The Best Episodes of Without a Trace
Last Updated: May 8, 2019
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.
#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.
#3 - 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.
#5 - 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.
#6 - 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.
#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.
#8 - 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.
#11 - 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.
#12 - 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.
#13 - 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.
#14 - 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.
#15 - 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.
#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.
#17 - 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
#18 - 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.
#19 - 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.
#20 - 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.
#21 - 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.
#22 - 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.
#23 - Expectations
Season 4 - Episode 19
Megan Sullivan is H.I.V. positive, pregnant and missing. Initially the team suspects that her husband, who seemed to be less than thrilled about the baby, is involved, but soon learn that Megan had received a call from a prison, and their search tracks them to a former lover, who gave her H.I.V., her husband's former mistress, who had seen her taking part in a tense conversation not long before she vanished, and her own H.I.V. specialist, who had recently given her bad news. Martin thanks Danny for his help, and tells him that he is continuing to seek counseling for his addiction.
#24 - 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.