Without a Trace

Season 1 Episode 12

Underground Railroad

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Jan 16, 2003 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
84 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Jack and the team search for a pregnant woman, Kathy Dobson, who disappears 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 She is eight-and-a-half months pregnant and, under the tight control of her husband Paul, has withdrawn from her family and friends.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.moreless

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  • Great storyline

    Wow.. That was a good episode. When I first started to watch the serie I did not hoped much but this and last episode have been great ones.

    This one is a story of people who take justice in their own hand to help woman who need to get away from their husband - an underground railroad... what a story..

    But FBI needs to get to that secret network to get the woman who is pregnant and has complications. So there is a really stunning episode with many turns and shows that people are not what they look.. how they fooled the agents.. how behind perfect marriage a real problems are.moreless
  • Behind a lovelly wedding story

    The story begins with a happy couple and ends with a broken marriage, with the husband in jail… Shows how important are fighting for our rights and how can we do it.

    In this case, the woman decides accept help from a secret society instead to ask help to her family (mother) and friend.

    This was a case that put me thinking a lot about what we can expect from a marriage. After all what is more important: love or mental integrity and trust?

    Viv was done a great job and I like to see her undercover! Since the beginning Sam defended that the husband was guilty, and in spite of the others doesn’t agree, later principally Jack, gave reason to her.moreless
  • A pregnant woman disappears from the hospital and her doting husband will stop and nothing to find her.

    This was an interesting episode that highlights the disturbing fact of spousal abuse and the need for an \"underground railroad\". To recap the plot--Paul brings his pregnant wife, Kathy, to the hospital and she is diagnosed with preeclampsia. He has to leave to take care of some business and she disappears. The investigation slowly reveals that Paul, the loving husband, is really a jealous, wife-beating, control freak, and the only mystery is whether he would find his wife before the FBI. It turns out that Kathy has entered the underground network of battered women. The people who are part of this network are numerous and none of them know more than 2 or 3 of the other people in the network. As Vivian tells Martin, the underground railroad makes the CIA look like a gossip column. Can the FBI get the people in the network to trust them enough to get Kathy the immediate medical help she needs? What about Paul, who is bound and determined to find his wife and doesn\'t care what he has to do, or who he has to hurt to find her? This was a tense thriller with the clock ticking. I enjoyed the dialogue between the team. I was also shocked at the \"witness protection program\" mentality of the network members, but understand that their only goal is to protect battered woman from their abusers, no matter what the costs. It just seems like there has to be a better way to accomplish this than to force a battered woman to never speak with their family or friends again.moreless
  • They have some terrific writers on this show. A pregnant woman goes missing from hospital and the reasons for her disappearance are far from ordinary.

    Some spoilers:

    A heavily pregnant woman disappears from hospital for no apparent reason. When it's revealed that she's pre-eclamptyic and could die if she doesn't get help, the race is on to find her.

    The perfect husband turns out to be anything but, and the revelations about the 'underground railroad' that helps battered women is eye-opening and not a little disturbing, not for what they do, but for what the batterers will do to find their spouses and the lengths that people have to go to in order to keep themself safe.

    I do like the last part, with Vivian undercover, but captured by a very strong woman indeed - the actress reminds me of Lindsay Crouse mixed with a bit of Betsy Palmer! And good on Viv for kicking some butt herself at the very end.

    Wife battery is such a horrible thing, yet it's appalling how it's overlooked or colluded with even by those closest to the victim. It's a good episode, with good pace and a mix of thriller and depressing subject matter.moreless
John Rubinstein

John Rubinstein

Dr. Feldman

Guest Star

Nicole DeHuff

Nicole DeHuff

Kathy Dobson

Guest Star

Alan Blumenfeld

Alan Blumenfeld

Dr. Kreutzer

Guest Star

Eric Scott Gould

Eric Scott Gould


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Vivian: Morning, sunshine.
      Martin: Give me a break. I've been at the hospital for the last 8 hours.
      Vivian: Anything turn up?
      Martin: Oh yeah. 23 nurses, 14 doctors, 12 orderlies, and a partridge in a pear tree.

    • Samantha: Maybe he found out the kid wasn't his.
      Jack: There's nothing whatsoever to indicate that that is true, but I thank you for your imagination.
      Samantha: That's why they pay me the medium bucks!

    • Samantha: We gotta check out everywhere the brother saw her go.
      Danny: Wait. All we have is an address? This is some lead. It looks like we're going to go door-to-door. I should've brought my bibles.
      Samantha: Yeah, I think you're more of an insurance guy.

    • (While watching the hospital surveillance video.)
      Danny: We have a doctor, a man in a wheelchair, a pregnant woman that's not her...a fat guy in a robe, a nurse...
      Martin: Is it important that you narrate?
      Danny: You know, I'm sorry, I forgot...you can't think and listen at the same time, and...
      Martin: That's pretty good for someone who can't think without speaking.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This was A.J. Buckley's first television project for executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer predating his current role as Adam Ross on C.S.I. New York.


    • The Underground Railroad was a movement that Harriet Tubman made to help free slaves. It was not literally an underground railroad, she and her followers went home to home that would hide slaves until night and they went up into Canada because even the North of America, allowed slave catchers to come up. Harriet came down and freed slaves, and she went to help in The Civil War as a nurse. She would later live in New York until 1913 when she died of pneumonia. The Underground Railroad also inspired the subway train because of Underground Railroad when Harriet and her followers told their story.