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Best episodes of 'Law and Order: SVU' Season 4

Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

After 15 seasons and a new one that is ready to begin, "Law & Order: SVU" is still a highly popular television drama. The earlier seasons had some of the best episodes to date. Season 4 was one of the most dramatic the show has ever seen. These are the best episodes from that season.

Season 4, Episode 2 "Deception"

When a kindergarten student draws an odd photograph of her family, Benson and Stabler are called in to talk to her. She reveals that her mother loves her older brother more than her. She is taken to the hospital where she is checked out, and nothing seems out of the ordinary. Upon further investigation, Benson and Stabler believe the 16-year-old stepson is being seduced by his stepmother. After the father winds up dead, the wife shows up at the station with a lawyer for her stepson; she does everything but tell them he committed the murder. After getting a warrant to search the hotel room where the wife has been staying, they find her and her stepson in bed together. The events following that revelation will shock you. If you haven't seen this episode, you are missing out.

Season 4, Episode 7 "Dolls"

This is a strange episode that looks at pedophilia in a different light. When a decomposed body of a young girl is found and another young girl goes missing, Benson and Stabler realize they have a serial pedophile on their hands. They find out that the girls both had been abused and neglected. The current missing girl's mother is a drug addict and has to come to terms with the fact that her habit may be the reason her daughter was taken. The twists and turns in this episode will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Season 4, Episode 14 "Mercy"

An infant is found inside a cooler on the Hudson River. It is discovered that the child had been well taken care of and was not just tossed away after birth. The medical examiner determines the baby had Tay-Sachs disease. Upon further investigation, Benson and Stabler are led to a doctor that signed a death certificate for "Sarah Brown." This leads them to the Brown family. It seems that the doctor helped the mother to "end" the suffering of her daughter. Despite being at odds about how she feels, Alex Cabot charges her with second degree murder. She wins the trial, but it doesn't sit well with her. This episode is heartbreaking to watch, but definitely a must see.