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A woman gets on a Zoom call and tells her staff to stop what they are doing. She will explain tomorrow. She hangs up and her doorbell rings. She asks someone what they're doing here.

The woman has been murdered--strangled and there was a struggle. Bernard realizes the woman knew her killer and let them in.

The cops talk to the co-worker who called them in. He says it was strange that Alexis didn't show up and that last night she left "early"--at 7:30. He has only met her virtually.

No match in the system to the DNA under the victim's fingernails. Her phone shows she was on work calls all day and all night. She texted the company owner shortly before her death. The cops talk to Merritt, who has big plans to change the world starting with zero emissions cars. He didn't see her text til this morning. He says Alexis had problems with a former employee who didn't like that Alexis was promoted and accused her of sabotaging him.

Alexis had saved a bunch of emails from this guy under "threats". The cops find a video of the guy shoving her

The guy claims he just sent drunk emails. He also claims that Alexis got his job because being a white man means you're evil these days. He says Alexis had sharp elbows. Talk to Kayla, her assistant.

Kayla doesn't want to gossip but the cops convince her to talk. She says she thinks Alexis might have been having an affair and had a second burner phone. The cops question the guy she was talking about, who first denies knowing her. He's shocked to hear that she's dead. He says he's gay and a journalist and that she was a whistleblower giving him info about Merritt.

Dixon is shocked to hear that Mr. Progressive was abusing women. Cosgrove thinks bosses should be able to be mad once in a while. Dixon doesn't care. Just find out if he has an alibi.

Merritt says he has no reason to blow up his life just because Alexis was disgruntled. He lied about going to bed early because he had to worry about appearances. He was dating an employee and didn't want anyone to know he was with her because he'd get accused of sexual harassment.  He agrees to a DNA sample. His DNA is not a match for the killer. Dixon says they're getting nowhere. But security cameras show a guy who worked for a rival and was expecting a 300 million dollar payday but Alexis called off the deal.

Gus says he went to Alexis' house that night to try to talk to her about the deal but she never answered the door so he left. He didn't kill her. He says Baker can vouch for him. The cops go to talk to Baker who is defensive and has scratches on his arms.

Baker is charged with murder in the second degree. Maroun explains why he is a flight risk and seeks remand. As usual, the defense attorney says there is no reason to worry, and throws in that he has severe migraines. So she wants bail so his wife can take care of him. The judge doesn't buy it. Baker starts having what looks like a seizure.

Price heard that Baker put on quite a performance. He is sure this is part of setting up his defense. He has filed a motion to suppress his DNA sample eve though he signed a consent form. The defense attorney claims he had a migraine that interfered with his ability to consent. The judge agrees and throws out the DNA.

Price gives his opening statement. Then he calls Gus. Baker seems to have another migraine as Gus begins talking. Defense tries to paint Gus as the real killer but fails. Baker starts yelling that Gus is lying and he didn't kill anyone. He is dragged away.

The defense attorney is now claiming Baker has Havana Syndrome and that she didn't realize he had an insanity defense until his behavior in court. The medical expert has not heard of anyone with the syndrome going into fugue states and dissociating but it's possible.

Price wonders if this is a valid defense. Maroun isn't sure but thinks Baker is sympathetic because he was working for the State Department and suddenly gotten ill.  However, Price says that no one before has killed anyone because of this syndrome and in his opinion, this was murder and the medical defense is a strategy.

The CIA Deputy Director has been subpoenaed. He doesn't want to testify and tells McCoy that the defense wants to put the CIA on trial. He wants McCoy to plead Baker out to prevent the need for him to testify.

Price is not interested in accepting a plea just to protect the CIA's image. He says there is no scientific evidence about Havana Syndrome causing a murder. They have a good case. McCoy says Baker is sympathetic. He says this is about playing the hand you have, not the one you wish you have. Price is comfortable with his cards. McCoy says fine, if you think you can win, finish the trial. (Will Nolan finally lose>)

The defense puts up a doctor who claims Baker has Havana Syndrome and it has caused a similar condition to football players who have brain damage that causes impulse behavior.

Price gets the doctor to admit you can't diagnosis CTE in living people, and that the other 999 people he interviewed with Havana Syndrome murdered anyone.

Baker's wife takes the stand and talks about Baker's symptoms. She claims his symptoms were different when they moved to NY. Colin was always kind and gentle but over the past year he had angry outbursts. It was so bad she considered leaving him and felt terrible because she didn't realize it was Havana Syndrome.

Baker's wife is a pediatrician yet never thought her husband needed medical treatment? Apparently she did but he didn't have time because he was working. Also she lived with him with her children. Price suggests that maybe these symptoms weren't real and he was just stressed out by trying to make partner. For some reason the judge sustains an objection every time Price points this out.

Baker claims he did not plan to kill Alexis. He wanted to salvage the deal with Alexis. He claims he doesn't remember what happened. He remembers talking to her and then seeing her on the floor, dead. He didn't mean to hurt her. She was his friend.

Price asks if Baker called the police or an ambulance. Baker says he wishes he had. He wasn't thinking clearly. Price accuses Baker of wanting to confront Alexis. He insists it was the syndrome and breaks down on the stand crying that the government lied to him and that he didn't mean to do this and doesn't know what to do.

The jury has reached their verdict. They have found the defendant not guilty by reason of mental disease. (Nolan finally lost a case???)

Price tells McCoy he still thinks Baker is lying. McCoy tells him that lawyers that think they're right lose more cases.

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Law & Order Season 21 Episode 8 Quotes

Emails weren't hard to find. She saved them under a folder titled "Threats."


Bernard: Who called the cops?
Cosgrove: A co-worker got nervous when she didn't show up for their 9 AM Zoom. Can't escape the rat race.
Bernard: Until you do.