, through Robin’s and Allen’s testimonies, realizes all of a sudden that Dianna was never referring to Dan in her letter but to her own husband, Ron Lafferty. He knew that Dianna’s life was in danger. He once again calls Bascom back and warns him about the severe implications of lying to the law enforcement agencies, and it is then he discloses that Ron was furious with Dianna as he himself was slowly transforming into a fundamentalist.

‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ Episode 4: Ending Explained – Why Did The Chief Want Pyre To Lie At The Press Conference? Is Bishop Low Dead Or Alive?

In “Under the Banner of Heaven,” Episode 4, we see that the Chief came back and took control of things, as he had realized that the matter had become too serious and had garnered a lot of media attention. He knew that Dan had been meeting a lot of fundamentalists and questioning the preaching’s of the present-day Church. He was falsifying revelations and advocating the fact that polygamy was a significant part of salvation. The federal laws didn’t allow polygamy, and neither did the Church. But Dan was soaked entirely in his fanatic beliefs. He often quoted verses from The Peace Maker, a 2-chapter pamphlet written by Udney Hey Jacob and printed by the prophet Joseph Smith himself. He argues with his wife,  that he had the divine authenticity of having more than one wife.

Jeb knew that polygamy might be the first step towards fundamentalist Mormonism, but it led to a graver path of blood atonement. The Chief told Jeb to lie at the press conference and tell the people that the crimes didn’t have anything to do with Mormon fundamentalists. He was of the opinion that the people couldn’t differentiate between the fundamentalist and non-extremist groups and that the truth would tarnish the image of the whole Mormon community. In a way, he was right, as there is enough precedent in contemporary times where we see how a sect or a religion is stereotypically branded. The Church was trying hard to suppress the matter, because they knew that if it got public, it would put the Church and its officials in a very embarrassing situation. When Ortan Ballard, President of Robin’s stake, came to convince Jeb to release him, he reiterated the same thing and asked Jeb to put his faith in the priesthood, and not question the Heavenly father. 

Jeb tried his best to adhere to the commands of his Chief, but his conscience didn’t allow him to do so. He clarified in front of the media that the investigation had led to a few discoveries that pointed towards the involvement of the fundamentalist faction of the community. 

Morris, who had been sent by Jeb Pyre to look for Bishop Low, eventually found him. He was trying to find Fern Lake when a stranger came and led him towards Bishop Low, who was fishing in the lake. The Bishop was still alive, and that in all probability meant that nobody else on Dan’s list had been harmed yet.

See More: ‘Under The Banner Of Heaven’ Episode 5: Recap And Ending, Explained – Who Was Bernard Brady?

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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