The body of Mitchell Bentley III is found in front of the apartment building where Fern Lazlow, the woman he was recently acquitted of raping, lives. Mitchell was stabbed four times, and Fern was found covered in blood, so the case appears to be open-and-shut, but Fern denies any involvement: she says she found his body, checked for a pulse and freaked out when she realized he was her assailant. Across town, Danny, Lindsay and Hawkes investigate the murder of a woman named Joanna Morgan, who was killed on the steps of a museum by a close range fatal gunshot wound to the chest. Based on the exit wound of the bullet, they suspect the shooter was standing right behind her and was likely hit by the bullet as well. Lindsay uses a slingshot to recreate the trajectory of the bullet and the CSIs are able to recover it, confirming that both Joanna's blood and an unknown male's are on the bullet. Mac and Stella learn Mitchell Bentley dined with a book editor named Amber Stanton the night of his death.
The CSIs are surprised to discover their cases are connected when Danny and Lindsay learn Joanna bought a pair of shoes from a boutique that prints a New York subway system on the bottom of their shoes--a specialized tread that happened to be found on a bandage at the scene of Bentley's death. The CSIs find a connection between Amber, Joanna and Fern: all three were the victims of rape. Hawkes determines that Joanna ingested food that, had she lived, would have given her a very bad case of food poisoning. The CSIs search hospital reports and learn a man named Steve Kaplan checked into a hospital with food poisoning--and asked for painkillers. Danny and Detective Angell bring Steve in and confront him: he was acquitted of killing a model several years ago. He tells them he met Joanna on the internet, and after dinner she pulled a gun on him. He fought her and the gun went off; he claims self-defense but Angell arrests him for murder. A shoebox and a train ticket chad connect Amber to Mitchell's death; she met Joanna on a train and they bonded over their traumatic experiences and rage over the fact that so many rapists and murderers beat the system. Joanna went after Steve, while Amber killed Mitchell, wholly unaware that Fern would find him and be implicated in his death. Fern is released, and Amber is arrested on murder charges.