Criminal Minds 6.01 “The Longest Night” Review

Criminal Minds 6.01 “The Longest Night” Review

Photo: Ron P. Jaffe, CBS

Let me first say that I wasn’t overly impressed with the cliffhanger ending from last season. I think the show has done better with finales in the past, so I went into the season six premiere of Criminal Minds hoping that the conclusion would be stronger than the set up. Season five ended with with “Our Darkest Hour,” in which a longtime serial killer came back to Los Angeles during rolling blackouts which he used to his killer advantage. He was able to kidnap Ellie Spicer, daughter of Detective Matt Spicer, who just so happened to be the child involved in his first murder. He killed Spicer’s parents and allowed him to live and believed he was the reason Spicer became an officer. Tonight’s conclusion was entitled “The Longest Night” and it was written and directed by CM veteran Edward Allen Bernero.

Halfway through the episode, I was preparing to write a review about disappointment. However, a better second half made up for the slow (and almost boring) first half. I am still a bit disappointed that the season premiere was lackluster, but know the show can do better and probably will.

Tim Curry was exceptionally creepy as Billy Flynn, a serial murderer whose troubled past led him to this troubled present. Though originally a bit confused by them, I liked the use of his flashbacks to childhood. What begins with him and his mother in a field progressively got darker. The BAU team each got their screen time which is always good for a season premiere, though after eclipsing the 100 episode mark last season, I’m not sure how many people were tuning in to the show for the first time. Morgan (Shemar Moore) was front and center through all of it. After all, he had faced Flynn in the season finale and ended up bloodied on the ground for his efforts.

JJ (A.J. Cook) surprisingly ended up taking the spotlight; she got angry and sassy while being given the runaround on the phone, and then and being put on the spot to negotiate with Flynn, which was far different than her usual duty as media liason. Feeling vulnerable and unsure, her conversation with Flynn may have been the high point of the episode. “There are monsters and it’s okay to be afraid of them, but it’s not okay to let them win and it’s not okay to be one,” she told him.

In the end Morgan knew what he had to do when he entered the house and he took care of business and made sure Flynn would never hurt or kill anyone again. The quote during the end voiceover was extremely appropriate; the traumatic childhood of one led to traumatic childhoods for many others, as well as dozens of innocent lives lost. The quote, courtsey of Buddha: “A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another, the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another, it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden.”

Grade: C

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