The Best Episodes of Law & Order
Last Updated: May 26, 2019
"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories." "Law & Order" is a blended police procedural and courtroom drama created by Dick Wolf. The structure for the one-hour show is a two-part approach: The first half focuses on NYPD homicide detectives investigating a crime - often derived from a real-life headline - and apprehending a suspect. The second half takes place in the courtroom, with the district attorney prosecuting the defendant.
#1 - Aftershock
Season 6 - Episode 23
After Briscoe, Curtis, McCoy, and Kincaid witness the execution of a criminal they brought to justice, their unique reactions to the event culminate in personal tragedies for each of them.
#5 - C.O.D.
Season 14 - Episode 24
Briscoe bids farewell to the 27 as the prosecution of two women for killing each other's husbands comes to a successful conclusion.
#8 - Pro Se
Season 6 - Episode 21
The investigation into multiple homicides at a clothing store leads to the arrest of a schizophrenic who presents McCoy with a formidable opponent when he decides to represent himself.
#10 - Public Service Homicide
Season 17 - Episode 5
When Carl Mullaly is discovered murdered in his apartment, Green and Cassady learn that he had recently been profiled on HardFocus, a tabloid talk show that exposes sex offenders who are caught via the ScumWatch website. With an eight-year-old girl as the only eye witness, detectives arrest the murderer, but McCoy and Rubirosa soon learn that HardFocus is a lot more involved than they claim.
#11 - Gunplay
Season 15 - Episode 5
After Green goes undercover to gather evidence on the gun dealers who murdered two detectives during a buy-and-bust, McCoy is able to connect the hit men to the attorney who paid them to avenge the death of his gun-running stepson at the hands of the same detectives during a similar buy-and-bust several years earlier.
#12 - Remains of the Day
Season 17 - Episode 11
After Michael Jones dies in his mother's hospital room with no immediate explanation, his mother Ashley accuses her former husband's adult children, Miles and Hillary Foster, who are fighting her for control of their father's substantial fortune. The autopsy rules out the Fosters, and points Green and Cassady in the direction of illegally harvested donor bones, which Jones had received in a transplant eighteen months prior. McCoy and Rubirosa struggle to prosecute the case after it becomes clear the only way they will get the evidence they need is to test another young man who received bone grafts from the same woman who had given Michael Jones his legs.
#13 - Disappeared
Season 8 - Episode 19
A defendant refuses to allow his lawyer to raise the issue of insanity, this complicating matters for the brother who turned him in with hopes of securing medical treatment for him.
#14 - Competence
Season 5 - Episode 6
When Lt. Van Buren is the victim of an attempted holdup by two teens, she fires her gun and kills one of them, and the detectives are faced with the fact that she shot an unarmed child in the back.
#15 - Mammon
Season 15 - Episode 12
The investigation into the murder of a wealthy husband leads to the uncovering of a conspiracy involving infidelity and greed and leads to one defendant attempting to evade justice by killing the other.
#16 - Enemy
Season 15 - Episode 10
The prosecution of a drug trafficker responsible for a stash house massacre is hampered when McCoy discovers that the defendant claims diplomatic immunity, and has been working as an undercover operative aiding the U.S. military in Afghanistan.
#18 - Choice of Evils
Season 16 - Episode 15
After the body of a teenage boy is found dead in a warehouse, detectives use DNA to connect the boy to a convicted rapist and serial killer, then to the boy's mother, Allison Ashburn, the convict's ex-wife. While trying to solve Danny's murder, Fontana and Green learn that he recently got his girlfriend Tina pregnant, and his mother had seen him recently when she had given him money despite having claimed she hadn't seen him for months. Allison finally admits that she murdered her son after the police arrest her new husband John, but claims she did it to save the world from her son, whom she was convinced would become a monster just like her father. Borgia and McCoy face an uphill battle trying to convict the perfect soccer mom.
#19 - Showtime (3)
Season 7 - Episode 17
The trial of Eddie Newman begins but the prosecution's chances of conviction are hampered by a ""dream team"" of defense attorneys, Gorton's personal pressures on Ross, the public questioning of the relationship between Curtis and Lisa Lundquist, and a surpise accusation.
#25 - Gaijin
Season 14 - Episode 22
Van Buren has reservations about Branch's tactics in luring a Ginza nightclub owner back to New York after the Japanese government is unwilling to extradite him to face charges of conspiracy and murder in the death of his wife on a New York City vacation.