The BEST Episodes of Law & Order
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Oct 24, 2021
"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 - Caviar Emptor
Season 14 - Episode 23 - Aired May 12, 2004
When a caviar importer is murdered the day after his wedding to a much-younger woman, the large pool of suspects includes his new wife, his children, and his chief competitor, each of whom has a compelling motive for committing the crime.
#2 - Monster
Season 8 - Episode 24 - Aired May 20, 1998
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.
#3 - Aftershock
Season 6 - Episode 23 - Aired May 22, 1996
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.
#4 - Pro Se
Season 6 - Episode 21 - Aired May 8, 1996
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.
#5 - Harm
Season 9 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 3, 1999
Briscoe and Curtis investigate a possible homicide while probing the assault of a retired divorce attorney.
#6 - American Dream
Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 9, 1993
A skeleton unearthed at a building site resurrects one of Stone's old cases, and brings him face to face with the tenacious, brilliant culprit, who is seeking a new trial.
#7 - Punk
Season 9 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 25, 1998
The murder of a corrections officer leads detectives to a women's prison where a guard was linked to an inmate Carmichael put away on drug charges and a confrontation with defense attorney Danielle Melnick.
#8 - C.O.D.
Season 14 - Episode 24 - Aired May 19, 2004
Briscoe bids farewell to the 27 as the prosecution of two women for killing each other's husbands comes to a successful conclusion.
#9 - Born Again
Season 12 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 6, 2002
The investigation into the death of an 11-year-old girl uncovers the possible culpability of the child's mother and a rebirthing therapist.
#10 - Invaders
Season 16 - Episode 22 - Aired May 17, 2006
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.
#11 - Smoke
Season 13 - Episode 24 - Aired May 21, 2003
Briscoe and Green are assigned to a case involving an eccentric comedian who may have killed his young son by dangling him off a ledge.
#12 - Rage
Season 5 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 1, 1995
A Wall Street broker accused of murdering his mentor uses the defense of "black rage" in court.
#13 - Old Friends
Season 4 - Episode 22 - Aired May 25, 1994
A truck hits a pedestrian and the investigation reveals the victim's link to a baby-food company in which a new partner has connections to the Russian mob.
#14 - Chosen
Season 13 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 15, 2003
The murder of a bookie with a high-class clientelle leads the detectives to arrest his partner. Charged with first-degree murder, his attorney puts forth an unusual defense strategy that turns the trial into a political statement.
#15 - Rubber Room
Season 20 - Episode 23 - Aired May 24, 2010
Lupo and Bernard race against time to find a student posting internet blogs threatening to blow up a school.
#16 - Damaged
Season 8 - Episode 22 - Aired May 6, 1998
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.
#17 - Gunplay
Season 15 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 20, 2004
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.
#18 - Seed
Season 5 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 15, 1995
A routine investigation into a woman's death leads Briscoe and Logan to a fertility doctor guilty of unethical practices, but who cannot apparently be touched because of confidentiality rules, and patient reluctance to talk.
#19 - Couples
Season 13 - Episode 23 - Aired May 21, 2003
Briscoe and Green catch four murders and a kidnapping on the same day, and get handed confessions in each case.
#20 - Knock Off
Season 19 - Episode 5 - Aired Dec 3, 2008
A revered sheriff becomes a possible conspirator in a case involving a murdered tourist.
#21 - Identity
Season 14 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 5, 2003
When a man is found murdered shortly after depositing almost $400,000 in his savings account, the investigation into the source of funds reveals that the victim ran an identity theft scam which left an elderly man homeless and impoverished.
#22 - Open Season
Season 13 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 20, 2002
A defense attorney who managed the acquittal of the defendant in the attempted murder of a cop is gunned down outside a Manhattan restaurant. The detectives start with police officers in the precinct of the injured officer, then to his brother, before they are led to a white supremacist who is part of a national network. McCoy is faced with the unlikely prospect that the defendant's attorney, his friend of 20 years and a friend of the slain lawyer, played a part in the murder of a Florida district attorney following the defendant's arrest. McCoy is able to make a deal that perserves the integrity of his adversary, but not without a cost.
#24 - Shangri-La
Season 13 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 9, 2002
The murder of a female high school English teacher uncovers a love triangle that includes a female student and a male teacher, both of whom become suspects. The prosecutors have to deal with the student's multiple identities and refusal to live past adolescence.
#25 - Teenage Wasteland
Season 11 - Episode 12 - Aired Feb 7, 2001
The beating death of a restaurant owner leads Briscoe and Green to thrill-seeking teenagers; McCoy and Lewin are forced to decide how young is too young for the death penalty.