"Indifference" (ep. 9): Easily the creepiest episode of the series. It is so obviously inspired by the Lisa Steinberg case that it concludes with a long disclaimer both displayed and spoken about how the real case differed from the story just shown. It is easily the creepiest moment of the entire series considering they used the same title sequence narrator, reading white text on a pure black background to tell the audience that the horrific case and the depraved criminals involved have some basis in real life. The fact that such sickos exist to make their children living in virtual hell for all their short, terrified and miserable lives in North America behind respectable doors will shake your soul to the ground.
"Mushrooms" (ep 17): Responding to a shooting in the projects, Logan and Greevey are going about their usual banter, going back and forth on basketball. All chit chat comes to a halt when they see that this crime scene is particularly horrible - an infant swing is just behind the bullet riddled door, splattered with blood.
"Heaven" (ep. 10): The usual "finding the body/ gunshots down the street" opening is a much more íntense scene this time, as fifty-three people die in a nightclub fire. Two passersby walk right by the building, hear faint voices screaming and pounding... and only when an upstairs window breaks can the full shrieks and cries of the victims be heard as smoke pours out of the building. The FDNY responds as we continue to listen to the patrons on the other side of the wall die. By the time the beginning credits roll, the first twenty corpses are already lined up on the sidewalk, and Logan and Ceretta are both horrified at the sight.
"Prince of Darkness" (ep. 3-8): The good guys behave in their usual competent, imaginative and dogged way... and are nevertheless completely out-thought, outflanked, misdirected, and defeated by the ruthlessness and efficiency of the Colombian drug cartel. Not only does the hour involve a brazen double murder, a gun-buy that ends with a shot cop, and a Vigilante Execution, but, at the end, Adam receives a phone call informing him that every single witness involved with the case is dead. One of the most crushing Downer Endings of the series, and frightening to see our heroes so thoroughly bested through no carelessness or error of their own.
The absolute worst part:
Robinette: "What about the little girl?" (The daughter of the couple killed in the opening)
(Schiff's eyes widen in horror as he realizes that she's dead too).
"Second Opinion" (ep. 1): A dying woman is brought into the ER as the doctors and nurses try desperately to save her life only for them to, one by one, begin passing out around using the defibrillator on her. Turns out, the poor woman had died of breast cancer and her body became so toxic from the bogus drugs that a quack doctor had given her that anyone coming into contact would get sick. None of her attending physicians ended up seriously hurt, but Paranoia Fuel is still in effect. The worse part of it all? It was based on a real case!
"Bitter Fruit" (ep. 1): A little girl is found murdered and dumped in a vacant lot. If that wasn't bad enough, as Kincaid was giving a summary at the suspect's arraignment when a loud "BANG!" is heard as blood in splashed onto the shaken ADA's face as the girl's mother had shot him dead then and there. However, what had first seemed heroic quickly turn horrific as it comes out that the woman paid the man to kidnap the girl out of revenge to the ex-husband, who had sole custody of their daughter due to her drug problems, and the girl died during the commission of the crime.
"Angel" (ep. 8): A baby girl goes missing and her overly pious mother is terrified by it all. Soon, as detectives realize that she was somehow involved, Curtis was able to appeal to the woman's maternal instincts and faith in God to get her to show him where the girl was. To his, Briscoe and Van Buren's shock, horror and disgust, the woman leads them down to her church's furnace and the woman only tearfully whispers "My baby only deserved the best."
"Agony" (ep. 5): Matt Bergstrom, a serial killer, who committed at least six torture-murders in New York (and other states), confesses to Abbie.
Bergstrom: I cut her. And she screamed. I burned her and she screamed louder. I pushed my fist into her and she passed out. I made her say she admired me. I had total control. Total.
"Stiff" (ep. 23): The victim is in an irreversible waking coma (put there by spiked insulin). The episode ends with the doctors' Hail Mary attempt at reviving her failing. The clear implication is that she'll be like that for the rest of her life.
In "Fools For Love", the details of what the victims endured are gruesome enough, but the female half of the Outlaw Couple's utterly matter-of-fact, detached recitation of them is even worse. Even as she claims to be "excited" to watch her boyfriend rape and sodomize her little sister, she says it in the same tone of voice as if she were deciding what to have for breakfast.
"Hubris" (ep. 9): A jewelry store robber executes four people in the store, including a young child. A store security camera video shows him dragging the victims off to the back room to their deaths. He gets a hung jury and probably won't be retried. Granted that's because he's dead, but still it's crazy to think he could have gotten away with it.
Even worse, the investigation reveals that he murdered his fiancée several years ago. Throughout the entire episode, he never acts like anything but your typical sweet, cute, innocent and charming boy next door. It's chilling to think that a complete psychopath could be lurking under such a "nice guy" facade.
"Blaze" (ep. 5): The episode begins innocently at a rock concert inside of a club. One moment, two patrons are in the restroom griping about everyday life and worrying about missing what they think is the beginning of the performance, and, the next, the door swings open to reveal a wall of fire and people screaming and piling in the room trying to escape the flames. Even worse, as they try to get out through the only available window, they discover bars and a metal screen are attached to it. Twenty-three people die, and we see the bodies being laid on the sidewalk in various stages of burns and even some only partially being covered. Also, a witness and the person who caused the fire to happen explains to the detectives that when trying to escape that she grabbed a girl's wrist to try to help pull her to safety only for the poor girl's flesh to come off in her hand.
"Deadlock" (ep. 9): The episode starts with nightmare fuel and continues all the way through. First, a mass-murderer escapes using a plastic weapon and key for his handcuffs, stabbing two officers onscreen. The police follow a trail of his friends and family, ending with a dead body, and a now armed mass murderer. He's finally caught after taking a school of girls hostage, and ultimately killing everyone of them in the room. Not to mention the fact that he threatens the ADA, and says every day in court gives him another chance to escape. When the father of one of the girls he shot kills him on the courthouse steps, you'd come close to cheering.
Also, the people against him aren't as clean. Green becomes a lot more brutal with people harboring the fugitive, slamming people against cars and walls, and even threatening to put a woman's son in foster care. The lawyer of the man who shot him plays with the man's life (getting him charged with murder instead of manslaughter to make the state look bad) to propel her career, and aiding in the murder.