Without a Trace

Season 1 Episode 5


Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Oct 24, 2002 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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out of 10
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  • Honestly the best episode of Without a Trace that I have ever seen.

    Honestly the best episode of Without a Trace that I have ever seen. Just gone back to watch the first season and I can't believe how dark, gritty, disturbing and powerfully acted this episode was.
    I was shocked at the scene in the car and how Jack managed to get into the psyche and expose the weaknesses of Spaulding - a guy who had seemed so self-assured and strong in all previous scenes.
    Really, really like these early episodes and this one really displays the hierarchy and respect for the strong Jack within the team. The guy that plays Spaulding is outstanding also.
  • Moving and hard episode

    This episode really had that powerful meaning and message and really hard case to talk - I do not know.. first it did not looked like it, a promising episode but nothing so tragic or well written as you feel in the end - the way the played with the camera, that rain.. and that long monolog in the car to get the man giving up the location of the boy.. and how they had the right person from the beginning but they could not get to him.. they could not prove he was involved.. and where that all lead.. Great episode.
  • Early on in the series, and the greatness was there.

    Several good and bad clichés from the mystery genre and stories of the early 1900's and brought into our modern era. The prestigious school run by the overly shady Head Master, the Mansion complete with "taboo" sexual material in an off the path area of the house, and of course the final scene with thunder, lighting, a heavy rain storm, and the gruff conversation with the evil doer.
    While the team is investigating the disappearance of a young student, they soon discover two other disappearance's just like this one, and sadly those boys were discovered murdered. To extract the truth from the prime suspect Jack makes a deal with the devil.
    Strong and they way I love my crime drama's, full of suspense, and atmosphere.
  • Jack Malone: Your fifteen minutes are over. Watch the episode, unless you be faint of heart, because it falls into the 'highly intense' category. Summation: 'Suspect' isn't an easy watch, but brilliant in it's darkness.

    Days later and I'm still blown over by this episode.
    Anyone else who has seen the other episodes Spaulding appears in will find the semi-normality of Jack's first meeting with him a little surreal, as I did. Of course, suspicion turns early to Spaulding. I suppose that was necessary in order to have time for the interrogation scene, which was too good to cut. The plot, distinct in that it followed one line of investigation rather than a number of separate leads, was involved and kept us on edge with dilemmas like Danny almost being caught, and eventually Viv's need to find Jack before they get in (worse) trouble.
    Conor O'Farell did an excellent job as the incredibly evil Graham Spaulding. I feel guilty for saying so, but it's almost a good thing Spaulding shows up again, so we can see more of him, given tangible tension between his character's and Anthony LaPaglia's even prior to the interrogation in the car. And oh what and interrogation that was. I'm a big crime drama fan, for stuff like Law & Order, SVU, CSI in all it's multiple locations, and I don't think I've ever seen a TV questioning that was both so clever and so disturbing at once. Jack gets deep into Spaulding's head, and it's neither an easy place to get to or a nice place to be. It would be simply disgusting if Spaulding had said those terrible things, but because it's Jack that we know and love, who does, it feels worse. I feel like taking a chemical shower afterwards. Jack managed to get the one area of irrationality for Spaulding-his 'love' of Andy-to override his reason. And it's made clear that he is shocked and (literally) sickened to see how completely he's gotten Spaulding to trust him at the end when Spaulding naively asks for his fifteen.
    Finally, I love how this episode finds ways to say so much without having to spell things out with exposition. If you think about it, the events and dialogue of the episode let you figure out so much about Spaulding's pathology, how Jack uses it (proving how very good at his job he is), and why Spaulding does what he does in future episodes. One to watch and rewatch, if you have the stomach. Any thing that can make you feel this strongly, in my mind, deserves a 10.
  • An unusual episode in that there is only one suspect. The team follows a repeat child rapist and murderer but struggles to obtain constitutional evidence against him.

    An exceptional and unusual episode. Jack is at his best, going over his superiors, getting in the criminal mind a pedophile, and finding a missing teenager at the possible expense of getting conviction. One of the most dark and disturbing scenes of the entire series takes place in the last major scene of this episode. A powerful display of the commitment it takes to find missing people. A sickening but powerful performance by Jack and a learning experience for Martin. This episode also begins to shed some light on Jack's difficult childhood, although his father is not introduced until a later episode.
  • Suspect ~ Teenager kidnapped, by his headmaster.

    Anthony LaPaglia, WHOA, he is like AMAZING in this episode, and I have truly not seen anything like his performance, it was just AMAZING!!!! And the song that they play is.... it just fits PERFECTLY, The direction and performances of this episode were just perfect. The scene where he was talking to the man in the car was, very hard to watch and listen to, but it should have been. The way he was able to relate to the man to get him to tell where the kid was, was incredible. I could imagine being the other officer sitting there like "oh my goodnes what is he saying"..... and then at the end when he asked for the fifteen minutes, WHOA, that completely blew my mind...
  • One word: amazing!

    When a young boy named Andy goes missing, Jack and the team try their best to find him. Anthony LaPaglia's superb acting really shined in this episode. Jack was determined and ruthless. He did whatever what was in his power to try to save Andy from Mr. Spalding. Jack manipulated him in order to find Andy's location, saying things that made him tear up in the process. Afterward, Jack threw up, which shows how much this job really does effect him, and how some cases are harder to deal with than other ones. For those who haven't seen this episode, I recommend it.
  • A very good episode with great performances and a very creepy premise.

    A young teenager goes missing and suspicion finally falls on the headteacher of a private school. The guy playing Spalding does a terrific job. He is sufficiently creepy and on top of everything that he makes a very credible, if worrying, villain. LaPaglia pulls it off again, despite still looking like a mafia bodyguard.

    The ending is great, though I'm not so convinced by the writing here that Spalding's desire for his fifteen minutes with the boy would overtake his obvious intelligence, especially given later episodes when his brilliantly warped mind run rings around the FBI for a while. I do agree though that the fact this monster would lead police to his latest victim in the slightest hope that he might get to abuse him for a while as a reward is one of the sickest fantasies anyone could have.

    Good stuff
  • Awesome

    A great episode. It was interesting from beginning to end and kept me on the edge of my seat.

    It was pretty obvious from the very beginning that Spaulding was guilty and that he had a thing for young boys. It didn't really take a genius to work it out.

    My favorite part had to be when Jack was interogating Spaulding in the back of the car and fooled him into telling them where the missing boy was. I just loved how Spaulding actually thought that Jack would give him 15 minutes alone with the boy after they found him, and he actually had the nerve to ask Jack.
  • The most significant episode of the first season. A truly mesmerising performance by Anthony LaPaglia.

    A truly mesmerising performance by Anthony LaPaglia, particularly his interrogation of Spaulding in the back of the car. With quality writing and almost unbearable tension, this episode signalled that Without A Trace deserved all the plaudits it has since received.

    A true coming of age for the series,phenomenal performances by the regular cast and guest stars, particularly Conor O'Farrell...wonderfully creepy as Spaulding!

    More episodes like this please!