Launched in 1999 as the first side project from one of T.V.’s best police and legitimate procedurals, “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” immediately became famous out of the shadow of its parent series.
With stories that covered the most grizzly and upsetting wrongdoings, it was driven by ostensibly the two hardest police on T.V.: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson and Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler.
Close by them was Richard Belzer as Detective Munch — a jumpy intrigue theorist who had been a standard on previous cop show “Crime: Life On The Streets” — and rapper-turned-entertainer Ice-T as Detective Fin Tutuola.
The show was in danger of being canceled in 1993, as then-network president Warren Littlefield mandated that the all-boys-club cast be broken up immediately (which led to the castings of S. Epatha Merkerson as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren and Jill Hennessy as Assistant District defense attorney Claire Kincaid).
However, Wolf’s imaginative instinct eventually demonstrated right: After Law and Order entered syndication in 1994, the only sound he heard more than the show’s signature dun was cha-ching.
Running for more than 20 seasons and then some, it’s been much more effective than the first “Law and Order” and makes it clear that things are not pulling back.
While a few cast individuals have traveled every which way — including Meloni, who reemerged on the side project “Law and Order: Organized Crime” — it’s proceeded with its colossal run, circulating its 500th episode in 2021. The series features popular stars like Jerry Orbach, who appeared as Detective Lennie Briscoe.
30 Best Law and Order Episodes
To pay tribute to all things “Law and Order,” here are the 30 best episodes from “Law and Order,” “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” in diving order. Prompt the Law order signature audio effect.
1. Liberties (Season 10, Episode 21)
The episode aired by the name”Lost” starring Alan Dale as the guest star in “Liberties” as an appointed authority tormented by a previous horrendous misfortune.
While hearing a limiting order case between a young lady and her ex, the blamed spouts a particular expression that triggers him and returns an injury from long ago, possibly a decades-old grabbing case.
At the appointed authority’s solicitation, Detective Stable is brought in to work over a sentenced chronic executioner once blamed for the assault and murder of the appointed authority’s young child in 1979, expecting to see whether his casualty could, in any case, be alive.
Yet, things take a turn when he understands the suspect might not have at any point been the perfect man by any means, prompting a shocking turn for the situation that will change their lives until the end of time.
2. Magnetism (Season 6, Episode 7)
The Season 6 episode “Magnetism” presents a young pregnant young lady named Melanie Cramer, brought to the consideration of the Special Victims Unit by specialists at a neighborhood emergency clinic.
The issue is that Melanie is only 12 years of age and, as of now, near her conveyance date despite her young age, raising clear warnings. Talked with by Detective Benson, Melanie demands the pregnancy isn’t the consequence of an attack, yet that she is hitched to a man and they have considered a youngster together.
Not, in any event, acknowledging how upsetting the case is, the young lady promptly provides Benson with the name of her alleged adoring spouse.
The detectives discover something great, investigating their culprit, as he becomes realized swindler Eugene Hoff. Presently making himself look like the top of The Church of Wisdom and Sight, he drives an over-the-top semi-strict religion.
However, his thought processes become clearer when they understand that Melanie’s mother, a rich lady, is one of his numerous devotees.
3. Paternity (Season 9, Episode 9)
A young boy comes to the consideration of the Special Victims Unit when he shows up shrouded in blood toward the start of “Paternity.” But when the boy’s babysitter is seen as beaten, assaulted, and killed, it ignites an unpleasant guardianship fight for the kid, while the caretaker’s sweetheart is fingered as the executioner.
However, the care case turns out to be more muddled while paternity testing uncovers that the one which the boy calls “daddy” isn’t really his genuine father.
In the meantime, given the subtleties of the case he’s chipping away at, Stabler starts to address the event that Katherine’s child is his kid and gets some information about her sexual action during their partition.
Later, when Benson takes Kathy for a normal clinical test, they get into a horrendous fender bender that ultimately harms Stabler’s better half — and their unborn youngster —.
4. Savant (Season 9, Episode 4)
Savant features the key witness, a mentally debilitated young lady (guest star by Paulina Gerzon) who appears to be the only witness to her mother’s ruthless homicide.
Could Katie at any point help detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) address the case, or would they say they are requesting a lot from her?
5. Chameleon (Season 4, Episode 1)
The chameleon episode focuses on the occasions when the police strike a men’s club in “Chameleon,” they discover a lady who guarantees a client endeavored to compel himself on her, prompting a call to the S.V.U.
An exhaustive pursuit of the premises by Stabler and Benson prompts a terrible scene in the men’s bathroom: the body of another young lady, moving the case from a rape to a potential crime.
Yet, when more bodies with a comparable reason for death start to turn up, detectives start to figure a chronic attacker might be free as a bird.
At the point when fingerprints highlight Shawn Becker, a man who possessed served energy for endeavored assault, they think they’ve viewed him as their suspect.
When they can find him, it’s past the point of no return, however, as another functioning young lady has killed him with his firearm.
The secret extends when the lady’s story doesn’t coordinate with the proof, prompting a new and seriously stunning theory behind the attacks and murders.
6. The Corporate Veil (Season 3, Episode 4)
A clinical provider is criminally charged after his pacemakers kill a few patients. Unfortunately, this incorporates a high school boy with a cardiovascular failure and bites the dust while driving, making him crash through a city park.
By the episode’s end, it’s not satisfactory assuming that investigators Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) and Paul Robinette (Richard Brooks) are triumphant, yet all at once, it’s suggested.
7. Aftershock (Season 6, Episode 23)
This tragedy installment always seems to get “L&O” fans by surprise when it airs during occasion marathons.
One among the popular Assistant District attorneys, Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy), tragically dies in a fender bender caused by an alcoholic driver. Moreover, a young Jennifer Garner guest stars as a graduate student who hooks up with an extremely hitched Detective Rey Curtis (Bratt).
8. Design (Season 7, Episode 2)
In the second episode of the seventh new season of “Design,” Detective Benson saves a young pregnant lady named April — who had been the casualty of assault — from ending her own life.
Yet, during the new trial of her alleged assailant, who insists he doesn’t recall sleeping with April, just a girl who seemingly dies, leaving Benson distraught.
Looking into the case further, they learn April had been working at a sperm bank, leading to additional questions about April than answers about her passing.
They then discover that April’s father, an unconventional scientist, had become obsessed with eugenics and expected to make the ideal person.
As the search for proof continues, more men surface who April had met at a bar, and their stories sounded strikingly similar to her accused rapist.
Signs begin to point toward April being something other than an innocent casualty, and everything comes together when they discover that April may not be dead.
9. Lost Boys ( Season 19. Episode 3)
Lost boys’ episodes feature a murder of a 17-year-old teenage boy who takes detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and detective Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) into the muddled universe of a polygamous Mormon clique pioneer.
Sadly, a religion includes kid brides and spousal abuse and a spouse who wants to escape. Colm Meaney guest stars.
10. Demons (Season 7, Episode 7)
Robert Patrick plays Ray, and a sentenced rapist is released early. At the point when a teenage girl is sexually assaulted in Ray’s area, he is the first suspect police question.
In any case, is he liable? Investigator Elliot Stabler (Meloni) goes secret to uncover the reality. Jim Moody is also a guest star.
11. Persona (Season 10, Episode 8)
A young lady named Mia is refused a morning-after pill by a store representative and blurts out that she was assaulted in “Persona,” which brings the S.V.U. to meet with her. Yet, after an examination of the scene where the lady describes her assault, it’s determined that she might be lying to them about the assault. Detectives only suspect
something might be going on at home, and Mia was using the story as an approach to covering up domestic abuse.
12. Signature (Season 9, Episode 12)
“Signature” sees Benson and Lake working with F.B.I. specialist Laura Cooper in their search for a vicious serial killer who has been brutalizing young ladies, referred to only as “The Woodsman.”
When they finally can find the killer, he is found dead, and his last realized casualty doesn’t survive. However, when Agent Cooper begins to break under the pressure of the investigation, Benson realizes there’s something else going on.
Signs soon point to Cooper herself, and the specialist is taken in for the murder. In any case, when she gets off on detail, it’s up to the detectives at S.V.U. to coordinate the proof and see her viewed to be responsible.
However, will Cooper look up to what she’s finished or find another exit plan?
13. Hate (Season 9, Episode 10)
A secondary school girl is brutally beaten to death, and all signs point to a group of racial oppressors as the murderers. Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy (Waterston) builds a case against the teens who committed the crime and the grown-up who influenced them through hateful rhetoric.
Elsewhere, Detective Lennie Briscoe (Orbach) feels a sense of help when his little girl’s murderer dies of a medication overdose.
14. Hardwired (Season 11, Episode 5)
“Hardwired” episode features Rosie Perez (“My Cousin Vinny”) guest star as the mother of Cory, a boy accused of molesting a companion from school. Upon interviewing Cory, Stabler realizes that it may not be molestation, with Dr. Huang suspecting that Cory himself is the casualty of ongoing abuse and is translating his feelings by engaging in inappropriate behavior.
The investigation leads the detectives to Cory’s school, where the first suspect is a rec center mentor who is not who he claims to be.
Yet, when proof suggests the instructor is not the guilty party, Elliot has new suspicions about someone close to Cory who might be a pedophile, and he’ll stop at nothing to guard the young boy. Jeri Ryan (“Star Trek: Voyager”) and Garrett Dillahunt (“Justified”) also guest star in an exceptionally disturbing episode about the underground universe of kid double-dealing.
15. Old Friends (Season 4, Episode 22)
Another leader assistant district defendant’s attorney
once presented proof in court and traded concise comments with DA Adam Schiff (Steven Hill). Behold Moriarty’s soft-spoken Ben Stone, who spread the word about his presence in several outstanding outings throughout the span of his four seasons.
I’d contend that his finest hour was his last, as he confronts the Russian mafia and pushes a star witness (Allison Janney) to embroil its members in the demise of a baby food company accountant. Things go south in a rush, prompting Stone to have an existential crisis and turn in his resignation papers.
16. Prince of Darkness (Season 3, Episode 8)
Prince of Darkness from the third season shows “Street crime” Just a couple of seasons in; the show chose to handle the Colombian medication cartel.
While the prosecution attempts to put forth its defense against an assassin couple in cold blood, Cerreta (Sorvino) goes covert to expedite an arrangement with a weapon seller (Mark Margolis).
Notwithstanding, during the course of the transaction, the vendor panics and shoots him in the stomach.
A couple of tomfoolery footnotes: The top-billed Sorvino quit the show after only two or three dozen episodes to focus on his drama profession; Margolis, in the meantime, got advanced in the imaginary cartel world by playing the notorious bell-ringing master Hector Salamanca in Breaking Bad. The actor, coincidentally, was brought up in Philadelphia.
17. Screwed (Season 8, Episode 22)
A year after reality emerged about Fin’s stepson Darius Parker, the young man finally faces preliminary first-degree murder of a lady and her son in the Season 8 episode “Screwed.”
But his preliminary put everybody at the Special Victims Unit in danger when Parker and his attorney begin digging into their character’s personal lives to find soil they could use against them.
More secrets about Fin’s ex are revealed in the proceedings, as it’s discovered that Parker wasn’t just the result of the assault yet that his mother’s rapist was her own father.
In the meantime, Stabler gets shocking news when his estranged spouse asks him to return home, with the news that she is pregnant with their fifth youngster.
18. Pride” (Season 5, Episode 23)
These were one of the first episodes and one of the best Law and Order episode following Mike Logan. For five seasons, Notch’s hot-headed, very much coiffed, American banner pin-wearing detective questioned the bad guys with an attitude that invited comeuppance.
One day, he finally went too far. Everything goes down while he’s investigating the murder of a gay councilman in a case based on the 1978 Harvey Milk assassination. Logan cold-cocks a homophobic politician who had been tried for the case, prompting his accomplice Briscoe to predict,
“He’ll be walking a beat in Staten Island for the following two-and-a-half to five.” And per the Logan-focused 1998 T.V. movie Exiled, he was correct.
19. D-Girl” and “Turnaround” and “Showtime” (Season 7, Episode 17)
You never know what you’re going to get when an NYC-based series heads west. The Sex and the City ladies did it and immediately lost their edge; on The Sopranos, Christopher went to Hollywood and ended up mugging Lauren Bacall for her SWAG pack on The Sopranos.
As for Law and Order, the show took its talents to L.A. for a sublime, three-section party. First, a headless female corpse is fished out of the Hudson River. Briscoe and Curtis get on a plane to obtain a blood sample, and the drops lead to the victim’s ex, Eddie Newman (Scott Cohen) — a
Hollywood fat cat and a certified creep who’s not named O.J. Simpson, however, should be. An American dream group of attorneys assemble for the high-profile preliminary.
However, they can’t keep their client from going on an unrehearsed, murder-justifying bluster in the courtroom about his deep-seated fury and jealousy toward his ex. It’s an extraordinary moment while also being a reminder that this series is not a documentary.
20. To the Bone (Season 5, Episode 20)
Whoopi Goldberg guest stars as a criminal mastermind in this best Law and Order episode that begins with a series of home-invasion murders investigated by detectives Carolyn Barek (Annabella Sciorra) and Detective Mike Logan
(Chris Noth). Logan ends up shooting a Black suspect — the episode aired in 2006; however, concerns over racial bias in policing continue today — and has to defend himself.
21. Confession” (Season 2, Episode 1)
The first episode of Confession in Season, this best Law and Order episode features Pardon the cliché, yet Season 2 started with a bang. After original sergeant Max Greevey (Dzundza) is murdered. Detective Phil Cerreta (Paul Sorvino) is transferred to the precinct to head up the investigation.
However, Greevey’s former accomplice, Logan. His personal outrage and sorrow outdo him. Greevey uses unethical practices to catch a confession from the alleged killer. The whole case is undermined as a result.
This is the first time our by-the-book heroes are pushed to the emotional brink and flash a sliver of their human sides. It won’t be the last.
22. C.O.D. (Season 14, Episode 24)
For fans of the late, extraordinary Orbach, this is the bittersweet installment in best Law and Order episode in which his wisecracking characte. Detective Lennie Briscoe, retires from the force. In any case, before he goes, Briscoe and his accomplice, Detective Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin), solve a deliveryman’s murder.
23. Teenage Wasteland (Season 11, Episode 12)
And now, a homage to the most tenacious phony Manhattan assistant district attorney to at any point serve her city. Kincaid had a heart; Ross, OG Paul Robinette (Brooks), and Southerlyn had brains. Alexandra Borgia (Annie Parisse) and Connie Rubirosa (Alana de la Garza) had a pulse.
In any case, Angie Harmon’s Abbie Carmichael had the gumption to speak her mind. Abbie pushes some buttons in her Texas drawl in this best Law and Order episode. (And to think: Harmon arrived straight from a gig on Baywatch Nights.)
In this offering, she pushes for an 18-year-old accused murderer. Alex Feldman to be tried as an adult in a capital crime that. It would lead to the death penalty whenever convicted.
The killing was especially fierce. He and his rush-seeking idiot pals viciously crushed the skull of a Chinese restaurant owner. The man was fulfilling a delivery order.
24. Rubber Room (Season 20, Episode 23)
Late-stage Law and Order haven’t merited many shout-outs on this list for a good reason. Fact is, the show stopped churning out must-see episodes in its waning days.
Lupo and Bernard uncover a website in this best Law and Order episode featuring graphic photos of underage girls. They then spring into action when the blogger declares plans to blow up a school.
And in a touching subplot, the two hosts involved, with the assistance of their beloved boss Van Buren. During that party, she receives a call from her doctor with good news. Drinks all around!
25. Under the Influence” (Season 8, Episode 11)
Jamie Ross (Carey Lowell) was never the most dynamic of the A.D.A.s. She did get in a couple of choice words with McCoy in a classic face-off.
The tension comes to a head in this best Law and Order episode after a drunk driver (Daniel McDonald) who kills three people is tracked down. Driver is charged with first-degree murder.
McCoy is still stewing over his love Claire. He is killed by a drunk driver two years earlier (we’ll get to that in a sec). This incident clashes with his new accomplice about how to proceed.
The situation grows more complicated as an ambitious judge (Cliff Gorman) is anxious. He gives an illustration of the defendant to boost his election chances against the grizzled Adam Schiff.
26. Working Mom” (Season 7, Episode 14)
It’s a prototypical whodunit on the surface, as a retired police officer. The officer is discovered shot to death in his car in a seedy neighborhood. The path leads to a couple of suburban interior decorators who moonlight as elegant call girls.
Briscoe and Curtis soon deduce that the deceased person was blackmailing them. This is a standout because of the two tough-as-nails women at its center:
Felicity Huffman is the sex worker (and spouse and mom). Hillary Colson, while theater icon Elaine Stritch enjoys one of her guests turns as women’s rights attorney Lanie Stieglitz. No way Gloria Allred wasn’t watching this somewhere, taking notes.
27. Absentia” (Season 13, Episode 13)
He goes by Glenn Fordyce. He killed his girlfriend. Get ready to die? Mandy Patinkin guest-stars as the chief witness of a case. It involves the owner of a gems store shot during an armed robbery.
He vanishes before the preliminary. The detectives in this best Law and Order episode discover that he used to be known as Levi March — an outlaw already convicted of murder.
At the point when he’s caught and arrested again, his slimy counsel (Andrew McCarthy, yes) argues his conviction was unconstitutional. It’s up to McCoy to do it right the second time around in another preliminary.
28. Fools for Love (Season 10, Episode 15)
Before she knew how to save a day-to-day existence on Gray’s Anatomy.
Forensic evidence shows that she was present when the two died, making her a key witness. In any case, in the immortal words of Britney Jean Spears, she’s not that innocent.
29. Identity (Season 6, Episode 12)
The Special Victims Unit is brought in when a gangster pushes a man off a rooftop. It is an obvious reprisal for rape in the Season 6 episode “Identity.”
“Scares” star Peter Firth is the guest star showing up as the turned Dr. Preston Blair.
Here is the entire 30 list of Law and Order episodes popular, which is quite popular all around.