Best Episodes from Season 12 of 'Law & Order: SVU'

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For the past 12 seasons, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has kept fans excited. The story lines are excellent, the cast chemistry is amazing, and the time slot is fantastic. Season 12 was one of the best seasons of the show thus far. As Season 13 is about to begin, here is a look back at some of the best episodes from the first half of Season 12.

"Locum" Season 12, Episode 1

This was the season premiere; Joan Cusack guest stars. When a little girl runs away from home, it sends up some red flags. Mackenzie was adopted by the Burtons. Previously, their little girl Ella was abducted and never found. Now, Mackenzie claims the Burtons forced her to wear Ella's clothing, act like her, and even forced her to get a nose job to resemble Ella. As the story unfolds, Stabler takes a closer look at the disappearance of Ella. He follows some leads that take him to a farm. He finds the man that took Ella, as well as Ella herself. This whole episode was filled with twists and never had a dull moment. Great way to begin the season!

"Behave" Season 12, Episode 3

Jennifer Love Hewitt guest stars in this disturbing episode as a rape victim named Vicki. She was spotted looking disheveled and taken to a hospital. After the police are called to investigate, she disappears. She had used an alias but was tracked to her home. She has become nearly homebound because her rapist stalks her. She claims to have been raped several times over the last few years, once Benson coaxes her out of her home and is able to speak with her. During each attack, the man would tell her to "behave." When a clue leads detectives to a hotel in the nicer part of town, the bartender becomes a suspect. After a lot of work and setbacks, they are able to take him to trial. Hewitt's performance was perfection.

"Trophy" Season 12, Episode 7

In this episode, things get a little complicated. After being called to investigate a body found at an industrial plant, detectives are led to a suspect. After he shoots at them through his apartment door, they arrest him. A search of his apartment turns up a box that is most likely a "trophy box" from the women he has killed. An owner of a ring is identified, and Benson goes to contact her. It turns out that the owner is on her death bed, and her daughter Vivian is a mess. Vivian is just like Benson, a product of rape. Benson wonders if Vivian is her half-sister since their mothers were raped around the same time. As it turns out, the suspect they arrested was not the "trophy box" owner. He had his prison roommate living in the room where the items were found. Vivian shows up demanding to know who her father is, and it is revealed that Benson is not her half-sister after all. There is a murder, and Benson suspects Vivian. Vivian's son Calvin shows up at the station with a letter in hand. As it turns out, the letter grants Benson custody of Calvin.

More from this contributor:

What's in Store for Mariska Hargitay on Season 13 of 'Law & Order: SVU'?

'Law & Order: SVU' Loses Another Cast Member Before Season 13 Begins

'Law & Order: SVU' Star Christopher Meloni Will Not Return for Season 13

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