Netflix’s “The Longest Night,” or, “La noche mas larga,” is a crime action thriller series with many convolutions and twists in the plot. The plot follows the events at a psychiatric prison as it is invaded by a group of armed men with demands to hand over a certain prisoner on one particular night. The narrative also remains mostly restricted to the few hours around the incident, and the presentation of the past is scarce and used only when very necessary. Overall, “The Longest Night” provides an entertaining experience because of its fast-paced action setup, but ultimately feels too messy to provide much satisfaction by the end.
‘The Longest Night’ Plot Summary: What Is The Show About?
An elderly man is introduced in the middle of his favorite pastime—he is a psychopathic serial killer, always on the lookout for new victims and using different means to murder them and dispose their bodies in pits dug in the ground. On Christmas night, as he has just finished slitting the throat of a store cashier, the man, named Simon Lago, receives a phone call warning him that the police are about to arrive at his house to arrest him. Lago seems prepared, though, as he calmly deletes some files from his phone and then walks out into the hands of the cops. Word of this arrest quickly spreads, as it is telecast on all news channels, owing to the murderer’s notoriety, as he had been nicknamed “The Alligator” because of his acts of murdering at least twenty people and mutilating their bodies. As the police drive around with Lago in custody, they receive a sudden order from higher officials about changing their destination from the usual city prison to an old psychiatric prison called Baruca. This arrest and the subsequent change of plans set off a chain of important phone calls, and the recipients of these include Baruca’s police warden, Hugo, and a tough-faced man named Lennon. As Lennon seems to be readying a group of men for some serious work, Hugo drives to the prison with his teenage daughter Alicia and young son Guilla. Having to break up the family Christmas party because of the emergency professional call, Hugo wanted all his three children to accompany him, but eldest daughter Laura rejects this idea and goes away alone to visit her divorced, or separated, mother.
As Hugo reaches Baruca, his own team of police officials are introduced—the tough head of security, Bastos; block officials Willy and Diego; police officer Macarena, who arrives to provide extra security for the night; and the head doctors of the psychiatric facility, Elisa and Espada. Although Baruca has been ordered to hold Simon Lago for only one night before he is transferred to a different prison, a sudden sense of uneasiness creeps into Hugo, especially when the murderer directly calls him by his name, information that no prisoner is supposed to know. Soon after, though, Hugo suddenly receives a video message from Laura in which she is seen kidnapped by someone and forced to hold a message that reads that she will be killed if Hugo hands over Simon. Although the situation is not exactly clear, a large convoy of cars drives up to Baruca; jammers cut down all means of communication and power across the prison; and a big group of masked men, led by Lennon, approaches the prison gates. They make their demand very clear—they are here only to take Simon Lago with them, either peacefully or through violent means, if they are stopped. Hugo runs over to Simon’s cell and learns that the man is already aware of such a plan in the works, and as he coldly claims, so begins a long night of terrors.
How Does Psychology Keep Playing A Role Throughout The Night As Crisis Strikes Baruca One After Another?
With his daughter clearly in danger of being hurt, if Simon Lago is handed over to this new team of assailants, Hugo immediately decides to protect the prisoner at all costs and announces this to Lennon. The masked men now prepare to force their way inside the buildings and start to chain down the main door, while Hugo and his men try to move Lago out of any danger while also maintaining order among the other inmates or patients at the facility. Realizing that they also need to keep the Alligator’s real identity hidden from the other inmates, the police dress up the murderer in police clothing, making him appear like a new guard on duty. They then together move Lago to the Green Block of the compound, which Hugo deems to be the safest place to hide the man as attackers are soon about to break in. Lennon’s men enter the Admissions building, take a number of the officials hostage, and also publicly execute three prisoners in order to build pressure. Although the men use violent means to interrogate and plan their way into Baruca, it becomes clear that most of them do not want any extra harm done to any of their hostages, and they do not seem to have the disregard that criminals usually show. With news of a prison riot where criminals have already run out of their cells and are wreaking havoc in the Red Block, Hugo understands that the first step to restoring order is to run the generators and bring electricity back to the place. He takes Willy, Macarena, and one of the inmates with expertise in electrical lines down to fix the generator and get it up and working when a group of the attacking men break into the area. The two sides clash, and some of the attackers are put on fire by the inmate, who seems to have had a history of arson cases. As they somehow manage to bring the electricity back on, a full-fledged riot against the authorities takes place amongst the prisoners, as they are still kept in the dark about what exactly is going on.
At the center of this riot is a stern and severe criminal named Cherokee, who has been involved in a life of extreme crime from a very young age, and his two prosthetic legs do not seem to hinder the man’s actions at all. Cherokee had earlier been seen to behave with typical disregard for the authorities, as he threw a basketball at the head of security Bastos’ face. Now out of his prison cell amidst the chaos, he leads other inmates from his ward towards the workshop where they forge weapons for themselves, and Cherokee arms himself with a long hammer. He walks up to a man named Cardinal, another prominent figure among the prisoners of Baruca, in order to balance his past feud. For quite some time now, Cherokee has been attracted to a woman inmate called Manuela; this woman had been harassed by Cardinal’s men over some contraband smuggling, and Cherokee had provided her protection. Seeing the ideal scope of establishing himself as the leader of the riot, a revolt that would lead to their escape, as they believe it to be, Cherokee now hammers Cardinal to his death. He then tries to force his way against the police officials as well, but is soon put behind bars once again by the stern Bastos. Despite being absolutely ferocious against everyone else, Cherokee seems to be still very scared of Bastos, who often uses illegal physical force against the prisoner. Beyond the physical beatings, though, there seems to be something about the head of security that always makes Cherokee uncomfortable and scared. It is shown to be part of his psyche, and although the series does not make much of it, it seems that Bastos is almost like a toxic, hurting father figure to Cherokee.
However, Cherokee’s fear of the security officials, even of Bastos, is thrown to the wind when the matter once again involves his beloved Manuela. After some more similar events of the prisoners trying to forge their escape out of prison, as Cherokee and his friends had also been digging a literal hole out of the place for some time, Manuela and Cherokee get quite close to each other. The woman now reveals what she claims to be a secret she has hidden for a long time—pointing at Dr. Espada, she claims that the psychiatrist would often touch her inappropriately and make her do other grossly sexual and harassing things. Although Dr. Espada and his colleague Dr. Emily try to deny these claims, Cherokee is furious, and he takes Espada hostage. Bastos’ orders also do not work against him now. However, what Cherokee does not know, though, is the reason why Manuela is in the psychiatric prison—the woman suffers from dissociative identity disorder (or split personality), and she quite literally sees a second woman whenever this disorder kicks in. While Manuela’s own personality is very timid and docile, her other identity, called Emma by her, is extremely violent and capable of murdering anyone in a fit of rage. It is this other personality that tries to convince Cherokee to kill the doctor, but now Cherokee’s own interrogation leads to Dr. Espada actually admitting to the crimes. As Elisa promises Cherokee that she will ensure Espada is punished for his crimes if he leaves him alive now, Cherokee finds himself in a difficult position but acts maturely. Knowing that he needs to show Manuela that Espada is immediately punished but also keep the pathetic doctor alive for legal actions, he drags Dr. Espada to an adjoining room and pretends to shoot him. Although it initially seems like he has actually killed the doctor, it is later revealed that the act was make-believe. The other prisoners in Baruca also seem to have such similar psychological disorders that become part of their defining characteristics. These include a young woman with a shaved head who always wants to get violent and a young man who stays calm and composed but actually has a disorder that makes him go through a fit of murderous rage and then forget about it. Among the prisoners is also Javi, a transgender man, who reveals a tremendous secret as he recognizes one of the attacking men—they are police officials.
As clashes between the attackers and the Baruca prison officials increase in number, hostages are taken on both sides, but more importantly, two attackers are captured and taken in for interrogation immediately by Hugo and his men. One of these is a young woman named Sara, who did seem a bit suspicious for quite some time now. Being the tech wizard in the team, she was the one keeping an eye on all the security camera footage and guiding Lennon and his men towards the prisoners and doctors, whom they wanted to take hostage. However, for a brief moment, it appeared that Sara was actually driving them away from the people who were running for their lives to escape Lennon’s team. Also, Sara was earlier seen removing a file with her own information from Baruca’s record room, and after she is caught, it becomes very clear that Sara had been an inmate inside the prison for having killed her family, until recently, when Lennon arranged for her release. As she now mixes back with the inmates, who plan an escape from the prison, Sara tells one of them privately that she has plans of her own and that she is not really working for Lennon either. What her plans or intentions are ultimately are not revealed by the end of “The Longest Night,” though. The other hostage taken by Hugo and his men is Lennon’s closest associate in his team, a man named Ruso. Bastos tries to interrogate Ruso to spill the beans about the attack, as he seems to be the toughest man, but this turns completely the opposite way when Ruso reveals that there had been an official complaint against Bastos because of his violent nature of beating up inmates, a complaint that would most definitely take his job away.
What Has Been Happening With Hugo’s Children During This Time?
The other place that “The Longest Night” regularly covers, other than the Baruca prison, is the events that happen with Hugo’s eldest daughter, Laura, whom we start seeing in action from the time she has been kidnapped. Laura wakes up in the backseat of a car that is being driven by a middle-aged woman, and she cries out to her to stop the car. The girl then tries to take control of the situation by lunging in on the steering wheel, and this causes a severe accident. But both women seem to survive without any serious injury, and Laura now tries to ask for help from another car on the road, and the man driving it helps her. However, the kidnapping woman also enters the car, and the man and woman are understood to be working together. The woman, Rosa, and her husband take Laura back to their wealthy house and keep the girl hostage. Soon, though, it becomes clear that the couple are not really working on their own thoughts but are acting on the orders of someone else, and their next part is to wait for a phone call from Hugo at 1 a.m. that night; if this call does not come, then they are supposed to kill the girl. Some scenes from Laura and Hugo’s shared past show a medical problem that the girl had gone through with regard to her heart. As the time for the phone call arrives and crosses, and Rosa readies herself to kill Laura, who now suddenly suffers a panic attack, which quickly brings back her heart complications. Rosa and her husband, who are definitely not hardened criminals, are now seen trying to help the girl by thumping on her chest, attempting to get her heart back to normal.
Along with Laura, Hugo’s two younger children have also been in trouble throughout the night as they were brought to Baruca by their father at the beginning of the night. After the electricity first goes out, Alicia and young Guilla wander out in search of their father, and leave a note in case Hugo comes looking for them. Hugo does come, but he is late at it and only sees the notes there and quickly runs around trying to find his kids. The two children walk through long tunnels and reach the Red Block, where Cardinal offers them protection. What they do not know, or even perceive, is the fact that Cardinal is actually a pedophile and is serving jail time because of such acts, and the man soon takes away Guilla and leaves Alicia behind. When Alicia, through Javi’s help, finally finds her brother again, it is revealed that Cardinal has actually not done anything wrong to him. As the two sit and watch cartoons together, Cardinal breaks down and admits that it was a mistake that he made, making it seem that the man has truly reformed and is now a changed person. After Cardinal is killed, Cherokee takes control of Alicia and Guilla, and he tries to negotiate with Hugo and the other police guards in exchange for the two children. Since then, the two remain secure inside the surveillance room, mostly kept company by Dr. Elisa, who also happens to be their father, Hugo’s, new romantic partner.
Despite Hugo’s desperate situation of having to save his eldest daughter while also trying to keep order and security inside his prison, the man does not share this with anyone other than Elisa in the initial stages (at least for three episodes, if not more). With the loss of lives on both sides now, Hugo’s team gradually grows very suspicious of their leader’s actions. As the angle of Laura’s kidnapping is kept hidden from them, they question why Hugo has been letting so many lives be lost only to protect that of a vile and pathetic serial killer. New officer Macarena finally acts on this suspicion when she threatens to kill Hugo, handcuffs him to a pipe, and then takes Simon Lago hostage by herself. She quickly contacts Lennon on the radio and tells him to meet her at a designated spot where she promises to hand over the prisoner in exchange for the attack being stopped. Lennon, of course, agrees, as he has not wanted to attack from the very beginning, but Hugo intervenes just in time, and kills Macarena in the process. However, a similar feat is once again repeated, this time by Bastos, probably to clear the complaint against his name, as he helps Ruso, especially after finding out that it was Hugo himself who had filed the complaint against him. Ruso finally takes Bastos and Lago hostage, thus taking control of the whole situation, and informs Lennon about it on the radio.
‘The Longest Night’ Ending Explained: Is Hugo Able To Stop The Attack?
With the clock almost striking 1 a.m. Hugo finds himself in the utmost haste to get back the mobile network and call up Laura’s phone to save her. The only way to do so is to reach the highest point in the whole place, the rooftop of the Green Block, and somehow, Hugo makes it there. As he is a couple of minutes late, Rosa is about to kill Laura and therefore induces the whole panic attack scenario. Hugo does call up, though, but realizes that it is too late, as he hears Laura struggling to breathe on the phone. Lennon quickly arrives on the rooftop as well, as the two men confront each other, and Lennon expresses his disgust at the fact that Hugo had kept his daughter’s kidnapping secret from everyone. He says that he would have done his best to save Laura, as he is, after all, a police officer, had Hugo told him or anyone else about it before, and now he tries to put all the blame for the night’s events on the warden. However, Hugo turns the situation around as it is revealed that he has already called up the police department and informed them of a break-in at the psychiatric prison, and this, in turn, forces Lennon and his men to stay holed up inside the prison for longer, and possibly fight the incoming police. In a flashback from a few hours before the night’s incidents began, it is established that Rosa and her husband had been forced to kidnap Laura, as their own young daughter Valentina had been kidnapped. Basically, someone very high in the administrative (or otherwise) power pyramid had planned all of this, as he did not want Simon Lago to face a court trial because then Lago would disclose certain information about him. This unnamed man is also seen talking on the phone with various people, and then a photograph of Rosa’s drawing-room is shown zoomed in, where she and her husband are seen together with Hugo and this unnamed man.
“The Longest Night” unfortunately does not reveal anything at all at the end of its first episode and instead, quite greedily, leaves everything up for a second season. Also, every thread of the plot is made to end with cliffhangers, as we do not conclusively get to know the fate of any of the characters we have been following for so long. This personally ruins the experience for me, and by the end, “The Longest Night” seems only like an extended trailer that disappoints because of how it chooses to unfold an already convoluted story.
What Next To Expect From Any Future Seasons Of ‘The Longest Night’?
While it is still not clear whether “The Longest Night” will be renewed for a second season, the show sets itself up completely for a second season. The fates of all three of Hugo’s children remain unknown as Laura suffers from her heart ailment and is helped by Rosa, while Alicia and Guilla are found out by the attacking men at the end of the last episode. Although it has been made clear that the attackers are all police officials, what exactly is their purpose remains to be known. Along with this, the fates of all the prisoners in Baruca are left to be explored in the second season, as all seem to have their own personal plans of escape. Lastly, and most majorly, who is the man orchestrating the attack on the psychiatric prison and what exactly is his intention in trying to protect Simon Lago would be the most important thing to look forward to if there is ever a season 2 of “The Longest Night.”
“The Longest Night” is a 2022 Drama Thriller series streaming on Netflix.