The BEST Episodes of Law & Order
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Nov 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 - Refuge (2)
Season 9 - Episode 24
McCoy and Carmichael risk violating the civil liberties of witnesses when they are forced to jail them in order to safely continue their investigation.
#2 - 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.
#3 - Refuge (1)
Season 9 - Episode 23
A shootout between a motorist and the police leads to the discovery of a gruesome Russian mob killing --- and a traumatized boy who was an eyewitness to the murder.
#4 - Invaders
Season 16 - Episode 22
The family of a man who once turned his customers into the police is slain, and the ensuing fracas pits McCoy against a corrupt D.E.A. agent.
#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.
#6 - 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.
#7 - Cost of Capital
Season 16 - Episode 16
The case against a high powered executive accused of killing her lover rests on the executive's estranged husband and unstable teenage daughter.
#8 - Heart of Darkness
Season 16 - Episode 13
A journalist's suicide becomes suspect after Green and Fontana find evidence at the scene suggesting that it wasn't a suicide after all.
#9 - Damaged
Season 8 - Episode 22
The case of a teacher's shooting uncovers a vendetta involving the rape of a mentally challenged coed by three students, whose attorney claims they weren't aware of her condition.
#10 - Rubber Room
Season 20 - Episode 23
Series finale. A terrorist threatens students.
#11 - 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.
#12 - 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.
#13 - 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.
#14 - Magnet
Season 16 - Episode 14
Fontana and Green arrest a fellow student after a young man is murdered, but McCoy faces a tough adversary when he tries to prosecute the crime.
#15 - 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.
#16 - 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.
#17 - 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.
#18 - Fluency
Season 15 - Episode 14
Fontana and Green are baffled by a series of flu-related deaths until they discover that the victims were given fake vaccine. McCoy goes after the con man who distributed the vaccine for murder.
#19 - Over Here
Season 17 - Episode 21
The detectives link the deaths of two homeless men to the war in Iraq.
#20 - Terminal
Season 7 - Episode 23
The cops uncover a man with a secret second life as they try to learn who opened fire on a group of people disembarking from a party cruise, but his guilt or innocence becomes almost a second thought as Schiff goes toe to toe with the governor and the States Attorney General over the decision to seek the death penalty.
#21 - Hindsight
Season 16 - Episode 21
Fontana and Green are called in to investigate when Green's former replacement, Nick Falco, is suspected of murdering a young woman he had spent the night with.
#22 - 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.
#23 - 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.
#24 - Monster
Season 8 - Episode 24
During the search for a pedophile who raped a 10-year-old, a snitch offers Briscoe a chance to avenge his daughter's death. Meanwhile, Van Buren learns that her job is in jeopardy; McCoy is ordered to appear before a disciplinary committee because of his conduct in a DUI case; and the increasingly political Schiff worries that the rape case may adversely impact his reelection bid.
#25 - The Family Hour
Season 17 - Episode 22
When Nicole Bailey, the ex-wife of a respected former senator, is found murdered and brutalised in her home, Green and Cassady look first at the senator, but follow the trail of clues to a dysfunctional family with a number of potentially embarrassing secrets. McCoy finds himself in the hot seat when he is forced to argue the case in front of a judge more interested in public relations than justice.