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The Hulu FX miniseries Under the Banner of Heaven has been trending recently, and it aired the first two of its six episodes last month. This gripping murder drama has received great reviews so far, including an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Want to know the basics of the show before you jump in and watch it? Read on below!
What is Under the Banner of Heaven?
Based on true events and Jon Krakauer’s 2003 book of the same name, Under the Banner of Heaven tells the story of a gruesome double murder of a mother and 15-month-old daughter in Utah in the 1980s. The show follows police detective Jeb Pyre as he investigates this mystery and wrestles with his own faith in the process.
This hit miniseries stars Andrew Garfield as Jeb Pyre, alongside Sam Worthington, Wyatt Russell, and Daisy Edgar-Jones in other lead roles. The last four episodes are set to air on FX on Hulu throughout this month.
A thrilling crime drama
While the chaotic circumstances of the real events could have made for a mess of a TV show, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and director David Mackenzie tastefully mold it into a riveting murder mystery.
Many other directors would have shown the gruesome details of the crime to pack a punch, but Black and Mackenzie choose to let the actors’ faces tell the story. Garfield’s performance has been the subject of much praise as well, with one critic saying he’s “solidified his standing as one of the most versatile and interesting actors of his generation.”
A grisly 1984 double murder
Under the Banner of Heaven re-tells the story of the murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty and her baby daughter Erica by Brenda’s own brothers-in-law, Ron and Dan Lafferty. The small town in Utah had never seen a murder case, and many of the area police officers had supposedly never even seen a dead body.
This murder shook the town and the whole area and still haunts Utah to this day. This show serves as a warning to the town and the world about religious extremism and the dangers it poses if left unchecked.
A deep examination of religious differences
The cause of this murder was a complicated mess of personal feelings and religious vigilantism. The murderers Ron and Dan Lafferty claimed that God commanded them to kill, as they were displeased with Brenda’s refusal to be submissive to her husband and allow him to join their cult.
Brenda belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, while Ron and Dan were members of a small offshoot group called the School of Prophets, led by Robert C. Crossfield, that practices polygamy and teaches that wives should be obedient and subservient to their husbands.
Under the Banner of Heaven is a captivating story that will leave you feeling more than a little bit disturbed. Have you seen it yet? Comment down below!