The Longest Night Ending, Explained: Who is the Mastermind?

‘The Longest Night,’ alternatively known as ‘La noche más larga,’ just might be the next Netflix megahit out of Spain. In the last few years, Netflix has tried to replicate the enormous success of ‘Money Heist’ by flooding its library with Spanish content. However, the result has been mostly lukewarm until now. If ‘The Longest Night’ manages to overcome its terribly diminutive marketing campaign, it has all the correct ingredients to be the next big thing on the streaming platform. The show is a perfect combination of gripping suspense and high-octane action. It has a compelling lead in Alberto Ammann, whom the international audience will recognize from ‘Narcos’ and its spin-off ‘Narcos: Mexico,’ where he portrays Pacho Herrera, the co-head of Cali Cartel. ‘The Longest Night’ is a binge-worthy, perfectly-proportioned series that leaves you wanting more by the end of the first season. Here is everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Longest Night Season 1 Recap

The series begins with the arrest of serial killer Simón Lago (Luis Callejo), also known as The Alligator, on Christmas Eve. However, instead of a maximum-security prison, he is brought to Baruca Hill Psychiatric Correctional Facility, which is both a prison and psychiatric hospital. This catches Baruca’s prison director or warden, Hugo Roca (Ammann), and the rest of the staff by surprise. Hugo’s dinner plans with his three children — Laura (Maria Caballero), Guille, and Alicia — are interrupted, prompting an angry Laura to head to her mother’s house. But her siblings agree to come with their father so that they can have dinner together in Hugo’s office.

Shortly after Hugo has placed Simón in a secured cell with the help of his staff, he receives a video message from Laura’s phone. Someone has kidnapped Laura, and they instruct him not to hand Simón over if he wants his daughter to live. Just as Hugo confronts Simón about this, a group of armed individuals arrives. They isolate Baruca from the rest of the world by jamming phone signals and cutting power supply and demand for Hugo to give them Simón.

Hugo faces an enormous moral and ethical dilemma as he has to choose between his daughter and the people that serve under him and are in his care. Ultimately, Simón and his mysterious helper are proven right in their evaluation of Hugo. He chooses his daughter. Violence inevitably erupts, and prisoners, staff members, and inmates/patients die. Hugo and his people eventually discover that the attackers are police.

Baruca is divided into two sectors — Red and Green Blocks, with the Red Block housing more violent and unpredictable inmates. Aside from regular routes, the two blocks are connected through underground passageways. In the season finale, Hugo and his team prepare for the last stand as the attackers close in. He also has to race against time to give Laura’s kidnappers the proof that Simón is still alive. Meanwhile, inmate Manuela discovers that fellow inmate Cherokee has lied to her and didn’t kill Dr. Espada, who she says sexually abused her. Guille and Alicia hide with Dr. Elisa Montero, a psychiatrist who is in a relationship with Hugo. One of the attackers finds them, but Simón kills him.

The Longest Night Season 1 Ending: Who are in the Photo? What Does it Reveal?

The season finale ends on a cliffhanger, raising more questions than answering. In one of the finale scenes of episode 6, the camera moves away from Rosa and Andrés, the apparent kidnappers of Laura, to focus on a framed photograph, where they can be seen with Hugo and the mysterious man with long hair. The latter has been in frequent contact with Lennon (José Luis García Pérez), the head of the Baruca attackers, reminding him what is at stake.

In the course of the series, we learn that Rosa and Andrés have no idea who Simón is. Like Hugo and Laura, they are victims of an elaborate plan. It is revealed in the season finale that whoever is pulling the strings from the shadows has kidnapped Rosa and Andrés’ own daughter, Valentina, to force their compliance. This begs the question of why they and no one else were chosen for the job. And the photograph mentioned above might hold the answer to this.

The photograph is placed prominently among family pictures, indicating Rosa and Andrés know Hugo well. However, they evidently don’t know that Laura is his daughter or recognize his voice when he calls to deliver the coded message (“Valentina is Waiting”) to prove that Simón is still alive. As a matter of fact, Hugo doesn’t recognize them either. With the presence of the man with the long hair in the photo, one possibility is that they know each other professionally. This means that either Rosa or Andrés or both work in law enforcement, or at least hold some post in the government.

Who is the Man with the Long Hair? Is He the Mastermind?

Portrayed by Spanish actor Alejandro Tous, the man with the long hair is one of the most enigmatic characters in ‘The Longest Night.’ Not much is explicitly revealed about him. But there are hints scattered throughout the series that — if taken together — shed some light on his identity. Given that Lennon and his men are police, he is most probably part of the law enforcement as well. This is all but confirmed in the season finale when he tells who we presume to be his wife that he has to go as there has been an attack on a prison.

It seems that Alejandro Tous’ character and whoever he is messaging are masterminds behind the attack. This brings up the question of what Simón knows. What can it possibly be that they are willing to sacrifice several members of their group to get him before he is presented in front of a judge in the morning?

In episode 4, we learn in a flashback scene that Rey, a trans man, was implicated in a murder that he didn’t commit by this very group and was sent to Baruca. It’s possible that they do clean-up work for the rich and powerful when their clients commit a crime. As we see in the aforementioned scene, Lennon and his people are contacted by an older and clearly affluent man. Perhaps Simón was one of their clients and they helped him with the bodies of his victims, at least early in his career as a serial killer. Now that he is arrested, they fear he will reveal the truth about them.

Who is Helping Simon Lago?

Just as the police arrive, Lennon confronts Hugo, accusing him of being responsible for all the deaths. Hugo reminds Lennon that he (Lennon) executed three inmates very early. Even if he entertained the idea of speaking to Lennon about his daughter’s kidnapping, he just couldn’t trust him. Hugo also reveals that when he finally got through to the emergency services, he told them that an armed group was attacking Baruca. He didn’t say that they were looking for Simón and that they were cops. So, now, if Lennon and his people want to get out, they need to negotiate with him.

As the finale ends, Lennon and Hugo speculate that someone has been helping Simón as no one knew that he would be transferred to Baruca. This someone can’t be Alejandro Tous’ character or his partner because it will be counterintuitive for them to do this. So, there is another mastermind in the show, working with Simón for an opposite outcome from that of Alejandro Tous’ character. We never see them, but hear their muffled voice over the phone. Given that Simón receives a picture of Hugo on his phone right before his arrest, they are likely the reason why the serial killer ends up in Baruca. This means that they too are law enforcement or government official.

Is Laura Dead?

No, Laura isn’t dead. She has heart issues. In flashback scenes, it is revealed that she nearly drowned when she was younger and underwent surgery. When Rosa points a gun at her as the clock strikes 1 a.m., she has an episode due to the extreme stress of the situation and collapses. As Rosa and Andrés try to revive her, the camera moves away from them and focuses on the photo.

Laura is most likely not to die because of this. When Valentina was kidnapped, Rosa finds a box left at her door. When she opens it, she finds a gun, a phone, and a medical kit. The kit contains a couple of vials and syringes. It’s quite safe to assume that they are for Laura. Clearly, the person helping Simón has planned for every possible scenario.

Read More: Is The Longest Night’s Hugo (Alberto Ammann) Also in Narcos?