Turn Back the Clock
Television Series / DVD Review
Third Watch: Season Two
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Entertainment
First Aired On: NBC
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I remember when Third Watch first hit the airwaves in 1999. The show followed a group of New York’s first responders in the fictional 55th Precinct and featured members of the fire department, police department and paramedics. I instantly fell in love with the show and remained a loyal follower until its cancellation in 2005. It seemed to take forever for Third Watch to hit the DVD scene, but when the first season finally became available, I knew I had to make it mine…and then there was the long wait for Season Two, but finally, that wait is over.
In Season One of Third Watch, we learned a little bit about the first responders based in Camelot (the corner of Arthur and King). We learned the basics of who they were and what they faced on the 3-11 PM shift known as the third watch. In Season Two, we have a slight change. The focus is not so much on the job as it is on the people. While we still get to see Bosco (Jason Wiles), Faith (Molly Price), Doc (Michael Beach), Jimmy (Eddie Cibrian), Kim (Kim Raver), Bobby (Bobby Cannavale), Sully (Skipp Sudduth), Ty (Coby Bell) and Carlos (Anthony Ruivivar) in action, we now get some in-depth insight into the characters themselves, learning about what makes them tick.
The introduction of Alex Taylor (Amy Carlson) to the team of firefighters shakes things up a bit this season. So does the introduction of Savannah Haske as a new love interest for Sully. And let’s not forget the introduction of the new nemesis to the police officer of the third watch, Sgt. Jason Christopher (Brad Beyer).
But nothing shakes things up more than the loss of a major character. We lost two this season, but the one that received the most complaints was that of the character of Bobby Caffrey. When he left the show, the fans went crazy and the way his character was written off turned the lives of our favorite heroes upside down.
Angst was at an all-time high this season thanks to the focus on the individual characters. Action was aplenty as our heroes hunted for buried kidnap victims, chased rapists, responded to bloodbaths in diners, battled blazes, rescued burn and smoke victims, responded to horrific car accidents, ducked a cop-killing sniper, got shot at, saved shooting victims, responded to a school shooting spree and more.
Season Two brought us some amazing episodes, but my personal favorite was After Hours. This episode reveals the feelings of the first responders when they come upon a scene they are powerless to do anything about. No one ever truly understands how hard it is for a first responder to not be able to save one victim, let alone four - especially when those victims are alive when you arrive on scene, but you have no way of getting to them. The episode showed how each responder dealt with these feelings and how, sometimes, fellow responders will hang out together after hours and do crazy things to blow off steam as a coping mechanism. After Hours was an incredibly insightful episode that revealed the human side of every first responder out there.
I have only two complaints about the Third Watch: Season Two DVD. First, thanks to some licensing issues, some of the music on the DVD differs from what was used in the televised version. Of course, unless you’ve watched these episodes every time they aired (yes, I am a Third Watch fanatic), you would hardly notice this. Second, the only special features available were the Gag Reel. I would have loved a documentary or two. Maybe take us on a tour of the sets or show us how certain fires or explosions were created - that would have been nice. An interview with the actors about the changes in their characters from Season One to Two would have been informative. However, I must say that the Gag Reel is quite enjoyable with outtakes and funny moments on the set. It makes for some pretty hilarious stuff.
The first season of Third Watch turned me onto the show. The second season kept me watching and made a dedicated fan out of me. I can’t wait for the third season of Third Watch to make it to DVD! Here’s hoping the wait is short and the extras are aplenty!