Maybe this episode just reminds me of the original L&O ("the mothership") episodes, but seeing the detectives work closely with the ADA, with justice being served at the end? Makes me feel good.
The story starts out with a 7-year-old boy shooting a girl classmate of his during recess. All the detectives realize that the boy is clearly afraid of something and doesn't understand his actions fully, but the public demands action for the dead girl and Alex Cabot's boss pushes her to charge the boy for the murder, despite her reluctance.
The detectives follow the gun to another closely related case and the episodes begins to really unravel. I found this episode really suspenseful just because I honestly had no idea how it was going to end. The actor who played the little boy was ridiculously good, and then there's Dr Elizabeth Olivet, who I always liked in the original L&O (see "Cherished" from season 9). Watching the case get solved with the help of the boy and the different leads was just really well done.
The two things that made the episode for me: Alex Cabot getting the recognition she deserved for the kick-ass job she did, and the amazing acting of the little boy.
What really sucked: The boy dying.
The detective work was a little bit rushed, but I think the covered the community outcry really well, and the mother of the girl stepping up to speak near the end was really a really clinching scene.
Seriously, for once, I'd like to see an SVU episode end happily, where they all ACTUALLY can go out for drinks at the end.