Criminal Minds

Season 5 Episode 23

Our Darkest Hour

7
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM May 26, 2010 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

8.6
out of 10
Average
337 votes
  • Would LOVE this episode but that girl is annoying!! they could've not a better child actress to do her part

    10
    Tim Curry you are AMAZING as always <3
  • Worst ep ever

    1.5
    I don't leave reviews normally... i usually just enjoy the show and don't criticise... but lack of logic on a show which got me seeing it in the first place with ep's with logic irritates me... Spicer's memory... Morgan and Spicer going out there alone... all of this is sad... i mean this is a season ender... please... hope it gets better
  • a serial killer comes out of nowhere and continues killing with no known M.O. that anyone can remember. It's seems that the writers are stretching the imagination with this episode.

    3.0
    I used to be a fan of this show. It's seems now all the writers want to do is is offer up gratuitous violence week by week with very little in the way of real mystery writing. And now the current fad is offering up the violence using children as key characters in the storyline. I love a good mystery as well as the next person but this last episode just went over the line for me. It's no wonder Mandy Potemkin left the show.

    This is all I want to say about this show but I had a minimum of words to use...lol
  • Best Ever!

    10
    I am an avid cm fan, and I thought this was one of the best shows they ever did. It was the most disturbing one I've seen, making it great television. I don't like those shows where you know what's gonna happen, the bad guys get caught, people are saved, good guys win.

    This episode was shocking as the girl's dad was actually killed; didn't see that one coming. The "night stalker" was ruthless and the emotions the show brought out in seeing all the death, dispare, and wonder is a rarity in television shows today. I'm just surprised so many people weren't happy with it. I thought it was brilliant. Way to go, cm!
  • Weak. Totally against the spirit of the show.

    1.5

    Weak. Totally against the spirit of the show. Suddenly Morgan forgets how to enter a room with an unsub on the premises? Which leads to the rest of the travesty.


    The bad guys neverwin on this show (even though you know that innocent people will get killed, obviously). Even though you know he will eventually be caught, killing Spicer, having Morgan tied up and helpless and getting away with the girl, equals him winning. Writers, stop trying to end every season with a shocker, because you really blew this one. You made it very hard to even care about what happened in the next episode, which is a terrible way to start a new season.

  • Anti-climatic at best. Expected so much more from Criminal Minds.

    4.0
    I wasn't monitoring the episodes at the time, and was actually suprised to see the words "to be continued" at the end of this episode. It was only then that it hit me. "Wait. Was this the season finale?"

    It was dissapointing and a touch mundane for a Criminal Minds finale. I had distincly remembered the previous two episodes being especially entertaining and would have had high hopes for the finale, had I known that "Our Darkest Hour" was going to be it.

    They played it relatively "safe" by keeping the focus off of the team throughout the episode, and the agents themselves seemed to serve as nothing more than a backdrop for Detective Spicer (Eric Close) and Detective Kurzbard (Robert Davi). The plot was ho-hum and even the unsub's tendencies weren't as interesting as in previous episodes, let alone finales.

    Even Tim Curry as the unsub wasn't enough to make this episode stand out.

    When it comes to the end of a season, you're really expecting them to go out with a bang, if for no other reason than to keep you watching next season. This episode fell flat of any expectation I had for an episode of this otherwise intreaging and gripping show.

    Bottom line: Boring and dissapointing.
  • The best of cliffhangers.

    9.0
    Love the contrast between the guy lighting up his ciggie as the black outs begin. A deft way of showing the shift between ordinary experience and the alternative dimension of the killer's mind. Ditto the view of him, high, on the roof top staring up at the night sky like some perverted superhero. In some ways, his presence reminiscent of the great True Night atmosphere, half-mythology, half-actuality.

    Beautifully directed and good characterisation of the victims in the first scenes. Their relationship looked real. Love it when the show doesn't just throw away those characters. The killers are making people into objects so really necessary that the writers treat them as human beings. The wife's 'we didn't need words' is exactly the right area. [p]

    It was a tense opening and it's one of the times I've been really grateful for the focus shifting back to Quantico. Through much of this episode, the contrasts between the hot, dark crime scenes and the clarities of the investigative process are good. Until of course the detective's past becomes part of the process and some of that perspective is lost. [p]

    Loved the softness of Rossi's voice talking to the woman and all of that interview. Reid and Rossi used each other well - the gentlest form possible of good cop, bad cop. Reid with the hard to hear info, Rossi the one who will connect. And that made an immediate contrast to the bad understanding between Morgan and Spicer interviewing the kid. Every time Morgan clears the way to the kid, Spicer closed it up again. But good that this mess is a clue to the later disclosure about Spicer's childhood - preps the way. [p]

    A lot of people on other forums have been calling Spicer stupid, but I don't see that. If early experience shapes killers it shapes victims too. He was protecting himself out of unremembered memory, and trying to protect his present family in whatever way he'd got left to him. By the end, giving way to the tooth man was just another way of closing his eyes and believing the easy story, and it's what he does instinctively. In that context, it was interesting in the delivery of the profile that one of the officers said that thing about excusing the killer. The BAU method seeks to understand killers' motivations and that could easily look like exoneration. It's realistic to have the objection stated out loud. [p]

    I loved that last struggle between Morgan, Spicer and the killer to dictate the nature of the encounter (whether to plead or not). It was a battle in which the overlapping histories and pathologies of killer and first victim were always going to be more powerful than the clarity of Morgan's experience/knowledge. Which is why the first contrasts between crime and process were so good in setting up the dynamic. [p]

    Really good tense episode with a great atmosphere from the blackouts, and a good pace too. Like the slower pace you get with the two-parters. Great unsub. The teeth and the tobacco together a horribly effective way to get across the 'bad breath'. [p]

    This has been my least favourite season of CM, largely because the first half was a write off with it's one-eyed focus, and then there was one really sick bad episode that put me out of faith for a long time with the people behind the show. But this is probably for me the best of the cliffhangers. It's not any of the regulars directly in focus (though Morgan's position isn't too cheery, admittedly) and I appreciate that distance from the team. In some ways, there doesn't seem that much left to do. We know who the killer is, his course, his pattern, and the story has reached a climax. So I'm keen to see what the writers make of it. I suppose we don't know why he does what he does and why he started, so perhaps the second half will have a bigger emphasis on profiling and the guy's psychology. [p]

    PS Are a significant majority of city-dwelling Americans really that dim that they wouldn't turn off some of their equipment to keep the city lit, especially for at risk groups? At the best of times that would be unimaginative (or selfish) to just keep gobbling up the lecky but it's even more so given presence of the Prince of Darkness. Or is it just the writer's device to drive the story?
  • Very disappointing... (spoilers)

    3.0
    I've been a huge fan of Criminal Minds ever since I discovered it and have watched every episode and enjoyed pretty much all of them. Until now I have loved the season finales without exception.

    This episode though, was thoroughly disappointing. The detective character didn't have a single line that wasn't cliched, eg "When are the big guns coming?", "If that light hadn't been red, my parents would still be alive", etc etc. I wasn't surprised when his parents were found out to be victims, and when he died I said good riddance to a poor, poor character.

    The stupid hypnotism thing was, well, stupid, and the final showdown was not exciting. The promise thing was also pretty ridiculous.

    The only thing this ep had going for it was the killer himself, who was very, very creepy. But this was ruined as soon as he spoke with an English accent...I actually lol'd because I had been wondering how many more stereotypes they'd be able to fit in.
  • Meh.

    4.0
    Let me start this by saying that I am a huge Criminal Minds fan and have been since it premiered 4 seasons ago. I've been there from the start and this was the first television show I bought on dvd every season. That being said, this finale was disappointing to me. There seemed to be very little profiling which is what I really love and appreciate about this show. Where was the part about how he would leave the women alive to punish her (probably due to his own perception of his mother) or any other profiling like that? Everything seemed disconnected and jumbled but not in a good way. Nothing really made sense and it seemed like they were dashing from one scene to the next and jumping to conclusions as fast as possible with little thought. There was no depth. The big difference between this episode and the pig farm or New York (or even Frank or Revelations) was the lack of gravity to the situation. Yeah the guy was a prolific killer (although nothing compared to Frank) and yeah he killed but he shot someone and left the other alive and would rape the women but so what? It wasn't that terrible in comparison even with the darkness factor.

    As another reviewer said, the cop that got shot used every cliched line and it was delivered in a cliche fashion. I'm a fan of Eric Close because I used to watch Without a Trace but really?! I didn't get invested in the character as much as I wanted to and the fact that he got shot and they took his daughter away didn't much matter to me. I know that is a terrible thing to say but I don't think he was given the importance he needed in order for me to be upset about everything. Oh and how could he go from saying, "they were hit by a drunk driver I remember grandpa waking me up and telling me" to "he was there, he talked to me and put me in the closet and I saw my mom screaming while he shot her and my dad"? I did really enjoy the overall feel though. It felt very old movie-esque and the bits with the killer were really creepy. I think that part was done really well because it added the time dating especially to the killer. The inserts were nice too because it gave enough flashes of him being creepy (although that part was almost overkill and I think understated would have been better for him since he prowls and makes a point to vanish) and him traveling with the open roads. I was just so distracted by the story (possibly the editing) that I couldn't appreciate it as much as I wanted to. Maybe I need to watch it again because I was rather tired. I hope part 2 is better.
  • We've learned to expect much more from a CM season finale...

    5.4
    My score is not based only if I liked or I desliked this episode. I mean, it was an okay one... the hole story of the blackouts was very interesting, and also the unsub was very very creepy.

    But the fact is that I'm disappointed. I was expecting way much more for the season finale. CM is one of the best shows ever and I LOVE it, but we are all accostumed to have great season finales and we always expect an even better finale for the other season... and "Our Darkest Hour" can't even be compared to ANY of the others cliffhangers they've done.

    This episode, sometimes, felt a little bit cliche, dumb, I don't know. For example, first, the detective was believing that his parents were killed in a car accident... but then after the interview with Morgan he was remembering EVERYTHING that really had happened, everything that the unsub told him ("Hello there")?? This was completly unrealistic.

    Chris Mundy and Edward Allen Bernero were the responsibles for the best season finales of the show, of seasons 1, 3 and 4. And the episode wasn't so exciting because it wasn't written by one of them, but by Erica Messer. While they were concerned about that STUPID spin-off, they forgot about the original CM. I'm very worried about the course that this series may leave on season 6 if they pay too much attention to this spin-off.

    Hope that at least the second part of the finale can be a little better, and that we have an excelent season 6, because season 5 wasn't so good as the others.
  • When a serial killer/rapist comes out of hiding after many years and begins his reign of terror all over again, Hotch and the team must try to find out why and track him down whilst being hampered by rolling blackouts across Los Angeles.

    6.5
    This would be the lowest score that I would ever give a 'Criminal Minds' season finale because, compared to all the others, this one was deadly dull. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the episode was awful, in fact, I thought Tim Curry's performance as the unsub was truly excellent, but the script and therefore the acting was very sub-standard when I (and many others) have come to expect so much more.

    One of the major problems I had with it was that the only person I found interesting in the whole episode was the unsub himself. I found that I had no interest in Detective Spicer and found it very hard to swallow that Morgan was able to bring back deeply repressed memories in under two minutes when Spicer had supposedly believed his entire life that his parents had died as the result of a car accident 26 years earlier.

    Even the BAU team didn't have the 'edge' that I expect from my favorite show. It was as though they didn't really care much either about what was happening in 'The City Of Angels'. I didn't like the way Morgan dealt with the little boy who had lost his mother and I thought there was a great lack of proper profiling of the unsub in general. Again, I have to put it down to a very weak and lacklustre script with very little thought put into the plot and that is something that I find both annoying and hard to accept when excellence is so often the order of the day.

    I can only hope that the first episode of the next season will give us some nail biting moments and that the upcoming spin-off does not take anything away from the brilliant original. Perhaps we were all expecting too much given the brilliant season finale with the whole Hotch/Foyet thing but whatever it is your writers have up their sleeve, they should throw it into the last episode and they didn't do it here. Having said that, I'm really looking forward to the next season and hope that it lives up to its well-deserved reputation as one of the best crime shows currently screening.
  • loved every minute of it

    10
    this episode was a great end to the fifth season. many people didnt like it because it wasnt as full on as other season enders, but i think it was a fulfilling episode that meets my expectations. Tim Curry played the serial killer very well and i enjoyed his performance. I must admit, the Spicer thing was a tiny bit rushed but it all turned out fine (not for them). The final moments were riveting and kept me on the edge-of-my-seat as i was glued to the television screen while Morgan got knocked out, Spicer got shot and the killer took Spicer's daughter as a sovenir. I am really looking forward to the season six premiere ;)
  • hmmmm....

    5.0
    I'm not so sure about this episode. Don't get me wrong, I love this show so much I bought all its ORIGINAL box sets which cost me TWICE MORE than the pirated versions- that is how much I like the show for me to spend that kind of money in the current economy. Okay... hmmm on one side I like the episode because it is Criminal Minds, but on the other side somehow I feel something is missing. Maybe it is too early for me to judge before watching its continuation in Season 6. In this respect, I am sitting on the fence, unsure how should I really feel about it.

    Since I first watched the show, I love what the writers have done keeping us viewers at the edge of our seats in the season three and season four's episode finale. Episode five finale, is still a question mark for me.
  • This may be my favorite Unsub EVER!!

    9.5
    So granted I did not care for Detective Spicer (though I do love actor Eric Close) as much as I wanted to, and I do not believe a person could recover memories so deeply burried by trauma without true hypnosis, I think the episode was a total win. The team seemed to take a bit of a back seat to the LA cops, not profiling as much as we usually see, but letting Spicer take more of a lead role than most cops they work with. They did more victimology and profiling of the cops than the killer. The story seemed to be pushed along a little, maybe by time constraints (personally I could have watched more)...

    But all of this is forgiven when looking at the Unsub! Tim Curry is one of my favorite actors of all time. With all that he has been in (Rocky Horror, Clue, Color of Magic, Three Musketeers, Ferngully, Earth 2, Annie) hes done it all, good guy, bad guy, cop, thief, priest, transvestite... and I always believe the story he's telling. As a serial killer he is seriously creepy. I think we are going to find that he blows Frank and Foyett out of the water as far as serial killers go. Garcia said that there was not a state in the 48 continental that he had not killed in. She said he never hit the same CITY twice till LA, and hes been killing for 26 years, the worst she's ever seen (and this includes Frank and Foyett) so that means we may be looking at a GREAT story for our killer. I have high hopes for the Season opener this fall, though I hate waiting that long to see what else Tim Curry is going to do with this character.

    And for those of you who reviewed this episode and thought the British accent was hokey, all I can say is... its Tim Curry... he's British... Carefull not to make snap decisions about writing and acting choices if you don't know the actor kids :)

    I say GO CRIMINAL MINDS... Another Nail-Biting Season Ender!
  • Criminal Minds team are called to central LA when a series a murders begin during summer. Rolling blackouts due to the heat creates the perfect cover for an Unsub named The Prince of Darkness. Its also discovered he is the worst unsub they've dealt with.

    9.0
    I absolutely loved this Season Finale... With all the really character impacted finales we've seen this was a relief. It left you wanting Season 6 straight away and wanting to see the epic Unsub chase. As always Shemar Moore was perfect in his role of Morgan. I like that he's taken a bigger role over the past couple of seasons. He is the heart of the squad and brings emotion throughout. Tim Curry plays the 'Prince of Darkness' unsub in this and is Perfect! Creepy, ugle and im sure he smells... Pure evil and there is little to NO motive for his killings rather that pure narcissistic rage. The only very small problem i have is the twist with the Detective towards then end was processed too quickly... but that was a very tiny issue in an Excellent episode.
  • The Prince of Darkness is on the loose!

    10
    This episode was the perect season ending for this series. When a mysterious killer appears in Los Angeles, and starts to kill people, the BAU team is called to help the police.

    I really enjoyed this episode, because the whole story shakes you up a little, and makes you wonder if you're life hasn't been shappened by someone right from the beggining. The performance of all actors was excellent. I was caught of guard when I saw that the unsub, the Prince of Darkness, was being played by Tim Curry... I mean, he's one of the best actors ever, when it comes to playing creepy, evil and scary characters; plus the fact that we're bounded to see him on next season's premiere, it's a really wicked bonus. Too bad the episode ended in a cliffhanger, right when it was starting to get interesting... still, we have to wait for next season to find out if the Prince of Darkness is caught or killed. 10 out of 10!
  • Spine-tingling season finale! Really creepty!

    10
    This was an amazing end to a scintillating season of 'Criminal Mind's'. The episode was definitely a very suspenseful, sad and freaky one, and it certainly did send some shivers up your spine!

    The case was a unique one, that's fro sure. It was relly interesting that the killer was targeting 'blackout'-strcuk regions, and I think that the rwriters were really clever when they established this storyline.

    Definitely ends quite ususpensefully, and I can't wait until I see how this will be resolvesd. Keep it up, Criminal Minds, and I hope that the next season will be just as good as wthis one!

    I'd highly recommend this amazing episode, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Great job, guys!
  • OMG!

    10
    I was a little nervous where the episode was heading when I started watching it, but the last few minutes just shook me! Spoilers---okay so I get all panicky when story lines revolve around children and in this that guy was just beyond words creepy! I can imagine having nightmares about him...I absolutely LOVE Eric Close, making the ending just SO PAINFUL to watch. But his acting was flawless...that being said, it still was supposed to be the season finale of Criminal Minds: yet the immediate cast of Criminal Minds seemed to be overshadowed by Eric Close--but that's okay, we know we can anticipate a powerful next season premiere where our awesome Criminal Minds team will kick ass!
  • Blackouts..

    9.3
    This case is as dark as it can get.. The case is build well: it seems totally random. It looks like this unsub knows what he is doing and everyone is unprotected and now team has to figure it out. And the fear of dark gets a totally new message.

    I think the best part was that young detective.. The way he believed what he believed.. and what he learned about his past and that all that is going on because of him.. And then the ending.. that was.. I was afraid it will even be worse but.. it was dark and it left so much up to the air..
  • Another great finale from Criminal Minds!

    10
    In this episode of Criminal Minds, the following happens. When a serial killer starts killing in LA during blackouts, the BAU team are called in. Quickly Garcia manages to link the Unsub to crimes starching back over 26 years. It comes as a surprise to everyone, including the detective, when we learn that his parents were victims of the Unsub. The team believe that he is the next target, and the detective and Morgan race to his house where his sister and daughter are. When they get there, they have gone; the Unsub has taken them to the house where the detective's parents were killed.
    As Morgan enters the room he gets knocked out and the daughter, Ellie, has to tie him up. As the detective enters the room he is forced to hand over his gun, and then the Unsub kills him in front of everyone. As he takes his last breathe, the Unsub grabs Ellie and leaves with her, the screen fades to black and says to be continued.
    Overall yet another excellent finale. Although not as good as previous ones, when compared to other shows it is still up in the top 5 for this season. I can't wait for the fall for the return of this show so we can see what happens next. My only problem with this episode is it shows how stupid people can be. Ohh yeah there's no power or lights but let's leave the door on our bedroom open so someone can kill us!!!! Sometime people are their own worst enemy.
  • Yet another amazing season finale from Criminal Minds

    10
    Our Darkest Hour is yet another extremely well done season finale for the show Criminal Minds. Everything about it was enjoyable from the camera work during shots of the unsub driving around LA. Two more well done shots are; the one where all of LA loses electricity and all thats lit up are the bust roads full of cars. The other well done camera work is the end scene in the bedroom. Another thing that made this episode extremely good is the unsub is ridiculously creepy, portrayed by Tim Curry (the dude that was in charge of the hotel in Home Alone 2). I also loved the big reveal and twist at the end of the episode. I loved this episode for so many different reasons and Criminal Minds proved once again that they are the king of finales.
  • One word...Amazing!!

    9.5
    What a great episode. All classic Criminal Minds episode. Creepy, good, and Wow!. This episode takes place in LA. The episode is actually pretty creepy but really good. The UnSub prefers to kill in the dark. In LA during the summer there are a lot of blackouts which the UnSub takes advantage of and picks his victims and kills them in the dark. It results that the UnSub killed the parents of Detective Spicer. This results to be the crack of the case. His daughter is the next victim and they rush to his house to find her but she's not there. He and Morgan go to Spicer's old house in Satan Monica where Morgan gets knocked out and Spicer gets killed. The episode ends by the UnSub taking Spicer's daughter, Morgan is knocked out, and Spicer dead. The episode finishes "To Be Continued" I can't believe they left us like that!! But really good episode. I'm an HP shipper so for anyone who likes them there is a very small moment when we see them together :)...YAY for Criminal Minds season 6!!
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