Under the Banner of Heaven Episode 1 and 2 Review: Andrew Garfield Starrer Is Everything We Hoped For!

Under the Banner of Heaven has released its first two episodes and, it seems like the series is on a good start. The true-crime drama miniseries is based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer. The story is adapted into a screenplay for television by Dustin Lance Black and directed by David Mackenzie. The first two episodes of the series are over an hour long and, have Black and Mackenzie in their respective chairs.

The cast is headlined by Andrew Garfield as Detective Jeb Pyre along with Sam Worthington as Ron Lafferty, Daisy Edgar-Jones as Brenda Lafferty, Denise Gough as Dianna Lafferty, Wyatt Russell as Dan Lafferty, Billy Howle as Allen Lafferty, Chloe Pirrie as Matilda Lafferty, Seth Numrich as Robin Lafferty, Adelaide Clemens as Rebecca Pyre, Rory Culkin as Samuel Lafferty, Sandra Seacat as Josie Pyre and Gil Birmingham as Detective Bill Taba.

– Under the Banner of Heaven Review (Episode 1 & 2) Contains No Spoilers –

Under the Banner of Heaven: Is it a fateful murder or a faithful murder?

The first episode of Under the Banner of Heaven, titled ‘When God Was Love’, opens with setting an introduction for all our major characters and the revelation of the crime that makes the core of the story. Andrew Garfield’s Jeb is a Mormon detective, who lives with his two young daughters, his wife and, an amnesiac mother. At the beginning of the episode, Jeb receives a call to head down to a crime scene, where he is witness to the aftermath of a bloody massacre of a mother named Brenda and, her 15-month-old baby. Right outside the crime scene, the officers find Allen, the husband and father of the deceased.

Allen is taken right into custody as a suspect but, during interrogation, the crime starts to sound and look much more than a regular husband-kills-wife homicide. With Allen being a Morom, LDS faith and religion are questioned for which Jeb finds no answers. The second episode of Under the Banner of Heaven is titled ‘Rightful Place’, where we find Jeb takes a potential second suspect, Robin, Allen’s brother. As the episode progresses, the crime gets investigated but, so does faith. However, the darkness it comes down to by the end is unbelievable and shaking.

The first two episodes of Under the Banner of Heaven do a fine job to create the right atmosphere to keep the audiences invested. In the present, to the audiences the suspect seems one and only but, as the stories from the past as revisited, flashbacks are revised in front of the eyes, it almost feels like Brenda was never safe, to begin with. There is a pause in every speculation and conjecture for the audiences to contemplate, which is what makes the episodes much more impactful along with the true-crime essence.

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The show also delves deep into the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints drawing parallels to the events that happened with Joshep in the case. In fact, it gives a little history lesson all throughout the first two episodes, filling us in on the glory and the darkness of God’s political kingdom.

The actors measure up their excellence in this series. Andrew Garfield’s charisma takes over as you can see him going from being a man of faith to starting to wonder what evils lie inside the church he is a part of. His rapport with Gil Birmingham’s Detective Bill Taba starts off in true Se7en fashion and, fleshes out to become a more solid True Detective-like relationship. Billy Howle owns up to his screen time and, the segments we see him interact with Jeb are thought-provoking. Daisy Edgar-Jones’ Brenda does not shine a lot and, it is almost a shame that we will only get to know her through the eyes of men in this series.

Under the Banner of Heaven Episode 1 & 2: Final Thoughts

Overall, Under the Banner of Heaven Episodes 1 & 2 lay down a premise that the audiences would want to diligently follow to know what happens next. The theme of how inherently patriarchy and religion are intertwined is laid out excellently. The narrative is filled with just enough drama and suspense with a cliffhanger ending by the end of episode 2 to wait in anticipation for the forthcoming episodes.

You can watch the first two episodes of Under the Banner of Heaven now on Hulu.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

The first two episodes of Under the Banner of Heaven nail it with themes of religion, faith, patriarchy and murder.

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Under the Banner of Heaven Episode 1 and 2 Review: Andrew Garfield Starrer Is Everything We Hoped For!The first two episodes of Under the Banner of Heaven nail it with themes of religion, faith, patriarchy and murder.