Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

9.86K reviews
Watch in a web browser or on supported devices Learn More

Season 1 episodes (22)

1 Payback
The grisly murder and dismemberment of a New York cabbie draws the elite Special Victims Unit of the NYPD, including veteran Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni, "Oz") and his partner, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay, NBC's "ER"), who soon discover that the victim had assumed the identity of another man -- mainly because he himself was a wanted man. As they dig deeper, the pair draw a bead on the two likely killers (guest stars Mili Avital, "Kissing A Fool," and Gordana Rashovich) whose tortured pasts explain their very personal reasons for hating the slain cabbie. Richard Belzer reprises his character of Detective Munch from NBC's "Homicide: Life On the Street". Dann Florek (reprising his role of Captain Cragen from NBC's "Law & Order"), Dean Winters, ("Oz"), an enthusiastic newcomer who worships the ground on which his partner Munch walks, and the street-savvy detective Monique Jeffries (Michelle Hurd, "The Practice") also star.
2 A Single Life
When a woman clad only in a slip falls several floors to her death, the case is referred to Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) of the special victims unit whose investigation yields many likely suspects, including her unethical psychiatrist (guest star Dennis Boutsikaris), her married anchorman/boyfriend (guest star Michael Nouri) and her suspicious family members. Even though they discover a curious trust fund and a sordid family history, the detectives come full circle and still don't have a viable suspect. Angie Harmon ("Law & Order") guest stars. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek and Dean Winters also star.
3 ...Or Just Look Like One
When a popular teenage model is found beaten, sexually assaulted and dumped, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) try to connect the dots when they probe a netherworld populated by careless parents, a slick photographer (guest star Ritchie Coster), drug-dealing doctors and a trendy modeling agency executive (Emmy-winning guest star Bebe Neuwirth, "Cheers,"). The issue of the young anorexic woman's obsession with the "right look" is brought home to Stabler at mealtime when he notices his own teenage daughter's slavish desire to become rail-thin. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Michelle Hurd and Dean Winters also star.
4 Hysteria
Detectives Benson and Stabler believe a fellow cop may be behind murders going back 30 years; Munch is in rare form during a child molestation case. Guest star: Jerry Orbach. Dann Florek, Dean Winters and Michelle Hurd also star. Jerry Orbach guest-stars as Detective Lennie Briscoe from NBC's "Law & Order."
5 Wanderlust
When a handsome travel writer is found murdered -- with a woman's panties stuffed in his mouth -- Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) focus on a pedophiliac (guest star John Dossett), the unassuming boyfriend of the victim's landlord (guest star and Emmy nominee Patricia Richardson, "Home Improvement"). However, the key to the case might be the landlord's rebellious 14-year-old daughter (guest star Lynn Collins), whose casual, seen-it-all sexual maturity makes Stabler uneasy about his own 14-year-old as she eagerly enters the dating pool. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Michelle Hurd and Dean Winters also star.
6 Sophomore Jinx
Benson and Stabler suspect a pair of college basketball players of murdering a female student, but officials don't want to draw negative attention to the school. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Dean Winters and Michelle Hurd also star.
7 Uncivilized
The state pursues a media-sensationalized case against a known pedophile who's suspected of assaulting and killing a youth. Richard Belzer and Dann Florek also star.
8 Stalked
Stabler fears a combative Benson will be the next victim of a real estate agent suspected of sexually assaulting and murdering a lawyer. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Dean Winters and Michelle Hurd also star.
9 Stocks and Bondage
A female financial analyst with a fetish for sexual bondage is found hanging dead, but while Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) debate if her death was a suicide or homicide, they discover that the victim recently tried to purchase $10 million of diamonds -- all of which leads to a Wall Street financier (guest star Geoffrey Nauffts) with a mean streak. During their hunt, they cross paths with a Tennessee insurance investigator (guest star Craig Heidenreich), a crooked charity organizer (guest star Christopher McCann) and other low-lifes from the sado-bondage scene. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Michelle Hurd and Dean Winters also star.
10 Closure
The devastating results of a sexual assault begin to weigh heavily on the victim (guest star Tracy Pollan, "Family Ties") after Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler's (Christopher Meloni) prime suspect (guest star Terry Serpico) -- who matches the assailant's description and is found to have used her credit card -- cannot be identified by the shaken woman. Benson finally gets a real break in the case six months later but finds the victim to be more defensive and less cooperative. In addition, Benson's romantic interlude with a fellow detective is revealed. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Dean Winters and Michelle Hurd also star.
11 Bad Blood
Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) search for the killer of a young gay man whose father (guest star Jerry Lanning) heads a conservative watchdog group, but when they suspect a violent ex-convict (guest star Stephen Beach) who lives in the same building, they are in for a shock. In addition, Benson resents Munch's (Richard Belzer) attempts to help her find her father -- a stranger who raped her mother decades ago. Dann Florek, Michelle Hurd and Dean Winters also star.
12 Russian Love Poem
When a multimillionaire with a sordid sex life is found bound and slain, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) try to penetrate a suspicious ring of soulless Russian immigrants whose fatalism and enigmatic cooperation leave them going in circles. As Detectives Munch (Richard Belzer) and Cassidy (Dean Winters) run down other leads, one possible culprit is Katya (Nadine Stenovich), a beautiful, cunning and likely illegal Russian who included the victim among her many boyfriends -- that is, until one of her male admirers (Olek Krupa) issues a curiously bogus confession. Dann Florek, Michelle Hurd and Chris Orbach also star.
13 Disrobed
Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) investigate the unusual circumstances behind the shooting murder of an admired judge with a reputation of protecting abused women and putting away sex offenders, but they soon learn that the victim took sordid advantage of the criminal justice system. Meanwhile, Cassidy (Dean Winters) has his own secret to hide, and yet has to endure Detective Munch's (Richard Belzer) derisive comments about his professional ability to cope with parts of his job in the special victims unit. Angie Everhart ("Dream Team") guest-stars as a lobbyist whose connections to the murdered judge come under investigation. Dann Florek and Michelle Hurd also star.
14 Limitations
The special victims unit is on the hot seat when a five-year-old sexual assault case is reopened just days before the statute of limitations ends, so Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) scramble to interview the three distinctly different victims, but are crushed when their legal maneuver to file an arrest warrant is denied. They and other SVU detectives are even more exasperated when they learn that one of the women (guest star Jenny Bacon) admits that she knows who the assailant is -- but won't tell because he now is a member of her church. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek and Michelle Hurd also star.
15 Entitled - Part 1
The police teams from "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" probe the gunshot murder of a man believed to be a sexual aggressor but the evidence points to the trouble-prone daughter (guest star Noelle Beck) of a wealthy family whose protective and haughty female clan leader (Emmy and Tony Award winner Jane Alexander) could make trouble for investigators and prosecutors alike. But when another duplicate murder occurs, the cops re-think their primary suspect while Detective Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) believes they might have stumbled upon new evidence about a serial killer who eluded him five years earlier. Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Dann Florek, Richard Belzer, Michelle Hurd, Jesse L. Martin, Sam Waterston and Steven Hill also star.
16 The Third Guy
Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) lead the investigation into the sexual assault and possible murder of an elderly woman, and their scanty leads point to two neighborhood toughs (Eugene Byrd and Rick Gonzalez) who will only admit that they broke into the victim's apartment as thieves. When the lack of evidence forces them to grudgingly cut a deal between the two, the detectives only then learn that their most likely suspect for the rape has been right in front of them all along. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek and Michelle Hurd also star.
17 Misleader
When the daughter-in-law of a prominent religious educator (guest star Robert Foxworth, "Lateline") is found murdered in her hotel room, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) suspect an at-large burglar who recently has been breaking and entering several Manhattan hotel rooms. However, their attention later turns towards someone close to the pregnant victim where they learn that she was probably conducting an affair at the time of her slaying. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek and Michelle Hurd also star.
18 Chat Room
When a young girl claims she was raped by a man she met on the internet, Benson and Stabler set out to bring the man to justice. Though the girl admits later she was lying, the detectives still pursue the man as they fear he is preying on other young girls online. They soon realize their task is a difficult one for the laws governing the Internet have not kept pace with the everchanging technology and are incredibly vague and ineffective.
19 Contact
Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) wonder where to start their investigation of a series of anonymous sexual attacks on helpless women (one is played by Nicole Sullivan, "Mad TV") who are trapped standing in crowds on subway cars at rush hour, but when one suspect (guest star Bruce Bohne, "Fargo") finally is arrested, none of the victims can identify him. The cops try a new ploy by arranging an interview between their new police psychologist (Tony-winning guest star Audra McDonald, "Ragtime") and their prime suspect. Meanwhile, a tentative Benson begins dating a crime reporter (guest star Tom McCarthy). New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman makes a cameo appearance.
20 Remorse
Detective Munch (Richard Belzer) forms an unlikely close bond with a television news reporter (guest star Jennifer Esposito, "Spin City" ) who was sexually assaulted by two men months earlier but it's Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) who stumble into making the first arrest (guest star Jason Field) as the cops try to use their prime suspect as a link to his accomplice. However, their case is jeopardized -- and the list of assailants widens -- when a bomb blast eliminates a vital link to their prosecution and ongoing investigation. Dann Florek and Michelle Hurd also star.
21 Nocturne
A sharp-eyed photo developer puts Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) on the tail of a seemingly harmless piano instructor (guest star Kent Broadhurst) who molests his students -- all boys -- but their prime witness is an unstable young man (guest star Wilson Jermaine Heredia) who recoils when he sees the suspect's videotape of his shame from years before. Even more disturbing for the detectives are more scenes from other tapes that could compromise their case and cause more heartache. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek and Michelle Hurd also star.
22 Slaves
In the season finale, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) check out a witness' report of a desperate woman's (guest star Layla Alexander) cry for help, and after a related murder, their investigation points to a controlling attorney (guest star Andrew McCarthy, "Weekend at Bernie's") suspected of making a female sex slave out of a newly arrived Romanian immigrant woman. Back in the squad room, the detectives of the special victims unit squirm a bit when they are assigned to be interviewed by a police psychologist (guest star and Tony winner Audra McDonald, "Ragtime") who targets their insecurities and holds the key to their job security. Richard Belzer, Dann Florek and Michelle Hurd also star.

About this show

From the creator of the longest running drama series on television, "Law & Order", comes a powerful series chronicling the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of NYPD. Each episode follows the exploits of detectives Elliot Stabler, Olivia Benson, John Munch and Odafin Tutuola as they attempt to solve the city's most complex cases. They diligently follow lead after lead, relentless in their quest for justice and the search for truth.

Ratings and reviews

9.86K reviews
May 26, 2015
Almost every episode has a screen play that's more like a feminist rant.. The man is always evil and the women is just a innocent victim.. And the title that says this show isn't based off of any real event is bullish*t too almost every episode has something to do with something that has happened in the world recently they just change the names around..NBC should have canceled this show 10 years ago...
26 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
Shawnasi Spatola
June 20, 2018
Season 19 episode 12 was a shame. I have been watching this show since it first came out nearly 20 years ago and all the law and orders for that matter. I know this show leans on the liberal side but this was it for me...for Barbs to do what he did simply because he didn't like the victim was disgusting to me. I've seen them fight head over heals in impossible circumstances just depending on who the victim is, but this! No, mistrial because she's a conservative big mouth...rediculous!!! If she was a liberal big mouth they would have fought tooth and nail. Well that's it for me. Just one show too many of their bias and now I'm done with law n order for good.
219 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
KunSun Sweeley (KSweeley)
February 7, 2013
This show is now owned by Comcast as they have acquired NBCUniversal and the changes they made I do not like one bit. Major change is not having Chris Meloni (Elliott Stabler), Comcast just acquired NBCUniversal and somehow the ongoing contract negotiations with Meloni fell apart and Meloni decided to completely leave SVU which to me disrupts the show's chemistry it had with the longtime partnering of Benson and Stabler. Until Comcast manages to bring back Meloni as a series regular again, I will not watch.
38 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?

Rate this show

Tell us what you think.