Without a Trace

Season 1 Episode 2

Birthday Boy

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Oct 03, 2002 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
104 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

For his eleventh birthday, Gabe Freedman is going to a baseball game at Yankee Stadium with his father. When the two get separated at the subway station, Bob is convinced he will meet up with his son at the next station, or at the park itself. After being unsuccessful in locating his son, Bob calls in the team who is convinced that the boy was abducted until evidence leads them to believe that Gabe may have run off on purpose.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Little slow but quite good

    If considering that pilot had really great motion then this one was little slow in some parts and the case did not had that kind of great twist as the pilot, so it felt weaker.

    The story starts really excitingly, I most say that start promising something more and even if it came out that boy probably run out himself it still sounded much better than it ended.. it lost the steam somewhere in the middle.

    And I think the little concentration and building tension between characters was a good idea too - so far we know only very little but I think they will be important part of the show.moreless
  • Enjoyable episode!

    This episode was suspenseful. I liked the fact that Martin still had to earn Jack's trust and respect; it showed that Jack runs a tight ship and their is no room for nonsense. The plot of this episode was interesting in itself, as was the outcome. I did not expect that the young boy was adopted nor that he would trust some random person online claiming to be his dad. This boy was smart enough to get to Yankee Stadium after giving his dad the slip and sell his ticket to a scalper for more than what it was worth. This episode was very unique.moreless
  • A better set, a new beginning!

    I think this epi is better than the first. Mainly because of the new set!

    Much better! Has more space, is more clear and great!

    I love the "new" agent. Martim was so normal... Exactly like we in the beginning of a new work! And is so gorgeous!

    I love the way why they described Martim acceptation on the work: Danny being jealous and rude with him; Viv giving good advices, Jack being an exigent and authoritarian boss and Sam being nice and try to show some comprehension about his acceptation difficulties.

    The case was very interesting and the kid adoption was a good surprise!

    Definitively a promise of a great tv show! I will see every single epi!moreless
  • I didnt like this one much.

    This was the 1st episode of Without a Trace that I got to see and I didnt think it was like that good to start with. I thought the little boy was cute but it was like a little bit predictable and everything and also not all realistic and everything. I mean, I dont think he could have got so far without anyone seeing him and taking him home first. Anyway, I do actually like the program a lot but I dont think this was one of its best episodes or anything. You didnt really get a proper sense of who the characters were and stuff.moreless
  • Boy is seperated from his father and gets into trouble where he is then almost kid napped by a predator he meets online.

    Not exaclty one of the greatest episodes of Without A Trace. Just average. Shows how kids meet child predators over the internet. Gabe is suppose to go to a baseball game with his dad but is seperated at the subway station. Gabe sells his tickets and meets some kids, tries to steal chips from a convenient store, and goes to meet who he thinks is his biological father to help him who is actually a predator. I guess it's a good story line but it didn't interest me as much as the other episodes. I wouldn't say that this specific episode is a must see but it's not completely horrible.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: The geography of the New York subway system is incorrect. First, there is no part of the subway system where consecutive stations are 57th street and 66th street -- the station south of 66th street is 59th street. Second, the station just before Yankee Stadium (from Manhattan) is underground.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Jack Malone: I've worked hundreds of these cases and certain patterns tend to develop. Now, I may not like these patterns, but I can't ignore them. You wanna know what those patterns are?
      Mr. Freedman: Yeah.
      Jack Malone: When a child goes missing, whoever claims to have saw them last is usually the one that took them. And if that person happens to be one of the parents, the incidence doubles. My gut says you're okay, but I don't know you. I'm trying to get to know you so that I can help you. But I can't help you unless you earn my trust.

    • Samantha Spade: Heard you got a little wet.
      Martin Fitzgerald: Beats sweating my ass off in the doghouse.

    • Martin Fitzgerald: How long does it take to get out of his doghouse?
      Danny Taylor: Depends on the dog.
      Samantha Spade: Don't worry about Danny, he's just marking his teritory.

    • (After Martin tackles the suspect and they both land in the pond.)
      Jack Malone: Where did you learn that? White collar?
      Martin Fitzgerald: No, sixth grade swim class.

    • (Commenting about the tip line.)
      Martin Fitzgerald: Look, I know people are trying to be helpful but... for example, this lady? She keeps calling me... She's convinced that she saw Gabe on T.V. this morning ringing the bell to open the stock exchange.

    • Danny: This would have never happened at Shea.
      Vivian: It's so sad how bitter Mets fans are.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The new set, that is introduced in this episode, and is used for the rest of the show is filmed on was designed for easy camera movement. It was designed, so that a camera could fluidly follow characters throughout the office, bullpen, hallways, etc. The entire set was custom built.

    • The end of the episode featured an alert for missing child Jahi Turner. His disappearance remains unsolved (more info).

    • Music:
      "Future Boy" by Turn Brakes

    • This episode won an Emmy award in the creative arts category for Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series.


    • Danny: This would never have happened at Shea.

      Shea Stadium is located in Queens, New York, and the homefield for the Mets. It is named for New York attorney William A. Shea, although the original name proposed for the stadium was Flushing Meadows Park.

    • Vivian: It's so sad how bitter Mets fans are.

      The New York Mets are a professional major league baseball team based out of New York, formed in 1961.