This really irritates me many times, I guess especially in gradients that I haven't created.
In first image, you can see the gradient pick tool is selected on right side, and on left side, a solid color is selected because I have selected a pointer of gradient (see right). This is what I need, so I can double click the solid color (the foreground background tool on very left highlighted) and pick color I need from the popup.
In 2nd image, everything is same, just a different gradient and on the very left, you see gradient is selected instead of solid color. I can doube click it but once I select the color from the color popup, it turns the gradient to solid color. This is what I don't need.
3rd picture is of the double click popup I mean. I like this popup because I can't find it anywhere else in my illustrator in case of gradients like these. Here I can easily choose an random color, in this case the grey colors, unlike swatches with limited colors.
Edit (To show that both cases have gradient tool selected):
Why is this strange behavior?