Thursday, May 26, 2022

REVIEW: 'Under the Banner of Heaven' - Pyre Reckons with His Faith While Ron Exploits His Personal Desires in 'Revelation'

FX's Under the Banner of Heaven - Episode 1.06 "Revelation"

New details emerge about Brenda's attempt to reckon with some of the Lafferty family's most extreme members and beliefs, as Pyre and Taba hunt for those who killed Brenda before they can kill again.

"Revelation" was written by Gina Welch and directed by Isabel Sandoval

Allen wasn't attentive to his wife's struggles. He was completely in the dark about Brenda being placed on a path in direct opposition to his brothers. He was too caught up in his own spiritual crisis to be of service to anyone else. He had a responsibility to protect his family. He failed in that endeavor. He wasn't aware of the true threats. And now, he's alienated in the world. Pyre certainly sees clarity in Allen's statements. He leads with compassion. He acknowledges a man who wasn't capable of such violence. Allen remains in custody because he has no community around him to provide further nourishment. He has companionship with Pyre. They bond on a deeper level than investigating this case. The deterioration of Allen's faith happens in parallel to Pyre's. People are conditioned to always guide others back to the faith. Any problem or question can be dealt with by looking to the scripture and placing one's beliefs in the power of God. It's a surrender of individualism. The people of this world are vessels for what God commands. It's not possible to know what the plans are meant to be. They are simply meant to accept the inherent goodness of their higher calling. Someone above is guiding them. As such, they can never go wrong. They are armed with that true guidance and salvation. It's a belief that has been manipulated in so many lethal ways. It's a strange sensation when Pyre hears another voice in his head always calling into question everything he was raised to believe. Mormon history is sacred. The prophets heard the voice of God. They commanded his will on Earth. The church has evolved over the past hundred years. It's foolish for anyone to embrace the fundamentalist ways. That's dangerous and only invites more chaos into their worlds. Temptation exists. It's always a present danger. People can't succumb to their desires because that would prevent them from being rewarded in the afterlife. Josie needs a blessing to account for the harm she did to Becca. Pyre can't provide that clarity to her. He still fulfills that role.

Pyre is terrified of getting caught reading the true history of his religion. All it takes is the title of the book being seen to acknowledge the extent of his struggle. Becca embraces the same teachings. She hopes to steer her husband back to the church. Faith can provide guidance for anyone struggling. Pyre can only see the examples of personal motivations. The leaders have their own agendas that have corrupted the beliefs to empower a select few. It's not meant to offer true guidance that takes a person's situation and spirituality into context. It's simply one voice crushing down and demanding certain actions no matter the cost it will bring. Brenda was always committed to her faith. She never faltered. She was incredibly giving to her community. She wanted to save those being led astray. She was told that was her mission. It was simply nothing more than the convenient way for the church elders to avoid granting a divorce. That's what they wanted. It's not what Brenda needed. This entire story is one of personal yearning. Everyone is on a quest for enlightenment. Dan explored various communities and different understandings of Mormonism. He needed to see what was the real aspect of the religion he has long held as the one true faith. That extends to Ron as well. He is open to any sign that can point him in the right direction. He looks to surrender his power to others. He is willing to endure that responsibility. He still always places himself in a domineering position over his family. That's more than simply being the head of the Lafferty siblings. He needed to control Dianna and their children. He needed to create a reality in which they were forced to succumb to his desires once more. Brenda took them away. As such, they broke from the righteous path. Ron and Dan are the true saviors despite their excommunications. They still wield so much influence. They aren't shunned by the community. They are still welcomed at home. Their mother still sees all of her boys as sweet and innocent angels. It's not possible for them to have done anything to hurt Brenda and her child. They are being framed by a person who has lost their way in their collective faith.

Pyre only has power because he claims to be a Mormon. Taba isn't respected anywhere he goes. Pyre leans on him for guidance. He's always concerned about his partner and his solo adventures in this vicious landscape. However, Taba must endure a life of so much aggression towards him. He is deemed a monster even though he's trying to arrest the person responsible for the most heinous crime that's ever occurred in this community. He is never appreciated. He stands firm in his convictions. He knows the path that's been laid out for him. He accepted that a long time ago. He isn't faltering now. Pyre is though. It dawns on him that he risks losing everything of value. He can't provide the prayer that Becca demands of him. She can't endure this struggle by his side. She needs him to present himself fully and without any doubt to their church. He must do so proudly and publicly. Pyre can't do that. He has a case that needs to be solved. He fears for Dianna's life. Brenda was the only person who knew her true location. Ron is determined to force her submission to his will no matter what. He is propped up as the one true prophet. He is the new person who spokes for God. Everyone falls in line with that narrative. Part of it is the natural history of the Lafferty brothers following whomever is deemed the head of the family. Ron operates in that position now. It's also people surrendering themselves in the belief that these life decisions must have some greater meaning. No one can reckon with Ron's selfish ways. It's not him driving this desire forward. Instead, it's a mission granted by God. Brenda couldn't stray from that path either. The church elders told her to bring the Lafferty family back to the light. This confrontation between the two sides was inevitable. No one could escape it. Plenty of people exploited it. It's a con. Ron could see that at first. He too was easily tempted. Pyre and Taba fight to ensure no more tragedies occur. That carries so much personal burden for them. It throws into question their own standing in this world. If Pyre is questioning everything, then can he provide the justice that Brenda's family deserves? That's all up in the air because of how the church has evolved over the years. People want to accept the evolution of the Church as part of its enduring legacy. The foundation was still built on lies. That throws everything else into question even as Pyre wants to step up and do all the right things for the people depending on him.