Justified: The Hammer

Wednesday 7 July, 10:00pm on Five USA

The action drama series following the adventures of fast-shooting US Marshal Raylan Givens continues. This week, Givens is asked to protect an eccentric judge from a mysterious and deadly attacker, and Boyd Crowder’s new-found religious zeal starts to annoy the criminal community. Upon responding to a 911 call at the house of federal judge Mike Reardon (Stephen Root, ‘King of the Hill’, ‘The West Wing’), cops find the judge and a female companion in a compromising position. It transpires that there was a viper in their bed, and the woman is attempting to suck the poison from a bite on Reardon’s upper leg. Since the unpopular and eccentric judge is known as ‘The Hammer’ for his harsh sentences, the marshals believe that the snake was deliberately placed in his room. Givens is asked to guard Reardon, who has been impressed by the lawman’s reputation as a sharp-shooter. It emerges that the judge always carries a gun with him, even in court. As Givens follows Reardon home in his car, the vehicle suddenly veers off the road and crashes. Givens has to pull the unconscious judge out of the car, which has filled with carbon monoxide. Although there is no direct indication that somebody has tampered with the vehicle, Givens is sure that somebody is after Reardon. “That’s about as accidental as a snake in the bed,” he reasons. Givens and the judge decide to hit a strip club to let off some steam. While there, they see a suspicious man and confront him in the toilets. Although he is not carrying a weapon and soon leaves the club, Givens’s suspicions are aroused. A background check reveals that the man is Virgil Corum (Sean Bridgers, ‘Deadwood’), who has recently been released from prison after eight years. Not only was he sentenced by Reardon, but he was previously in the animal-control business -which Givens assumes accounts for the snake in the bed.

About the author

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1