The Longest Night: the ending, explained — Is Laura dead?

the longest night

The Longest Night is a Spanish thriller that has a bit of everything; murder, suspense, romance and cliff-hangers of the highest order. The story revolves around Hugo, a prison warden of a psychiatric facility called Baruca who faces a series of tough decisions when a hostage situation arises. With his three children at risk along with a prison-gone riot, Hugo is set to balance everything and get the best scenario possible. 

However, the ending painted a completely different picture.

Caution: Spoilers ahead 

A psychiatrist facility gets threatened after bringing in a serial killer

The series starts with Lago (Luis Callejo), a serial killer known for more than 40 gruesome murders getting captured by the police. While on the way to detain him at a regular prison, the police get an unexpected call to transfer him to Baruca, a prison facility that holds people with psychopaths. This last-minute move triggers a series of events involving Hugo (Alberto Ammann), the prison warden and Lennon (José Luis García Pérez), a man on a mission to rescue Lago.

They both receive phone calls and prepare for the inevitable. Hugo has no option other than to bring his 3 children to the prison with him since it’s Christmas eve. Laura, the eldest child doesn’t comply, and she goes off to visit her mother. 

At the prison, Hugo meets a cold Lago who says that this is going to be a long night. Just then, Hugo receives a call from Laura who is kidnapped. She reads a message that says to not release Lago to the people attempting to kidnap him. 

Lennon arrives and informs the prison to release Lago to which Hugo declines and both parties prepare for a fight. 

Lennon infiltrates the facility as prisoners start fighting with each other

Hugo does his best to protect Lago and transfers him to the safest place in the facility. Lennon too breaks in and occupies the admission office, taking some guards and prisoners as hostages. He later kills three prisoners but spares the guards in a bid to pressure Hugo. 

With the power out, Hugo goes to start the generator with his officers and an inmate renowned for electricity. Once they get the power in, a fight ensues with Lennon’s men and the inmate manages to throw 2 of Lennon’s men into the fire while Hugo and his officials escape. 

Meanwhile, Hugo’s children Alicia and Guilla go out looking for their father when they come across Cardinal, a paedophile. He invites them to watch cartoons together and takes good care of them. 

Later, an inmate called Cherokee (Daniel Albaladejo), known for his extreme crimes and prosthetic legs kills Cardinal and tries to establish himself as the leader of the pack. The intention behind the killing is known to be his love interest called Manuela, who had said Cardinal had abused her. The children are taken by one of the head doctors called Elisa (Bárbara Goenaga) who is also Hugo’s lover.

Manuela, suffering from a personality disorder, informs Cherokee that one of the head doctors called Dr Espada had abused her. When threatened, Espada admits the fault and Cherokee tries to kill him too, before being stopped by Elisa. 

Both teams manage to capture hostages

After the attacks increased, each team manages to capture rival hostages. However, Hugo captures two main players Lennon called Sara (Laia Manzanares), the techie of Lennon and Ruso (Roberto Álamo), his right-hand man. 

Upon investigating, Sara reveals that she was an inmate at the facility after she killed her family but was later released to assist Lennon. Sara also says that she used to know many of the inmates and she has a bigger plan than helping Lennon. 

Ruso, on the other hand, is investigated by Bastos, a tough prison guard with a reputation for being overly aggressive. Ruso manages to turn the interrogation upside down when he reveals that an official complaint has been filed against Bastos, potentially ending his job and career. 

Meanwhile, Cherokee takes control of the kids and tries to strike a deal with Hugo about his release in exchange for the kids. 

Hugo suffers a betrayal among his team

Hugo’s prison officials start to become agitated with his actions of not releasing Lago to Lennon. Unknown to Laura’s kidnap, a young officer calls Macarena detains Hugo and informs Lennon that he can collect Lago. While on her way to release Lago, Hugo intervenes and kills Macarena, and he shares a moment with Lago. 

Lago reveals the only way to save Hugo’s daughter is through calling her kidnappers and giving a coded phrase,

“Valentina is waiting for you”

Hugo rushes to the prison roof in a bid to get some signal and calls Laura’s captors. 

What happened to Laura?

Laura was taken captive by an elderly couple whose daughter too was kidnapped. Flashbacks of the series show Rosa, her husband and her daughter Valentina having a Christmas meal together when Valentina was kidnapped. The unknown kidnapper had instructed this couple to kidnap and kill Laura if the coded phrase is not received. 

Flashbacks also reveal that Laura is suffering from a heart condition. Later she goes into a panic attack when Hugo calls the couple with the phrase to save Laura, but he hears her gasping for air. 

Hugo, thinking that his daughter is dead meets with Lennon on the rooftop who says that he is a police officer. Lennon goes on to say that had he known about Hugo’s daughter being kidnapped he would’ve worked together to sort this mess out. However, no one knows about the kidnapper and their intentions. 

The Longest Night ending explained 

The series ends with a mysterious man getting a call from the prison during Christmas and saying that he should go immediately. The final shot of the series is at the kidnappers’ house where the camera pans to a picture where the kidnapped couple is posing for a picture with Hugo and an unknown man, revealing that Laura was kidnapped by someone Hugo knew. 

The series ends with loads of questions and no answers, the prime of it being the mysterious man’s identity and his intentions behind capturing Valentina to capture Laura. Other questions including the fate of Hugo’s other two children, the bigger plan Sara, the intentions behind Lennon’s orders and the reason behind freeing Lago are yet to be answered. 

Netflix is yet to announce that a second season of The Longest Night is on the way. So only time will tell.

The series ultimately falls short to deliver closure to a well-written plot, but a renewed season could make all wrongs right if delivered properly.