The episode begins with Martina Garetti, arriving for work at Stark and Rowan, a law firm. It is her first year. One of her colleagues tells her that there is a big meeting in room number three. She rushes for the meet. Donovan Stark presides the meeting and tells the team that the DA has found the murder weapon that their client, Catherine Moore, used to bludgeon her roommate; a pair of pliers. The victim’s prints and DNA are found on it. He needs ideas in an hour! But Martina is quick. She declares that the pliers aren’t the murder weapon. She says that pliers are used to pull up the zip of skinny fit jeans. So she would ask her roommate to pull it up with the pliers.
It is more of a fashion accessory. She also points out that Catherine’s nail beds look perfectly fine. If she would have used the pliers, it would chip her nails. Martina says that she knows this as her sister is a manicurist. She then calls her mother and tells her that she is a little worried as she spoke up in the meeting. Later, her boss calls her and tells her that Donovan Stark is so grateful to her that he has assigned her third chair on another murder case; the Ellie Fordham case. She is charged for allegedly killing her professor. The prosecution is claiming that it is a crime of passion and there is no murder weapon found. Ellie said that the professor showed up at her place and he was drunk. The housekeeper found the professor in his house and there were Ellie’s prints on the door with blood on it.
The COD is blunt force trauma to the head. Martina is then introduced to her boss who she would report to; Natalie. She tells her that she wants to talk to Ellie since she is out on bail. Ellie tells her that she showed up at the professor’s house as he had asked her to. But there is no way to prove it. Moreover when Ellie texted the professor to confirm the meeting, he told her not to come. But Ellie says that her phone ran out of charge and she never got the text. Martina wants to go some place they could talk. Ellie brings her to her house and Martina learns that she lives with her mother (who is suffering from encephalopathy) and her sister. Martina once again wants to talk to her about her relationship with Prof. Robinson.
Ellie says that he professor was drunk when he man-handled her and Ellie had never seen him like that before. She had gone to him to sign a form (which she didn’t). the next day, Martina goes through the files and finds the coroner’s report that states the contents from Robinson’s stomach. She and a colleague go to the Lou’s bar where Robinson had gone the day he was murdered. The bartender confirms the same. But the waitress there tells them that Robinson was killed on Wednesday and he was at the bar a night before he was killed; he was there on Tuesday. Next, Martina arrives home. Her sister Deb’s daughter wants to get a tattoo and Deb is against it. Bonnie, Martina’s other sister, thinks it is perfectly alright.
She tells them that the firm has put her on a case and they are all happy for her. Next, she meets investigator Brody. Brody tells her that there were seven calls on Robinson’s call records and the last one was from a professor, who says that he was home at the time of the murder. But nobody can verify that. A few days ago before Robinson was killed, he got a call from Karenna Druss; the Dean’s wife. As she isn’t coming forward on her own, they need to pay her a visit. But the meeting doesn’t go really well. Brody and Martina then go to talk to Andy Treaster, the other professor who called Robison. In the courtroom, the prosecution brings up an old case, where Ellie was charged of assault. Ellie didn’t bring that up as the charges were dropped.
Natalie tells Martina to talk to Ellie and find out what else she forgot. Later they learn that prosecution can prove a relationship between the professor and Ellie. Martina confronts Ellie and Ellie tells her that Robinson wanted to stop tutoring her and so she had told him that she wouldn’t be able to do without him. This was misinterpreted. Martina then tells her that they are interrogating Karenna Druss. Karenna tells Martina that there was a complaint lodged against Robinson by Treaster, accusing Robinson for stealing some of his work. Martina then talks to Treaster. Martina learns from Ellie that Treaster used to take his pet students to a French Bistro.
Treaster tells Martina that he feels that Robinson had taken some results from his lab and there wasn’t any citation about the same. Martina then points out that Treaster doesn’t like Ellie much as he never took her to the bistro. Now, Martina is on to Treaster. Luke arrives for updates and Martina tells him that the amount of blood found on the knob was so minute that the ME couldn’t determine who it belonged to. It also could be something else. He then tells her the right pronunciation of the name of the joint Treaster goes to; Le Chat. He says that it is overrated unless one likes sweetbread and some other things. That gives her an idea. She notices that Robinson had eaten sweetbread before he died.
She goes to Le Chat with Brody. She then notices a white mark appeared on her jacket when she rubbed her arm against the wall. She had seen a similar mark on Robinson’s sweater. This means Treaster was here with Robinson and he lied to the police. Natalie tells Martina that she should get Ellie to plea. Cyndi tells her that Natalie is evil. At home, Kate, Deb’s daughter wants Martina’s help to get her the refund she paid for the tattoo as she isn’t planning on getting one done. Brody sends her the voicemails Treaster left for Robinson. Kate identifies a high pitch mosquito tone in the background of the voicemail. She says that it is used to keep youngsters away from a particular place. She then goes to Le Chat and finds a similar noise. So, Treaster lied about his alibi to the police and this is good proof.
Martina then goes to a salon where her mother is getting her hair colored. Something strikes Martina and she picks up a bottle of spray. She then tells Luke that what Ellie left on the door knob was some cheap bleach that she had used to color her hair and it is that bleach that proved the luminol test positive; not blood. Natalie and Martina then meet Donovan and Natalie is not sure about Martina’s new theory. Martina tells them that they could put Treaster on stand as he lied about his alibi. He can then be questioned. She also informs them that there are prints found that can place Robinson at the bistro. So apparently, Robinson and Treaster net at the bistro and they fought on some ethical issue that suggested that Robinson stole Treaster’s work.
Robinson hurt his head, runs his hand through his head, and then leaves a print before leaving for home. Donovan agrees to go with Martina. Later he meets Martina and tells her that Luke wouldn’t question Treaster and she hasn’t prepared Natalie, so Martina would be doing the line of questioning. In the courtroom, Martina presents her case where she tells the Judge that the two men got into a fight and when he reached home he got stroke like symptoms and when he reached out to take the forms from Ellie’s hands, he fell and tried to grab Ellie.
This is how her DNA got under his nails. She wins and the Judge drops all charges against Elli Fordham. She informs Ellie about the charges being dropped. Ellie gives her a hug and leaves. Next, Martina goes to the tattoo parlor to get Kate’s refund; but she changes her mind and gets a tattoo done on her hip. The episode ends.