The BEST Episodes of Law & Order
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2020
"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 - 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.
#3 - 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.
#4 - 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.
#5 - 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.
#6 - 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.
#7 - 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.
#8 - 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.
#9 - 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.
#10 - Refuge (1)
Season 9 - Episode 23 - Aired May 26, 1999
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.
#11 - 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.
#12 - 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.
#13 - 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.
#14 - 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.
#15 - Rubber Room
Season 20 - Episode 23 - Aired May 24, 2010
Series finale. A terrorist threatens students.
#16 - 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.
#17 - 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.
#18 - 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.
#19 - Cost of Capital
Season 16 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 8, 2006
The case against a high powered executive accused of killing her lover rests on the executive's estranged husband and unstable teenage daughter.
#20 - Bad Faith
Season 5 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 26, 1995
Logan relives unhappy childhood memories when a friend is found dead, a presumed suicide, until the investigation reveals recent contact with a former priest, with a history of pedophilia.
#21 - 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.
#22 - Knock Off
Season 19 - Episode 5 - Aired Dec 3, 2008
A revered sheriff becomes a possible conspirator in a case involving a murdered tourist.
#23 - Heart of Darkness
Season 16 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 18, 2006
A journalist's suicide becomes suspect after Green and Fontana find evidence at the scene suggesting that it wasn't a suicide after all.
#24 - 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.
#25 - Double Blind
Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 6, 1996
The murder of a janitor in a university laboratory building leads back to a student employee whose participation in a drug study may have prompted the crime.