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Series / Third Watch

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Third Watch was a series about the police officers, firefighters and paramedics of New York's Emergency Services, who worked the 3-11pm shift (the "third watch"). Focusing on the fictional 55th Precinct, the police station and fire house were just across the street from each other at "Camelot", on the corner of King and Arthur. The series dealt with both the personal and professional lives of the squads, and their relationships with each other.

As the series went on, storylines began concentrating more and more on the NYPD, and the FDNY characters were often forgotten. Most of the paramedics had left by the end of the 5th season, and the series itself ended after 6 years in 2005. Nevertheless Third Watch won critical acclaim for its realism and grit, and for the post-9/11 episodes which showed how the characters dealt with the tragedy.


The main cast included:

  • Michael Beach as senior paramedic Monte "Doc" Parker (1-5): A widower and "the best paramedic in the city", Doc always took things too seriously and often felt guilt and remorse at his actions. He was partnered with Carlos, then Kim, then Carlos again.
  • Bobby Cannavale as Paramedic Bobby Caffey (1-2): Always trying to help people, be it is his junkie brother or someone else. Was in love with partner Kim.
  • Eddie Cibrian as Firefighter Jimmy Doherty (1-5): Ex-husband of Kim and father of their son, Joey. Good looking and excellent at his job but incapable of remaining faithful.
  • Kim Raver as Paramedic Kim Zambrano (1-5, 6): Ex-wife of Jimmy Doherty, she finds herself going back to him time and time again. Was devasted when Bobby was murdered, but made friends with Alex before getting back together with Jimmy.
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  • Anthony Ruivivar as Paramedic Carlos Nieto (1-6): Was the FDNY rookie at the start of the show, and the only paramedic to stay with the show through its entire run, Carlos was an arrogant, self opinionated man who originally wanted to go to medical school, but later decided to remain as a paramedic. Was partnered with Doc and then later Grace. Married Holly in the finale.
  • Amy Carlson as Firefighter/Paramedic Alex Taylor (2-4): A firefighter like her father, she was also trained as a paramedic and would work on both squads. Lost her father on 9/11.
  • Cara Buono as Paramedic Grace Foster (5-6): Recently transferred to the 55, previously worked at Bed-Stuy. Partnered with Carlos and dating Brendan Finney.
  • Yvonne Jung as Paramedic Holly Levine (5-6): The "kooky" one who wore her ex-husband's ashes in a necklace. Fell in love with and married Carlos.


  • Skipp Sudduth as Officer John "Sully" Sullivan (1-6): Sully's the veteran cop, he's seen and done it all. Partnered with his old partner's son, Ty Davis Jr. Was married to Tatiana before she was murdered, and became an alcoholic afterwards.
  • Coby Bell as Officer Tyrone Davis, Jr (1-6): Started off as the rookie, a cop like his dad who was accepted to law school. However Davis preferred life on the beat. He was partnered with his dad's old partner Sully.
  • Jason Wiles as Officer Maurice "Bosco" Boscorelli (1-6): The "gung-ho" one who hated boring calls. Originally partnered with Faith, who treated him as her third child at times. Was later involved with Cruz.
  • Molly Price as Officer/Detective Faith Yokas (1-6): Originally partnered with Bosco, she juggled her life as a wife and mother with that of a cop. Her job caused tensions with her husband and they later divorced.
  • Chris Bauer as Fred Yokas (1-6): Faith's (ex-)husband, who wasn't happy about her job. Did not like Bosco.
  • Bonnie Dennison as Emily Yokas (4-6): Faith and Fred's oldest child, brother to Charlie. Often resented her mother missing events due to work but lived with her after the divorce.
  • Tia Texada as Sergeant Maritza Cruz (4-6): Originally an anti-crime sergeant, she and Faith clashed at every opportunity. Was often corrupt and not exactly orthodox.
  • Nia Long as Officer/Detective Sasha Monroe (4-6): An undercover IAB detective trying to trap Sgt Cruz. She dated Ty Davis and after the series ran for the city council.
  • Josh Stewart as Officer Brendan Finney (6): Another son of a cop who became a cop. Was partnered with Ty Davis during the show's final season. Married Grace Foster.

This show provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: everyone missed at least one episode; most notable in one episode where the only paramedic who appeared was not one of the regular paramedic cast.
  • Affably Evil: In the episode "A Call for Help" Tommy is this.
  • Action Girl: Sgt Cruz, to a lesser extent Faith and Monroe. Alex is also this but not in the combat sense as she is a firefighter.
  • Anyone Can Die: it took until Season 5 before a major character left without dying.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Used very disturbingly in the episode A Call for Help.
    How'd you cut your hand, Tommy?
  • Back for the Finale: Jimmy, Kim and Doc all reappeared in the finale, although only Doc had lines.
  • Bang, Bang, BANG
  • Bookend: The first season starts and finishes with a firefighter/paramedic being shot.
  • Bottle Episode: For the first season, the episodes took place over the course of one day.
  • Breather Episode: After Bobby's death the episode "The Self Importance of Being Carlos" is largely this with a fairly comedic take on his struggle to find compassion. Though being Third Watch it does still feature the deaths of two elderly victims of a car accident early on.
  • The Bus Came Back: All of the former characters that had sense left came back for the finale, though some were just cameos. This also averted Estranged Soap Family as Kim and Jimmy came back for Carlos and Holly's wedding.
  • Catchphrase: Bosco: "Jagoff", Sully: "Crap!" and "Solving problems"
  • Cold Opening
  • Continuity Nod
  • Convulsive Seizures: Doc has one after being injured and not getting immediate treatment in "A Rock and a Hard Place."
  • Crossover: Once with ER, once with Medical Investigation.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles
  • A Day in the Limelight: The show originally maintained a cast rotation so that each character got the spotlight at least three times a season. This gradually ended as the cast expanded and the storylines became more complex.
  • Dirty Harriet: Cruz. We first meet her when she's dressed for prostitution sting duty, and we gather she doesn't like it: "I'm walking around here in six inch heels with a postage stamp of polyester stuck up my ass!"
  • The Documentary: Doc, in Season 3, after winning "Paramedic of the Year"
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: although not actually set at Christmas - a heavy snowstorm disappears completely the next day.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Cruz taking out a pack of drug dealers (and herself) with a ludicrous quantity of explosives strapped to her body and a pair of hand grenades
  • Easily Forgiven: Faith and Cruz. Twice.
  • Economy Cast: no matter where in the city they were, it was always the same police officers meeting the same paramedics.
    • Slightly justified in that they were all on the same block and worked the same shift. There were also a lot of extras in each group, without due attention necessarily being given to them. (Though to be fair, except for Jimmy and Alex, the whole FDNY was treated as an "extra").
  • Emergency Services: all three.
  • Firemen Are Hot: Jimmy Doherty.
  • 555
  • Flat "What": After a bad night, Doc does the math on how much they make on each run. Faith's response to the $13.85 is a Flat "What".
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Faith, played with in the first season.
  • Grand Finale: "Goodbye to Camelot"
  • Harmful to Minors: teenager Emily Yokas witnessed an awful lot of violence.
  • Heroism Equals Job Qualification: This has tragic consequences. "Doc" is a highly competent and heroic paramedic who regularly declines promotions to supervisor because it is a desk job. He is finally guilted into taking the promotion after nine-eleven but it soon becomes apparent that he cannot handle the job. When he is fired he has a nervous breakdown and ends up taking the fire station hostage.
  • He's Back!: Sully in Season 4, Faith in 5, Bosco in 6.
  • Hey, You!: In the Pilot Episode, we have this exchange:
    Kim: What's the new kid's name?
    Doc: New Kid.
    Kim: Hey, New Kid, get a move on!
  • History Repeats
  • Hospital Paradiso
  • It Never Gets Any Easier
  • Karma Houdini: Faith kills Donald Mann, the drug lord who had been responsible for ordering the deaths of Bosco, Cruz and herself and sent thugs to shoot up the hospital they were in, resulting in Bosco getting critically injured. She lies about his death, saying it was self defense, and gets off scot free.
  • Killed Off for Real: Bobby Caffey, Alex Taylor, Maritza Cruz.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Doc mentions how his father looks like Ossie Davis, who had played him previously.
  • Last-Name Basis: All the cops in the series are referred to primarily by their last names, or variations of their last name (i.e. Sully, Bosco).
  • Loads and Loads of Characters.
  • Loan Shark: Jimmy gets visited by several throughout the seasons. One notable example is when a Loan Shark takes Jimmy's car and makes him walk his kid home, in the cold and dark.
  • Love Triangle: Bobby/Kim/Jimmy
  • Mall Santa: Sully.
  • Mandatory Line
  • The Medic(s): the paramedics.
  • Mercy Kill: In one episode, Bobby is asked to help his retired cancer-stricken teacher to stop hurting. He gives her an overdose of morphine.
    • In another one, as Doc is transporting a badly burned colleague to a hospital with a special burn unit, the man begs him to do this (aside from the agony he's already in, he knows full well it's only a matter of time before he dies from infection and dehydration). Doc finally complies and does the same as Bobby did.
  • Medley Exit: especially in the later seasons
  • Molotov Cocktail
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: Bosco
  • Odd Couple: Bosco and Yokas. Doc and Carlos.
  • One of Our Own
  • The Oner: "A Call For Help"
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Maurice Boscorelli is always "Bosco" or "Bos" to anyone other than his family.
  • Parking Payback: In one episode the fire crew had to break through a car's windows to get to the hydrant. The car owner was none too pleased and came to the firehouse wielding a gun.
  • Police Procedural
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: One could lose count of the number of bigoted things Bosco says, but one also can't deny that he's a very good cop.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Yokas and Bosco
  • Previously on…
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Alex Taylor, Fred Yokas, Sgt Cruz, Sasha Monroe, Emily Yokas, Grace Foster.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: 9-11. Between being set in New York City and focusing on paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, there was no way the writers couldn't weave the events of that day into Season 3.
  • Rescue
  • Sex with the Ex: Jimmy and Kim keep ending up in bed together despite their acrimonious divorce, eventually reconciling for good after finally hashing out the issues that split them up (his frequent infidelity, including with her sister).
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!
  • Sound-Effect Bleep
  • Spicy Latina: Maritza Cruz.
  • Subways Suck: Almost. Fred Yokas was to have a heart attack on a broken down subway train for the Season 3 premiere, until 9/11 occurred and it was decided to write that into the storyline instead.
  • Suicide by Cop
  • Television Geography: although both set and filmed in NYC, the show filmed in all 5 boroughs making the 55th Precinct cover the whole city.
  • Title Drop: In the series finale, Swearky stands among the rubble of the burned-down precinct and gives a closing speech to the Third Watch.
  • Title-Only Opening: the 9/11 episodes.
  • Tomboyish Name: Alex Taylor.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Doc gets shot in "A Rock and a Hard Place," and is in pretty rough shape. By the next episode, he's fine and the injury isn't mentioned.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Despite sleeping together once, Bobby and Kim never embark on a relationship, with her gently rebuffing him because she supposedly doesn't love him. But her reaction to his death—trying to kill herself—indicates that she did.
  • Wedding Finale: Carlos and Holly marry in the finale.
  • Welcome Episode: the first episode is called "Welcome to Camelot", and sees Ty and Carlos join their respective departments.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Bosco's fear of the dark comes to light when he's trapped under ground in the episode "A Rock and a Hard Place."
  • Your Other Left: or Right, anyway - in the pilot episode.

Aversions/Subversions of:

  • Beleaguered Childhood Friend: Paulie. who ends up killing Bobby
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Sully was actually aiming for the perp's body, and missed. Played for laughs as Davis assumes Sully has Improbable Aiming Skills until Sully tells him this.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Averted. The only time you see donuts is in the pilot, where Sully gives the remains of a donut box to a dog the cops took care of during the first episodes.
  • Estranged Soap Family: Jimmy and Kim reappear in the finale at Carlos and Holly's wedding.
  • 555: it was both used straight, as above, and averted.
  • Instant Death Bullet: it takes Davis a few minutes to realise he's been shot.
  • Invisible President: with the then-First Lady instead.
  • There Are No Therapists: many characters had councelling, or were offered it and refused.
    • Amusingly, Carlos ends up sleeping with his required therapist after the deaths of two elderly patients. Unfortunately for him, in order to do so he ended up showing the fact that he really didn't have any emotion about what happened and the therapist put it in his file.