The Best Episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Last Updated: Dec 5, 2018

As acting commander of the SVU, Sergeant Olivia Benson is a seasoned veteran of the unit who has seen it all. She leads with empathy and professionalism, all the while dealing with her difficult past as a product of rape, and her future as mother to a young child, both of which influence the way she relates to each victim in need of help.

Her Negotiation

#1 - Her Negotiation

Season 14 - Episode 24

The detectives uncover a shocking theory as they work to learn the identity of a man Rollins arrested for exposing himself in the park; Detective Benson finds herself in mortal danger.

star 8.52
231 votes
Directors: Norberto Barba
Writers: Julie Martin, Warren Leight
Watch on Amazon
Heartfelt Passages (2)

#2 - Heartfelt Passages (2)

Season 17 - Episode 23

When the investigation of Corrections Officer Gary Munson deepens, he and his union take drastic actions that threaten the lives of ADA Barba and the SVU squad.

star 8.14
714 votes
Directors: Alex Chapple
Writers: Warren Leight, Julie Martin
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Fallacy

#3 - Fallacy

Season 4 - Episode 21

Benson and Stabler try to prove self-defense when a rape victim kills her attacker. Events take an unusual turn when they find out that the victim is a pre-operative transsexual.

star 8.13
145 votes
Writers: Barbie Kligman
Watch on Amazon
Deadly Ambitions

#4 - Deadly Ambitions

Season 14 - Episode 15

The SVU squad tries to keep Detective Rollins' sister safe from her abusive boyfriend when she turns up beaten and pregnant; when Rollins is forced to take drastic action, an internal affairs investigation begins.

star 8.10
197 votes
Directors: Jim McKay
Writers: Warren Leight, Julie Martin, Peter Blauner, Kevin Fox
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Screwed

#5 - Screwed

Season 8 - Episode 22

Darius Parker (Ludacris), goes on trial for the rape and murder of a woman and her 14-month old child. The case brings Fin under fire from the media and even has Munch and Stabler at odds. Novak prosecutes the trial that brings Stabler and Tutuola, among others, to the stand. Many previous stories are brought into the trial

star 8.07
158 votes
Writers: Judith McCreary
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Ghost

#6 - Ghost

Season 6 - Episode 16

When a wealthy couple is found dead in their home, Benson and Stabler soon realise that their deaths are connected to a drug smuggling ring. Eventually the road leads back to the same drug dealers who forced a former assistant district attorney into hiding, and Alex Cabot comes home to face her enemies.

star 8.06
159 votes
Directors: David Platt
Writers: Amanda Green
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Zebras

#7 - Zebras

Season 10 - Episode 22

A murder in Central Park that involves a tourist puts the SVU on high alert, but when the suspect they've brought in for questioning escapes, Munch has to reach out to an ex-wife in an effort to prevent another killing that's closer to home.

star 8.05
178 votes
Directors: Peter Leto
Writers: Amanda Green, Daniel Truly
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Justice Denied

#8 - Justice Denied

Season 13 - Episode 17

A closed rape case of Benson's is reopened because of it's similarities to a new case, and the possibility of wrongful imprisonment surfaces. As Benson's work is questioned, tension develops between her, ADA Haden and Bayard Ellis.

star 8.05
162 votes
Directors: Michael Slovis
Writers: Stuart Feldman, Warren Leight
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Born Psychopath

#9 - Born Psychopath

Season 14 - Episode 19

The SVU detectives investigate after a school nurse notices multiple injuries on a young girl; Detective Amaro tries to bond with his recently discovered son.

star 8.04
215 votes
Directors: Alex Chapple
Writers: Julie Martin, Warren Leight
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
911

#10 - 911

Season 7 - Episode 3

Benson is on her way out for the evening when a call comes in from a little girl who says she's all alone. While trying to draw the girl out, Benson is drawn deeper into the little girl's life, and although the other officers begin to suspect the whole thing may be some sick joke, Benson is convinced that the little girl is the real deal. By talking to Maria, Benson is able to ferret enough information from her so that they have a place to start, but Maria's captor has an affinity for electronics and has done everything he can to make sure that no one can find the little girl he bought and paid for.

star 8.04
197 votes
Directors: Ted Kotcheff
Writers: Patrick Harbinson
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Psycho Therapist

#11 - Psycho Therapist

Season 15 - Episode 10

When Detective Benson faces Lewis in the courtroom, the stress causes setbacks in her recovery; Benson is forced to reveal secrets.

star 8.04
255 votes
Directors: Michael Slovis
Writers: Warren Leight, Julie Martin
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Official Story

#12 - Official Story

Season 13 - Episode 12

Benson and Amaro must work around a resistant victim when the CEO of a military contractor is assaulted.

star 8.03
160 votes
Directors: Michael Smith
Writers: Peter Blauner
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Double Strands

#13 - Double Strands

Season 13 - Episode 4

A family man is suspected of being a serial rapist in a string of assaults stretching across several states. Mounting evidence points to his guilt, but detectives research his past and begin to believe his pleas of innocence.

star 8.03
201 votes
Directors: Fred Berner
Writers: John P. Roche
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Monster's Legacy

#14 - Monster's Legacy

Season 14 - Episode 13

When a janitor violently attacks a coach, the SVU team connects the janitor's behavior to a history of sexual abuse; the detectives find more victims of the same predator -- including a prisoner (Mike Tyson) on death row.

star 8.03
192 votes
Writers: John P. Roche, Warren Leight, Julie Martin
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Scheherazade

#15 - Scheherazade

Season 8 - Episode 10

Stabler heads to see terminal cancer patient Judson Tierney after a request from his parish priest, and soon realizes that Tierney has a story that he is dying to tell but only wants to tell to his estranged daughter. With Benson keeping an eye on Tierney, Stabler looks into the man's past and learns that he was once involved in a series of unsolved bank robberies, and that he has been keeping a secret about his daughter for over twenty years.

star 8.03
158 votes
Directors: David Platt
Writers: Amanda Green
Buy on iTunes
Dreams Deferred

#16 - Dreams Deferred

Season 14 - Episode 9

A man goes on a killing spree, but he has links to a prostitute that Benson encountered in an earlier investigation, so the FBI contacts SVU for information.

star 8.02
211 votes
Directors: Michael Smith
Writers: Julie Martin, Warren Leight
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Daydream Believer (3)

#17 - Daydream Believer (3)

Season 16 - Episode 20

Benson and Voight lead their teams in the investigation of a rape/murder case that is frighteningly similar to a case from New York a decade ago. When forced to release their main suspect, the Chicago PD joins the SV Unit in New York in pursuit of Yates. (We Called Her Jellybean (1) aired on Chicago Fire, season 3, episode 21. The Number of Rats (2) aired on Chicago P.D., season 2, episode 20.)

star 8.02
310 votes
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Internal Affairs

#18 - Internal Affairs

Season 15 - Episode 4

When Officer Michael Groves ends up in a psych ward after leveling accusations at the 12th Precinct, Internal Affairs asks the team to help investigate.

star 8.02
274 votes
Writers: Kevin Fox
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Beast's Obsession

#19 - Beast's Obsession

Season 15 - Episode 20

Benson is assigned a 24/7 security detail when William Lewis escapes from prison and starts killing again; Benson must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to save a child's life.

star 8.02
261 votes
Directors: Steve Shill
Writers: Warren Leight, Julie Martin
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Military Justice

#20 - Military Justice

Season 15 - Episode 8

A military officer who was gang raped refuses to cooperate with the SVU for fear of damage to her reputation; Amaro asks his ex to help dig up information on the case.

star 8.01
245 votes
Directors: Tom DiCillo
Writers: Lawrence Kaplow
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Girl Dishonored

#21 - Girl Dishonored

Season 14 - Episode 20

As the SVU detectives investigate the alleged rape of a sorority pledge, drunken students, and conflicting accounts complicate matters.

star 8.01
213 votes
Directors: Holly Dale
Writers: Robert Brooks Cohen, Warren Leight, Julie Martin
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Downloaded Child

#22 - Downloaded Child

Season 15 - Episode 19

After a single mom is arrested for leaving her young daughter alone for days, Sgt. Benson suspects the woman may have been abused in her own childhood.

star 8.00
228 votes
Directors: Adam Bernstein
Writers: Jill Abbinanti, Julie Martin, Warren Leight
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Spring Awakening

#23 - Spring Awakening

Season 15 - Episode 24

Amaro must face the consequence of his reckless behavior; when an online ad for escorts leads to the rape and robbery of tourists, Benson discovers she has a connection to one of the suspects.

star 8.00
209 votes
Directors: Norberto Barba
Writers: Warren Leight, Julie Martin, Kevin Fox
Watch on Amazon
Gambler's Fallacy

#24 - Gambler's Fallacy

Season 15 - Episode 17

When Rollins strikes a deal with the managers of a gambling club in order to protect her job, she ends up drawing the suspicion of Benson and Tutuola.

star 8.00
231 votes
Directors: Alex Chapple
Writers: Julie Martin, Warren Leight, Kevin Fox
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes
Intersecting Lives (1)

#25 - Intersecting Lives (1)

Season 17 - Episode 22

A corrections officer is arrested for sexually assaulting female inmates in and out of prison, and the union that supports him targets Barba and the SVU.

star 7.99
696 votes
Writers: Julie Martin, Warren Leight, Brianna Yellen
Watch on Amazon Buy on iTunes