Without a Trace

Season 4 Episode 6

Viuda Negra

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Nov 03, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
100 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

After James Costa is kidnapped after enjoying a night out with his wife in Mexico, Danny and Jack go in at the request of James' mother-in-law, but find that between the Mexican authorities and the grieving wife, no one is too willing to help them. While Vivian, Sam, Martin and Elena work the case back in New York, Jack encounters resistance from the locals, and it is only with Danny's help speaking Spanish that they are able to get much of the information they need. The team soon becomes suspicious of Lucy Costa, convinced she knows more about her husband's disappearance than she is saying.moreless

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  • ...

    Ok, I haven't seen many episodes of this program, so my review is only considering the episode plot in general. I watched this episode because of Alex Kingston's appearance in it and I don't know any of the main characters.... I thought the eventual outcome of the crime was a good one. However, I can't bring myself to call it 'well-written' as I believe that for a crime drama to be a good one, it needs two parts to each episode. In forty-five minutes, there's no real time for plot development or character involvement. That meant that the kidnapping happened, we got told about it, a possible criminal was investigated, and hey presto, the team worked out who it really was. I would have preferred the episode, had suspicion not pinpointed the true guilty culprit so early on. If there were still various possible suspects, and I was kept in suspense, the whole thing would have been much better.

    I also don't think the characters were developed sufficiently. Alex Kingston played Lucy, a woman who must have been very cold, capable and intelligent to arrange two murders. However, we saw her as a nervous wreck at the beginning of the program, but as soon as she was being investigated, her character became impersonal and arrogant. Quite simply, I don't believe that was realistic. She would have used her injured wife acting skills a little longer if she really did have the capacity in the first place to arrange the murders.

    One thing I'm unsure about, is where the program stands in relation to Latin America. I can't really comment based on one episode, but I would hope that Mexico normally gets a better viewing than it did today.

    Regarding Alex Kingston, I don't get why she couldn't have just played a British person - the accent was ridiculous. One minute it would be full-on American, but every now and again she would lapse back into the familiar British sounds.moreless
  • Mexican FBI is called AFI (federal agency of investigations)and they all dress in black like a SWAT team, very intimidating, not in ties and suits; i found some inaccuracies but in general is good, different since the group splits in 2 countries and its smoreless

    In the country of Mexico, when ransom is asked then is considered a kidnap, so the local cops step aside and AFI takes over; the Federal Agency of Investigations AFI are federal cops based in Mexico DF (capitol city) with a LOT of money resources, they drive in black SUV's with no logos, dressed in black uniforms and life vests like SWAT, bearing automatic weapons, they are really intimidating and powerful, unlike the softie local cop portrayed with a northern accent. Actually, Puerto Morelos is located in southeast Mexico, a few hundreds of miles away from Cancun, which by the way, is the beautiful beach shown in the air shots. Viuda negra means black widow, the spider that kills the male after sex.

    I love the show, but more realism wouldn't hurt, the plot is good, great defined characters... and what happened to the personal life of the characters?moreless
  • A man gets kidnapped in Mexico, his wife is involved, and jack and Danny create a sting to catch her in the act.

    The episode was average, they tried having a big action adventure sequence, and they succeed, even if they never left their California studios.

    After a mother reports that her son in law has been kidnapped in Mexico, but her daughter is terrified to call the police because they told her that her husband would be killed if she did, which sends Danny and Jack down to investigate.

    They tried having an air of mystery around the wife, but I could see from miles away that she was involved. She probably killed his first wife to get him, and because of her jealous rage, and she believed he was sleeping with his tennis pupil, she decided to get rid of him in Mexico.

    Overall, I saw the episode coming miles away.

    And what about Sam & Martin......how long do I have to wait.

  • Back to form!

    Now this is the "Without a Trace" I love. While bringing some fresh air with the new locations (Mexico) we still have the same feeling that makes this show one of the best ones around. Enrique Murciano is getting more and more relevance which is a good thing. He's a charismatic actor that always shines when given a chance. LaPaglia was at his usual high level and it was nice too see him in a more relaxed look. The story kept us guessing. It gradually became more obvious what was going on but it still kept my interest. The climax was just perfect. A wonderful episode to start November sweeps. Nice going guys!moreless
  • Pretty good episode, kept me guessing.

    I was wondering until the end whether the wife, maid, or husband had anything to do with the 1st wife's murder or the kidnapping. I thought for the longest time the husband was the mastermind and the finger was fake. The wife was horrible. I felt sorry for the maid.
Alex Kingston

Alex Kingston

Lucy Costa

Guest Star

Joyce Van Patten

Joyce Van Patten

Lucy's Mother

Guest Star

Carlos Gomez

Carlos Gomez


Guest Star

Roselyn Sanchez

Roselyn Sanchez

Elena Delgado

Recurring Role

Joshua Gomez

Joshua Gomez

James Mackeroy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The location used in the climatic scene (where Danny chases after the van on a motorbike) was actually filmed in rocky location in the Valley of Fire, Nevada.

    • Goof: Although the missing man's name is written on the whiteboard as 'James Costin', the agents keep referring to him as 'Costa', not 'Costin', when discussing the case.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (Danny and Manuel converse in Spanish because Manuel is stonewalling Jack.)
      Danny Taylor: You like to celebrate Day of the Dead?
      Manuel: Yeah.
      Danny Taylor: The last guy who didn't talk to him, liked it too. But now he's celebrating it from the grave. You understand?

    • Danny Taylor: They love that yankee dollar down here.
      Jack Malone: Unlike up north.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: February 11, 2009 on Nrk1
      Slovakia: November 20, 2009 on Markiza
      The Czech Republic: February 15, 2008 on TV Nova

    • Original Titles:
      "Viuda Negra" (promoted as on CBS.com)
      "Vuda Negra" (promoted as online television guides (including TiVo))


    • Title: "Viuda Negra"
      The title of this episode is a term in Spanish that means black widow.

    • Danny Taylor: You like to celebrate Day of the Dead?

      The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holday celebrated on November 1 and 2. Originally the holiday was to celebrate both children and the dead, but more recently the holiday is used as a way to celebrate the lives of the dead and to honor them after they have passed.