The BEST Episodes of Without a Trace

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 3, 2020

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.

Fall Out (2)

#1 - Fall Out (2)

Season 1 - Episode 23 - Aired May 15, 2003

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 9.02
82 votes
Directors: Paul Holahan
Writers: Hank Steinberg
Little Big Man

#2 - Little Big Man

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 14, 2002

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 8.71
147 votes
Directors: Paul Holahan
Writers: Jacob Epstein
Legacy

#3 - Legacy

Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 11, 2004

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 8.65
81 votes
Directors: Tim Matheson
Writers: Allison Abner, Maria Maggenti
Silent Partner

#4 - Silent Partner

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 31, 2002

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 8.65
144 votes
Directors: Randall Zisk
Writers: Greg Walker
Volcano

#5 - Volcano

Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 3, 2005

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 8.64
85 votes
Writers: Greg Walker
Bait

#6 - Bait

Season 2 - Episode 24 - Aired May 20, 2004

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 8.57
113 votes
Writers: Greg Walker, Jan Nash
Fall Out (1)

#7 - Fall Out (1)

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired May 8, 2003

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 8.43
146 votes
Directors: Kevin Hooks
Writers: Hank Steinberg
Kam Li

#8 - Kam Li

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired Mar 13, 2003

They search for a retired U.S. Army officer who has disappeared right after a dinner that was given in his honor by former members of his Vietnam platoon

star 8.42
146 votes
Directors: Randall Zisk
Writers: Jacob Epstein
Victory for Humanity

#9 - Victory for Humanity

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Apr 10, 2003

They search for a young high-school teacher who disappeared after a night class in the Bronx, turning up contradictory information about the subject.

star 8.42
150 votes
Writers: Hank Steinberg
Suspect

#10 - Suspect

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 24, 2002

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 8.41
172 votes
Directors: Peter Markle
Writers: Allison Abner
Between the Cracks

#11 - Between the Cracks

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 17, 2002

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

star 8.40
189 votes
Directors: Steve Gormer
Writers: Ed Redlich
Hang On to Me

#12 - Hang On to Me

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 30, 2003

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 8.40
196 votes
Writers: Ed Redlich
Light Years

#13 - Light Years

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 14, 2004

This time, the team searches for a delusional appearing Sci-fi fanatic who disappeared from his appartment after ranting on about those "out to get him" (before peeling back the tinfoil covering his windows). Jack also has to deal with the consequences of his actions in the affair and how it affected the rest of the team.

star 8.39
109 votes
Directors: Craig Zisk
Writers: Greg Walker
The Line

#14 - The Line

Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 5, 2004

When a female ex-cop-turned-bounty-hunter is shot then goes missing the team must investigate her where about's

star 8.35
110 votes
Writers: Greg Walker
Two Families

#15 - Two Families

Season 2 - Episode 21 - Aired Apr 29, 2004

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 8.34
110 votes
Writers: Ed Redlich
Chameleon

#16 - Chameleon

Season 7 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 10, 2009

The team uncovers a history of deception as they search for a man posing as a college student vanishes.

star 8.31
216 votes
Directors: Eric Close
Writers: Byron Balasco
No Mas

#17 - No Mas

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 24, 2003

The team find themselves up against the ropes as multiple mysteries arise in the case of a boxer. Dante Jones disappears moments before a bout with a $500,000 purse that which could have made him a title contender. Jack suspects it's stunt, but Vivian, a Jones fan, can't believe that the charity-loving, straight-arrow fighter would go doewn that low road. The search goes in a new direction when his younger brother who he is always bailing out of trouble, vanishes. Then it's learned he has made 2 million dollers in the past five years,but he only has $6000 in his bank account.

star 8.31
148 votes
Directors: Paul Holahan
Writers: Greg Walker
Rise and Fall

#18 - Rise and Fall

Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 28, 2008

The team must shift their attention from a case they are working on and hand it over to Martin, after a child is reported to have been kidnapped at a mall.

star 8.31
134 votes
Writers: David Amann
Snatch Back

#19 - Snatch Back

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 7, 2002

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 8.30
180 votes
Directors: Leslie Libman
Writers: Stacy Rukeyser
There Goes the Bride

#20 - There Goes the Bride

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 20, 2003

A bride disappears at her own wedding and suspicions of kidnapping. Meanwhile, the team explores the relationship between the newlyweds, who were lived together for a little while.

star 8.29
157 votes
Directors: Deran Sarafian
Writers: Steven Kane
He Saw, She Saw

#21 - He Saw, She Saw

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 10, 2002

Four different witnesses claim that a woman was abducted from a mall parking lot while her husband was standing just yards away with his back turned to her.

star 8.29
187 votes
Directors: Rachel Talalay
Writers: Jan Nash
Push Comes to Shove

#22 - Push Comes to Shove

Season 7 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 2, 2008

The team must decide whether or not a doctor's past is a factor in her disappearance.

star 8.28
155 votes
Directors: John Showalter
Writers: Alicia Kirk, Diego Gutierrez
True / False

#23 - True / False

Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 21, 2008

The team discovers a long festering secret which sets off a deadly chain of events when they investigate the disappearance of the teenage son of a Secret Service man.

star 8.28
159 votes
Directors: Martha Mitchell
Writers: Diego Gutierrez
In Extremis

#24 - In Extremis

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 21, 2002

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 8.26
200 votes
Directors: Peter Markle
Writers: Francisco Castro
Wannabe

#25 - Wannabe

Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 12, 2004

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 8.26
113 votes
Directors: David Barrett
Writers: Hank Steinberg