The Darkest Hour is a case featured in Criminal Case as the one-hundred seventy-first case of the game. It is the fifty-sixth and final case of the game's World Edition (Season 3), as well as the final one to take place in North America.
Upon being informed of the kidnapping of President James Hewett, Carmen and the player rushed to Air Force One to find him. After searching the plane, Ingrid reported that a body had been dumped in Times Square amidst a large crowd. There, Carmen and the player found Natasha Romanova, the former head of COSMORUS and Marina's mother, with her throat slashed by a letter opener.
During the investigation, the team concluded that the murder was a part of SOMBRA's plan to get the United States to blame Russia for kidnapping President Hewett. Under Vice President Sarah Bennett's orders, Marina was then arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for suspected conspiracy with her mother, infuriating Jonah. Because Carmen wanted to look out for Jonah, Jack replaced her in the investigation. SOMBRA also broke Angela out of jail, so she could walk into the Bureau's break room and plant a bomb to kill the team. Jonah managed to lessen the explosion, but got seriously injured in the process. Later, the USA declared war on Russia, putting the world on the brink of World War III. Despite the chaos, the team was able to find enough evidence to find Vice President Bennett guilty of the murder.
After Sarah escaped arrest with the help of some FBI agents, Baxter Fraser said that he was mind-controlled into helping Sarah and Natasha in the kidnapping. He then told Jack and the player that President Hewett was being kept in the city catacombs. With Dupont as their guide, they found Sarah there holding James at gunpoint. Revealing that El Rey wanted to kill James personally, Sarah shot Jack, albeit non-fatally. She fired again to kill Jack, but Dupont took the bullet in the chest. Jack then shot Sarah in the head and he and the player freed James and took Dupont to the hospital.
After the arrest, Marina was released and Ingrid talked to James about SOMBRA, making him initiate peace talks with Russia. Ingrid then ordered the team to find a way to arrest all of SOMBRA's members to prevent its recovery, while Lars informed them that Dupont only had a few hours to live.
After Marina and the player helped heal Baxter of his brainwashing, Lars and the player spoke to Angela, who said only Sarah and Hector knew about the remaining SOMBRA agents. After Lars and Angela bade farewell for good, Carmen and the player searched Air Force One for Sarah's belongings. There, they found her USB key which (per Elliot) contained the decryption key for the encrypted file in BØB's hard drive. The file had Hector's personal database of all SOMBRA agents, which Elliot proceeded to give to law enforcement authorities worldwide. The duo then went to inform Hector of SOMBRA's end.
Meanwhile, Jack and the player visited Dupont, who said he was glad to have protected his friends and to have rescued the president in his final moments. Dupont asked the two to search the cloisters for his notebook, which they found and returned to him. Dupont said that it belonged to his great-grandfather, Charles Dupont, who had recorded his adventures while working with someone very much like the player. He then entrusted the notebook to the player.
After the events, the team (and Sanjay) became guests of honor at a special assembly held by the Unified Nations. At the assembly, James said that the border wall with Mexico and the exit from the Unified Nations were all done on Sarah's discretion and that he would reverse these decisions, while also admitting that he too was at fault. Leila Malak then awarded the player with the UN Peace Award. After being shown the prize, Dupont thanked the team for their company before dying in peace.
A few days later, the team, Sanjay, and the triplets held a funeral for Dupont. Once everyone left the cemetery, Ripley came to pay respects as well. Two weeks later, Ingrid announced that the Bureau would be disbanded as its purpose had now been fulfilled. After everybody reminisced about the forged relationships and strange events throughout the player's tenure, Jack started reading the adventures written in Dupont's notebook to the player and the triplets.
- Natasha Romanova (found with her throat slashed)
- Letter Opener
- Sarah Bennett
- The killer has military training.
- The killer takes sleeping pills.
- The killer drinks whiskey.
- The killer wears white.
- The killer is a woman.
- Investigate Air Force One. (Clues: Clock [Locked Camera], Eagle Clasp)
- Examine Locked Camera. (Result: Camera Screen; New Suspect: Olivia Hewett)
- Ask Olivia Hewett about the argument with her husband. (Prerequisite: Camera unlocked)
- Examine Eagle Clasp. (Result: Fingerprints)
- Examine Fingerprints. (New Suspect: Baxter Fraser)
- Confront Baxter about his presence on Air Force One. (Prerequisite: Baxter's Fingerprints identified)
- Investigate Times Square. (All tasks before must be done first; Clues: Lunch Remains, Victim's Body, Letter Opener; Victim identified: Natasha Romanova; Murder Weapon registered: Letter Opener)
- Examine Lunch Remains. (Result: Phone)
- Examine Phone. (New Suspect: Rick Murray)
- Ask Rick Murray what he saw at Times Square. (Prerequisite: Phone unlocked)
- Autopsy Victim's Body. (18:00:00; New Suspect: Leila Malak; Attribute: The killer has military training)
- Ask Leila Malak about the victim. (Prerequisite: Victim's Body autopsied)
- Analyze Letter Opener. (03:00:00; Attribute: The killer takes sleeping pills)
- Go to Chapter 2. (No stars)
- Talk to Sarah Bennett about Marina. (Available after unlocking Chapter 2; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Cloisters; Profile updated: Sarah has military training)
- Investigate Cloisters. (Prerequisite: Sarah interrogated; Clues: Bloody Gloves, Prayer Book)
- Examine Bloody Gloves. (Result: Blood)
- Analyze Blood. (12:00:00; Attribute: The killer drinks whiskey; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Terrace)
- Investigate Terrace. (Prerequisite: Blood analyzed; Clues: Newspaper, Tablet)
- Examine Newspaper. (Result: Arabic Text)
- Analyze Arabic Text. (12:00:00)
- Ask Leila Malak about the death of her family. (Prerequisite: Arabic Text analyzed; Profile updated: Profile updated: Leila takes sleeping pills)
- Examine Tablet. (New Suspect: Angela Douglas)
- Confront Angela. (Prerequisite: Angela identified on Tablet; Profile updated: Angela drinks whiskey)
- Examine Prayer Book. (Result: Hair)
- Examine Hair. (Result: Baxter Fraser's hair)
- Confront Baxter about having been at the cloisters. (Prerequisite: Hair identified under microscope; Profile updated: Baxter has military training and takes sleeping pills)
- Go to Chapter 3. (No stars)
- Demand answers from Angela about the bomb. (Available after unlocking Chapter 3; Profile updated: Angela has military training and takes sleeping pills; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Plane Entrance)
- Investigate Plane Entrance. (Prerequisite: Angela interrogated; Clues: Torn Paper, Love Letters, Laptop)
- Examine Torn Paper. (Result: Protection Request)
- Confront Sarah Bennett about refusing the President protection. (Prerequisite: Protection Request restored; Profile updated: Sarah takes sleeping pills and drinks whiskey)
- Examine Love Letters. (Result: Text on Envelope)
- Confront Olivia Hewett about the letters. (Prerequisite: Text on Envelope unraveled; Profile updated: Olivia has military training and drinks whiskey)
- Examine Laptop.
- Analyze Laptop. (09:00:00; Profile updated: Baxter drinks whiskey)
- Ask Rick Murray about his feud with the President. (Prerequisite: Laptop analyzed; Profile updated: Rick takes sleeping pills)
- Investigate Tombstone. (All tasks before must be done first; Clues: Candlestick, Chest)
- Examine Candlestick. (Result: Bloody Fibers)
- Analyze Bloody Fibers. (09:00:00; Attribute: The killer wears white)
- Examine Chest. (Result: Natasha's Necklace)
- Analyze Natasha's Necklace. (15:00:00; Attribute: The killer is a woman)
- Take care of the killer now!
- Go to Edge of Darkness (8/8). (No stars)
Edge of Darkness (8/8)
- Visit Dupont in the hospital. (Available after unlocking Edge of Darkness; Reward: Burger)
- Investigate Cloisters. (Prerequisite: Dupont interrogated; Clue: Notebook)
- Examine Notebook. (Result: Faded Notes)
- Examine Faded Notes. (Result: Dupont's Motto)
- Return the notebook to Dupont. (Prerequisite: Dupont's Motto unraveled on Notebook; Reward: 20,000 Coins)
- Investigate Times Square. (Available after unlocking Edge of Darkness; Clue: Baxter Fraser [Baxter's Brain Scan])
- Analyze Baxter's Brain Scan. (06:00:00)
- Ask Angela about other SOMBRA agents. (Prerequisite: Baxter's Brain Scan analyzed)
- Investigate Air Force One. (Prerequisite: Angela interrogated; Clue: Briefcase)
- Examine Briefcase. (Result: USB Key)
- Analyze USB Key. (06:00:00)
- Inform El Rey about SOMBRA's final defeat. (Prerequisite: USB Key analyzed; Reward: Bureau Outfit)
- Show the award to Dupont. (All tasks before must be done first; Armand Dupont's Funeral commences after all tasks before are done)
- Move on to a new crime (in Mysteries of the Past)! (No stars)
- This case shares its title with The Darkest Hour, a 2011 Russian-American science fiction thriller film.
- This case was released on a Wednesday instead of the regular Thursday due to holiday festivities per Pretty Simple.
- This is the only case which features six suspects instead of the usual five.
- The case features a different cover picture for the Edge of Darkness chapter from all other Edge of Darkness cover pictures in North America.
- Due to the story's canon, Judge Adaku does not make an appearance in this case.
- Due to the case's canon, the victim's body is not found in the first crime scene.
- This case is one of the few where a main character is flagged as a suspect for plausible reasons.
- Due to sticker pages only having the capacity for five suspects on "The Suspects" page, this case is one of two cases wherein not all suspects have stickers, the other being It All Ends Here.
- In this case, there is no suspect sticker for Angela.
- This is one of the cases in which Carmen and Jack interact with each other.
- In the "Air Force One" crime scene, a replica of the Statue of Liberty can be seen.
- The police cars in the "Times Square" crime scene look to be influenced by the ninth generation Chevrolet Impala, while the taxi in the background is based on the second generation Ford Crown Victoria.