‘Under The Banner Of Heaven’ Episode 6: Recap & Ending, Explained – Was Onias Involved In Brenda’s Murder?


Episode 6 of the series “Under The Banner Of Heaven” takes us a step closer to solving the mystery and finding the killers of Brenda and Erica. Jeb and Bill were working tirelessly to find the culprits and stop any further damage. They had a feeling that, apart from Brenda, even Dianna was on the hit list of Ron Lafferty, and that he might get to her before they did. With more revelations made by Bernard Brady, Jeb and Bill continue their quest to find the truth.

Did “Quorum Of 70” Grant Brenda A Divorce? Has Ron Lafferty Already Found Dianna? 

Brenda was worried about the health of her daughter Erica. In “Under the Banner of Heaven,” Episode 6, we saw that she had been pleading with Allen for days now to take them to a pediatrician. But Allen was too involved with his brothers and was trying to find some sense and truth in the direction they wanted to go. One day, when Allen came back from meeting his brothers, Brenda just lost her patience with the injudicious actions of his elder brothers and questioned his priorities in life. She didn’t want him to be excommunicated from the church like Ron and Dan. The argument between the two becomes heated, and Allen loses his control and hits Brenda, maybe for the very first time. Brenda was taken aback. She called her father, Jim Wright, and sister, Betty Wright, to take her to the doctor’s. Brenda’s father has a very important discussion with Allen once the girls leave for the doctor’s. He questions the ways and means of his brothers. For the first time in “Under the Banner of Heaven,” you hear somebody talking logically and making sense. He tells Allen that living precisely as Joseph Smith used to was a foolish endeavor. What Dan and Ron did not understand was a simple fact that times had changed. And with changing times, it was the duty of the church to evolve too. The beliefs that Joseph Smith might have held were in correspondence with the times he lived in. Jim says that it was not necessary that everything he said held relevance in contemporary times. But logic and prudence were things that were not understood by fundamentalists. They wanted the Mormon community to tread on a regressive path so that they could practice polygamy and devoid every woman from having the basic constitutional and human rights. They wanted their wives to be their slaves and obey them like loyal servants would.

Jeb Pyre meets Jim and Betty and urges them to provide him with the letters that Brenda had written to them in her last days. Jeb had a feeling that he might find something of value there. Jeb came to know that Brenda had met the quorum of Seventy, a priesthood office of the LDS church. They had tried to reason with Allen too, but didn’t succeed in changing his perception. The quorum knew that Brenda’s life was in danger; they knew that she had become an obstacle; and that Ron and Dan would do anything to remove her from their path. Brenda appeals to the quorum to let her divorce her husband, as she felt that it was just going to get worse. But divorcing one’s husband was against the commandments of the Lord, even if it meant getting abused by him. The logic was beyond the comprehension of any prudent man, but it made complete sense to these men who claimed to be the representatives of God. They told her to not abandon her husband and be the shepherd who guides the Lafferty family back on track. What they did, in an actual sense, was to throw an innocent girl into a conflagration and ask her to stop it without any water or sand. Brenda tried doing that. She thought if some sense would prevail in the wives of the Lafferty brothers, then they might be forced to abandon their fundamentalist approach. But the opposite happened. Dan sent his wife, Matilda, to Brenda’s home and threatened to kill her. Dianna was sent to a safe house, with the help of Bishop Low. She was scared for Brenda and told her to leave as soon as possible. But Brenda still had hope that she could put an end to the madness of the Lafferty brothers.

Bishop Low had said that Brenda was the only one who knew where Dianna was headed, and Jeb Pyre had a feeling that Ron and Dan, before killing Brenda, would have coerced her to tell them about the whereabouts of Dianna. The probability of that happening made a lot of sense. Ron was still missing and the detectives didn’t have proof to corroborate their theory, but with no information about Dianna, it was pretty much possible that Ron would have found and killed her. Though the prudent minds of Jeb and Bill Tada were pointing towards the grave prospect, they wanted to be more hopeful. They wished that Dianna was still safe, and the brothers didn’t know where she lived.

Who Did “School Of Prophet” Choose To Be “The One”? What Was The Dream Mine?

Ron Lafferty let his father die by not providing him with proper medical care. It was no less than an act of murder. But Bernard Brady was somehow perceiving it as a commandment by the Almighty, and acquitting Ron of his wrongdoings. It was a very convenient way of doing whatever you wanted, and then getting rid of any liability by interpreting religious scripture in a manner that saved your skin. That is what each and every member of the “School of the Prophet” was doing. It was very evident that they wanted to validate their actions by means of religion. All they needed was just a few words from the religious scripture that could be molded somehow, to support their cause. The meaning of faith was highly misunderstood by these fundamentalist Mormons. Ron and Dan Lafferty were the kinds of fanatics who wanted the whole world to comply with their personal opinions, which they mistook as faith.

Ron Lafferty was on what he called, “His Journey of Truth.” He went to meet John Bryant, who was the leader of a polygamous fundamentalist sect of Mormonism. Ron experiences an animated restlessness as soon as he sees the settlement in Oregon that John Bryant has created. Ron got his awakening at the settlement. John not only practiced polygamy but also indulged in same-sex relationships and the consumption of wine, which were all prohibited by Mormonism. Meeting John Bryant was just the beginning for Ron. He came back to his home to find out that Prophet “Bob” Onias had taken charge of the proceedings. Ron feels a little insecure with the authority that Onias is exercising in his own house. But Onias didn’t want to be a leader. In fact, his whole motive was to guide Ron toward it. Onias was sending warnings to all the apostles, bishops, and stake presidents to restore polygamy and restrict the priesthood to only white men. According to Onias, Satan had found the black race and that, with changing times, people had changed the truth according to their whims and fancies. He was a kingmaker of sorts, but Ron saw him as a threat to his position. Onias asked everybody to accompany him to his secret mine, but Ron insisted that only the two of them would go first.

Onias called it the Dream Mine. It was a product of a bishop’s revelation. Almost a 100 years back a  bishop had a dream where he saw Angel Moroni, a latter-day saint who wanted to restore the gospel. The bishop flew with him in his dream, 1000 feet below the earth and found a treasure. Now, according to Onias, he had got a revelation where the Lord had commanded him to build a city of refuge beneath the mine. He told Ron that the mine would not yield any treasure until “The One” appeared there. Ron Lafferty somewhere thought that John Bryant was the leader, as he had proclaimed himself to be. But Onias believes that Ron is “The One”. Onias told Ron that he would teach him to listen to the voice of God.

Ron had got a personal revelation from the Lord. According to that revelation, if Dianna repented her actions, then Ron would take her back again and even bless her, but if she abstained from doing so, then she would have to be removed from his path. It clearly meant that Ron wanted to kill Dianna. 

Onias called for a voting session where it was to be decided whether Ron’s revelations were heavenly fathers’ words or merely his own. And obviously, they voted in favor, and Ron was chosen as “The One.” The message was loud and clear that the fundamentalists had decided that they were going to do whatever they liked and call it a commandment of the almighty, and anybody who came in their way would be either killed or forced to adhere to their commands.

‘Under The Banner Of Heaven’ Episode 6: Ending Explained – Was Onias Involved In Brenda’s Murder? Who Was The Bearded Shoplifter? 

Brady had told the detectives that they would find Onias in the Dream Mine. It was a possibility that the others were hiding there too. Bill Tada had decided to go there alone, but Jeb feared that he might be subjected to hostilities. Doreen Lafferty had also told them about two young boys named Ricky and Chip, who worked with the Lafferty brothers and were involved in the conspiracy. The list of missing suspects was getting longer. One more name was added to it when Bill told Jeb that a bearded man had vandalized a 7-Eleven store in the East State. Bill Tada goes in search of Onias, whereas Jeb goes to find out who the shoplifter was and if he had anything to do with the case.

The shoplifter had attacked the store manager with a screwdriver, but his footage was captured by the CCTV cameras. On looking closer, Jeb found out that the shoplifter was Jacob Lafferty. Jeb realises that because he was trying to track them down, he could be perceived as a threat by the Lafferty brothers. The incident occurred in the same vicinity where Jeb used to stay. He was worried that his involvement in the case would put his family at risk, because these fundamentalists were capable of doing anything.

Bill Tada finds Prophet Onias near the Dream Mine. He says that if Bill wants to talk more, he would have to leave his gun in his car and come inside his home. By the looks of it, Onias was not involved in the murder of Brenda Wright with Ron and Dan. As soon as Bill arrives, Onias doesn’t beat around the bush, as he already knew why Bill had come searching for him. He says that what happened to the poor girl and her 15-month-old daughter was extremely saddening. The way he said it implied that maybe he knew about the plan but was never a part of it. Onias advocated keeping plural wives and practiced fundamentalism, but maybe he didn’t have a role to play in the murder, and that Ron and Dan took it from there alone. Onias was quite open to talking, as if he had nothing to hide, which was also proof of the fact that he didn’t think that he could be charged with anything.

With every finding, Jeb Pyre found himself getting deeper in a swamp that had questioned his entire belief system. Jeb was struggling, and he didn’t know how to find the light at the end of the tunnel. He was not only trying to find the murderers of Brenda and Erica, but was trying to differentiate the wrong from the right. In the upcoming episodes of “Under the Banner of Heaven”, we will get to know what Onias had to say about the whole issue and whether he had any information about the missing Lafferty brothers.

See More: ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ Ending, Explained: Was Dianna Alive? Why Did Ron Want To Kill Dan?

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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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