The Longest Night season 1, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 8, 2022
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The Longest Night season 1, episode 1 recap - the premiere explained


The premiere establishes a tense, compelling setup in this pacey opening episode.

This recap of The Longest Night season 1, episode 1 contains spoilers.

As someone who hasn’t buried many bodies, I must confess it’s an amateur assessment when I say this, but surely it’s easier to actually kill the victims before you dump them in a makeshift grave all covered in plastic? This seems to be of little concern to the man we see dumping corpses in the opening of The Longest Night, whose latest victim claws at her shroud as he calmly shovels dirt on her until she falls still. The other bodies in the pit offer no such complaints.

Blimey, that’s an opening, isn’t it? The man, whose name we quickly learn is Simon, picks up a bottle of wine on the way home, is polite to the cashier, and pays no mind to the girl with her throat cut who is just sitting around in his crib. Before long, armed police have arrived and arrested Simon, who gives himself up without much fuss, all things considered.

The Longest Night season 1, episode 1 recap

But while Simon is relatively calm, his unexpected arrest immediately causes complications elsewhere. We see a man named Chema hear of it, and then drive his car straight off a bridge. The frantic phone calls continue. One, when Simon, aka The Alligator, is suddenly redirected to the Baruca Psychiatric Correctional Facility, is placed to Hugo Roca, the prison’s warden, who is trying to spend Christmas Eve with his kids but has no choice other than to go into work and take two of them, Guille and Alicia, with him, which is doubtlessly going to prove itself a terrible idea. The oldest, Laura, goes to stay with her mother, which seems pretty prudent.

Nobody, least of all Hugo, knows why the Alligator has been transferred to Baruca rather than a maximum security facility. Hugo’s assigned a security guard by the name of Macarena Montes, whose job is to provide backup until Simon can be transferred out in the morning. Simon, who somehow knows Hugo’s name, tells him it’s going to be a long night.

A lot of this premiere is about establishing some details about Baruca, how it’s half hospital, half prison, as stocked with doctors as it is with guards, and how there are underground maintenance passages connecting various blocks, the most volatile of which is Red Block. We meet a few inmates, or patients if you prefer, men and women, almost all of whom seem to be conspiring in one way or another. And we meet some of the staff, including the doctor Hugo is sleeping with and an abusive guard who beats down an inmate, Cherokee, one assumes not for the first time.

And we also get a sense of the overarching premise. In snippets, we see heavily-armed, well-equipped men and women arriving outside the prison’s walls, cutting the power and the phone lines. But we also see that Hugo receives a video call from Laura, who has been kidnapped. The gang outside wants Hugo to hand over Simon, but Laura’s kidnappers will kill her if he does that. It’s a very compelling setup, and a few executions help us to understand that both sides are serious. The group outside is willing to do basically anything to get Simon, and Hugo is determined not to hand him over.

In the final scene of the episode, we see the kidnapped Laura try to facilitate an escape, instead causing a pretty serious-looking car crash. Without her to use as leverage, how is the Alligator planning to get out of this?

You can stream The Longest Night season 1, episode 1 exclusively on Netflix.

Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
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