‘Law & Order: SVU’: The Season 2 Courtroom Scene Fans Still Love

by Caitlin Berard

Law & Order: SVU is rapidly approaching its 24th season. Judging by its dedicated viewership, however, one would think that it’s a brand new series. Though fans have seen Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) bring hundreds of criminals to justice, they simply can’t get enough of the Special Victims Unit and Law & Order‘s unique mix of content.

Rather than dedicating an entire episode to finding a criminal or prosecuting them, every Law & Order episode follows the detectives and lawyers of New York from the very beginning to the satisfying end of each case.

Over the years, SVU fans have watched Detective Benson and her colleagues work through around 500 criminal cases. One, however, stands out among the rest – and it’s all the way back in Season 2! Needless to say, even the earliest episodes of Law & Order: SVU have stood the test of time.

The Most Gratifying ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Courtroom Scene

Near the end of Season 2 of Law & Order: SVU is an episode entitled “Manhunt” (Ep. 18), in which the Special Victims Unit is tracking down a particularly heinous criminal who viciously assaults his victims before murdering them. At first, the SVU squad believes they’re hunting a single criminal, known as “The Bowery Stalker.”

As they get further into the case, however, they realize they’re looking at a pair of criminals. To make matters worse, the duo thinks they found a way to avoid prosecution for their crimes, even after they’re identified.

Darryl Kern, the mastermind of the team, flees to Canada, where criminals eligible for the death penalty cannot be extradited. Confident that he outsmarted the SVU team, he confesses his gruesome crimes to Detective Munch.

In a satisfying turn of events, DA Alexandra Cabot extradites Darryl Kern for auto theft. As this crime doesn’t carry the threat of execution, the Canadian government agrees to send him back. Kern’s horrified face as he realizes he’s going back to New York is what tops off an already incredible episode.

‘Law & Order’ Fans Proclaim This Showrunner as the Series’ Best

Throughout its 23 successful seasons, Law & Order has had a variety of producers at the helm. Rather than a single person running the show for decades, the hit police procedural is on its 7th showrunner! And while they’ve all impressed fans in their own way, one stands out as the clear favorite among Law & Order‘s most avid viewers.

Though the producer behind the incredible Season 2 courtroom scene received some love, it’s his successor who truly captured the hearts of SVU fans. Neal Baer, who led the series from Season 3 all the way to Season 12, is the most-loved showrunner by far.

In a Reddit thread discussing the series’ many showrunners, Neal Baer stood out among the rest. “Neal Baer in my opinion,” one fan wrote. “Always love the older episode storylines.”

“I don’t know who he is, but based on the seasons, Neal Baer, and it’s not even close,” another said. “Those seasons kept it fresh. So fresh, in fact, [that] every now and then, later seasons just seemed to recycle a plot from that timeline,” a third added.