Netflix Binge: Here's A List of the Must See Episodes of Law And Order: SVU

Updated on May 25, 2017
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Beagles, Traveling, Writing, Hummus, Documentaries, Craft Beer, Live Music, Guitar, Poetry, and Aventures.Yup, that pretty much sums me up.

"WILDLIFE" (Season 10 Episode 7)

The story: A young woman turns up dead (shocker) and it is up to Benson and Stabler to find out who is responsible. Throughout the episode it is revealed that her death was actually caused by a tiger mauling her and a result of her involvement in an exotic animal smuggling ring along with a rapper named "Gotz Money" (I lol'd at that one)

Anyways, of course the only option is that Elliot must go undercover as a corrupt customs agent in cahoots with the animal smugglers to earn their trust and bring down the men responsible for her death. Things get a little sketchy along the way and the smugglers eventually catch on To Elliot's charade leading to a very dangerous situation.

Why it makes the list: There are two Reasons:

1. This episode is the closest my fantasy of a Benson-Stabler hookup comes to actually happening (she gets caught in his room while he is supposed to be undercover and must play it off as his hooker.. Things get touchy feely and it's great.)

2. Elliot gets shot. Twice. Don't worry it's not a spoiler..the episode opens with this and then backtracks.

TAGS: Shooting, undercover, violence, suspense, trafficking, benson, stabler

"AUTHORITY" (Season 9 Episode 13)

The Story: Remember the fast food call in fake police officer scandal? The one where a man posing as a police officer called over a dozen fast food chain restaurants from an unknown number and somehow convinced managers to strip search, molest, and force young female employees into several humiliating tasks. **Sidenote: "compliance" is a very uncomfortable but well done Sundance watch on the exact same Events.. It's on Amazon prime if interested.**

Well, this is the SVU version Of the fast food call in scandal... Of course they take it a step further throwing in some historical ethically wrong psych experiment references, Robin Williams (RIP) as a very creepy and well played mastermind, and a bomb or two.

Why it made the list: the episode is overall very intense. It has an underlying theme of "authority" and I think Robin Williams using the milgrim studies as his basis for hooking Olivia up to a make shift electric chair and forcing Elliot to press a button that shocks her is the climax. The "screams" as he "shocks" her are horrifying. Definitely a must see.

TAGS: explosion, torture, guest star, true story, violence, intense

Your Opinion:

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"UNDERCOVER" (Season 9 Episode 15)

The story: A young girl is raped by a man in prison who is trying to send her mother (also in prison) a message: "don't eff with me or my prison drug trafficking escapade."

Naturally, the only way to get to the bottom of this is that Olivia go undercover as an actual prison inmate. She eventually find out what is unfortunately the case in many female prisons: guards taking advantage of inmates sexually at whim, for favors, for drugs, etc. Things get real crazy and "inmate" Olivia ends up in a horrifying situation.. The kind that she has flashbacks of episodes, even seasons later.

Why it makes the list: We all know things are bound to go horribly wrong whenever the SVU detectives attempt to go undercover.. And this one is literally titled "undercover." Sidenote-WHY do they keep doing this?

But really..this is one of the most stressful episodes ever. Benson comes way to close to being raped by a sadistic CO. It's a lot. Watch this one with the doors locked.

TAGS: undercover, benson, prison, rape, violence

"HOTHOUSE" (Season 10 Episode 12)

The Story: SVU has tons of cheesy opening scenes to reveal a body and get things started, but this one must be noted. The episode starts with what looks like an outdoor yoga class for the elderly? Anyway, the instructor asks "does anyone remember the next part of the sequence" and an old woman says "body in water" "No..that's not it." "BODY IN WATER." extreme corniness..even for SVU.

This begins one of the most effed up episodes of LOSVU ever. The body is that of a teen genius at an elite prep school. Benson and stabler discover the use of "performance enhancing" drugs is commonplace among students to be competitive and alter the mind very drastically.. To the point where one could kill out of hallucination.

The search leads them to an abusive father, sex trafficking ring of underage girls, and the craziest freak of a roommate ever.

Why it made the list: Two Words: Sarah Hyland. She guest stars as one of the students.. I don't want to give anything away but her performance is Exceptionally chilling.

TAGS: guest star, abuse, drugs, trafficking, slaves, teens, murder

"SURRENDER BENSON" (Season 15 Episode 1)

The Story: a First let me say, you are Lucky to have the convenience of not having to wait an excruciating summer of uncertainty between Season 14's Cliffhanger and this insane episode and resolution.

In the last few minutes of the season 14 finale, detective Benson gets back home to her apartment and finds herself held at gunpoint by William Lewis, the sexual predator and complete nut job she had investigated throughout the episode.

After months of #SaveBenson trending on Twitter, the Season 15 premiere details the events that follow: Olivia's kidnapping, the sexual assault, physical abuse, and murder of many others that cross Lewis's path as he holds her captive, and the final answer to "how's Olivia going to get herself out of this one?"

Why It Made The List: Like the afore-mentioned "undercover" episode, this is one of the rare times where badass Olivia Benson is not in charge anymore. She is a prisoner to a sadist, rapist, monster throughout the entire episode and there are far too many close calls.

The whole thing is a tough watch (I hate to see my girl not in control) and very suspenseful. Not to mention there are a few lines (mainly his description of torturing others) that stay with you for awhile.

TAGS: benson, rape, murder, torture, abduction, psychopath, captive, sadist

"BEASTS OBSESSION" (Season 15 Episode 10)


***WARNING: SPOLIERS*** (It is impossible for me to write anything on the return of William Lewis without giving away the ending of his initial appearance in "Surrender Benson" (Above.)

So go watch that first..then read on :)


The Story: You know how I said "resolution" when referring to the William Lewis and his abduction of Benson at gunpoint and subsequent 4 day long torture and imprisonment fiasco? Well, I lied. (Sorry.)

In the episode "Beast's Obsession" William Lewis is back with permanent scarring, deafness, and a limp (way to go, Liv ;) and he is on trial for, well, several things obviously. BUT the most important is the horrifying ordeal detective Benson suffered at his will. She comes face to face with him on the stand and is forced to relive the nightmare, but thankfully it is not without results.

With Liv's testimony, all goes well and Lewis is finally convicted and sent to prison for like..ever I'm pretty sure. Unfortunately, this doesn't really work out. After a short 4 months behind bars, Lewis somehow manages to be hospitalized where he (as he tends to do) kills and rapes a few people then manages to escape.

Still a little "upset" about the way things went down at trial, his first call is to detective Benson. He informs her that he has abducted two girls, killed the older one and still has her younger sister. Knowing Olivia's weak spot, he uses the girl to lure Benson alone (WHHYYYY Olivia?) and then once again takes her prisoner.

Things go downhill from here, and I wont spoil it for you but I'll leave you with this: the episode concludes in a gut-wrenching and suspenseful game of "Russian Roulette" between William Lewis and his unwilling participant, Benson.

Why it made the list: I'm sure you can tell from the plot description that this one is stressful to say the least. This may be the only SVU episode that I've ever had to pause and take a breather from. If there was a "winner" on this list for THE most intense episode of LOSVU of all time - this would be it.

TAGS: Benson, Lewis, Sequel, Imprisonment, Torture, Gun, Russian Roulette, Suspenseful, Rape, Murder

Did I Miss One?

I am always open to constructive criticism (as well as Netflix binging) so please let me know if there is an episode you feel I left out that should have made the list!

Name the episode in the comments and I will definitely give it a second watch and might just add it on with a shoutout :)


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    • profile image

      Mari 2 months ago

      Control S5E9. Identity S6E12. Scheherezade S8E10. S9E18.

    • profile image

      Simon Garfunkel 3 months ago

      you made a mistake: "Authority" is season 9 episode 17, not episode 13

    • profile image

      Sam 4 months ago

      Currently rewatching "Dreams Deferred" S14E09 guest starring Patricia Arquette. Forgot how good it is!

    • profile image

      Chris 4 months ago

      season 17 episode 11, Townhouse Incident, it's pretty good has a few good intense scenes.

    • profile image

      Danielle Siegman 5 months ago

      Season 7 episode 19, "Fault" is excellent.

    • profile image

      Lizzie 5 months ago

      Some of these episodes aren't even on netflix. There's only like the 13th year though the 17th.

    • profile image

      alyvia paige metcalfe 10 months ago

      why does wlliams lewis love olivlia benson

    • profile image

      Tom Bugosh 10 months ago

      My opinion... best episode ever is called Screwed. At the end of season 9 with Ludacris, but that doesn't stop me from watching all the other ones at least 5 times now hahaha

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      summer 11 months ago

      season 7 episode 3 called 911 is the best episode out of all of the 400 episodes hands down!!

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      bobbi 12 months ago

      Both episodes with Ludacris are intense.

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 12 months ago from Illinois

      This is a good idea, I might just have to do this for some of my favorite shows, like House.

    • DizzyGypsy profile image

      The Dizzy Gypsy 12 months ago from Orlando, FL

      I forgot about Totem - that little girl is good! I am working on an update for this post in the coming months and will add that episode to the list...Thanks Lola!

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      Lola 15 months ago

      Season 12 episode 20 (Totem) plot twist after plot twist makes it exceptional!

    • profile image

      15 months ago

      all seasons are on hulu

    • profile image

      Gene 16 months ago

      Your forgot law and order svu anahalaited

    • vidgotv profile image

      Vidgo 16 months ago from Menomonee Falls, WI

      ^ lol, maybe hulu...

    • profile image

      17 months ago

      Would be great if these episodes were actually on netflix...

    • profile image

      Jeff 17 months ago

      Season 7, Episode 10 ("STORM") was really good as Benson risks her career and life in prison.

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      bob 20 months ago

      season 6 episode 4 scavenger is really good