Top Ten Episodes of Law and Order: SVU for Beginners

Law and Order SVU

One of my favourite shows, as well as one of the longest running series and most popular ever (with 23 seasons so far!) has to be Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU).

Helmed by the amazing bad ass Mariska Hargitay (who plays Olivia Benson), and starring several beloved characters like Chris Meloni’s Elliot Stabler, and my personal favourite Pete Scanavino as Carisi, this show has stood the test of time.

With a gamut of cases that range from the creepy to the frankly absurd (Wild, anyone?), this show is an important watch for anyone who wants to learn more about what constitutes a sex crime, how laws and policies can often be misused, and just for lovers of procedurals and good acting/writing. Since many people don’t want to start watching from scratch, I’m outlining the top 10 episodes for SVU beginners to watch, which will give them a taste of the show and can be seen as stand alone.

1. Raw (Season 7, Episode 6)

This chilling episode about the seemingly random shooting of a 6-year-old boy in his school, leads to an astonishing revelation. The shooter is traced back to a Neo-Nazi and uncovers a chilling plot filled with racism, a twisted motive and a detective getting shot.

An image from Law and Order SVU Raw
A still from Raw, featuring Neo Nazis

2. Bang (Season 12, Episode 22)
An episode that showcases a new side of Uncle Jessie aka John Stamos. Stamos plays a “reproductive abuser” who is a baby daddy to over 50 children. Playing a smarmy man who aims to spread his seed across the world, his death is quite shocking and the perpetrator, even more so.

A still from Law and Order SVU Bang
Stamos plays a creep you can almost love. Almost

3. Signature (Season 9, Episode 12)

Reading more like a thriller film, this episode follows the exploit of a serial killer with a truly creepy signature. A new agent is on board on this case, played by Erika Christensen, who is obsessed with the case, mentally and emotionally. The ending of the episode is truly heart wrenching.

A still from Law and Order SVU Signature
The agent who got too close to the case

4. 911 (Season 7, Episode 3)

This is a standout episode for Mariska Hargitay and involves her keeping a scared young girl on call while the squad tries to uncover her location in a thrilling 45-minute-long episode.

Law and Order SVU 911
Mariska Hargitay steals this episode

5. Pique (Season 2, Episode 20)

Chad Lowe stars as a twisted mama’s boy who has been through horrific traumas of his own. When a woman is found raped and stabbed to death, the detectives uncover a family that has its own dirty secrets beneath the surface. The ending which has Lowe writhing in a bed covered in blood is nightmare inducing.

Law and Order SVU Pique
Chad Lowe. Chad No.

6. Born Psychopath (Season 14, Episode 19)

A chilling episode that delves into the mentality of a sociopathic child and the failures of the system to figure out how to handle the same. Portrayed by Ethan Cutkosky , Henry is a child who shows zero remorse and can come across as both innocent while hiding his murderous intents quite well. There was a great follow up to this episode in later seasons called “Post Graduate Psychopath.”

Law and Order SVU Born Psychopath
An example of all kids are not loveable

7. Pornstar’s Requiem (Season 16, Episode 5)
This “Ripped from the Headlines” episode, inspired by Belle Knox, is about a college girl whose pornographic film history is uncovered by her classmates. They use this an excuse to rape her and when she decides to get justice, the ending shows that much too often it is the victim who is blamed and who suffers. With a downer of an ending, this episode is a stark insight into why women are often scared of speaking up.

Law and Order SVU Pornstars Requiem
A job shouldn’t define you

8. Holden’s Manifesto (Season 16, Episode 4)

Another “Ripped from the Headlines” episode, inspired by Elliott Rodger, it revolves around Holden, an often-overlooked young man who feels women, and the world at large, owe him more. Chalking out his plans to get payback in his manifesto, this episode is a deep dive into the psyche of men who feel like people exist only for their personal use.

Law and Order SVU Holdens Manifesto
Single White Male

9. Identity (Season 6, Episode 12)

A case where DNA uncovers a truly crazy perpetrator, this episode is truly a rollercoaster. The death of a gangbanger leads the detectives to twins, a boy and a girl- and a truly crazed psychiatrist.

Law and Order SVU Identity
Who’s DNA was it?

10. Dolls

For all you Stranger Things fans, it’s a trip to watch David Harbour essay a crazed serial killer who specializes in murdering little girls and then dressing them up like dolls.

Law and Order SVU Dolls
This is why dolls are creepy

Are you a Law and Order SVU fan? If yes, let me know your favourite episodes. If you haven’t seen it yet hopefully this tv review will in

‘This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla

22 thoughts on “Top Ten Episodes of Law and Order: SVU for Beginners

  1. Neeta kadam says:

    Wow, what a thorough review. I am always struggle to watch my favorite web series. The last I watch was on law – “Good wife “with 8 season. Would like to watch the above one. Thank you for the review so that I can directly watch the above episode.

  2. Harjeet Kaur says:

    Wow… an amazing review, Meetali. Seems like you are a die-hard follower of it. I somehow cannot watch any shows with even a little suspense or violence. I stick to my romcoms.

  3. Flavia Cutinho says:

    I enjoy law and order feels like im totally into, definitely ur review about each part does make this blog highlight

  4. Kaveri Chhetri says:

    I like watching murder mysteries or any type of crime thrillers but surprisingly I haven’t watched a single episode of this one Meetali. Your review shows your fondness for the series in every way. The review suggests that its my kind… will try the first episode.

  5. Ritu Bindra says:

    Loved your post. This series is one of my favorites, right up there with NCIS. Totally agree with your picks. The one with John Stamos (far cry from good old Uncle Jesse) and the way he died – gave me the creeps.

  6. Sonia dogra says:

    Wow, you got quite a compilation there. I’m not a series person at all. Somehow I managed to watch The Handmaid’s Tale, only because of Margaret Atwood’s book connection but there too I ran out of patience by the last season.

  7. Kashish Mahtani says:

    Wow! I love law-related shows and this was already on my list. I’m currently watching Suits and this is something I have lined up too. Thanks for the review, it’s strengthened my resolve, haha

  8. Kavita Singh says:

    I am obsessed with such shows, this feels like I have hit a jackpot. I am definitely going to binge-watch these episodes soon

  9. Brinda says:

    I loved this series and always an avid watcher! Your review take me back to those gripping episodes… I especially loved the John stamos episode!

  10. Noor Anand Chawla says:

    Wow! I’m curious to know – have you binged on all the seasons recently? How are these so fresh in your memory?!

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