This year marks 20 years since Third Watch first graced our screens and here at The Oz Network we have become the only podcast in the history of podcasts to recap every episode of the underrated show. Through every single defining moment we were there, from the high highs to the low lows, we didn’t miss a single beat. Now it’s time to undertake our next exclusive Third Watch project as we rank every single one of the 132 episodes that aired of the show! Join Ben as he gives you his unique opinion and rankings in what is sure to be an interesting collection of rankings along the way!
132. End Of Tour (6.21)
Many would argue the penultimate episode of a show is actually more important than the final episode. It sets us into that finale with enough tension, drama and ends that are beginning to be tied off that makes us know the following episode will bring us that satisfactory closure. Unfortunately for Third Watch, the worst episode in the entire series comes in that spot. There is just so much happening with so little consequence and so many plot holes that it’s just hard to keep up. From the hostage situation live on TV once again painting all journalists as evil, to Manny getting an entire round of bullets loaded into him without a single scratch on him, to the vampires taking over Emily’s house and holding her hostage (that sentence really is as bad as it sounds), Grace and Finney becoming suddenly relevant again because…of…reasons, right through to Cruz bringing Marcel to the precinct to question him rather than actually going to his prison to chat with no other reason besides making a plot happen. Added to all of that the over baring cliffhanger with a grenade being thrown into the precinct, and you have an absolute mess of an episode that does absolutely nothing than make you annoyed that nothing better could come from this point of the show. The finale was able to scrape the pieces of this mess of an episode together enough to bring a satisfactory close to the series, but only just. Easily the worst episode in all of Third Watch.
131. Snow Blind (4.13)
Ugh. Why? This episode just stinks. For some reason we need to care about Emily being so ridiculously stupid in taking drugs and everyone trying to find her in a massive snow storm. How is this even possible? She spends the most part of her life complaining about her mother being a cop and that her being a cop is such a detriment on her life and that leads her into a car with a douchenozzle who gives her drugs to try. Why? Why? Why? There is just so little to like about this episode that it’s incredibly surprising that it managed to escape last place on this list. That maybe is the only positive to take. Because trust us, there aren’t any positives from this episode at all.
130. The Unforgiven (3.18)
This episode comes out of nowhere and just absolutely stinks up the toilet. The positives? We actually get to see footage of Sully and Tatiana getting married. But that’s about where it ends. It just seems like a complete waste of 42 minutes watching a past case from Sully as he talks to a random priest, who is played by the exceptionally amazing Giancarlo Esposito who has his talents completely wasted in this episode. This episode had potential to be amazing. Why not go all out on the idea of a flashback and get Jerry back with Doc, Bobby back with Kim and have Morales back at Mercy? There were so many options here to see just how these characters were before we saw the show start yet it was wasted on a story that you find yourself tuning out of within ten minutes. The lowest point of the first half of the series.
129. Firestarter (4.7)
How on earth does this episode exist and follow one of the best episodes of all time? It’s crazy to think the drop in quality that follows in this episode, but sadly it exists and sadly we have to talk about it. There is just something so off about the acting in this episode which really does throw you. It’s rare to talk about bad acting in Third Watch but even our main stars who shine with their acting capabilities like Molly Price and Jason Wiles seem to struggle with the material they are given here. There is also an extremely left field twist that feels very forced and tacked on that is so random that you just have no remote feelings to care about it. Sure there is some extra Cruz for the first time, but there is just way too much meh to care here.
128. The Kitchen Sink (6.14)
What is it about small children? When they can’t act they just become incredibly annoying, and this is exactly what weighs down this entire episode. Finney tries desperately to find a small child who has been kidnapped by his father, a child who just so happened to have had a small connection with Finney in an earlier episode. There really is nothing more to it. It just gets so on the nose with just how annoying the small kid is that there really is nothing more to say. Well, okay, we should probably mention we find out that Sasha is pregnant. But that reveal is about as pointless as this episode is.
127. Kingpin Rising (6.17)
The Wikipedia summary does this episode enough justice to understand why it is ranked so low: “Faith annoys a vampire”. Yup. That happens in this episode. It’s an episode of Third Watch featuring vampires. Need we say more? Next…
126. Monsters (5.22)
A finale is usually an epic episode. It ties up a lot of loose ends from the season and then sets up some juicy stuff for the next one. With Monsters though, it seemingly takes Third Watch and turns it into a Saturday morning cartoon. We get your extremely over the top cartoonish villain in Donald Mann, some extremely over the top plots to kill some cops everywhere from a shipping crate, funeral home and an apartment (in which somehow they actually survive) and then we get an extremely over the top raid on a hospital with armed gunners storming, firing and leaving us on the standard end of season cliffhanger. It just feels so off, so cartoonish and just so not Third Watch. It’s a shame that the finale season finale really doesn’t stick the landing, although it has to be said it does really give an overall feel of just exactly what the final season will bring.
125. Alone Again, Naturally (6.2)
If you’re going to have a big ‘twist’ that one of your major characters is an IAB informant, why would you blow your load after only one episode in revealing who it is? Isn’t it better to string it along for a few episodes so that we the viewer are just as surprised as everyone else it? 24 seemingly did it every single season and (for the most part) it worked. It was shocking. But on Third Watch? Nope. Let’s reveal that there is a ‘rat in the house’ and then tell us who it is right away. Um…okay? It takes any tension off any of the storyline around Sasha, and then somehow makes you question every moment she has on the show prior to this reveal. Outside of that there really isn’t too much to get excited about in this episode. Yokas gets a promotion. She is a detective now. Cool. Davis and Monroe pull over some women who turn out to be murderers. Cool. And Cruz is getting investigated for the incident on the roof with Donald Mann and we meet Captain Finney for the first time. Cool. Just going through the motions on what is a standard season 6 feel of an episode.
124. Sins Of The Father (6.9)
This is another episode that doesn’t quite stick the landing off the back of Monroe’s early reveal of her being IAB. There would be so much more tension and intrigue around it if the audience didn’t know and we were as shocked as Davis is when he finds out. There also seems to be a weird vibe around the main police story this episode, with Yokas coming across as an overly judgmental bigot for the most part in all but accusing a Muslim father of an honour killing off the back of no evidence except that he is a Muslim. It’s an odd episode. One that isn’t completely terrible but not quite good enough to take it into the ‘rent’ category.
123. The Spirit (5.10)
Bah humbug. While it’s great to have a Christmas episode for the first time since season 2, there really is just something a little too schmultzy going on here. We get an entire episode of Monroe searching for a toy onion. Can you just read that again and see if that belongs in Third Watch at all? Because it really doesn’t. We also get Sully dealing with a young homeless girl and trying to find his inner Christmas spirit. Yawn. While this episode is definitely outweighed by the bad, there is some fairly okay stuff however, including some actual laugh out loud moments as well as a great payoff for Carlos as he finally meets his brother for the first time. We also get some okay stuff around Kim and Jimmy, who seemingly are finally getting back together now. It’s just a shame there was so much bad around these good moments.
122. Rat Bastard (6.10)
See Sins of the Father above. This episode is essentially exactly the same. It is weighed down by the Monroe reveal and kept slightly afloat by the knowledge that the Davis and his father storyline is getting juicy and will soon have a good payoff. It also wastes a firefighter storyline that could’ve been great. Having a washed up Hollywood actor join the squad for some research is actually a fun idea to explore, but we are so far gone in ignoring the firefighters completely now that it comes across as completely random and pointless and just so out of place. There is some decent action with Monroe and Finney at the end, as well as a bit of an interesting twist around a family who had their daughter shot, but still a bit too weighed down with other stuff to not make it a ‘bin’.
121. Demolition Derby (1.10)
The only episode from the first two seasons to face the ‘bin’ treatment, Demolition Derby isn’t a terrible episode per se, it just fails to tick some boxes when it comes to viewing it in a different light. That light generally falls into the religious basket, and if you aren’t necessarily swayed by that type of episode then this episode can come across as a little too preachy. Sure there are some real emotional moments, and the appearance of a pre-Oscar JK Simmons is a highlight. But the overall feel of preach this episode brings about it just takes away from what should be a stronger episode than it is. There is also the cliche of the ‘journalist is a terrible person’ moment (slightly personal for this author it seems) which takes away from the episode too.
120. Collateral Damage Part 1 (4.14)
The episode that follows Snow Blind is an improvement, but barely. And that doesn’t mean it escapes the ‘bin’ category because it comes as the last ‘bin’ on this list. Season 4 has three two-parters and this is the first part of the final two-parter. It is easily the worst of all of them, as we take the drug storyline from Emily and her overdose to new levels and meet the sister of Cruz to add some intrigue as well. Added to this, for some random reason, we need to have flashbacks of Yokas as a teenager and some random troubles she had with her mother. Sure it’s a great excuse to have Mia Farrow in the episode but it just feels odd and disjointed, just like the whole episode in general.
119. How Do You Spell Belief? (6.20)
If you fully look at the final three episodes of Third Watch, it all essentially takes place in the space of less than 24 hours. That’s a fine concept, but when you create so many plot holes with your story, you have a problem. We actually get a fairly interesting story in this episode, with a religious cult the target of a former member who is murdering senior officials in the cult and exposing the fact that they have molested children and wants the world to know about it. Honestly this is a great story that would’ve been better to explore when the show didn’t have to focus on setting itself up to end. Because what does this bring at this point in the show? Really nothing. And added to that nothingness, let’s just throw in a random car crash that Finney and Davis get injured in, and bring back the vampire storyline to create some added turmoil for Emily because…plot. Sure. It really doesn’t add to anything and helps the conclusion of the show amount to nothing more than a bit of a convoluted mess.
118. In The Family Way (6.16)
The second crossover episode in the history of Third Watch, this time around we get the first parter of a Third Watch/Medical Investigation crossover. Two guys who rob a jewellery story just happen to both be sick, one of whom is captured and also gets Carlos sick. It allows us to get an appearance from the esteemed Neal McDonough in his Medical Investigation role, but outside of that it brings us nothing more than a ‘one liner off’ between him and Molly Price. We will also say there is no need to actually watch the second part, as it really brings nothing to what you see in this episode. Outside of that we start to get some good setup for the endgame of the series, with Cruz taking on Marcel Hollis (played by Wyclef Jean) after he arranges to get a rival gangbanger killed in the middle of the precinct by a 13-year-old boy. Yeah that sounds completely ridiculous because it is, but we finally feel in this episode that we are on a path to an ultimate conclusion which we know it will bring.
117. More Monsters (6.1)
Well, there is that pretty epic Nickelback ending right? Seeing Gene Simmons get shot and then hearing Someday burst through your speakers is somewhat exciting and pretty awesome. There is also the emotional moment of Kim leaving, which although is sad, also feels a bit awkward and out of place with everything else that is happening. Everything else being the conclusion to ‘cartoon Third Watch’, as somehow a massive shootout with automatic weapons barely leaves a scratch on most people in the hospital. It is just a sign of season 6, having so many big things happening and loud bits for a promo sequence rather than focussing too much on story and actual realistic moments. It’s a shame, but hey, it’s what we got.
116. Purgatory (5.18)
Is this the most pointless episode in the history of Third Watch? What actually is the purpose of this episode? We have Monroe attempting to appeal her 30 day suspension for having her off-duty gun stolen and used in a crime, before getting involved in an accident that claims the life of a child. She suffers through massive guilt in the entire episode which turns out to be for nothing as the crash was all a scam by a couple in order to get insurance money. But this doesn’t stop her from still feeling like she is being punished by God for the death. Okay then? Added to this we have the big LSAT test for Sully and Davis. Because that is so important right? It leads to so many important storylines in the future right? Added to this too is the seemingly new ‘relationship’ between Monroe and Davis, which although it gets better seems a little too forced and random at this point in the show. The one slight positive to this episode is the introduction of the new firefighter JD. The positive aspect of this is that he is a very interesting and layered character who has a lot of potential. The negative though is that the potential goes absolutely nowhere and he is basically gone before you even get to know him. Such a damn shame.
115. The Hunter, Hunted (6.5)
Meh. We continue on with another Criminal Minds style story, all the while forcefully making our two new hot characters hook up and then randomly making it so they don’t want to again. Okay? Finney and Grace are just there. They never serve an overall purpose to the show and having them hook up so early and create unnecessary conflict for the sole purpose of suspense just doesn’t work. It would work better to draw them out with a classic ‘will they/won’t they’ style of story and then have a pay off at the end. But no. We don’t. Also you have to love Yokas going from beat cop to super detective in the space of 48 hours. One solved crime and all of a sudden she is just a whizz at it. There is a tad of intrigue around a body found outside the station but are we meant to feel sympathy for a girl getting kidnapped who literally ignored every ‘stranger danger’ lesson she received in life and was lured to a van by a strange man with puppies? The only positive that can be had is Chris Elliott. That man is awesome and his brief scene at the end is a great scene to have.
114. Higher Calling (5.21)
Our conclusion to Henry Winkler and Kate Jackson in Third Watch falls somewhat flat, as they really start to play up the whole ‘Yokas is about to become a detective’ angle the show is set to take very soon. It’s somewhat intriguing, but feels well out of place in a show like Third Watch. It has to be said that Molly Price works great with Jackson, once again showing how well she can go up against some of the big name guest stars that Third Watch was able to land. But it all just really goes nowhere that you have to think what the point of it all was. There are some really strong moments in this episode, particularly Bosco and his reaction to finding out his brother has been killed. Jason Wiles nails it and it is one of the last real emotional moments we’ll get in the show at this point of the series. Then we have our first appearance of Donald Mann, played by the one and only Gene Simmons. Now, he isn’t all bad, right? That’s probably a matter of perception and how ‘cartoony’ you like your villains. But hey, Third Watch landed Gene Simmons. That has to count for something right?
113. Collateral Damage Part 2 (4.15)
This episode is definitely an improvement on the first part but it still lacks the excitement of the other two-parters in season four. Easily the best part of this episode is seeing Bosco and Yokas meet in a flashback, with some fun things around that. But outside of that it once again feels very disjointed, with so much happening and done in a way that really feels lacklustre. The big cliffhanger at the end involving Bosco and Cruz hooking up should feel more of a big deal but it’s really something that just is there. There is also another montage, and can we just point out that these are pretty much becoming extremely common at this point? Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, but it’s something that really is noticeable.
112. Obsession (6.4)
It is that common thread and continued repetitive notion that a lot of season 6 ultimately feels like we have turned into Criminal Minds given the extent of content we have. This time we have Yokas on her first detective case solving a crime involving a man who committed suicide but left a bomb for a woman he was in love with. Okay then. This episode just feels so out of place when it comes to Third Watch and really feels like we’re watching another show. Well, except for little repeat storylines like Yokas is a terrible human being and her kids should hate her because she has a good job. We’re still going over this? Ugh. Anyways. It has to be said that Ethan Suplee is a great guest star as Aaron, the guy who ends up killing himself and has his entire backstory explained in a series of video tapes. There is a level of sadness around his character that you legitimately feel bad for him despite the fact that he went a little cray cray and wanted to murder a woman just because she didn’t love him. That is a positive of the episode. The rest? Well if you like Criminal Minds then I guess this should be ranked higher. But hey, we’re watching Third Watch right? At least we should be…
111. In Plain View (5.20)
The problem with the end of season 5 is that it just feels so much like season 6 that it’s hard to really appreciate or like anything they’re doing. This episode takes Henry Winkler and Kate Jackson and uses their star power to create a weird form of mystery surrounding their daughter and make it into almost a Criminal Minds type episode, which of course if very season 6 style. It’s not that either Winkler or Jackson aren’t great, because they are, it’s just kind of odd and jarring to get a sudden change of style to Third Watch that never really changes up. Added to this the recycling of storylines that we thought were done with. Fred is really pissed off at Yokas for working so much. Okay? So…we’re back to this again are we? And then there is Sully having a random moment about losing himself in the job and not caring anymore. That is all well and good, but…where did this come from? Didn’t we explore this in the earlier seasons? It’s like the writers just randomly went back into the archives, thought ‘hey here is a storyline that we haven’t done in a while’ and tried it again. But this time it literally goes nowhere. Nowhere. As does the storyline about Sully and Davis getting their LSAT results back. Okay? Now what? Oh…nothing? Cool. Well that was worth it wasn’t it? Such a so so episode in a season that just randomly loses it.
110. The Greatest Detectives In The World (6.6)
When we talk about season 6 often feeling like you’re watching Criminal Minds, there is no greater example of this than this episode. The entire episode revolves around an interrogation and finding out where a serial killer has hidden a girl who is slowly dying from blood loss. Now don’t get us wrong, it is a unique concept that is handled well and owned by the incredible Chris Elliott. The issue is this isn’t a Third Watch episode and feels incredibly out of place in the entire series. It’s like we have switched channels and ended up on a completely different show, and that’s where this episode just fails to hit the mark. Also the Grace and Finney stuff is just so on the nose already, and these two only just started. What’s the point? It is great to have a great song end the episode with Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day making for a memorable montage. Otherwise, stick to watching Criminal Minds for this type of story.
109. Childhood Memories (3.7)
Considering the episode before this leads into some pretty good stuff, it’s a shame that overall this episode feels like it doesn’t stick the landing. Besides an amazingly tense and dramatic scene involving Kim and Jimmy fighting over Joey, it really does fall flat for the most part with some odd editing choices and our first real gimmicky montage. The fight between Kim and Jimmy is incredibly tense, and really the heaviest point in their entire relationship. Seeing the reaction from Joey as he sits there witnessing Jimmy screaming at Kim through the door is pretty deep, and every actor on screen just steals the show. Bosco dealing with his family is a bit random, as it kind of just comes out of nowhere as nothing more than a distraction point to somehow make us believe that Bosco potentially murdered somebody. It is nice to see his mother again though, and also get to meet his brother and dad (well, kind of) for the first time. An episode that feels like it should’ve been better.
108. A Ticket Grows In Brooklyn (5.9)
Carlos not having a family was something fairly prominent about the first season and a half and then seemingly got forgotten about. To see it brought up again as he deals with his daughter being sick is quite a nice touch, as it definitely feels like something that needed to be dug more into eventually. There are definitely a few hoops he has to get to with it, but it is nice to see the moment he shares with his former foster mother as he gives him details about his childhood. Outside of that though we get the introduction of the Allie Nardo storyline which really doesn’t go anywhere important. It’s great to see Nicholas Turturro on our screen but it’s a story that really doesn’t bring us too much and will eventually be overplayed when it comes to a later episode that doesn’t need the filler. Nothing too special overall through this episode.
107. The Chosen Few (4.2)
There is definitely a theme when it comes to some over preachy episodes that don’t necessarily get too high on this list. Yes that is definitely an issue with this episode when it comes to Fred revealing that he saw Jesus when he had his heart attack. But there is also a bigger issue of it being a storyline that really doesn’t go anywhere in the long term and just feels really odd. Sure they are trying to humanise Fred a bit, but given everything that will eventually happen with his character, it really ends up meaning nothing. Bosco joining anti-crime serves a bit of weight given it will lead to some big things this season, and the introduction of Sergeant Cruz is one of the biggest shifts Third Watch takes in the entire series run. But everything just feels really phoned in during this episode as we start to feel just why season 4 is perhaps the most bipolar of all the seasons.
106. Spanking The Monkey (5.19)
Another mixed bag of an episode that seemingly is a little all over the place. We meet Henry Winkler for the first time as he plays Bosco’s brothers lawyer in what is a fairly small role in this episode. We also get Kim with JD the firefighter attending a rave for no real reason other to get Kim into some trouble and give JD a reason to leave. What was the point of him being on this show? It’s a shame because he is just so wasted as a character and could’ve had a pretty fascinating time on the show had he stuck around for longer. We also get a car chase involving the death of Donald Mann’s son, which sets the framework for the remaining few episodes of the season. If it sounds like nothing too exciting that’s because it really isn’t. It’s just all fairly basic stuff that isn’t terrible but isn’t brilliant either.
105. Closing In (4.21)
While this episode definitely doesn’t break any barriers in excellence, it has enough framework in setting up the season 4 finale that it gets itself some credit. For the most part it’s just setup and filler. We learn more about Cruz and her willingness to do whatever it takes in her job. We get Yokas standing up to Bosco more. And for the very first time we meet Sasha Monroe. It’s probably actually the most important part of the episode come to think about it, as it’s always exciting when we get to meet a character who goes on to become a main cast member. Nia Long definitely has a charm about her that makes you want to see more, so it was obvious in meeting her that we were going to get to see her again. But take her small role away, and you really do just get a very basic episode with nothing too special to report.
104. Lockdown (5.3)
Season 5 is perhaps best referred to as the ‘meh’ season. There really isn’t a whole lot of bad about it, but there also isn’t a whole lot of good about it either. The majority of the episodes are fine while a few aren’t that great, with only a couple of super stand outs. Lockdown is just a fine episode. Nothing major to get excited about, nothing too groundbreaking to sink your teeth into. It’s just fine. A truckload of illegal Chinese immigrants crashes and they might have the plague. One of them escapes and you have a citywide panic going on. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s basically the same plotline as In The Family Way in season 6, except this episode came first so it isn’t too blame. We get some interesting moments around Cruz being back in uniform, as well as some standard filler with Yokas and her recovery. Again, all just fine. Which will be the theme of season 5 during these initial phases. Fine.
103. Revelations (6.15)
Another case of Third Watch getting an esteemed actor to join an episode who would later go on to win an Oscar. This time around it was Helen Mirren, who plays the role of Annie who just happens to be the mother of Grace. It’s a pretty decent storyline which actually gives us an extra layer to the character of Grace and momentarily takes her out of ‘meh’ territory. It’s just a shame that there wasn’t more done to explore this storyline as it definitely had potential to go further. Sully also finds out that Sasha is pregnant, which of course makes him nicer to her and makes him think she should tell Davis. And Bosco admits to Yokas he can’t shoot and wants her to shoot for him, which leads to an argument and the pointless conflict between the two of them as we draw the series to a close. An episode that seems like it should bring more that ultimately doesn’t.
102. Act Brave (3.8)
Alex finally gets herself an episode but it’s a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a massive explosion which gets our characters all together for a bit, and that really takes over the majority of the screentime. There’s more around Jimmy and Kim fighting for custody over Joey (including an appearance by pre-Oscar winning Viola Davis and pre-Holly Yvonne Jung Ruivivar) as well as Tatiana taking Sully’s mum home from the nursing home, Davis and Carlos moving in together and Davis and Alex hooking up. It’s really a collection of a variety of bits that attempts to capitalise on the season 2 vibe, but ends up more of a season 1 episode. Not the best, but not the worst.
101. A Thousand Points Of Light (1.20)
Season 1 seemingly falls into some weird cracks during these rankings. The inaugural season sets the bar extremely high when it comes to Third Watch as a whole, but the level of consistency it has perhaps outweighs any episodes really standing head and shoulders above the competition. Case in point A Thousand Points Of Life. There is nothing wrong with this episode. It just falls into the basket of season 1 episodes where there is a lot of good and decent stuff happening that you can’t exactly single it out as something outstanding. We have the conclusion of the Malcolm storyline with Davis, which although brought some good moments during the season, really doesn’t amount to much at all. We have some great moments with Bosco wanting to help two young boys who have lost their mother, but it perhaps doesn’t come across as the most powerful of Bosco moments throughout season 1. We do also get some strong moments from Carlos and Vangie, as well as the very first appearance of Bosco’s mother which of course is a massive highlight in itself. It’s just all very meh when combined into an episode. Which is fine, but, meh.
100. Goodbye To All That (5.5)
There seems to be a weird period in season 5 where the writers thought having a random cliffhanger every episode would help draw in the viewers. Why? It just feels odd and weird and just so unnecessary. As do some of the storylines throughout it. We get the beginning of the Sully and Judge Halsted story which appears to imply a slight romantic connection with them that never really goes anywhere. Ann-Margret is great as Judge Halsted, but having some random people after her to add some dramatic tension and bring her and Sully together is just an average story that you just know you don’t need to get too involved in. This episode really is about Cruz and her getting brutally attacked and raped. It’s a harrowing storyline that brings out some great performances from Tia Texada as well as Nia Long, and serves as a strong plot point to bring Cruz down a notch and humanise her a bit compared to where she has been at. It’s brutal and hard to watch, but the acting on display does it enough justice to make it incredibly believable.
99. In Confidence (4.20)
The solid work that occurs in the final four episodes of season four takes a slight detour in this episode but it still is entertaining enough that we enjoy watching it. We get a bit more of a pay off around Aaron Noble and what he actually is doing with his ‘research’, and we also get some more depth to Cruz over just what she is willing to do and how far she will go with her job. Kim is great in this episode too as she gets a bit too excited to go to an awards night with a man she just met. Perhaps the jarring aspect that drags the episode down is the drama around Emily and douchenozzle Eric. Why do we need to bring this up again? What does it bring? Nothing. It is the one key problem with season four, the fact that apparently we’re meant to care about teenage dramas involving the newly grown up Emily Yokas. Ignore that story and you have a solid episode.
98. Spring Forward, Fall Back (1.19)
A very similar episode to the above mentioned A Thousand Points Of Light. There is nothing wrong with the episode, it just falls into that ‘season 1 basket’ mentioned previously. Seeing a young Lea Michele is interesting if you’re a Glee fan, as is seeing Will Arnett in a serious role. Perhaps the starring point of this episode comes in Carlos dealing with an unwanted pregnancy through his relationship with Vangie. If we weren’t aware of just how selfish Carlos could be, we certainly are now, and his back and forth with Doc adds a whole new layer to their already fractured relationship. It adds some real negativity to the character of Carlos but never makes you fully hate him, which can be put down to some great writing as well as great acting by the underrated Anthony Ruivivar. We also get an angry Sully, which is always quite fun.
97. Lights Up (4.1)
The premiere episode of season 4 isn’t exactly the most exciting episodes. It starts off pretty decent, with the action from the last season picking right off where it left off. We get some good setup with Chief Hancock and what will come with Davis through the opening half of the season, and some good stuff with Yokas and Bosco as she reacts to Fred’s heart attack. We also learn that Emily has grown up very suddenly, and looks a lot like a teenager all of a sudden. There is also a great scene with Doc and Carlos who once again nearly come to blows. But outside of all of that there really isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. Not a terrible episode but not a great one either. And that is going to be a fairly decent summary of season 4 in general.
96. Ladies’ Day (4.8)
There really is a bit of a lull in this part of season 4. Sure there is some good stuff to go in this episode, but it also feels very forced that they’ve changed the casting of Emily so that we really need to focus on her character all of a sudden. Bonnie Dennison is a very capable actor and handles the material well, but season 4 is so overshadowed by Emily just being a royal pain in the butt that it’s hard to fully get on board with any story she gets. Yokas is strong in a hostage situation which works, and we get our realy first taste of Cruz on the job, even though we are yet to hit peak Cruz in terms of just how amazing her character is. But this episode is just solid. Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible. Special props though to Titus Welliver as one of the bank robbers Cameron. The guy is a great actor and he does extremely well in owning this episode.
95. The Truth And Other Lies (5.1)
With so much to digest after the epic season 4 finale, the premiere of season 5 takes a bit of a backward step to really get your head around everything. We get the revelation on who got shot after the big cliffhanger and the fallout that it brings, and the incredibly weird and random reveal that Cruz was working with the FBI and helping them with Aaron Noble. Ah…what? Literally comes out of nowhere and really just doesn’t work when you remember everything that happened leading into that reveal. But outside of that we get some very strong scenes around the death of Lieutenant Johnson and a particularly emotional moment involving his wife Ruth and a stirring speech to the firefighters waiting outside his room. A special mention must also go to Kim Raver for an underrated performance given the tragic day that she has had in losing three people close to her. It definitely couldn’t have been easy for her, and the emotional is portrayed perfectly.
94. The Other L Word (6.13)
For an episode to have two top 5 moments from a season, you’d expect it to be higher up this list. But despite two extremely strong moments, the rest of the episode kind of just falls into ‘meh’ territory with a standard paint by numbers terrorism plotline that doesn’t really get explained too well. There are also some fairly odd moments around Carlos and Holly, which leads to Holly deciding to go missing which for some reason create some form of tension. Right. But we should focus on the positives. And the positives are the two top 5 moments. Seeing Bosco get released from hospital to a standing group of police saluting him is an incredible moment. As is the closing scene with Cruz breaking down at the river after we learn that she has leukaemia. They are two strong moments in an overall ‘meh’ episode.
93. History (2.10)
The weakest season 2 episode. Apparently Doc killed someone when he was 15. And apparently we only need to hear about it in one episode and have it never brought up again. Right. Considering how he ends up leaving the show, and the emotional breakdown he has, should this not end up forming part of his overall arc? It seems very odd and forced and it’s just incredibly random. It’s not to take away from the acting Michael Beach gives in this episode because it’s always second to none. And a weak season 2 episode is by far better than some of the stuff that we’ve already gone through on this list. But when it comes to the solo character centric episodes of season 2, this is easily one that you can easily skip and not really feel like you missed anything.
92. To Protect… (4.3)
As you’ll see, there are two episodes in quick succession in season 4 that sort of blend into each other. Both revolve around all our crews involved in an emergency with only a few minor bits happening around them to push the story forward. This episode is about a young boy falling down a chute and a couple believing a paedophile has kidnapped him. It’s fairly solid stuff with nothing bad about it, but it also isn’t exactly ground-breaking either. We have some solid groundwork for Sully and Tatiana and the very emotional few episodes that are soon to come, as well as adding some annoying Emily into the mix for good measure. It all basically blends into an average episode that you won’t remember, but won’t necessarily forget either.
91. Crash And Burn (4.4)
That leads us into the very next episode which is very interchangeable with the previous episode. This week it’s all about Doherty and a big crash on a bridge, which gives the second unit a good chance to showcase some good special effects as well as a big set piece in an open area. If you like a good solid emergency that uses all of your favourite characters, then you’re going to enjoy this. It is extremely random though to just have Taylor hit by a car. It adds drama sure, but what is the point of it? It’s seemingly forgotten about a few weeks later, and you can’t help but feel incredibly sad for her mother when she drops the heartbreaking line about “not knowing what would happen to my mother if I was to die”, especially given how her character will ultimately end up in about 18 episodes time. Another average episode that isn’t worth singing high praise about.
90. The Greater Good (3.19)
A mixed bag of an episode. Having Carlos deal with his daughter is pretty deep stuff, and it really brings us a human side of Carlos that we haven’t seen across the entire show. What also adds some added weight to the storyline is the fact it isn’t a simple blink and you miss moment. We will see it return in season 5 to bring us even more Carlos backstory which actually works quite well. Outside of that however there just seems to be nothing overall exciting happening. Kim and her PDA is quite funny but is overshadowed by her and Taylor randomly being talked down to by a doctor. Then we have Sully and Yokas going after some random Russian goons connected to Chevchenko which gives us a bit of a cliffhanger around the wherabouts of Tatiana. Decent, but nothing groundbreaking. And that basically sums up the entire episode. Meh.
89. Impulse (1.7)
There is a fine line between Bosco’s angry mode and calm mode and this episode we see a great example of both. Seeing just how angry and unhinged he can get when pushed to the brink is a great testament to the acting ability of Jason Wiles and it is on full display across these 42 minutes. The balance again with Davis and his naivety is a great character building exercise for him, and balancing it out too with Sully’s blossoming friendship with his mother adds a few notches further when it comes to his character development. There was a similar attempt with Jimmy this episode to do the same when it came to his rescuing of a young child in a tree and his own ability as a father, but that does come across perhaps as a little too forced. We also get the continued trope of Carlos driving and the accidents that follow, although this time with far more tragic consequences. A solid yet average episode.
88. Officer Involved (1.15)
Season 1 had a habit of bringing us storylines that should have far more serious repercussions for our main characters and promptly sweeping them under the rug like nothing happened. That is on display again here in Officer Involved. Sure Davis shooting an unarmed mad brings about some deep and emotional moments for Davis, but don’t expect it to have any weight after this episode. It does however remain weirdly relevant, especially over the comments made by Bosco if the situation had of involved him instead of Davis. A small highlight has to be Kim’s sudden realistation of her love life predicament, with every close male in her life suddenly being involved in a relationship. That of course brings us the first introduction of Brooke, which is a highlight in itself. It’s just a shame we never hear more about Joey’s girlfriend, because we are all wondering who she is right?
87. Transformed (3.10)
The middle part of season 3 is perhaps the most paramedic and fire-fighter centric set of episodes we get in the entire series run. There are still police elements to the storylines, but very limited ones. This episode is your average affair, with enough happening to keep you entertained, but not too much happening that you are wanting to watch it again anytime soon. We get the first of our ‘oh hey look it’s a random new fire-fighter’ episodes which will become a norm in several episodes during the latter half, and we also get a bit more of Taylor just kind of middling around waiting to put the fire overalls again. Doc is also still dealing with the guilt over removing a kids neck brace, resulting in him being paralysed, while Kim and Jimmy still fight for custody over Joey. It’s all pretty run of the mill stuff, with nothing entirely huge to write home about.
86. Patterns (1.3)
Three episodes into Third Watch and there is already a level of maturity about it that makes you feel connected in more ways than one. The playful nature between the professions is definitely on show here, especially around the back and forth between Sully and Bosco that was initiated from Jimmy. We also get some great action from the car chase and subsequent crash into the water, some great character development between Doc and Carlos showcasing their difficult relationship when it comes to the return of a missing watch, as well as some great humour around Bosco and his actions with the Captain’s daughter. Perhaps the stand out though is the heart, as Bosco manages to solve an out of hand moment with a guy who just wants to be like him. Even a low ‘buy’ of Third Watch is a great episode of Third Watch as proven here.
85. Sunny, Like Sunshine (1.6)
Third Watch loves a good story around a major character and their brother having issues with the law, trying to go straight, before ultimately screwing it all up again and having our major character struggle to do what is right and wrong. Case in point Bobby and the introduction of his brother Matty. Obviously slightly different to Bosco and Mikey…well…only very slightly….but it serves as some good development for the character at this point in the show. As does the slow burning moments of sexual tension between him and Kim which simmer to kissing point this episode. Of course six episodes in we’re not going to see these two hook up at this point, but there’s enough there to make us hope there will be more to come. There’s an obligatory fire rescue scene in this episode (just felt like we should mention that) and the cops seemingly have a very busy day when it comes to chasing perverts called Leroy Brown, watching after stolen cherubs and dealing with domestic violence. All in a days work of course, and all in a standard, very busy and above-average episode.
84. Duty (2.13)
Season 2 only has two ‘rents’ and it’s perhaps fitting that the last rent overall on this list comes from that season. Duty is on a similar page to the only other rent from this season History in that it isn’t bad necessarily, it’s just incredibly random and brings in such a random story from the past that feels like it should be more important than it should be but actually isn’t. Sully gets caught up in an IAB investigation that essentially makes him realise that being happy isn’t a good thing, and that having a good night previously with Tatiana was just a one off and it won’t happen again. While it can be something some people may relate to, it just doesn’t feel relevant given that it is swiftly shoved under a rug and never discussed again. A highlight of this episode is the random fun story between Kim and Carlos, and it really sets up more fun stuff we’re going to get with Carlos later in this season. There is also the randomness of Bobby essentially killing his old teacher, which serves nothing more to have Bobby have a storyline because he hasn’t had anything to do all season. Random personified in a random episode.
83. Last Will And Testament (6.3)
Less than half the episodes of season 6 are ‘buys’, and it seems fitting that the lowest buy on this list is a season 6 episode. This is the episode in which we meet Brendan Finney for the first time. Why isn’t there more celebration over that in this post? Well because at the end of the day is he somebody that we need to get too excited about? It’s not to take away from Josh Stewart. He is a decent actor. But you can definitely tell he was finding his feet in the role and given he only had 19 episodes with the character to develop it, it’s probably the least care factor of any of the major characters we really need to have. Well, him and Grace but hey, she is just ‘meh’ right? But outside of that, this episode has some decent moments. From Cruz showing Lieutenant Miller how it works in the 55, to Holly and Carlos finally hooking up after some fun stuff happening with Carlos and a ‘curse’. There is enough decent to make this a good episode. There are also some real foundations being laid for the strongest storyline season 6 has to offer around the big reveal and truth around what happened with Sully and Ty Davis Sr. You take the good season 6 episodes where you can and luckily this one snuck (just) in to be considered in that category.
82. Crime & Punishment Part 2 (4.10)
How can a man with an Uzi fire hundreds of rounds of automatic weapon fire into a confined space filled with six people and not kill a single one of them, let alone injure someone more severely than he did? It defies complete logic. Sure it’ll get a pass a little later on for a cliffhanger, but it doesn’t escape punishment for this episode. The first part is far superior to the second part, with this episode really doing nothing more than showing off just how far Cruz is willing to go for the greater good. It’s clear from this episode why so many people didn’t like her from the beginning, but her arc as a character really deserves so much more credit given just where she starts to where she ends up. That’s a long term commitment to find out yes and we’re only talking about one episode here, but it has to go out on the record. Also on the record we have some decent stuff around Sully and a bit of a moment with his mum and Hancock which is the strongest part of the episode. But outside of that, it’s just an okay episode that you won’t be rushing to watch again anytime soon.
81. Too Little, Too Late (6.18)
A fairly solid effort for season 6. Cruz continues to get sicker which leads to some fairly emotional scenes and also starts to bridge the gap of friendship between herself and Manny which is great to see. Monroe meanwhile gets shot by Bosco and loses her baby, bringing in a wide variety of implications around whether Bosco should be back on the job and bringing Monroe and Davis back together. We also have Davis hooking up with a prostitute randomly and him and Finney seemingly getting ready to join anti-crime which is also quite decent.. A middle of the road episode which is simple, decent viewing.
80. Payback (5.7)
Pretty decent episode. Cruz gets some payback over her rapist and has to put her convictions aside to show some weakness at a level she isn’t used to. Tia Texada does this incredibly well to really make you feel for her as she does this. We also have the continued blow up of Doc as he confronts rookie Eugene over an accident that wasn’t his fault. It’s jarring to watch Doc be the way he is, but definitely does make sense if you watch the slow gradual decline of him throughout the entire series run. Once again though the episode does feel a tad disjointed with the random Yokas scenes, as well as the pointless Sully and Holsted moments which of course lead nowhere. They’re just a bit out of place, and this episode probably would’ve ranked higher without them.
79. Castles Of Sand (4.12)
This is a somewhat strange episode that seemingly revolves around sex in many forms. From an odd montage at the beginning with some of our main characters getting their freak on mixed with Carlos being put in prison, right through to a weird implication about Yokas and her sexuality in college. It just is odd. The focus really is around Carlos and his accusation against him of sexual assault. Anthony Ruivivar gives a strong performance as a desperate Carlos who realises that he has a much bigger fight against him than he first realised. The scene in particular involving him and the entire firehouse seemingly against him is sad to watch, and Carlos ends up taking on more than he bargained for when it comes to defending himself. It’s good to also finally see Jimmy make an appearance for the first time in forever, although having him randomly pop up on a half naked man poster for a sex supplement is extremely random. But considering his appearances in season 4 are very random, it sort of fits with the trend.
78. Fury (5.8)
So many of these season 5 episodes seemingly end up around the same place and we sound very repetitive in the way describe them. They are just very meh, middle of the road. They are good, but just not outstanding good. This is another example of that. It actually had potential to be quite good with a pretty epic shootout right at the end of the episode and the final capture of drug lord Rick Buford. That is all weighed down slightly though by some random jail sequences, a fairly goofy squad of FBI agents and some drama in the paramedic house with Doc returning to the street having been demoted. None of that is bad as such, it’s just not to the standard of the ending of the episode. We also get the start of the Carlos storyline involving finding more of his family, as his daughter returns with an illness and needs a bone marrow transplant urgently. A fairly standard season 5 episode.
77. Walking Wounded (2.19)
This is an episode that perhaps feels most out of place in season 2 given the lack of central focus on one character but it still has a strong enough element to it for it to be a good episode. The main focus is Kim and her suicide attempt, which is fairly harrowing to witness. The fact Third Watch wasn’t afraid to have a main cast member do something so drastic is a bold move, and while the editing around the sequence might be a bit off, it still is powerful enough to really feel for Kim as she continues to struggle with the death of Bobby. Eddie Cibrian shines in this episode as he deals with the ramifications of Kim’s actions, and his scene with Joey is the shining moment of the episode. The plot involving tainted drugs doing the rounds around NYC is also fairly decent but nothing groundbreaking, as is the Sully and Tatiana plot. Although anything with Sully and Tatiana is great, so let’s take that back and say it was more than decent, it was…great!
76. Surrender (5.6)
With a random cliffhanger resolved and another one to end this episode, there really isn’t a whole lot to scream home about in the middle parts. In saying that it isn’t by any means a bad episode, with some genuine tension happening for the most part. It just falls into the ‘meh’ season 5 trap of nothing terrible, nothing brilliant. Some great stuff happens with the police setup of getting Judge Halsted to the court, even if it does lead into a fairly unbelievable shootout outside the courthouse. Let’s be honest, are the cops really that dumb to allow a sniper to sit on a roof in broad daylight and let all that happen? We get some weird setup still with Sully and Halsted, which again seems to imply something might come out of it. Then there is the continued ramifications after Cruz and her brutal rape the episode previously. Tia Texada once again shines as she balances her tough nature with her reluctance to feel like she is a victim of any sort. It’s probably also important to note that Yokas i still involved by having some random pain and going to see a psychiatrist. Sure? That’s great? I mean it’s great to have Molly Price on our screen, but the story is just kinda pointless on the grand scheme of things. A very middle of the road episode.
75. Leap Of Faith (6.7)
A fairly decent season 6 episode. Cruz has been arrested for the death of Donald Mann and Yokas (in the midst of a pointless child custody battle) is forced into trying to defend herself or protecting Cruz. She eventually does both, and it leads us to an incredible scene between the two of them which all but resolves their long running feud. Watching Molly Price and Tia Texada battle it out in the rain at a bus stop is incredible, and Cruz proudly declaring “I don’t rat out cops, no matter who they are” really brings us an extra layer to her already extremely layered character. The paramedic storyline actually holds up quite well too, with Holly and Carlos given some weight to their relationship as they battle over a sick patient who keeps attempting suicide. Added to this the real start of Davis finding out more about his father, and you get a very solid entry in the series.
74. Modern Designs For Better Living (1.9)
This episode perhaps shows just how consistent season 1 was but also shows how little weight many of the storylines held moving forward. Three examples of this go with Malcolm and Davis, Bobby and his brother and Fred and his drinking problem. Sure, you can argue there are other examples of these types of storylines in later seasons but they all at least feel like they hold significance over some of these ones. The Malcolm storyline is perhaps the strangest, as the ‘previously on’ section makes us believe we have met Malcolm before when we have clearly not. Was this a mistake by the editing department showing us a deleted scene that never aired? Was it a scene that we kind of see in a future episode that became weirdly irrelevant when it came to making this episode Malcolm’s first episode? Or was it something else? Whatever it was it does make you scratch your head for large parts of this episode thinking you should know more. Outside of that confusion however is a fairly solid episode, with a special mention going towards Doc and Morales and their slow burning chemistry that will have a huge payoff very soon.
73. Welcome Home (6.19)
This episode revolves around the amazing meeting between Carlos and Holy’s parents. The awkwardness it brings is great to watch, and given pretty much everyone from the firehouse is being ignored at this point of the show it’s great to see some form of storyline happening with the paramedics. It does a great job at solidifying their relationship and setting us up to what will be a great finale with them. It is also a standout episode for Cruz, who once again continues to learn to deal with her inevitable death, this time around through a preacher who she finds a connection with. We also continue to create some unnecessary conflict between Bosco and Yokas, which given how their partnership ends in the series just gets more disappointing each time you watch it. Despite this, this episode gives enough good to be a solid entry overall.
72. Nature Or Nurture (1.16)
Doc and Carlos have by far the most unique and interesting relationship out of all our main pairings across Third Watch. Their constant bickering and conflicts with each other makes for compelling viewing, and this is made all the more special given the acting abilities of both Michael Beach and Anthony Ruivivar. This episode really accelerates the relationship, with Doc going out of his way to show how much he struggles with his own viewpoints after some deadly gang warfare. We also get some real ‘demon child’ moments from Joey, who apparently likes to break his classmates arms after seeing his dad with another woman. That woman of course is Brooke, who is amazing, but really Joey? Perhaps we are meant to believe it’s all down to your father as we do see him getting bullied out of his own car at the end of the episode and admitting to Kim with his tail between his legs that he is a bad father. But no, Joey, you’re just a demon child. There, we said it…
71. Black And Blue (5.12)
Pretty decent storyline making a pair of bad guys dressed as cops terrorising the city. It actually surprisingly creates a fair amount of tension to the episode. There is some good stuff around Sully and his long term uniform provider, adding a bit of sadness to the episode. And there is also the growing element of Kim and Jimmy getting back together. We also start to get some real ‘Monroe in the community’ vibes this episode too which adds to the dynamic that her character brings. What really does weigh this episode down though is the weakening of Kim as a strong female character. Having her all of a sudden playing a screaming victim running through the streets needing rescuing really does take her character down a notch, as Third Watch isn’t a show that often tries to make you think of a gender in a specific way. Kim has always been strong and independent and it’s just a shame to see her end up like this, even if it is for five minutes. Otherwise a fairly solid episode.
70. Alone In A Crowd (1.11)
To fully appreciate Jimmy and his role in the show it’s important to perhaps have multiple viewings. He often gets forgotten among all the other police and paramedic storylines, and when he does get given an episode to shine it sometimes still doesn’t feel as important as other episodes. Alone In A Crowd does give him an opportunity to shine however, as he deals with the mistake of not watching the fire door overnight which ultimately leads to tragedy. Eddie Cibrian owns the Jimmy character, and he shows he is far more than just a pretty face when it comes to this episode, particularly during the conflict with the guy and the baseball bat. Elsewhere we finally get Doc and Morales hooking up (yay) and a great episode from Skipp Sudduth bringing some real human moments to Sully where you’ll be hard pressed to not feel all kinds of sympathy for the man.
69. Family Ties Part 1 (5.16)
When you follow one of the top ten greatest episodes of all time, you are definitely having a lot to live up to. In this instance of Family Ties Part 1 it comes in the form of a two-parter that is somewhat decent. Bringing in some Bosco family drama might seem a little forced, but it actually works. We’ve learnt a lot about his family issues throughout the previous episodes, so to get a bit of a payoff in his relationship with brother is pleasantly surprising. Having Bosco working with Yokas again is also a great touch, and it really is something to relish as there are only a few episodes left of both of them together as a pair. This episode also sets up the main storyline for the closing episodes of season 5, which feels like it should be more important than it ultimately is but really doesn’t end up that way. Special note to the fallout from the previous episode around Doc, with some good dialogue and recovery scenes with the paramedics.
68. Superheroes Part 2 (3.15)
A decent follow-up to the far superior Superheroes Part 1, the aftermath of the massive shooting in the previous episode doesn’t quite hit the highs its predecessor did. Roy Scheider is incredible as always as Chevchenko and the screentime he shares with Molly Price as Yokas interrogates him is a pleasure to watch. The unravelling of Sully too is a big moment, as it really does set the tone to what is going to happen him along the coming episodes and leading into some dark times for the character in season 4. A huge shout out has to be given though to Charlie McWade as Steve Gusler. There was always something so endearing about his portrayal of a police officer who seemed so far out of his league when it came to the job. This episode really showcases just how out of his league he was, and gives some real powerful moments through the character whenever he is on screen.
67. Blessed And Bewildered (5.14)
The only downside to the overall fall of Doc in the middle of season 5 is the pointless Ally Nardo storyline that really takes away from what we should be focussed on. Some guy has a beef with Bosco, he attempts to catch him in a bribe and things go bad. Okay? Caught up on that. Great. The real storyline has to be around Doc and this random party he is hosting because it really does come out of nowhere. The first time you watch it you really are wondering what on earth is happening, but it will of course all make sense in an epic episode that follows it. We do have some interesting moments with his party, including Doc hooking up with Monroe as well as Christian’s nice family moment with Carlos that really brings his family storyline to a head and rightfully so. We also get a nice little moment with the return of Yokas, who although only missing for a few episodes is a welcome addition as you realise how much you have missed her. A very well rounded and acted episode.
66. History Of The World (1.8)
A Third Watch thanksgiving episode is going to be a bit different from your regular thanksgiving episode on TV. We get Bosco dealing with a very dysfunctional family, Yokas dealing with her own dysfunctional family and Bobby trying to keep his family together with his dysfunctional brother. A lot of family based storylines happening here clearly. Added to this the police family involving Davis and Sully and just what is needed to fully back up your partner and support them no matter what has happened. It’s a great way for Davis to face the reality of a situation like this, and his conflict with Sully is definitely warranted as their partnership continues to grow.
65. Family Ties Part 2 (5.17)
Only a few notches above part 1, Family Ties Part 2 feels somewhat familiar as we get a very similar storyline with Bosco and his brother to what we had with Bobby and his brother in season 1. Ignoring this aspect, there are some great moments to be had across this episode. The scene with Bosco and Mikey at the fort is a particular highlight, as is the closing shootout which is all kinds of tense and action packed. We also get our first (and only) taste of just how much of a jerk Bosco’s dad is, as he not only yells and loses it with Bosco when he confronts his dad at his house, but also when he is willing to turn his own son in to get some money. There are some decent scenes too with Cruz versus Yokas, and we also start to get some real great Jelly scenes who is starting to make himself a little bit more known at this point of the show. Additional props to some great music used in this episode too.
64. Goodbye To Camelot (6.22)
If you ignore the first 10-15 minutes of this episode, you really have a great episode that closes the entire series off well. But unfortunately we have to at least acknowledge that first section. The traction of bad plot holes continues from the previous two episodes, with so many glaring issues over the attack on the precinct that it’s almost laughable. I mean, why does it take about 10 minutes for the fire department to come across the street to help out? How does Yokas survive an explosion from a grenade in a confined room when the grenade is right on top of her? Why do all the cops rush outside when they know people are throwing grenades at them and surely have other weapons? Those are definitely some problems which can’t be ignored. But as soon as all that is over, the episode is brilliant and goes as quickly as you can enjoy it. From the amazing moment that Carlos proposes to Holly, through to Cruz sacrificing herself and Carlos and Doc having one last moment together, it all is fantastic. Yes there are some smaller issues that have to be raised. Like would Cruz really get a medal of honour for being a suicide bomber? And how on earth could the writers forget the name of Doc’s wife and change it to something different? But again, pushing those aside, it then leads us into a final 5 minute montage with Sully narrating how everybody ends up which satisfies everyone with an extremely satisfying conclusion. It could’ve been better, but it’s a pretty damn great conclusion to a pretty damn great show.
63. Letting Go (4.17)
This episode has some strong season 1 vibes to it when it comes to the mixed storytelling. The focus is around Sully and his supposed recovery, and a pretty horrible day that ultimately leads him to losing it over ‘letting go’ Ty from a room and drinking in his RMP. Ty takes action right at the very end of the episode, and that will ultimately lead us into one of the best episodes of all time. But this episode is solid on its own right to not just be seen as a setup episode. We get some rescue scenes for the firefighters to do (remember them), there is an intriguing mystery over a child who we believe has been taken by her father but actually needs to be away from her mother, and Carlos having some good news and bad news in the space of 24 hours. Sure there is some Emily stuff in here too, but we don’t need to drag this episode down right? A solid episode.
62. In Lieu Of Johnson (5.4)
While season 5 starts to find its feet, this episode actually gives us some pretty strong moments. The surprising part of this is that it’s actually the Jimmy storyline that provides us with the best bits. As Jimmy struggles with his new promotion after the death of Lieutenant Johnson, he has some fiery run ins with his fellow firefighters over his handling over several issues. The best part about this is seemingly the fact the writers remembered Jimmy was a character in this show, so he finally starts to get some good stuff to deal with. There is also some great moments with him and Kim, as they share notes over just how to deal with their respective promotions and also connect on a more intimate level for the first time really since season 2. It’s a nice moment, and thankfully this will ultimately lead to a big pay off later in the season. This episode is also extremely noteworthy for the first ever acting appearance of a certain Chadwick Boseman, aka Black Panther. A fun little trivia moment for you. We should also probably note the fun cop storyline involving a rapper (played by a certain DMX) and just how far he will go for his fans to get some street justice. It’s a random story but incredibly entertaining. A good episode.
61. Sleeping Dogs Lie (5.13)
Every single main cast member who had left the show till this point of the series had been killed off, so it seemed pretty certain that Jimmy was also set to face the same fate when in a burning building with seemingly no escape. Luckily for our favourite firefighter that wasn’t the case, and he survived long enough to leave in a fairly emotional send off. Having him propose to Kim at the beginning of the episode and declare he isn’t giving up on their relationship when she gives the ring back is a nice bookend to not only the episode but their entire storyline across the show. It also leaves things a bit open for ultimately how they’ll end up. Outside of this we have a fairly pointless cop storyline involving Monroe attempting to make a situation right with some street kids, and a terribly tacked on ‘cliffhanger’ involving Ally Nardo and Bosco’s mum. It takes away from what should be, and for the most part was, a celebration of the character that is Jimmy.
60. Broken (6.8)
Season 6 shines when it starts to get into some solid storylines and steers away from the Criminal Minds style of episodes. This is a clear example of just how well it can do and that there were glimmers of the show that we grew to love in the early days. Davis starts to investigate the death of his dad more after getting more information from Sully, and actually confronts his killer in a very memorable scene. Sure, some of the information we are told on the grand scheme of continuity doesn’t make sense, but it still an emotionally charged moment for us that we can actually forget the subtle problems with it. The crime story too is a very strong and topical issue, with a rape case involving a male victim actually holding up very well in the current climate and giving us a different take on that style of crime. Everything is well acted in this episode and we are finally getting into some meaty storylines during this season with it.
59. Jimmy’s Mountain (2.4)
Jimmy’s first full starring episode, it may not be the most groundbreaking of episodes but it is a solid example of why Jimmy is perhaps a little underrated as a character. Living through his dreams of becoming a pro-athlete, we soon discover just why he became a firefighter and the struggles he has in maintaining his tough guy appeal through his recovery after being shot. It’s interesting to see just how he handles the situations presented to him, and a great character building episode for the…character. This episode is also notable for the first appearance of Lieutenant Johnson as well as Alex Taylor.
58. Responsible Parties (1.5)
This is a great episode digging into just what makes our main characters tick. Yokas gets her first chance to really star in an episode, and as always is the case Molly Price shines when it comes to her portrayal of the character. Her sheer determination around protecting children comes head on during this episode, and although there are maybe some questionable moments when it comes to her willingly leaving a gang member to die without facing any consequences, it is a great moment to really show us just exactly how capable she is of doing what it takes to protect the people she serves. The Bobby vs Jimmy moment in the basketball game is an underrated moment, but sadly another one of these season 1 moments that doesn’t really go beyond what we see early on.
57. Second Chances (4.11)
Half way through the fourth season and nothing amazing really is happening it seems. We get an appearance by Eve, which is…fine? Emily wants to find out how many people her mum has killed, which is…also fine? We get some excitement with a scaffolding collapse and a rescue which is…yes…also fine too? You see where we’re going with this? The episode itself is just fine. That’s why it pretty much ends up in the middle section of all the episodes of Third Watch. The prisoner escape with the handcuffs is a nice little moment which brings some comedy which is fun to watch. And starting a bit of an interesting arc with Carlos being accused of sexual assault also gives us some tense storylines to look forward to at this point of the series. But it’s maybe important to just call this episode what it is….fine.
56. The L Word (6.12)
It felt like it was only a matter of time until Third Watch did a terrorism themed episode, and with the exception of Lockdown which felt like it was going that route but didn’t, we finally get it with The L Word. It’s a strong episode, particularly for season 6, with several themes mixed in with the overall point of ‘love’ and being able to express the word balanced beautifully between Carlos and Holly and Finney and his dad. Sure there is a pointless explosion which serves as a good promo reel for NBC, but it does bring us some great character moments with Holly and Carlos and their relationship which you felt was needed to this point. And the Finney stuff is actually really good, with a harrowing closing few moments with Brendan finding his dad after he has committed suicide. A powerful episode that makes you wanting more.
55. Anywhere But Here (1.2)
An episode that comes off the back of a series premiere cliffhanger, there is a lot to love about the second ever episode of Third Watch. Perhaps the starring part is having Davis (and us, the audience) learn exactly what happened to his dad all those years ago. Sure there are some questionable continuity moments around the story when it is brought up again in season 6, but it’s an emotional hit at the very end of the episode. We also have our first signs of the Bosco we’ll come to know and love, the more sympathetic Bosco from the balls out, gung-ho Bosco we had in the opening episode. It’s a nice arc to complete the opening of the show.
54. 32 Bullets & A Broken Heart (1.14)
Third Watch thrives as being a show that still holds up after 20 years. There are many storylines and issues that remain incredibly relevant despite two decades passing. This episode however has a few moments that really do feel dated, particularly around the terminology and reactions to gay marriage. Outside of those obvious issues we get some strong moments. Bosco and Yokas butting heads over Bosco’s treatment of people is a prime example of this. As is the follow-up to Kim and Bobby finally hooking up. It’s great to see them ‘together’, even if it is for a few moments, but sadly the storyline and Bobby’s ‘love’ for Kim is all but forgotten about after this episode. The Carlos and Vangie stuff is fun, although it is the only time ‘fun’ can be mentioned when it comes to these two moving forward.
53. Honor (2.18)
While this episode perhaps doesn’t reach the heights of A Hero’s Rest, it still is a strong episode to pay tribute to one third of the emergency workers Third Watch represents. It really is an episode of two halves, with the football game taking centre stage in the opening half before all the action that takes place in the second. It’s an episode that surprisingly goes by very quickly, and Eddie Cibrian puts in another strong performance with the very underrated Jimmy. Sure there’s a bit of soap opera stuff going on with the whole ‘who’s the daddy’ storyline, but it still remains a very solid episode that actually grows better with each subsequent watch. Special props also has to go to former NFL player Jason Sehorn who does a great job as as Knolwins. A solid firefighter tribute episode.
52. Kim’s Hope Chest (2.5)
Kim is an interesting character across her time on Third Watch and in the early days there were several complaints about her neediness and overall nagging ability. However this episode does a lot for her character development and shows just why she is the way she is as she struggles to maintain balance in her life, relationships and struggling with demons from her past. Season 2 is an underrated one for Kim when it comes to her storylines, with a lot of heavy stuff coming in the last quarter of the season. However it is with this episode that Kim is perhaps truly born, as for the first time we get a real sense of who she is and why she is the way she is. Kim Raver of course shines in showcasing every aspect of that in this episode.
51. Ten-Thirteen (4.16)
Cruz firmly places herself in the show during the fourth season and an integral part of the Cruz character is her rivalry with Yokas. This is the episode that really plants the seed for the two going against each other and once again shows just how far Cruz is willing to go in order to get her way. As is often the case through posts about Cruz, it really is great to see some solid foundations of her character and just why she is the way she is. It’s understandable why many Third Watch fans disliked her during the airing of the show, but as always it isn’t fair to judge a character without attempting to understand just why they are the way they are. This episode also brings some great foundations for Sully and his drinking problems, and gives us some fun stuff with Doc and Joy around the meeting of her father. It also has a great montage with the great song Peacekeeper by Fleetwood Mac. A strong middle episode.
50. Thicker Than Water (3.16)
It’s still an absolutely travesty that we never got to see a funeral for Bobby when he died, however this episode is perhaps the next best thing. Getting a minor tribute to him a year after he died is at least something, and it’s great to see the ramifications of what Kim has been through since his death come to fruition this episode between herself and Jimmy. The final moments seeing her and Taylor with Bobby’s grave is a powerful moment, as are the flashbacks throughout this episode to various events in the past. Speaking of the past, Carlos has his catch up to him and we finally get some real humanising character moments from him as he is left with the baby he thought he didn’t have with Vangie. There is also some great stuff too around the police investigation after the cafe shootout, with Charlie McWade as Steve Gusler once again shining in a very small role.
49. Men (1.18)
It’s disappointing that the only time we ever got to see the ‘Camelot Cup’ was in this episode. It would’ve been a fun addition to each season moving forward, but sadly it wasn’t to be. Seeing the Candy vs Davis storyline come to a point is the strongest part by far of this episode, and it’s a great balancing point for Davis to come to terms with his past and try to set his own future. We have a random fun patient storyline involving a man and a screwdriver that is worth noting, as is the emotional kick that comes from Doc losing his father. Just add it to the slow, sad and burning path that is Doc and his time across six seasons of Third Watch.
48. He Said/She Said (3.6)
A great episode showcasing the trials that police partners can have when it comes to certain types of cases. Bosco and Yokas come to odds over a rape victim after witnessing the act happen right in front of their eyes. The fact that this episode remains so relevant today as well is probably not a good thing, but it’s definitely an interesting insight into these types of cases and the victims involved. We also get some foundations of the Carlos and Davis housemate relationship, one that is going to give us so much fun and so much great things to come in later episodes. Overall this episode is all about just how great of an actor both Molly Price and Jason Wiles are, and both steal the entire show.
47. Young Men & Fire (1.22)
Perhaps the tamest of all the season finales, Young Men & Fire brings season 1 to a very strong close. The only real cliffhanger we get is Jimmy being shot, although Yokas finding out she is pregnant would also be considered a cliffhanger at the same time. The Jimmy and Kim stuff may becoming a bit repetitive at this point, but it really will be the last time we will see these two get together in this capacity for a few seasons so it does somehow feel warranted on the grand scheme of things and how these two will be around each other moving forward. It’s also great to see the book end of Davis and his first year on the street, and just how far he has come since his first day on the job. A great episode that serves as a strong ending to Third Watch’s sophomore season and gives us enough leg room to move forward into the far stronger season 2.
46. My Opening Farewell (5.2)
The death of Taylor was only the second major character death in Third Watch to this point of the show, so to finally get our first major character funeral (#BobbyShouldHaveGottenAFuneral) is a great moment. Carlos delivering the eulogy is a perfect send off to Taylor, with the pair of them never really getting along but getting some great closure in his incredible speech. Doc this episode too really takes a turn for the worst, assaulting the paramedic who was meant to be on the bus with him on the day Taylor died as well as completely losing it at Carlos when approached in his apartment. It is the absolute beginning of the end for Doc, with the entire series serving this downward spiral that is finally getting closer and closer to the very bottom. All the cop this stuff episode is fairly stock standard, with the introduction of the random Faith is paralysed story just making it all kind of meh. Take that away however and you have a very solid episode.
45. Crime & Punishment Part 1 (4.9)
This is the first episode to really give you a full taste of Cruz. Sure we’ve had glimpses before this, but this is where you actually get to learn a bit more of who she is, what she is like and just what she is capable of doing. There is a shooting involving some gang members and Bosco and Cruz attempt to get protection for a kid Miguel who saw who did it. There is some great acting from a lot of the supporting cast and it definitely makes it compelling to watch along the way. Yeah there is a bit of an obscure cliffhanger that isn’t overly believable, but it’s still entertaining enough to look past it. Outside of the main anti-crime storyline we start to really get a sense of how hard Sully is struggling following the death of Tatiana. Skipp Sudduth really gets to work with some strong material from this point on in season 4 and although it is heartbreaking it is great to watch how great he is at portraying the pain of Sully. Added to this some pretty decent stuff with Doc, Carlos and Doc’s love interest Joy, it’s overall a solid episode.
44. Everybody Lies (4.19)
The final four episodes of season four are a great series of slow burning episodes that help setup an epic finale. This episode begins our little arc, and in particular introduces us to Tom Berenger aka Aaron Noble who ends up being way too connected to not only Cruz and Bosco, but to Kim as well. It’s great to see Kim finally having a storyline this season, and they bring it in perfectly mixing it with Noble and the reveal that the girl that accused Carlos of sexual assault is having a few more issues at home that ultimately lead her to lying about the assault. We get a bit more drama too with Yokas and Bosco which is sad to see, but brings us some incredibly strong scenes between the pair when they ultimately decide to break up their partnership. We also get some solid Cruz moments, albeit brief. If the entire season had been this solid, we might be talking about season four in an entire different light.
43. The Tys That Bind (2.6)
One of the longest continuous storylines across six seasons of Third Watch is how Davis is still coping with the death of his father. This episode gives us a true sense of just exactly what his father meant to him and how he is hopeless to fully cope and comprehend with all the layers of complexity that his father had whilst he remained unaware as a child. Finding out that his father had a second family and he has a half-sister he didn’t know about it pushes Davis over the edge, and it gives us Coby Bell’s best episode in the series to that point. We also get the only team up of Bosco and Davis which could very well be one of the most underrated pairing across all the episodes.
42. Adam 55-3 (3.5)
A solid episode which has a great focus around Doc and his past ambitions and future ambitions. Knowing his whole story across the run of the show, it makes it a bit of a sad episode as we continue on the downward journey his character has. But it’s a nice balance having Kim partner with him to see the lighter side of her once more, before ultimately turning to the serious side of things as she finally reveals her suicide attempt wasn’t an accident. We also get the surgery of Yokas as her cancer scare gets a little more serious, but given that storyline really doesn’t develop into much, it’s nothing too concerning in the long run.
41. Hell Is What You Make Of It (1.4)
Bosco vs Jimmy. Davis vs Mondays. Two rivalries perhaps you didn’t know we needed but two rivalries that make this episode awesome. Watching Davis have a crash course in policing really is a great sight during this episode, and the balance between his early chirpy demeanour and Sully’s battle worn persona starts to really give some great groundwork for their partnership. Bosco and Jimmy battling off is also fantastic, and a real shame that it didn’t really continue on much past season 1. Other moments involving Doc and Carlos once again having issues getting along when it comes to an assault happening in front of them are strong, as is Bobby doing everything he can in order to protect Kim. Another solid episode.
40. Unleashed (3.20)
The first, and easily the best, of the two Third Watch crossover events. This one managed to seamlessly fit in with ER and brought us the incredible Sherry Stringfield for a guest appearance as her ER character Dr Susan Lewis. You don’t necessarily need to have seen the ER episode to fully grasp what this episode is about, but it definitely does help and add some weight to it. Seeing Stringfield work alongside both Jason Wiles and Molly Price is a joy to watch, and it’s actually a pretty tense story as they attempt to find Susan’s missing niece. There are also some good side stories too, with some fun stuff with Jimmy and Joey and having Tatiana return back to Sully after being MIA. A very solid episode which is all kinds of exciting for those who started watching Third Watch because of ER.
39. After Time (3.3)
While the episode prior showcases the lead up to 9/11, After Time does a perfect job of showing the reactions and aftermath of just how the tragedies on that day changed each of our main characters forever. The level of detail shown in every aspect of this episode is incredible, with it really capturing the mood of not only New York at the time, but the entire world. It’s incredible how emotional this episode still is to this day, and the fact that you can be so drawn in to the acting of every character through this episode and still feel that sense of sadness that all of us felt in 2001 is brilliant to watch. One that you should bring a pack of tissues for.
38. Man Enough (2.20)
Doc, you’re an idiot. Why oh why are you not able to take a short 2 hour drive south to Philadelphia? It’s really not that hard for love is it? Apparently so. This episode is as great as it is frustrating. Seeing just how amazing Doc and Morales are together is conflicted with just how stupid Doc is to not give in to his ‘male needs’ in order to stay with Sarah. Yes, Lisa Vidal was written out of the show because the producers weren’t willing to make her a permanent member of the cast. But come on! These two were so perfect together! Surely there had to be a better way to break them up than Doc just being utterly stupid? It sounds like we’re doing nothing but complaining about this episode when it actually is a great episode. Both Vidal and Michael Beach put in incredible performances. And there is even a strong performance by Jason Wiles in a fairly small role. But it’s just so frustrating! Ugh! Doc! Idiot!
37. Requiem For A Bantamweight (2.15)
The episode that brought the first real big moment and shock of the show. Requiem For A Bantamweight feels like an overdue Bobby episode that finally gives him something real to do for the first time in season 2. However it’s soon apparent there is a reason behind this. The reason of course is his demise. Well, at least the prelude to his demise. It’s definitely a confronting episode, particularly the ending, which gives us the scene that we voted as the best moment in the entire six season run of the show. There is also some genuine tension in the lead up, with the introduction of Paulie giving some great final moments of Bobby in the series. The Sully and Tatiana story is also great to watch, as we get some fantastic bonding moments between them as they continue to build their relationship. Easily one of the most important episodes in the history of Third Watch.
36. True Love (2.12)
Sully and Tatiana are perhaps the greatest couple in the show that weren’t a pre-established couple from the beginning. This episode serves to show just how great they are, and you can’t help but get a bit emotional over their first date knowing everything that will follow them. Bosco in this episode gets a real intense story in having to deal with protecting his mum, and we get a great chance to really see a bit further into why Bosco is the way he is and how much of a caring person he actually is. Outside of our cop storylines we have some pretty strong stuff with Jimmy, with the big reveal of his affair coming full circle. There’s some great acting from Eddie Cibrian in this episode and one where he shines under some difficult circumstances. A solid episode.
35. Journey To The Himalayas (1.12)
There is a lot going on in this episode but everything that happens is great. This is the episode in which Davis perhaps grows up the quickest, as he finds out being a cop isn’t exactly as black and white and simple as it seemed. There is also the case of finding out his own father might not be who he though he was, which you know you’ll learn about more moving forward. The Bobby storyline too with Matty finally feels like it’s leading somewhere, and having Bobby cradle his brother at the end of the episode as he pleads for help is a great moment. Then we have Bosco and Yokas. Always great to see but with some great dialogue between the pair around Bosco’s basic understanding of geography, it’s even greater than great. A real highlight of season 1.
34. This Band Of Brothers (1.13)
And while we’ve just seen a real highlight of season 1, it is then backed up by an even bigger highlight a week later. What serves as the best highlight? Kim and Bobby finally hooking up of course! It only took 13 episodes and you won’t see it again after this week (with the exception of the conclusion a week later) but there is just something about finally seeing them kiss at the end of the episode that brings a sense of relief. Bobby in general perhaps is the main star this week, as he deals with the ramifications around his brother’s actions and how to deal with it moving forward. It’s just a shame that these sort of storylines couldn’t continue with the character to keep Bobby Canavale in the show. Elsewhere we get one of the best shootouts to ever be seen in Third Watch, with some great, tense action happening after a botched robbery. We also get a further insight into Bosco’s character and just how far he is willing to go when it comes to stopping the bad guys.
33. Cold Front (3.13)
Another very solid and well rounded episode. This is definitely the Doc show, with Doc learning the truth about who Jerry actually is and his involvement in the Ryan Buckley case and having to deal with the ramifications. The final scene of this episode holds it all on its own, with Michael Beach giving an incredibly moving and powerhouse performance to show just how great an actor he is. Outside of this, the storyline revolving around a woman frozen alive and the efforts to get her out is quite remarkable and incredibly well shot. Also special mentions to some fun Carlos stuff and strong moments involving Bosco and Yokas as well as Jimmy and Kim.
32. Two Hundred & Thirty-Three Days (3.21)
A bit of an emotional kick this episode as it really closes out the September 11 story-arc that dominates season 3. Having Taylor find out that her dad has been found is the anchor of the episode, which starts off beautifully with a piano score accompanying some shots of our characters in action. The final moments of this episode too really kick you in the guts, with a stirring speech from Taylor’s uncle about 9/11 an absolutely perfect way to give context to the people who gave their lives on that fateful day. We also get to meet Taylor’s mum for the first time which is pretty exciting. Outside of this we start to really get some meaty stuff around Chevchenko and Sully which is going to bring a very heavy pay off early into season 4, and we also get a pretty solid police storyline involving Bosco and Yokas chasing after a convicted rapist.
31. Know Thyself (2.8)
There’s no denying that any Faith centric episode is going to be a strong one. Molly Price is perhaps the best actor in the show when it comes to holding an episode on her own, and she easily does that throughout Know Thyself. It’s a strange episode for the character somewhat as for the most part as a viewer you find it hard to fully sympathise with her when she pretty much is to blame for all the pain that she feels throughout the episode. But what makes this episode so strong is the fact that we get 42 minutes of her discovering exactly that, and finding a way to recover and make herself the better for it. This is all sold perfectly by Price, and it’s great to watch. It is also a great episode for some strong Bosco and Yokas moments, particularly the reveal that Yokas had an abortion and her telling Bosco the truth. A real stirring moment of just how much these two rely on each other in another great episode.
30. September Tenth (3.2)
While In Their Own Words was a great response to the events of 9/11 to showcase the real heroes of that day, September Tenth does an equally fantastic job at allowing our beloved characters on the show react to one of the worst days in human history. There was no way Third Watch could avoid the events of September 11, and the writers towed a very fine line around dramatizing the event as well as being incredibly respectful of everything that happened. From a production point of view too, to be able to turn around an episode of this nature so quickly is testament to the producers of the show. Every actor is on point, and they each have their own way of portraying perfectly the lead up to that fateful day.
29. Faith (2.2)
Season 2 is the grand daddy of all seasons and we will continue to talk about how amazing it is until the day we die. And while the season premiere flirted with solo character focus, Faith takes it to a whole new level by giving Yokas her entire episode to dominate. Having her deal with her pregnancy in the way she does is incredible, and given this episode aired in 2000, it was way ahead of its time when it came to tackling the subject of abortion. The interplay around Bosco and having his relationship end with Nicole balances out an episode which is about consequences of mistakes and how to handle them. It also shows that we are all capable of making mistakes no matter how good we may be, and its how we deal with these mistakes and the actions we take that can improve them, or leave us open for more mistakes down the line. What works so well about all of these moments throughout this episode are the ramifications that will follow throughout the rest of this season, as well as in future seasons as well. Having this be a focus of the Bosco and Yokas relationship is key, and solidifies why they are the central and starring focus for the majority of Third Watch.
28. In Their Own Words (3.1)
A truly powerful episode of television that doesn’t hold back with the emotional it pulls. In Their Own Words is the perfect response to the tragedies of 9/11 and serves as a platform to showcase the true heroes of that tragic day. Listening to all the stories from the emergency workers as well as their family members, mere weeks after the tragic events really is compelling viewing and deserves to be watched whether you’re a Third Watch fan or not. There really was no other fictional show better at responding to 9/11 than Third Watch and this is a perfect example of why that was the case.
27. Four Days (2.3)
Such a powerful episode that sadly remains incredibly relevant today. It’s not often Third Watch deals with the race of the main characters on a level we see in Four Days, and it’s done so well that you somehow wish they would do it more often. Exploring a few days of Doc’s life, we soon see his world spiral out of control over a few basic moments of him standing up for his beliefs. Sadly for him his beliefs don’t exist too well with the events around him, and he is forced into a variety of situations with dire consequences through no fault of his own. Michael Beach owns this episode, and it’s yet another example of how badly this show was robbed when it came to recognition in the major acting categories at both the Emmys and Golden Globes.
26. …And Zeus Wept (2.22)
The last time a season finale decided not to leave us on a cliffhanger, …And Zeus Wept is an incredibly powerful episode that sadly remains incredibly relevant to this day. A young kid takes a gun to school and goes on a shooting rampage, bringing all our crew together as they attempt to deal with act itself and the aftermath that follows. The opening of this episode featuring a powerful narration by Skipp Sudduth is a great way to start it off, and the constant themes around whether or not the media is harming our children actually does its job very well without resorting to being over preachy. There is a random story involving Yokas and a health scare which will really lead to nothing next season, but outside of that there is nothing that isn’t compelling about this episode. It’s also notable for being the last episode in a pre-9/11 world, which obviously changed the course this show would take in the coming seasons.
25. Blackout (3.22)
Another season finale and another fantastic episode. What puts this episode just above the season 2 finale is the scale that the episode brings to our screens. A blackout in New York City has put all the emergency services on edge, and it creates a high level of tension as you feel something just building and building towards the finale. We have some great stuff with Bosco and a perp who seemingly has thrown his life away but actually has a lot more going on than it seems. We also have some great play between Sully and Davis with the first time in a while we see the ‘old school vs new school’ mentality of both of them. Then we have Fred and Yokas stuck in an elevator, which seems like it could be boring but turns out to be quite tense when Fred ends up having a heart attack. Add to this some great stuff with Doc and Carlos and you have a very solid and well rounded finale that also gives us our first end of season cliffhanger. The second best season finale in all of Third Watch.
24. A Hero’s Rest (2.11)
When it comes to paying tribute to police officers killed in the line of duty, this episode really does take the cake. It’s all about the police funeral, and it’s shot in such a way that you can’t help but tear up at just how emotional it is. Watching Davis salute the son of the fallen officer with tears falling down his face before Sully places his hand on his shoulder to comfort him will make the strongest person feel the feels, and it’s a great moment to really showcase the level of loss felt by the police when one of their own is killed in the line of duty. We also get the first appearance of Swersky, which is only a brief moment but an important one to point out given how important the character will become.
23. The Relay (3.4)
In what was supposed to be the season premiere for season 3, The Relay does a great job at brining us the very underrated third season of Third Watch. It is well bookended with the suicide of a woman right through to the joy of a little girl being saved due to her receiving a transplant from the woman who killed herself. It is actually still very tense to watch, even if you know the outcome. The sense of desperation portrayed by all of the characters in order to save the little girl is great to watch. It’s also a great ensemble episode, with pretty much every character getting ample amounts of screentime and giving us a fantastic shot of our entire cast as they watch on with the heart being transferred into the hospital. Obviously the events of 9/11 prevented this from being a season premiere, but it’s a great episode to get us past the heavy stuff of that time and into some more great episodes of Third Watch.
22. Old Dogs, New Tricks (3.11)
The thing that is incredibly apparent about season 3, particularly the middle parts, is that not only is it very underrated it is also extremely well balanced. So many of the characters get equal screentime, and you really do feel as though the show has perfectly hit the correct format around giving everyone equal time and making it all fit perfectly. This is almost a second The Self-Importance of Being Carlos (in which you’ll read about soon) with Anthony Ruivivar really being the star of this episode. His humour and comedy timing just working perfectly, and it gives a great balance of humour mixed with some incredibly heavy twists. It’s great to see the return of Jerry in this episode, although it’s not exactly great when it is revealed why he is back. Another great episode.
21. Forever Blue (6.11)
The absolute stand out of season 6. This episode was incredibly unfortunate not to crack the top 20, meaning season 6 remains the only season not to have a top 20 episode. This episode is a long time coming. Finally getting the ultimate pay off and resolution to the murder of Ty Davis Sr is a masterstroke, and combining this with some great flashbacks of how Sully got started in the NYPD just adds an extra layer. Ethan Aronoff is a great choice to play young Sully, as are all the other actors to play the younger (and older) versions of his former anti-crime crew. This episode feels like it belongs in an earlier season, and that’s testament to the writers and creators of this show that they were able to still put together a strong and gripping episode in an otherwise weak season. A flashback episode done right and a great hour of television.
20. Welcome To Camelot (1.1)
Where it all began. There really is nothing bad to say about this episode. Sure there is a slightly cheesy moment of zooming into a mouth of a woman giving birth on a subway. Yeah there is the obvious ‘trailer line’ from Kim when she utters the “damn I love this job” line. And okay, Doc catching a baby from a burning building is a bit over the top. But this was 1999, and things were done differently back then when it came to the premiere of a new show. Everything to love about the show is right here, and although there are definite moments of bad continuity to happen across the 132 episodes, having Battersea play at the end of this episode and then having it play again in the series finale just makes you feel all kinds of good inside. A great start to a great show.
19. Just Another Night At The Opera (1.21)
Bosco and the opera. It’s a pairing that should never work but it somehow does. Just like the pairing of him and Nicole. It is on full display in this episode and just shines on every level. The chemistry between Jason Wiles and Nahanni Johnstone is incredible, and it’s such a shame that in 3 episodes time the relationship ends in the most frustrating of ways. It’s also a shame that Bosco never really had a relationship on the show after this, as that is perhaps the only thing his character misses across all 132 episodes. Away from Bosco and Nicole we get some fun stuff between Bobby, Kim and Jimmy which is just great to watch. We also get a new level of Davis as he confronts Candyman to lay down the law to him. There is also some great stunt driving in this episode that really does keep you on the edge of your seat. Easily one of the best episodes in season 1 and a solid entry into the top 20 episodes of all time.
18. The Lost (2.1)
You could argue there wasn’t a bigger single shift between seasons then between season 1 and 2. From a great show in the first 22 episodes that was very well trained in giving us a strong focus on nine leading characters, to an absolutely outstanding show in the next 22 episodes that allowed more focus on each of the characters across an entire episode but still showcasing ongoing storylines between our main stars. The Lost almost feels like the beginning of a new show, as we are thrown head first into our new solo character episodes with Sully and his fears mixing in beautifully with the fears of Yokas, Jimmy and Kim all intertwined together. Third Watch was such a great show at being able to balance these storylines, especially in the early days, and it’s one that it doesn’t get any credit for. Go back and watch this episode and compare it to the earlier episodes to see the development that came in such a short time and give you a sense of the show you fell in love with mixed with a new show and tell us it’s not amazing. It’s almost as if somebody got pizza and chocolate to work together on a hamburger and made the most incredible thing invented. Welcome to season 2.
17. The Long Guns (3.12)
Jason Wiles has always been an incredible actor in Third Watch but season 3 is the season that really showcases just how good he can be. His budding relationship with Hobart has been an interesting one, and when it all comes to an explosive end, his reaction just sums it up perfectly. It really is the start of a torrid period for Bosco, and while it is hard to watch this tough as nuts cop slowly disintegrate, it does allow us to see just how incredible Wiles is as an actor with arguably his best work in the entire series run. The editing in this episode also stands out, with a classic showing of events at the beginning of the episode mixed with flashbacks that lead up to those moments serving the vibe and emotional impact incredibly well. The final scene is one of the most powerful of the series, and definitely one you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
16. Unfinished Business (2.16)
It’s always remembered that Requiem For A Bantamweight is the episode that killed Bobby, but technically it’s the episode that follows. It’s somewhat of an odd episode, as the supernatural side of things seemingly takes over as Bobby hangs in purgatory while getting a chance to finally sort out some issues with his father. It’s an episode that really shouldn’t work, but it does. And it does so well. Killing off your first major character in a series is always a big moment, and the death of Bobby is arguably the most shocking and well handled major character death in the entire series run. It was time for Bobby to leave, as Bobby Cannavale clearly was getting tired of being wasted on a show that seemingly forgot him. And it clearly worked out the best for him in the long run. This episode definitely packs a punch, and the final montage to Enya’s haunting Only Time is a perfect conclusion to not only a strong episode, but a strong and fan favourite character. RIP Bobby.
15. Falling (3.17)
You get so used to seeing Bosco as a tough, ruthless cop that it comes as a huge shock to the system to see him as vulnerable as he becomes in this episode. The majority of season 3 has lead up to this moment, with his inevitable breakdown happening in one harrowing scene with Yokas at the very end. To heap praise onto Jason Wiles would be the obvious thing to do as he deserves every ounce of it, as would echoing calls for him to receive some form of recognition for just how good he is in this episode. Props go to Molly Price as well for her sympathetic Yokas this episode, in what turns out to be an incredible 42 minutes of acting and of television.
14. The Price Of Nobility (4.22)
Easily the best season finale in the history of Third Watch. There is so much happening in this episode that it’s hard to stop and really appreciate just how good it is. Beginning with an epic car chase, we are soon confronted with a fairly grim accident scene that gives us only our second ever main character death in the history of the show. Seeing Taylor die in the fashion she does is extremely confronting, and Amy Carlson does an incredible job of conveying pain, panic and calmness all at once. The accident also seriously injures Lieutenant Johnson, who despite never been a main character certainly feels like one for the most part. It’s sad to see Taylor die of course, but given she has been completely ignored throughout season 4 (remember her randomly getting hit by a car?) it wasn’t a super shock to see it happen given she all of a sudden gets some screentime. Outside of her death, the episode still gives us some great content. Doc’s reaction to her death is heartbreaking, and the scene he shares with Kim down by the river in telling her he’s accepting a promotion so that she won’t get one is one of the finest scenes you’ll see in the show. And then of course all the police action. Cruz vs Bosco vs Yokas. It’s all great viewing, with Tia Texada on fire in really giving a new layer to Cruz and just her absolute desperate desire to get what she wants and how she wants it. It all of course boils down to one hell of a cliffhanger, with all three involved in a shootout that leaves you wondering who survives? That’s how you end a season perfectly.
13. Exposing Faith (2.21)
During the incredible season 2 it’s hard to argue that Yokas had the most complete run of episodes. She got three all to herself which makes it easier to shine, but every single outing by her throughout the season was second to none. This time around we get an episode with her trying to deal with just exactly who she is, and her desire to feel like she needs to be somebody else and then realise that she has everything she really needs already. It’s another incredible performance by Molly Price who owns every minute of screen time she has. It also has some great fun moments involving Bosco and Fred battling it out to try and win a car. It’s another different episode that you remember for a long time after you’ve seen it, and another 42 minutes of proof as to why Third Watch was simply incredible television.
12. A Rock & A Hard Place (2.14)
This is just one of those episodes that is pure fun and random goodness that you can put on and watch with no previous context and have a blast. The firehouse antics are great, with a slow day of no jobs providing lots of action. The Bobby and Taylor stuff is also quite fun, and wrapped up pretty well considering this is Bobby’s third last episode. The starring storyline of this episode of course involves Bosco, Yokas, Doc and Carlos all getting locked underground. It sounds like a story that is a bit OTT but somehow it works incredibly well and serves a high level of tension and intrigue throughout the episode. Random pairings between characters always make for great episodes, and having the likes of Yokas and Doc hang out as well as Bosco and Carlos just makes for something fresh and fun all at the same time.
11. Superheroes Part 1 (3.14)
In the later seasons of Third Watch you tend to get used to a big action sequence or a big shoot out. It seemed to happen every second week. But in the first half of the show, they weren’t that common, and that makes the end of Superheroes Part 1 just so damn powerful. That alone is enough to sell this episode. But it also serves as the introduction to the greatest ‘big bad’ the show ever produced in Roy Scheider’s Fyodor Chevchenko. Scheider’s portrayal is just so damn calculated, menacing and evil that you can’t help but be hooked on every single minute he is on screen. The level of fear he brings in the initial shootout of the episode is incredible, and as a viewer you can’t help but feel fear yourself watching him go about his business. Some incredible acting overall by everyone involved in this episode, and it’s a shame that it ultimately misses a spot in the top 10.
10. Run Of The Mill (2.9)
This is an episode that seemingly gets lost in the midst of the incredible season 2 and is easily forgotten, but it’s such a damn shame because it’s such a great episode. The humour in this episode is so well balanced with the seriousness, and that is what makes it so great. You could argue this is the first ever Third Watch Christmas episode, with Sully dealing with an old friend suffering from dementia who just happens to be obsessed with Christmas. Jack Klugman is incredible as Stan, and is by far one of the best guest stars the show ever sees. The humour around everyone finding out about Jimmy sleeping with his best friends girlfriend is brilliant, and it even draws a fairly human and deep moment from Jimmy when he confronts Taylor about the situation. And then we have the very first appearance of Tatiana. It’s such a small moment (well, technically two) that really is a blink and you miss it part of the episode, but any long term fan of the show will remember seeing that door open in a certain flashback in a certain episode that we’re about to get to soon and no doubt have a slight tear in their eye. Easily one of the most underrated episodes in the history of the show.
9. No More, Forever (5.15)
The first time you watch this episode it can be a bit jarring as you’re really not expecting things to happen just how they do. However once you realise that Doc’s overall storyline is a slow, gradual downfall into what ultimately happens with him, you can definitely understand just why is at a point where he is willing to literally shoot someone. It’s a powerhouse performance by Michael Beach and yet another example of an actor getting robbed of not getting any Emmy recognition for their efforts. To see just how far Doc has fallen is heartbreaking, and the scene between him and Sully at the end as well as the moment he points a gun at the head of Carlos are both moments that will stick with you forever after watching this show. It is slightly weighed down by the fairly pointless Bosco story with Ally Nardo, but there is just too much good happening elsewhere not to give this episode the credit it fully deserves.
8. Judgement Day Part 1 (4.5)
The strongest two-parter by far begins with everything you need to setup a great couple of episodes. Everything that has been building with the Tatiana storyline comes to an explosive head, and the emotions that stir through you as you see her downfall are nothing short of heartbreaking. Skipp Sudduth owns both parts of the Judgement Day episodes and mixed with his anger, passion and agony it’s a crying shame he was never recoginsed with any major acting awards (which we’ll get to very soon with another episode). There really was never going to be a happy ending for Sully and Tatiana, but the way in which the tragedy unfolds is incredibly hard to watch. Savannah Haske seemingly went into obscurity after her time on Third Watch which is a damn shame, because her portrayal of Tatiana in this episode was the best we had ever seen. Watching Sully drive home to see his house on fire and discover Tatiana dead is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the entire series. A real tear-jerker, and that’s only the first part.
7. Sex, Lies & Videotape (3.9)
This is an episode that sneaks up on you on just how exactly good it is. It is incredibly well balanced with the storytelling and incredibly well paced, and it’s amongst the most tense episodes you will ever see. The focus is of course on Doc and the paramedics with a camera crew following them around to show just why Doc has been nominated for paramedic of the year. What ensues however is a great mix of intense action, a big plot-twist and some edge of your seat moments that thrill you right to the very end. Everyone is used incredibly well, and it’s hard to find another episode where each character gets such a level amount of screentime that is as valuable as the next. The only downside is the lack of Jimmy, which would’ve made it a complete set of all the characters, but there is so much happening with so much value that it’s hard not to appreciate just how well balanced, how well acted and how well everything this episode brings to the table.
6. Ohio (1.17)
A pattern to notice on this list is episodes that centre around characters interacting with each other compared to the jobs they are tasked in doing are going to be ranked high. That is what Third Watch was sold on: characters not jobs. The show steered away from that gradually, but Ohio is a shining example of how well executed an episode can be when focusing purely on the characters and nothing more. The episode revolves around all nine of our main characters working at a debate between Hilary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani (which involves a Trump reference as well making it weirdly relevant 20 years later). And while on paper that sounds boring, the interactions between them serve this episode incredibly well. Hearing thoughts on everything from the death penalty, politics and religion give new layers to each of our beloved nine and you could argue that this episode really solidifies each characters individual traits more so than anything that came before and anything that comes after. While yes, it is devoid of any real action and is based solely around dialogue, it is an episode that solidifies the show as a character based show that to this day remains incredibly underappreciated for achieving that goal so well.
5. A Call For Help (5.11)
When you talk about technical achievements for episodes, it’s hard to go past A Call For Help as arguably the best of the bunch. In what was celebrated as the 100th episode (which technically it wasn’t but we’re happy for it to be considered that), the episode tells the story of Bosco and Monroe coming across a young guy who isn’t exactly what he seems. Soon it unravels that there is more to him than meets the eye, and we get a very captivating and exciting episode that is also mixed with some fairly dark material. What makes this episode even better is the fact it is based off an actual case that co-creator Ed Allen Bernero worked on when he was a Chicago cop, so that in itself adds to the intrigue. As does the unique filming style, with long and continuous shots making up the entire episode which almost treats it like a stage production in the manner in which the actors are required to keep long lines of dialogue and scenes all in the one take. The acting too is second to none, with Jason Wiles in particular on fire in what once again was another episode robbed of Emmy recognition. This is an episode you can watch out of context of the entire show and still enjoy every minute of it. A true classic and easily the best from season 5.
4. Judgement Day Part 2 (4.6)
If there’s any scene in Third Watch that will make you cry, it’s the final 5 minutes of this episode. Sully finally having gotten revenge on Chevchenko sits in the funeral for Tatiana, breaks down and places his wedding ring with the card declaring “I miss you” on it on top of her casket. It’s bound to bring tears to your eyes. Mixed with a haunting score by Martin Davich, and this episode is by far the most emotional in all of Third Watch. There has to be a slight level of unbelievability to how Sully eventually kills Chevchenko of course, but it’s easy to ignore for what follows immediately afterwards. Skipp Sudduth once again delivers a tour de force performance that was so cruelly ignored when it came to the major acting awards, as was this entire episode which stands high above the majority of Third Watch episodes as a brilliant 42 minutes of television. Just don’t forget to bring your tissues when it comes to this episode.
3. Last Call (4.18)
Wow. What a performance by Skipp Sudduth. It might be the biggest travesty in the entire series run that he received absolutely no recognition for a powerhouse performance in this episode. Sully drying up in a remote cabin sounds like not the most exciting episode, but the character development from him as well as some great stuff from Bosco and Davis adds to an incredible 42 minutes of television. Everything works. The scenery is incredible, the editing is on point, the music, the sound. Everything. If you ever need an example of how robbed Third Watch was when it came to award recognition, this is the episode to watch. The only blight is the random reveal that the bullet meant for Davis’ dad was meant for Sully, which never goes anywhere past this episode. It’s a tad weird, but easily overlooked in what is one of the best episodes of Third Watch in the history of the series.
2. The Self-Importance Of Being Carlos (2.17)
The beauty of season 2 of Third Watch is the perfect blend of seriousness, humour and action. You could argue that is the show in general, however season 2 hits it perfectly. This episode might not have too much of the action, but the humour is strong and a special dose of seriousness makes it’s perfect. It takes 17 episodes to get a Carlos episode but damn is it worth the wait. There has been a build up to just how special of a character Carlos is across season 2 and it all hits the perfects notes with what we get here. Anthony Ruivivar is amazing giving us a Carlos who just doesn’t care about anything but himself, and balances it perfectly with his struggle in dealing with exactly what compassion is. This is an episode you can watch entirely by itself and still get all the value from it, and is a perfect switch of tone from the sadness that preluded it with Bobby’s death a week before. A special mention has to be made for the great scenes between Bosco and Carlos, and it’s a shame we never got to see more of this moving forward. A masterpiece of an episode.
1. After Hours (2.7)
If you ever need proof of just how incredible Third Watch is as an ensemble show with amazing characters, then watch this episode. By far the greatest episode of the series and arguably one of the most underrated episodes in the history of TV. The balance around a simple night out on the town with tragedy and the harrowing aftermath of their jobs is executed perfectly, and the supernatural element is something that should be laughed at and derided but weirdly works perfectly as well. This is peak Third Watch, and anybody who watched this show because of ER would get the vibe here of how this show hit the same highs as ER did in those early days when it was the best thing on television. Every single character in this episode gets a moment to shine, and this is the most complete episode when it comes to fully showcasing the character element of this show. Everything just works. It also has the perfect use of a song, with Give Me Strength by Over The Rhine fitting into this episode like a hotdog in a bun. And if all of that doesn’t sell you, stay to the very end to the bonfire scene which might just be the greatest moment in the entire show. A truly perfect episode of television and an easy choice for number 1.
What is your favourite episode of Third Watch? Do you agree with these rankings? Let us know your thoughts below! You can also download all our other Third Watch episodes below including season and series recaps as well as interviews with cast and crew members.
Download 20 year reunion special
Download Michael Beach (Brink 2012) interview
Download Anthony Ruivivar (Brink 2013) interview
Download Amy Carlson interview
Download Manny Perez interview
Download Yvonne Jung Ruivivar interview
Download Guy Norman Bee interview #1
Download Guy Norman Bee interview #2
Download Ed Allen Bernero interview