Sledge Hammer!

Season 2 Episode 1

A Clockwork Hammer

Aired Friday 9:30 PM Sep 17, 1987 on ABC

Episode Recap

Police officer Chris Raker takes the stand in court to testify against Johnny "Red Shoes" Haggis, who ordered the murder of District Attorney Burnem. Raker takes the stand and Myles Theiss has him started to testify. However, Raker hears a ringing sound in his ear and begins to stutter and twitch as images of violence fill his head. Haggis smiles in triumph as Raker cracks up on the stand and attacks Theiss, and the bailiffs haul him away.

When Hammer hears about what happened to Raker, he dismisses him as a wimp. However, he realizes that Trunk is depressed about Raker, since he was like a secondhand father to the officer. Hammer and Doreau go to cheer Trunk up, and Hammer suggests that Raker faked a psychotic break because Haggis paid him off. Doreau figures that Raker was sincere and Trunk can't understand how Raker went nuts. As they leave, Hammer insists to Doreau that Raker must be faking it, and vows to catch Raker in the act to help Trunk.

At Vile Video Concepts, Haggis' lawyer Marc Rinsler meets with the head of programming, Landon Smartikoff. Smartikoff explains that he's developed a means of mental reprogramming through TV. Rinsler pays him off for reprogramming Raker, and Smartikoff explains that one day man and television will be merged into one superior being.

Hammer is at home watching TV when Raker comes to visit him and explain what happened. He insists that he didn't take a bribe, but he doesn't know what happened to him. He describes the sound he heard and the nightmares he's been having of a white room. Hammer admits that Raker might have cracked, but tells him that he has to remember what he saw. He tries to get through to Raker, and the cop has another fit. Raker hits himself in the head in an attempt to get the sound out of his head, and begs Hammer to hit him as well. Hammer is glad to oblige but Raker goes berserk and attacks him, and Hammer is forced to knock him out.

When the EMTs take Raker away, Doreau arrives and wonders why Raker broke down. She tries to figure out what Hammer might have said to set Raker off. When Hammer describe the white room, Doreau goes back to the office and finds an article on mind control techniques relating to the KGB's white room process. Hammer figures that Raker was brainwashed to have a breakdown every time he tried to remember anything about Haggis. He goes to Trunk and suggests they put out rumors that Hammer will testify against Haggis with new information. Hammer figures that they'll come after him next. They quickly get the story out on the news and Doreau suggests that she stay at Hammer's apartment, but he says that he'll be fine and the Mob might be watching his place. She suggests he let out his emotions, but Hammer tells her to drop it.

That night, two men from VCC break in, chloroform Hammer, and haul him to the network building. They strap him into the white room and expose him to TV images, as Rinsler and Smartikoff watch. Hammer's force of will is proof against brainwashing and brainwaxing, and he dozes off from boredom. Smartikoff tries violence but Hammer enjoys himself too much. The programmer is out of ideas, until Hammer points out that the only guy who can reach him is himself. Smartikoff figures they'll go through Hammer's subconscious and has his people create a facial recreation. The virtual Hammer, who Smartikoff speaks through, programs Hammer to forget everything about Haggis and shoot D.A. Theiss if he presses him further. Hammer seemingly gives in and Smartikoff's people take him back to his apartment.

The next morning, Hammer wakes up with no memory of the previous evening. At the courthouse, Hammer takes the stand and Theiss calls upon him to testify. Hammer starts to snap and draws his gun... and then prepares to shoot Rinsler. Rinsler bursts out that Hammer was supposed to shoot Theiss, and Hammer points out to the judge that Rinsler has confessed. The defense attorney goes for his gun, but Hammer shoots it out of his hand, and the wild shot hits Haggis in the foot. As Haggis is taken away, Hammer explains that he was immune to subconscious brainwashing because he doesn't have a subconscious.

Later, Trunk congratulates Hammer on his efforts. Hammer explains that he thought of one thing, the person closest to him that he's never expressed his true feelings... his gun.