The BEST Episodes of Without a Trace

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2019

Network: CBS

Without a Trace is a fast-paced procedural drama about the Missing Persons Squad of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The sole responsibility of the special task force is to find missing persons by applying advanced psychological profiling techniques to peel back the layers of the victims' lives and trace their whereabouts in an effort to discover whether they have been abducted, been murdered, committed suicide or simply run away. The team reconstructs a "Day of Disappearance" timeline that details every minute of the 24 hours prior to the disappearance, following one simple rule: learn who the victim is in order to learn where the victim is. Senior agent Jack Malone (Anthony LaPaglia) heads the dedicated team that knows too well that every second counts when someone vanishes.

Hang On to Me

#1 - Hang On to Me

Season 1 - Episode 13

Chet Collins has been searching for his son since the boy was kidnapped four years earlier on a camping trip, and is the one case that Jack has never been able to forget. When Chet disappears, leaving behind only his wedding ring and the mountains of debt he had accumulated in his search, Jack will go to any lengths to find Collins and save him from himself.

star 8.27
89 votes
Writers: Ed Redlich
Lost and Found

#2 - Lost and Found

Season 2 - Episode 23

When the team searches whether foul play was involved in the adoption of a 16-year-old girl who went missing back in 1991 shows up at the FBI offices with an article she found online, which makes her believe she was kidnapped as a young child. Meanwhile, Jack tells the team he's moving to Chicago with his family.

star 8.21
52 votes
Directors: Hank Steinberg
Writers: Hank Steinberg

#3 - Doppelgänger

Season 2 - Episode 19

The team investigates a missing woman's boyfriend, with whom she lived. However, they determine that he has a twin brother and quickly turn their attention to him.

star 8.21
53 votes
Directors: Andy Wolk
Writers: Hank Steinberg
Two Families

#4 - Two Families

Season 2 - Episode 21

When a father who goes missing while trying to prove that his son a death-row inmate who is scheduled to die in two days is innocence, The past 11 years of the missing Mans life have been devoted to proving that his son, was wrongly convicted of killing a young married couple in front of their daughter during a convenience story robbery. While the team does not rule out that the despondent man could have brought harm upon himself, the team members find themselves wondering if the man is right about his son innocence.

star 8.19
57 votes
Writers: Ed Redlich

#5 - Suspect

Season 1 - Episode 5

A 17-year-old vanishes from his private boarding school campus.In which he is last seen by the charismatic headmaster of the private boarding school that he attends .

star 8.19
90 votes
Directors: Peter Markle
Writers: Allison Abner

#6 - Bait

Season 2 - Episode 24

The team searches for a mother and her two children, who are last seen boarding a yacht which is later found adrift in New York's Harbor with only its dead captain aboard. Meanwhile, Malone gets ready to leave the team and move with his family to Chicago.

star 8.18
60 votes
Writers: Jan Nash, Greg Walker
In the Dark

#7 - In the Dark

Season 3 - Episode 1

The team searches for a recently blinded girl and her companion who disappeared during a camping trip. Vivian takes over as the supervisor, while Jack struggles to say goodbye to his family.

star 8.17
66 votes
Directors: Paul Holahan
Writers: Hank Steinberg
Silent Partner

#8 - Silent Partner

Season 1 - Episode 6

The team investigate the disappearance of the VP (Erich Anderson) of an investment-banking firm who vanished at a San Diego airport and left behind her two empty suitcases behind in the airport.

star 8.17
90 votes
Directors: Randall Zisk
Writers: Greg Walker
Underground Railroad

#9 - Underground Railroad

Season 1 - Episode 12

Jack and the team search for a pregnant woman, Kathy Dobson, who disappeared from a hospital before being told that she has serious complications. As the detectives race against time to find Kathy, their investigation gradually reveals that Kathy's seemingly happy life actually hasn't been going very well. She is eight-and-a-half months pregnant and, under the tight control of her husband Paul, has withdrawn from her family and friends. Paul's brother Ritchie, who has been following Kathy and providing Paul with addresses she visits, lists a woman who may be affiliated with an "underground railroad" that helps battered women. When the team members find the woman, they learn that she has been assaulted by Paul -- but she still refuses to lead them to Kathy.

star 8.12
92 votes
Directors: Tom McLoughlin
Writers: Hank Steinberg
Fall Out (2)

#10 - Fall Out (2)

Season 1 - Episode 23

When the team tries to plot a strategy after they find out that Samantha has been shot and that she might be critically injured in the hostage crisis situation. Jack makes a deal with Barry so that Sam can get help and Jack goes in there and takes Sam's place.

star 8.11
28 votes
Directors: Paul Holahan
Writers: Hank Steinberg

#11 - Risen

Season 2 - Episode 16

A new lead reveals details about a missing woman's sexual history.

star 8.10
51 votes
Directors: Tony Wharmby
Writers: David H. Goodman
Fall Out (1)

#12 - Fall Out (1)

Season 1 - Episode 22

With the aftershocks of Sept. 11 and man named Barry , who lost his wife that day and then his job soon after. The man lashes out at her former boss an employment-agency owner. Blaming her for his wife's death and his own failure to find a job, Barry kidnaps the woman for ransom.Then he demands the money be exchanged at a bookstore, but when the cash is delivers Berry is provoked and takes the store's patrons hostage. Among them is Samantha,and given Jack's affection for her complicates the negotiations.

star 8.08
65 votes
Directors: Kevin Hooks
Writers: Hank Steinberg
Nickel and Dimed (1)

#13 - Nickel and Dimed (1)

Season 3 - Episode 6

A young mother disappears after leaving her three year old son with a babysitter.

star 8.06
65 votes
Directors: Martha Mitchell
Writers: David Amann
Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?

#14 - Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?

Season 1 - Episode 21

Jack's methods for investigation of child molester could result in the case being kicked out of court. Then on top of that, the Office of Professional Responsibility decides to investigate the team, but their real target is Jack

star 8.05
59 votes
Directors: Peter Markle
Writers: Harry Litman, Ed Redlich

#15 - Legacy

Season 2 - Episode 18

The team searches for a man who goes missing after leaving his wife's hair salon to deposit the day's earnings following an argument with her. Meanwhile, Danny resists getting pulled back into the life of his convict brother who is up for parole, and Martin's impending firearms qualifications test dredges up unsettling memories for him.

star 8.02
55 votes
Directors: Tim Matheson
Writers: Allison Abner, Maria Maggenti
Gung Ho

#16 - Gung Ho

Season 2 - Episode 17

When a young soldier recently returned from Iraq disappears, Jack and Danny look into his disappearance only to learn that the soldier may have more secrets than they want to uncover.

star 8.02
56 votes
Directors: Paul Holahan
Writers: Dale Kutzera, Simon Mirren

#17 - Wannabe

Season 2 - Episode 15

A 12 year old boy (Jake Thomas) goes missing. The team discovers that the boy had a rough 24 hours leading up to his disappearance. He disappeared in the middle of the school day, the only clues a broken miror, a discarded hall pass, and blood on the wall....until a picture of him is sent around the school.

star 8.02
59 votes
Directors: David Barrett
Writers: Hank Steinberg
Doppelgänger II

#18 - Doppelgänger II

Season 3 - Episode 8

When a homeless woman disappears from a shelter, the team is forced to re-examine the case of twin brothers Greg and Rick Knowles. Five months earlier (Doppelganger), Greg Knowles had confessed to a series of brutal murders, but the team was always convinced that it was Rick who had actually performed the killings. When Greg is released from jail and exonerated of the crimes, the team has to work against the clock to prove that Rick is the guilty party and to save one twin from the other.

star 8.02
59 votes
Writers: Hank Steinberg

#19 - Volcano

Season 3 - Episode 13

When Ian Norville disappears on a field trip to a museum in Manhattan, the team gets involved, but it isn't long before Jack turns his suspicion to his father, Daniel, who soon admits that he didn't take the necessary precautions with his son, who happens to be autistic.

star 8.00
58 votes
Writers: Greg Walker
In Extremis

#20 - In Extremis

Season 1 - Episode 9

Dr. Anwar Samir, a third year resident at a New York hospital suddenly goes missing following a disagreement with his superior and the rejection of a proposal by his girlfriend. Given his Saudi Arabian background, almost inevitably suspicions arise of terrorist links. Witnesses and colleagues begin to question past "suspicious" behaviour, and disagreement manifests within the team itself as to the presumption of guilt as the Joint Terrorism Task Force also becomes increasingly involved.

star 7.99
93 votes
Directors: Peter Markle
Writers: Francisco Castro
Upstairs Downstairs

#21 - Upstairs Downstairs

Season 3 - Episode 4

When a nanny, and the child she took care of, disappear from her employers' home after being fired by them, the team must determine if the nanny is a kidnapping victim, or a kidnapping suspect.

star 7.98
64 votes
Writers: Hank Steinberg
Little Big Man

#22 - Little Big Man

Season 1 - Episode 8

Jack and the team search for teenager William Hope, who goes missing in a very bad neighborhood after a confrontation with a local bully. Considered a good kid, William was living in a foster home after 18 months on the street and seemed destined for a better life when he disappeared. The squad discovers that his older brother Aaron, recently released from juvenile hall, visited William, despite the fact that his foster family forbade Aaron from being in their home. Jack and the others then learn that William was seen getting into a car with Aaron immediately prior to disappearing, and they fear that the good kid may have gone bad.

star 7.97
92 votes
Directors: Paul Holahan
Writers: Jacob Epstein
Between the Cracks

#23 - Between the Cracks

Season 1 - Episode 4

they investigate the disappearance of a 19-year-old model who left a half-packed suitcase on the bed in her apartment.

star 7.96
108 votes
Directors: Steve Gormer
Writers: Ed Redlich

#24 - Requiem

Season 4 - Episode 22

The team searches for Ted Jordano and his teenage children after the three turn up missing and their house is a veritable bloodbath.

star 7.96
52 votes
Directors: John Showalter
Writers: Jan Nash
Snatch Back

#25 - Snatch Back

Season 1 - Episode 7

prominents assistant district attorney whose child vanishes from a park filled with suspects and twists.The 2-year-old daughter of an old friend of Jack's, ADA Angela Buckman , disappears while being cared for . Usually the team sets up a timeline and tracks the victim's whereabouts as evidence comes in, filling in pieces of the mystery as they go. But here, Jack and his agents have no clue what happened to the child beyond her swift disappearance.

star 7.96
99 votes
Directors: Leslie Libman
Writers: Stacy Rukeyser