The Color of Hammer - Recap

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Hammer is dropping off a suspect and wants to catch an interview with hardline Judge Liam Jackson. He doesn’t disappoint, chasing down a litterbug. Hammer is also impressed with the judge’s hard line. Later, Doreau takes Hammer for a walk on the part during lunch and spot Jackson sitting on a bench. Hammer expresses his admiration for the judge in person and asks for an autograph on an ice cream cone napkin.

After Hammer leaves, an attractive brunette approaches the judge and flirts with him. She asks him to accompany her to a restaurant for a date and he agrees. They go to a pool hall where the woman, Lana, plays against the judge. She initially loses and offers to bet for $450,000 and he agrees after lighting her cigarette with a book of the pool hall’s matches. Lana steps up her game and clears the table while the owner, Iron Mike Heckelsmiller, watches from a secret panel. Once the judge loses, Iron Mike informs the judge he has to pay and has the entire thing on tape. He asks for the judge to pay off in trade.

Later, the station cops are watching the news when the judge dismisses a case. Hammer is suspicious and goes to investigate. A guilty Jackson calls Iron Mike and informs him he’s going public about their arrangement. Iron Mike sends Lana to kill the judge while he deals with his pet goldfish.

Lana arrives at the judge’s home and seduces him, and then stabs him with a hidden blade in her pool cue. Hammer and Doreau arrive a few minutes later and Hammer eventually figures out he’s dead. Coroner Norman Blates finds traces of blue chalk under the corpse’s fingernails. Doreau smells cigar smoke but doesn’t see an ash tray, and Hammer inadvertently picks up the pool hall book of matches. Back at the station, Hammer actually puts everything together and lays it out for Trunk. Trunk insists on going down to the pool hall with him, but they’re interrupted when the reporter comes in. Hammer goes on air and says they’ll have the case solved by the next morning. Iron Mike sees the broadcast and accuses Lana of screwing up and she slaps him.

At the pool hall, Trunk and Hammer shoot a few games and hope to attract a pool hustler. Lana spots them while Hammer proceeds to hit Trunk… repeatedly. Once Trunk leaves to get medical attention, Lana comes in and challenges the dismissive Hammer to a game. He finally takes her up on her offer and they play for money while Doreau watches. Hammer wins the first game and Lana asks for another game, double or nothing. He asks her if she knows any pool hustlers and she promises to let him know after the next game. They play and Lana clears the table the next few games. Hammer ends up owing her $50,000 and challenges her to one more game, double or nothing. Hammer wants to finish the game before taking her in.

Hammer runs the table while Lana lights up a cigar and tries to distract him. It doesn’t work and Hammer sinks the game ball. He draws his gun and takes her into custody but Iron Mike and his man come in. A fight breaks out and Lana comes at Hammer with her spear-cue. Doreau and Trunk take out the men while Hammer lures Lana up onto the pool table and then trips her with a pool shot. As Iron Mike and his gang are taken away, Doreau expresses her admiration for Hammer’s shots. Hammer prepares to demonstrate his mastery of the jump shot… and he hits Trunk yet again.