Barba guides Benson through her testimony for William Lewis' upcoming trial, but she struggles to maintain focus as the wicked memories of her attacker flood back. Everything reminds her of Lewis - men in the elevator, her darkened apartment, even Cassidy. Can she survive this trial?
In the pretrial hearing, Benson sees the real Lewis for the first time - scars across his face make him look even more villainous than before, despite the fact she was the one who inflicted them. If she had any doubts about his resolve, however, she loses them fast. Not only does Lewis bait Benson by offering a guilty plea for rape and assault (crimes he didn't commit against Benson), but he also demands to represent himself.
His strategy pays off on the first day of trial - one by one, he finds a way to make testimony from Fin, Rollins and Amaro appear as part of an NYPD conspiracy. Barba's repeated calls for speculative objection fall on deaf ears from the jury - Lewis' keen line of questioning and ability to play up his injuries gain favor. He looks more like a victim than his trail of bodies.
So when Benson testifies, she expects the very worst. She sticks to her official testimony and recounts the days of hell as Lewis' abductee, but, per Barba's insistence, leaves out the fact Lewis was cuffed to the bed when she beat him. Ready for Lewis' cross, Benson takes a deep breath - but Lewis delays his questioning and instead produces a doctor's note that allows for an unscheduled recess. Benson, disturbed and frightened, confesses her lie of omission to her therapist who attempts to calm her, claiming her falsehood could save lives. Does Benson buy it? More importantly, will Lewis use it against her?
When the jury reconvenes the next day, Lewis calls Benson to the stand with a renewed sense of confidence. He forces Benson to answer humiliating questions about her personal life and her years interviewing rape victims, then builds a case that she purposely, repeatedly flirted with him and that the decision to spend four days together was mutual. Without witnesses to corroborate Benson's side, everything Lewis says sounds possible and he ends his cross in a fury of tears and anger, daring Benson to tell the truth about how she beat him after he was restrained. Benson manages to keep her cool, but later urges Barba to take the deal, convinced Lewis will win if it goes to jury. Barba assures her Lewis will fold under his questioning - except Lewis rests his case the next day, vaulting the trial straight to closing arguments.
During his remarks, Lewis reiterates his contention that Benson, in a state of hyper-aroused sexual fantasy, was obsessed with him - an obsession that ended in violence when he denied her advances. The jury takes its time with the verdict and returns with an uneven victory - not guilty of attempted murder or rape, but guilty of assault and kidnapping. Even though that should carry a lengthy sentence, Benson appears unmoved and asks for some privacy. She breaks down in the stairwell - all the bottled up emotion and tension boiling over. Will she finally find closure with Lewis headed to Rikers?
It's too early to know, especially when a gurney carrying Lewis rushes toward the hospital as he suffers an apparent heart attack. Or at least, it seems that way...
The trial of serial rapist William Lewis once again pits Benson against her attacker. Pablo Schreiber guest stars.