Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 1 Episode 1

Payback

18
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Sep 20, 1999 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (27)

8.9
out of 10
Average
248 votes
  • A pilot episode that seems like anything but - this episode seems like a selection from the middle of an established series!

    10
    The pilot episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is, without a doubt, one of the strongest pilots of any television series. The characters are introduced in a way that doesn't seem forced, with a strong amount of subtle (but powerful) characterization. The entire episode seems as if it's from a TV show that's been on the air for years – both the writers and the actors understood exactly who the characters were right from the opening scene. Of course, the characters developed as the series progressed, but there was no wishy-washy second guessing of the original decisions. It was also one of the impressive storylines from the first season – the murdered war criminal and his affected victims. Again, I find this to be not just one of the best episodes of SVU, but of any selection from TV show pilots.
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