Criminal Minds: Season 6, Episode 1

The Longest Night (22 Sep. 2010)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 847 users  
Reviews: 1 user

As The Prince of Darkness continues his murderous rampage across California, the BAU go after him to save Detective Spicer's daughter from him.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Detective Adam Kurzbard
Isabella Murad ...
Larry Simmons
Annette Simmons
Ronald William Lawrence ...
Detective Stansfield
Randolph Adams ...


Morgan and Det. Matt Spicer are unable to reach Spicer's daughter, Ellie Spicer, before she is kidnapped by the unsub, who has been raping and killing during blackouts for twenty-six years. In the kidnapping process, Morgan and Spicer's sister, Kristin, are beaten, and Spicer himself killed. Spicer's parents were the unsub's first victims twenty-six years ago. Ellie, who quickly understands her role in the unsub's twisted fantasy, ends up being more resilient than the unsub first believed. Meanwhile, the BAU, with information from Kristin, believe they understand why the unsub kidnapped Ellie and has probably kept her alive. The BAU also believe they have a means to at least contact the unsub. In doing so, an uncomfortable J.J. is requested to do some work outside of her responsibility. Reid, in the meantime, finds an earlier murder which he believes is also connected to the unsub, this information which could lead to figuring out his identity. J.J. uses this information in her ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

22 September 2010 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Isabella Murad, who plays 8 year old Ellie Spicer, was actually 12 years old at the time. See more »


In the last scene when Ellie is hugging Morgan, there's a shot of JJ looking up which is probably played backwards since you can see someone in the background walking backwards. See more »


Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau: I'm not a hostage negotiator.
Aaron 'Hotch' Hotchner: I'm sorry. You are today.
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Sisters of Mercy
Written and performed by Leonard Cohen
Played during one of the unsub's flashback scenes
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User Reviews

The Legacy
9 October 2011 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Criminal Minds does not exactly have a stellar backlist of season openers. #1.1, "Extreme Aggressor", was good, but not great; #2.1, "The Fisher King: Part 2", failed to deliver on the promises of the excellent Part 1; #3.1, "Doubt", was of equally generic fare; #4.1, "Mayhem", was a near-total disaster after the magnificent #3.20, "Lo-Fi"; and *only* #5.1, "Faceless, Nameless", achieved greatness (ironic, considering the title). So, did that episode break the curse for good? The answer, for now, seems to be 'yes'. The opening scene echoes the opening scene of the previous season's ender, and then, in *less than a minute*, we are plunged straight into horrific action. This is the most assured opening of a season opener so far in the series history. The plot picks up directly from where we left of, and it doesn't really matter that it's hard to care at the character who was killed in the previous season's finale because we first saw them in the same episode, since the focus is now *elsewhere*, unlike in the disappointing "Mayhem", where the death of what's-her-name didn't really register, the BAU members carried the Idiot Ball and clichés piled up with handy coincidences and right-out impossibilities (the Enhance Button trope). Looking back, I see that some fans unable to accept that there are flaws in the plot of "Mayhem" have voted my review of that episode "not useful". How childish.

There is a disturbing twist in the plot that makes this episode so memorable. Also, the pacing remains frenetic, meaning we are not really kept waiting at any point. In the end, it's quite amazing how much happens in this episode. Tim Curry, naturally, dominates, his delivery of his character Billy's answer to Ellie's question of why he kills people being particularly creepy. A genuine surprise here is Isabella Murad, who portrays the young Ellie. She could develop into a major talent if all goes well. However, the biggest surprise is that JJ, ironically considering her character's "arc" is about to end, gets to be in the central role, and A.J. Cook seizes the opportunity to shine.

Some niggles remain. Though Paget Brewster's red, cleavage-revealing t-shirt from the previous season returns to please those of us who like it, this reviewer included, it really isn't FBI standard issue, is it? Contrast JJ's white-collar long-sleeve shirt. Morgan's fury, meanwhile, is pure Writing-for-the-Dimwitted, with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Poor Robert Davi is left with minimal screen-time consisting mainly of expository dialog now that his character no longer has a function plot-wise. Reed, Rossi and, not that it is a shame since the character hasn't been believable anymore, Hotch all pretty much just hang around. Kirsten Vangsness is really lucky in that Garcia *always* has something to do, and her character has the most of the best dialog in the series. But deep inside, even the deniers know that Gracia is just a poor man's Abby from NCIS.

We can all pretty much guess how the story ends, but it is all done with such conviction that it's more important how it is presented on the screen. It's all the more relate-able because Morgan remains professional when confronting Billy, unlike Hotch did with The Reaper. Again, if the writers' Hand-Waving of Hotch's loss of control with Strauss' subsequent approval of it, plus Hotch's miraculous recovery from the trauma didn't remain a constant burden in this series' continuity, this would be a triumphant 9/10, but as it is, this cannot be higher than an 8/10. A real shame. Once continuity is established in a series which started firmly in the episodic territory, the writers cannot just ignore that continuity by "forgetting" what happened when they realize they made a mistake in the writing.

7 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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