Monday, May 2, 2022

Round Two: Under the Banner of Heaven

Under the Banner of Heaven: Season 1, Episode 2 “Rightful Place” (B+)

As this show’s world is exposed more and more, it’s becoming increasingly interesting and disturbing. I do hope that viewers see it not as an all-encompassing depiction of Mormonism but rather a portrait of how faith can lead to fundamentalism if it’s not taken hand-in-hand with the laws of the land. The idea of not wanting to pay taxes because the laws of the land weren’t considered valid is certainly difficult to accept, but it also tracks with the way that they were persecuted when they arrived and wanted their traditions to be accepted or at least allowed. What’s clearer than anything else is that Brenda did not fit this ideology and was a forward-thinking, feminist Mormon who might have had a kindred spirit in Matilda but was far more willing to speak her mind. Brenda handled the situation with the boss who locked her in the studio when she wanted to read the news exceptionally well, but the family obviously didn’t see her as the winner in that situation, instead embarrassing the family by trying to change the way they do things. Brenda’s family saw Allen and his family as dangerous for the very reason that they would suppress her and not allow her to be her own person, which seems to be the case, even if Ron ascribes to his own interpretation of how they should interact with the world. Jeb may still be thinking about birthday parties, but he’s going to need to send in backup for Bill as he encounters those who do not respect lawmen they don’t acknowledge showing up uninvited on their property.

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