The sole responsibility of the special New York-based FBI task force known as the Missing Persons Squad is to find missing persons by applying advanced psychological profiling techniques to peel back the layers of the victims' lives and trace their whereabouts in an effort to discover whether they've been abducted, are missing by choice, were murdered, have committed suicide or are simply accident victims.
The team members construct a Day of Disappearance timeline detailing the 24 hours prior to the disappearance, and they dig into every facet of the victim's life, following a simple rule: learn who the victim is in order to learn where the victim is. Despite their best efforts, the team members are only human, and sometimes their mistakes come back to haunt them. Things don't always go by the book or work out as everyone hopes. As the agents work on varied and complicated cases, details about their personal lives unfold.
01 - Stolen
Senior agent Jack Malone (series star ANTHONY LaPAGLIA), a tough but compassionate, seasoned and astute professional, heads the New York Missing Persons Squad of the FBI. Jack and his dedicated team know too well that every second counts when someone vanishes. His squad includes Samantha Spade (series star POPPY MONTGOMERY), an agent whose blonde good looks belie a tough, complex approach to her work; Vivian Johnson (series star MARIANNE JEAN-BAPTISTE), a no-nonsense investigator with a special insight into victims' families; Danny Taylor (series star ENRIQUE MURCIANO), whose sensitivity is often covered up by his street smarts; straitlaced Martin Fitzgerald (series star ERIC CLOSE), whose recent brush with prescription drug addiction revealed a darker side of his straight-laced persona; and the team's newest member, Elena Delgado (series star ROSELYN SANCHEZ), a resourceful agent who previously worked in the NYPD vice unit.
In the fifth season premiere, the team searches for a missing 5-year-old boy, Todd (BRYCE ROBINSON), and his father, Randall (BRIAN KERWIN), after being tipped off by Todd's 12-year-old brother, Bryan (DARIAN WEISS), that Randall had kidnapped Todd. At the FBI offices, Bryan remains traumatized after barely escaping the enraged Randall, who foiled Bryan's attempt to sneak Todd out of the house. Bryan reveals that Randall brought Todd home a week ago, claiming to be watching Todd for a few days for a friend. While Samantha attempts to get Bryan to disclose more about Randall without pushing him over the edge, the rest of the team searches for Todd and his kidnapper while also trying to uncover Todd's true identity.
02 - Candy
Elena goes undercover as an exotic dancer at a club where a missing stripper, Cindy Peterson (MICHELLE CLUNIE - "Queer as Folk"), worked, while Danny poses as one of her customers. Peterson is a wife and mother who recently took the job as a stripper to help pay the family's mounting debt. Since the club is the common link between Cindy and a recently murdered fellow dancer, Jack hopes Elena and Danny can get some answers. Meanwhile, Jack and Anne (recurring guest star MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO - "The Color of Money") deal with the professional and personal ramifications of her pregnancy.
03 - 911
Jack and the team search for a missing 911 operator, Jessica Lawson (MIREILLE ENOS). The investigation soon reveals that, in addition to being called by someone who threatened to kill her for interfering with his life, Jessica was also accosted by a man whose wife died while he was seeking Jessica's help on a 911 line. Additionally, although Jessica didn't report the incident to the police, the team learns that before she vanished, someone broke into her apartment and killed her dog. Meanwhile, Elena still feels awkward about kissing Danny while they were undercover on a previous case.
04 - All for One
The team searches for a 15-year-old prisoner, Malia Norton (HALLEE HIRSH), who disappeared from a girls' detention center after receiving a life-threatening note. The investigation uncovers that Malia was a smart "model resident" who was 13 months into an 18-month sentence for a drunken-driving accident that killed a classmate and crippled her sister's boyfriend. Upon discovering that the detention center's alarm was rigged, Martin wonders if Malia escaped or was a victim of foul play. As the agents probe why Malia was recently manhandled and threatened by other detainees, they also try to locate a man who visited Malia at the facility.
05 - The Damage Done
Jack becomes fixated on using the desperate situation of Sadik Marku (recurring guest star MARK PELLEGRINO), the Albanian mob boss who had an ominous role in one of the team's previous cases, to unearth evidence against him. When Jack gets the FBI involved in the case of Sadik's missing mistress, Julia (RACHEL MINER), and their 8-year-old son, Petros (FIELD CATE), Samantha questions whether Jack is more interested in going after Sadik or finding his loved ones. During the investigation, the team learns that a neighbor saw a man throw Julia and a blanketed bundle believed to be Petros into the backseat of a car. Among the many suspects in the abduction are rival gangs and mafia members, as well as Sadik's wife.
06 - The Calm Before
In the landmark 100th episode of "Without a Trace," the team searches for a family man, Aaron Gibbs (ERIK LA SALLE - "ER," "One Hour Photo"), who has been emotionally haunted and financially harmed by living through and being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Aaron's wife, Sherise (LISA GAY HAMILTON - "The Practice," "The Sum of All Fears"), tells the investigators that she last saw Aaron the previous morning when he left their Queens motel room. Supposedly, Aaron had gotten a temporary construction job in New Jersey after being fired from a construction job with his cousin, Chuck Barr (MICHAEL BEACH - "Third Watch," "ER"). But the team learns that Aaron, whose truck was found abandoned and burned, actually quit his cousin's job and lied about having found work in New Jersey. Wondering what else Aaron may have been hiding from his wife, the agents entertain theories of foul play and suicide, as well as the possibility that Aaron chose to run away from his mounting financial woes.
07 - All the Sinners, Saints
When a young woman, Katie Duncan (ALEKSA PALLADINO), goes missing after a priest performs an exorcism on her, her brother asks Martin for help. Katie had spoken fondly of Martin because she interned at the FBI when Martin was still working on white-collar crimes. Martin and the team soon discover that the priest, who also vanished, was suspected of murder a year ago when a man died during his exorcism. They also learn that Katie scheduled the exorcism because her mental illness, which she had managed with medications for many years, began making her feel like she was possessed by something "dark." Meanwhile, Jack and Anne (recurring guest star MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO) forge ahead with their plans to buy an apartment together as they prepare for their baby's birth. DEE WALLACE ("E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial") guest stars as Lara Duncan, Katie's mother.
08 - Win Today
After learning that a missing man named Alex Stark (BRIAN HALLISAY) lied to his girlfriend of three months about owning a cleaning service, the team wonders how he was living so luxuriously. They soon discover that he has ties to an illegal poker club and that he emptied his account of $48,000 three days prior to his disappearance. Jack goes undercover as a player at the club but, unbeknownst to his team, he is taken hostage by Cynthia Neuwirth (SUSANNA THOMPSON), a dangerous acquaintance of Alex's who is convinced that Jack was hired to kill her.
09 - Watch Over Me
The team searches for social worker Eric Hayes (REED DIAMOND - "Judging Amy"), who disappeared after forcibly removing a 7-year-old girl from the home of her violent father and desperate mother. As the team investigates the possibility that the girl's father retaliated against Eric, they also look at the families of the 19 other children with whom Eric has similar dealings. After learning that Eric lamented to his wife that he hadn't made a difference as a social worker and that he recently cleaned out his retirement account, the agents wonder if he simply left in despair. Meanwhile, Danny admits to Martin that this case hits too close to home and is dredging up bad memories of his own sad childhood. And Jack tells Samantha his big news about Anne (recurring guest star MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO).
10 - The Thing With Feathers
The team searches for Audrey West (TRACY MIDDENDORF), a young mother with one month to live. She was last seen leaving a gathering of fellow cancer patients with Ryan (TODD LOWE - "Gilmore Girls"), a guy who crashed the party and stole some of the attendees' prescription drugs. While the team tries to locate Ryan, who they learn is the drug-addicted boyfriend of Audrey's hospice nurse, they also want to question Audrey's boss, renowned architect Brian Gaghan (JOHN de LANCIE - "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), who had accused Audrey of stealing files and blackmailing him. Meanwhile, Vivian is flooded with disturbing memories of her own health crisis. SILAS WEIR MITCHELL ("Prison Break") guest stars as Audrey's hospice support group leader, Luke.
11 - Fade-Away
The team searches for a 17-year-old high school basketball star, Ted Soros (NICHOLAS D'AGOSTO), who vanishes the night he scores the winning basket and secures his team's position in the state championships. Ted's working-class immigrant parents explain that he had become an emancipated minor in order to join another school district's top-ranked team and attract the notice of college recruiters. However, the agents wonder if Ted's real objective was to move away from his drunken, abusive father, who may have had a role in his disappearance. The agents also try to determine why Ted's coach, Robert Owens (CONNOR TRINNEER - "Enterprise"), and fellow players are being less than candid about him, and they look into why Ted asked his attorney uncle to clarify when minors get tried as adults for felonies. Meanwhile, Anne (recurring guest star MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO) delivers some sad news to Jack. MARINA SIRTIS ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") guest stars as Alexa Soros, Ted's mother.
12 - Tail Spin
When a regional air traffic controller, Neil Rawlings (FRANK GRILLO), goes missing, Jack and the team learn that he had been distracted recently but was otherwise an exemplary employee. But as they dig deeper, they find out that Neil was threatened by a Middle Eastern pilot whom he reported to the authorities for circling a power plant in restricted airspace. Also, Neil owes a lot of money to the hospital where his wife died from injuries sustained in a recent car accident, and his teenage son has gotten deep into debt to drug dealers. After Elena discovers an inconsistency in one of the recordings of the control tower radio transmissions, the investigators try to unravel just how much trouble Neil was in and what happened to him.
13 - Eating Away
The team searches for Barry Rosen (MICHAEL DUNN), a competitive eating champion who vanishes after winning a $5,000 prize in a chili-eating contest. Barry had been told by a doctor that he needs to stop eating competitively or he might die of a heart attack or stroke. As the detectives question Barry's competitors, they also investigate why he attacked his brother with a knife days before the contest. Meanwhile, Danny is conflicted when his friend Carlos (JSU GARCIA), who is the father of Elena's daughter, asks him to write a letter on Carlos' behalf for the upcoming custody hearing with Elena.
14 - Primed
The team searches for Abby Horton (LAURA JORDAN), a promising young artist who secretly photographed strangers who were experiencing intense personal moments and then later painted them. As Samantha and Elena survey Abby's ransacked studio, they wonder if she could have fallen prey to someone who was outraged to discover that she had immortalized their private experience. The team soon learns from Lucas Blumenthal (PETER PAIGE - "Queer as Folk"), an art gallery owner who had opened an exhibit of Abby's paintings right before her disappearance, that Abby was recently confronted by an angry male who was depicted in one of her paintings. As the agents attempt to locate this man and another one who was reportedly fighting with Abby in an alley on the day before she went missing, they also try to identify the other potential suspects in her photographs.
15 - Desert Springs
Jack and the team search for Jason Turner (NATHAN BAESEL), a young water plant foreman who disappears hours after his life is threatened by Earl Dooley (BRENT JENNINGS), a longtime employee who had become enraged when Jason laid him off. Asserting his innocence, Earl tells the agents that Jason gained many enemies during recent widespread layoffs at the plant. The squad also learns that Jason was trying to reconcile with his ex-fiancée, which leads them to wonder if he might have gotten between her and a new man in her life. Meanwhile, Elena continues to have custody problems with her daughter's father, Carlos (recurring guest star JSU GARCIA), who is irate at discovering that his old friend Danny is involved with Elena.
16 - Without You
Jack and the squad interrogate a suburban tourist, Rob Darcy (MARK MOSES), who claims someone kidnapped his wife from their hotel room. But although Rob appears to be completely honest, nothing he says can be verified. After traveling to Rob's home in Pennsylvania, Vivian finally discovers the surprising truth about what happened. Meanwhile, Elena faces a missing-person case that hits too close to home when her daughter is abducted. Immediately suspecting her estranged boyfriend, Carlos (recurring guest star JSU GARCIA), Elena and the others frantically search for him and the girl.
17 - Deep Water
When a high-profile U.S. Senator with a wealthy father goes missing, Jack and the team are forced to do their jobs under intense scrutiny from the media and the government. The Senator had told her husband she was going to an emergency meeting in Washington, but she lied - no one was expecting her there, nor did she ever make it. When no ransom note arrives after 15 hours, Jack starts considering other suspects, including political enemies, a stalker and even the Senator's husband. But the suicide of a devoted former staffer sends the team in a whole new direction. Series star ANTHONY LaPAGLIA wrote the story and co-wrote the teleplay.
18 - Connections
The team searches for a teenage girl who disappeared after trying to dodge the advances of an aggressive boy. After the guy sent her a shockingly lewd note, she was last seen leaving an Internet café with him following her. Meanwhile, Samantha's estranged sister, Emily Reynolds (recurring guest star MOLLY PRICE - "Third Watch"), attempts to reconnect with her.
19 - At Rest
Samantha secretly searches for her missing sister, Emily (recurring guest star MOLLY PRICE), with only the aid of the local police. But when Jack finds out about Emily's abduction, he insists that the team get involved. Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe Award nominee TESS HARPER ("Crimes of the Heart," "Tender Mercies") guest stars as Patricia Spade, Samantha's estranged mother.
20 - Skin Deep
The team searches for an interracial couple's six-year-old son, who was kidnapped from a farmer's market as his mother briefly looked away to make a purchase. The investigators wonder if the boy's estranged, wealthy, white-supremacist paternal grandfather, Joseph Pratt (Golden Globe Award nominee CHAD EVERETT - "Medical Center"), could be connected to the abduction. Series star ERIC CLOSE made his directorial debut with this episode.
21 - Crash and Burn
The team searches for a stuntman who went missing shortly after completing a dangerous, fiery stunt. They discover that he received a death threat minutes before he vanished from the film set.
22 - One and Only
After signing paperwork ordering a violent husband to vacate his home, beleaguered divorce-court judge Chris Manning (LOREN DEAN) disappears. Due to the nature of Chris' work, Martin and Vivian have plenty of suspects to choose from, but investigating the extremely private judge's personal life leads them to a few more people who could have wanted him dead. He might have been romantically involved with a woman from one of his cases, and he was also photographed hiring a prostitute. But when evidence surfaces that Chris was involved in something much more malicious, the detectives wonder if he purposely went missing.
23 - Two of Us
The team searches for a teenage girl who vanished during her high school prom. Witnesses reported that the girl left the festivities to rest alone in her hotel room upstairs.
24 - The Beginning
In the fifth season finale, the team searches for a missing 13-year-old girl whose mother fears she fell prey to a fierce neighborhood drug dealer. Meanwhile, Jack tries to figure out how to protect Elena from her vindictive ex-husband after her legal case against him, regarding the abduction of their daughter from Elena's home, falls apart. PATRICK LABYORTEAUX ("JAG") guest stars as William Broeder.