|Season 1, Episode 10|
|Air date||May 18, 2010|
|Written by||Fred Golan and Chris Provenzano|
|Directed by||John Dahl|
|U.S. Viewers||2.08 million|
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"The Hammer" is the 10th episode of the first season, and the 10th episode in the series overall. It was written by co-executive producer Fred Golan and executive story editor Chris Provenzano and directed by John Dahl. It first aired on May 18, 2010.
Fresh out of prison, Boyd Crowder begins his mission to bring "religion" to the backwoods. Meanwhile, Raylan starts trying to make a new case against Boyd while working as a bodyguard for a judge whose life has been threatened.
We open in the woods, where Boyd preaches to a new church he's established. Part of his ministry involves holding a gun to Bobby Joe's head and threatening to shoot if the hillbilly doesn't quit using meth. Suddenly, Raylan saunters into the service/camp.
"I assume you're going to do what you always do: steal money and blow shit up," Raylan tells his old friend/nemesis. Boyd insists he is on the righteous path. He then asks to speak to the "congregation," praying to God that Boyd might be forgiven for blowing up a "black church" with a rocket launcher and shooting his associate in the "back of the head." Furthermore, Raylan tells the suddenly wary churchgoers that there is a $50,000 reward for anyone who offers information that lands Boyd back in jail.
Later, a team of cops finds a scantily clad woman sucking the poison out of a judge's groin area. The man was apparently bitten by a cottonmouth snake.
Cut to police HQ, where Mullen tells Raylan of Judge Mike "The Hammer" Reardon. Mullen suggests looking for criminals who the judge put away — especially those with experience handling poisonous snakes. Meanwhile, Boyd and his "congregation" come upon a meth lab in the woods. "I come in peace," Boyd says. "But if I come back here again and you're still cooking up that poison ... I hear these things blow up all the time." A regular Holy Warrior, that Boyd.
Raylan visits Reardon, who reveals that he is wearing a skimpy bathing suit under his robe — along with a gun. Indeed, the judge is an eccentric. He also believes Raylan is completely justified for shooting Tommy Buck in Miami. "One less predator to come after the herd," Reardon says.
Later, Raylan follows Reardon home when the judge begins to drive erratically. The judge's car crashes. Turns out there was a "failure" in the car's exhaust system, which pumped carbon monoxide into the vehicle, causing the judge to lose consciousness. "About as accidental as a snake in the bed," Raylan observes.
Back at the judge's house, the pair share a drink. Raylan asks if Reardon would call Ava's judge and suggest that the woman be allowed to leave the state. The judge refuses. "I'm not gonna piss in another man's sandbox," he says. Says Raylan: "Fair enough."
Meanwhile, cousin Johnny pays a visit to Boyd's camp to ask about the threat to the meth lab. Turns out Bo wasn't too happy to hear of it. Boyd is unrepentant, though. Cut to Raylan, who asks the clerk at a smoke shop for the whereabouts of Pastor Israel Fandi. The boy, Bunny, claims not to know — so Raylan begins dropping glass bongs on the floor. Bunny quickly relents, giving Raylan the address for a Mrs. Davis. Before leaving, Raylan hands the clerk a wad of cash. "I break it, I buy it," the lawman says.
Moments later, Raylan is visiting Mrs. Davis, who recognizes a picture of Fandi as "Otis," a man who landscapes her yard for free. Raylan is immediately suspicious. Back at the office, Raylan refuses to tell Mullen where he was, calling it "personal business."
Later, Reardon takes Raylan to a honkytonk go-go bar, where a shady-looking young man eyes the judge from the bar. Raylan catches up to the man in the bathroom, but Reardon claims not to recognize him. Reluctantly, Raylan lets the smart-mouth suspect leave. Back at headquarters, Raylan discovers that the man's name is Virgil, a divorced dad who got 15 years from Reardon for possession with intent to sell. Interesting.
It's soon back to "personal business," though. Raylan returns to Mrs. Davis's home to find Fandi/Otis working in the backyard. "Boyd Crowder, the man who blew up your church, just got out of prison," Raylan explains. "Your testimony could put him back in." Fandi refuses, guessing correctly that it was Raylan whose screw up — via his involvement with Ava — resulted in Boyd receiving a get-out-of-jail-free card. Later, Raylan returns to the case at hand, interviewing Virgil's ex-wife, who provides him with a return address.
In the meantime, Boyd makes good on his holy threat and storms the meth lab. He drags out two of its residents before tossing a Molotov cocktail inside. BOOM! Mickey, one of the meth heads, cries out that his buddy Gil was inside. "You killed Gil!" Mickey says. Boyd appears genuinely horrified. Turns out even the Lord's work can go terribly wrong.
Back at the go-go bar, Reardon asks to use the restroom. While Raylan scopes out the bathroom, Reardon gives the Marshall the slip. Moments later, Raylan storms outside to find the judge with his pants down, a woman kneeling in front of him and Virgil holding a gun. "Can we agree the young lady can go?" Raylan asks. Virgil refuses, demanding the judge's attention. "This is my courtroom and you're overruled!" he says. Suddenly, Reardon pulls his own gun and fires. Virgil goes down with a gunshot wound to the arm. Raylan quickly disarms Reardon. He then reveals that Virgil took out a life-insurance policy on himself. The money was to go to his ex-wife and kid. "Was that the plan?" Raylan asks. "Shoot the judge, make me shoot you?" It sure was.
Later, Reardon looks contemplative for the very fist time. "Thanks," the judge says. "If you didn't stop me I would've killed him." Perhaps the "Hammer" won't be so quick to judge so harshly next time.
The next day, Raylan asks Ava to come see him. She does — and Raylan reveals that Reardon has agreed to talk to her judge so that she can "get out of Kentucky." Snaps Ava, "How far away do you want me?" She knows it's not just about keeping her safe — but alleviating Raylan's guilt for setting Boyd free. True enough.
Back at the office, Raylan receives bad news from Mullen: the man who died in the meth-lab explosion was a confidential informant. "The last report he filed said Boyd Crowder threatened to blow the meth lab up if they didn't shut it down," Mullen explains. He then theorizes that Boyd is trying to shore-up his daddy Bo's criminal empire. Raylan admits that he had visited Boyd's men and offered a $50,000 reward. He also admits to asking Fandi to testify. Mullen encourages Raylan to try again.
Raylan visits Fandi and reveals that he knows Fandi is planting marijuana in the yards he landscapes. "We can get a warrant, search your basement and your garage, or you can do your civic duty," Raylan says. "You think you're scared of him? You have no idea what you can expect from me."
Fandi laments: "Tell me what he looks like and I'll say whatever you want me to say!" Raylan is shocked. He thought the pastor was holding out because he was scared of Boyd. Turns out that Fandi really didn't see the man.
Asks Fandi: "How are you going to get him?" Raylan throws up his arms. "I don't know," the marshal says. "I don't know."
- Mike Reardon - The eccentric, but tough judge who presides over the Lexington Federal courthouse
- Virgil Corum - A marijuana grower looking to assassinate Reardon in an attempt to be killed himself to provide life insurance for his family
- Bobby Joe Packer - Boyd Crowder's right hand man and a loyal member of his "Flock"
- Mickey - A meth distributor who is indirectly threatened by Boyd to stop cooking meth
- Puller - A meth distributor and partner of Mickey
- Gil - A meth cooker for Mickey and Puller. Killed in an explosion by Boyd.
- Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens
- Nick Searcy as Art Mullen
- Joelle Carter as Ava Crowder
- Jacob Pitts as Tim Gutterson
- Erica Tazel as Rachel Brooks (credit only)
- Natalie Zea as Winona Hawkins (credit only)
- Stephen Root as Mike Reardon
- Doug E. Doug as Israel Fandi
- Jenni Blong as Molly Tucker
- Sean Bridgers as Virgil Corum
- Brad Carter as Bobby Joe Packer
- Darin Heames as Mickey
- David Meunier as Johnny Crowder
- Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder
- John Ainsworth as an EMT
- Jackson Bridgers as Jake Corum
- Gary Cairns as Bunny Higgins
- Dean Chekvala as Gil
- David Dossett as Boyd's Man
- Mel Fair as Nelson Dunlop
- Pilar Holland as Brandy
- Josh Wingate as Puller
- The title of this episode refers to the nickname of Judge Mike Reardon.