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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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Died after being shot by an old schoolfriend.
- 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. She died a year later in a car explosion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 partner Bobby was murdered, but made friends with Alex before getting back together with Jimmy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Action Girl: Sgt Cruz, to a lesser extent Faith.
- 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
- Book End
- Catch Phrase: Bosco: "Jagoff", Sully: "Crap!" and "Solving problems"
- Cold Opening
- Continuity Nod
- Crossover: once with ER, once with Medical Investigation
- Cross Referenced Titles
- The Danza: Bobby Cannavale and Kim Raver playing Bobby Caffey and Kim Zambrano.
- Dead Little Sister: Sgt Cruz's sister Lettie.
- 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.
- Famous Last Words: "My mother..... tell her it didn't hurt." - Alex Taylor
- Firemen Are Hot: Jimmy Doherty.
- 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.
- 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?
- History Repeats
- Hospital Paradiso
- It Never Gets Any Easier
- 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.
- 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.
- Medley Exit: especially in the later seasons
- Molotov Cocktail
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: Bosco
- New York City Cops: the NYPD characters
- One of Our Own
- The Oner: "A Call For Help"
- The Other Darrin: Emily Yokas
- Police Procedural
- "Previously On..."
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Alex Taylor, Fred Yokas, Sgt Cruz, Sasha Monroe, Emily Yokas, Grace Foster.
- Real Life Relative: Ruivivar and Jung are husband and wife. Their characters get married in the final episode
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Keep Hope Alive" by the Crystal Method.
- 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. The phrase is only use done in the entire show.
- Title-Only Opening: the 9/11 episodes.
- Tomboyish Name: Alex Taylor.
- Wedding Day: Sully and Tatiana in Season 3. Carlos and Holly 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
- Your Other Left: or Right, anyway - in the pilot episode.
- 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.