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


Sound Mix:


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 »


When asking talking to JJ after she enters the Emergency Alert center, Hotch tells her that they're "gathering some background on Flynn. Just sit tight for a minute"

However, it isn't until two scenes later that Garcia (acting on a tip from Reid) identifies the unsub as Billy Flynn. See more »


Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau: Yes. Yes, I'm still here. Yep, I'm always gonna be here. Okay. My name is Jennifer... No. You know what? I'm not going to explain this entire thing again to another mid-level bureaucrat who can't give me a sufficient answer. Put someone on the phone who can authorize what I need.
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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

Superior successor to "Our Darkest Hour"
29 June 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Admittedly, this reviewer liked "Our Darkest Hour" more than some people did, finding it atmospherically creepy, with haunting use of Leonard Cohen, some good tension and Tim Curry was brilliant.

It was flawed sure, like lapses in continuity and credibility and one performance that didn't do much for me but overall it was a solid season finale.

The general consensus is that "The Longest Night" of the two episodes forming the two parter is the better episode, and it is a consensus this reviewer very much agrees with. The case is more developed, more is learnt the character of Billy Flynn and one is told why he is like this and slightly (if not by much, who could really fully sympathise with sometimes who's killed so many people) understand so.

"The Longest Night" is not perfect, with Robert Davi agreed having very little to do and there is a little humour here and there that doesn't really mesh well in such a dark story. As well as more development on the mystery and Flynn's character, what makes "The Longest Night" an improvement over "Our Darkest Hour" are fewer continuity lapses, credibility is more consistent and after not being hugely impressed by her in the previous episode with meatier material and wider range of emotions needed Isabella Murad's acting is much improved and much more confident.

'Criminal Minds' has always been a very well made series, and "The Longest Night" is not an exception with stylish filming, nice locations and while not as chilling as in "Our Darkest Hour" use of lighting and darkness is still effective. Music is pretty minimal here, but what there is, most of it being some very haunting use of Leonard Cohen (especially "Dance Me to the End of Love") fits well.

Writing here continues to be solid on the whole, Flynn's dialogue especially his answer to why he kills is bone-chilling, the ending is tense and somewhat moving and JJ's speech over the radio is one of the series' most poignant moments. The story is more developed this time round, it's paced well and it all makes sense and has good atmosphere. The chemistry between Flynn and Ellie is crucial to making the story work, and the dynamic works wonderfully with some genuine tension going on between the two.

All of the regular 'Criminal Minds' cast excel, Shemar Moore gets the lion's share and Morgan's angst is acted with real brooding intensity but one has to credit AJ Cook too, she shines very well here too especially in the speech. Once again though, Tim Curry dominates, the creepiness he brings to Billy Flynn being positively skin-crawling and in the best of ways.

In summary, a series premiere that improves over a still solid series finale. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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