Without a Trace

Season 5 Episode 6

The Calm Before

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Oct 29, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
80 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The team investigates when Aaron Gibbs ends up missing one night; and they soon learn that he had been lying to his wife about quitting his job and had been working nights in a fight club. During the course of the investigation, Jack and the others learn that Aaron's disappearance was connected to events that took place during Hurricane Katrina, when Aaron was fighting to save his sons. Following the trail of evidence, believing that the events of that night in New Orleans hold the key to finding the truth about the missing man, the team desperately searches in this moving episode.moreless

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  • The Best Epi of the Season

    I thought it was fantastic and moving, which I cannot say for the rest of the shows this season (except for maybe Stolen). All of the supporting cast did a splendid job and the plot kept me interested until the very end. I loved how Jack said one of my favorite sayings at the beginning \"If it wasn\'t for bad luck, this guy would have no luck at all.\" I also liked how he pointed out the dismal disgrace of the New Orleans situation at the end when he was talking to Sam. And Martin? He was looking hot this episode. Elena\'s outfit was cute, but I was thinking it was a bit too trendy for the job. Two nitpicks: I thought the Fight Club part was a bit farfetched. Two, I thought it was silly that Jack went down to the basement and moved the beams to help free Aaron. Doesn\'t everyone know, especially a person in civil service, that when a part of a building collapses you shouldn\'t move anything because it is most likely unstable? You call the fire department to make the rescue. The fact that Jack moved one of the beams that was supporting the falling ceiling really irked me. But anyway, great episode hope the rest of the season looks up from here.moreless
  • One of the best episodes of WAT so far I have seen!

    Eriq La Salle, formerally of ER, plays a down and out

    Husband and father, who lies to his wife about

    Quitting his job and that he has taken a job at

    A fight club. With events that lead to Katrina, in order

    To support his family. Loved it in the end where he

    And Jack talked about their families. As Jack knows where he

    Is coming from, being a divorced dad himself with no time

    Left for his kids! Great writing and acting as one of the

    Best episodes I have seen of the show.moreless
  • 100th episode-->100% Without A Trace! (Spoilers inside.)

    The Calm Before is the second or third best episode of the entire series. (Without a doubt, the #1 episode, to me, is Wannabe from Season 2. Not one episode will ever dethrone that tear-jerking episode from my favorites list.) I loved the storyline about Hurricane Katrina because it shows us what painful hardships most survivors have went through and still deal with now. Our missing victim, from this episode, secretly did illegal boxing to make money, but had to steal $2,000 from the owner. The reason why he needed that money wasn't to support his family, but to give to a 16-year-old boy who lost his father because the victim unintentionally killed him in order to stop the guy from tipping the boat over and prevent his two sons from drowning. The teenager unleashes rage and leaves our wounded victim behind in an abandoned house that may soon collapse. Jack slightly hurts himself while finding and saving the missing person, which added the level of drama to its max. In the end, the moral of the story is: after losing everything you once had, your family is what keeps you living. Congratulations, Without a Trace! Hope the show lives on to see another 100 episodes.moreless
  • All-round good episode with very good acting.

    I admit it, I like the ones where they find the missing person alive rather than dead. So this one gets points from me for that right from the start. I thought the acting was especially good in this episode, from Eriq LaSalle (as the missing man) down to Michael B. Jordan (as Jesse, the kid he had a run-in with). I wasn't sure going in if I was ready to see dramatic shows take on the New Orleans flood (and maybe trivialize it for drama's sake) but I thought they did a nice job with that aspect and made it rather haunting and evocative. The mystery was intriguing and I wasn't sure how it would turn out. All in all, I enjoyed it and would watch this episode again. I especially liked the musical choices.moreless
Desmond Roberts (II)

Desmond Roberts (II)

Caleb Gibbs

Guest Star

Tylen Jacob Williams

Tylen Jacob Williams

Jadon Gibbs

Guest Star

Troy Ruptash

Troy Ruptash


Guest Star

Adriana DeMeo

Adriana DeMeo


Recurring Role

Stephanie Venditto

Stephanie Venditto

Dr. Lisa Harris

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Jack Malone: (refering to Aaron Gibbs) Man ... first flood, now fire ... if it wasn't for bad luck, this guy would have no luck at all.

    • Elena Delgado: What can I say?. He loved my accent and my voice.
      Danny Taylor: I love your voice and your accent.
      Elena Delgado: Yeah, right.

    • (About FEMA and Hurricane Katrina.)
      Jack Malone: There is no excuse for what they let happen down there.

    • (Vivian shows Matt a picture of the Aaron Gibbs.)
      Vivian Johnson: How about this guy?
      Matt: The FEMA guy? (laughs) He was here yesterday.
      Vivian Johnson: He doesn't work for FEMA.
      Matt: Why would anybody pretend they did? That's a good way to get your ass kicked.

    • (Jack falls off the stairway in an abandoned building.)
      Aaron Gibbs: Are you okay?
      Jack Malone: (grunts) Yeah. (under his breath) I'm too old for this crap.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: August 5, 2009 on Nrk1
      Slovakia: October 14, 2010 on Markiza

    • Music:
      "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" by Selah

    • This was the one-hundredth episode of the program and promoted as such. In honor of the one-hundredth episode, this episode focused on a fictional survivor of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

    • This episode featured a missing person's alert for Anthony Luzio Jr., who disappeared on July 4, 2005. He was last seen at approximately 4:00 AM that morning leaving a party less than a mile from his parents'.