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Episode 1.2, "The Blind Banker"

What Did You Think Of "THe Blind Banker?"  

65 members have voted

  1. 1. Add Your Vote Here:

    • 10/10 Excellent.
      1
    • 9/10 Not Quite The Best, But Not Far Off.
      8
    • 8/10 Certainly Worth Watching Again.
      27
    • 7/10 Slightly Above The Norm.
      9
    • 6/10 Average.
      10
    • 5/10 Slightly Sub-Par.
      10
    • 4/10 Decidedly Below Average.
      0
    • 3/10 Pretty Poor.
      0
    • 2/10 Bad.
      0
    • 1/10 Terrible.
      0


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A Thread for the discussion of Episode 2 "The Blind Banker."

 

Please rate the episode using the poll and discuss the epidode below.

 

Sherlock is approached by an old university friend to investigate a break-in at his investment bank. Nothing was taken but an image, a hieroglyph of sorts, is spray painted across a picture on the wall. Soon he and Dr. John Watson are on the trail of a bank employee, Eddie Van Coon, who they find dead in his apartment.

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Oh The Blind Banker... Probably not going to be on anybody's favourite episode list. But it's not a bad episode by any means, it just doesn't seem to have that same spark as the other episodes do. It's infinitly better then most TV, but when you compare it to the very high quality of the other episodes, it does not rank as high. The story just seems slow in comparison to A Study in Pink before it, and then the excitement in The Great Game. It's also the only story that is not based on any of ACD's original works (I believe).

 

But there are great moments. John fighting with the chip and pin machine, Sherlock fighting the ninja, and the interaction between Sherlock and Sebastian Wilkes is one of my favourite scenes in the series. The "we hated him" followed by Sherlock's look always breaks my heart and lets us see him as human for once. We also get to see Sherlock and John really finally working and investigating as a team. All of the characters are coming into there own and aren't new anymore. Sad that there wasn't any Mycroft or Lestrade in this episode though.

 

And lastly we get a look at the beginning of Moriarty's web of influence over the crimes of the world.

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According to Steven Moffat "The Blind Banker" was loosely based on "The Adventure of the Dancing Men"

 

Wikipedia has more info Here.

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May I give this a 6.5? Bottom of the list, I'm afraid, for Sherlock, as far as I'm concerned. Yet--it's not that the episode is bad.....it's just.....forgettable. When I rewatch it, I like it okay--but I just don't remember it much after it's over.

The handling of race in the episode is dicey--but is actually an improvement over anything Doyle wrote. Faint praise, I know....But, anyway: the topic just isn't handled adroitly and veers toward offensive, and pretty much ends up just being cartoon-y by the end. And never genuinely interesting.

This is the episode that feels, to me, padded--there's an awful lot of Holmes' earnestly explaining Stuff to Watson, including Stuff Watson already knows, and then earnestly re-explaining it.

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Oh that's interesting! I'm going to have to skip ahead in my readings and check that one out! :)

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But it's not a bad episode by any means, it just doesn't seem to have that same spark as the other episodes do. It's infinitly better then most TV, but when you compare it to the very high quality of the other episodes, it does not rank as high.

I think that just about sums it up :D It is really good, but just pales in comparison to the rest of the series :) It does still have some really good moments!

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5/10 from me.

 

Slightly clichéd, awkward rambling story which misses all the gleam from the two other episodes from the first series.

 

On its plus side it does develop Sherlock and John's relationship well from the beginning and establishes how strong their friendship has become so quickly.

 

I'd rather it had been made with more apt sleuthing skills required and less caricaturing of the criminals in the Fu Manchu style.

 

-m0r

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I agree that is is a less than satisfactory episode compared with the others, although compared to much of the dross on tv it is actually quite good. There are some good scenes, such as when Sherlock is fighting the ninja in the girl's flat and John is ranting at him through the letterbox and also when John and Sarah visit the circus on their date and Sherlock appears. The scenes with the rwther loathsome Sebastian is also well played and sympathy is fenerated for Sherlock, who clearly was an outsider at university. I liked the nods towards the ACD canon such as when Sherlock rants at the police inspector that he should listen to what he is telling him and act accordingly. The further development of Sherlock and John's relationship is good but at times this episode feels that it is mainly a vehicle for that. It's hard to put ones finger on what exactly is missing from this episode which stops it being as good as the others, not as many astounding deductions is certainly one thing.

 

:))

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Everything was over-the-top and cliche. The little Asian lady who was supposed to be some big scary mob boss was just.... embarrassing. Her "acting" was cringe-worthy at best, and her voice was beyond annoying. Whoever styled her should be fired. With her squinty eyes and bob cut, she looked like some middle-aged Asian lady who should be selling dimsum in a corner shop, and they had her decked out in black nail polish, studded-leather, and dark sunglasses? *facepalm*

 

And Sherlock Holmes! What the heck happened to him? How come he was dumber than a brick in this episode? One look at that graffiti on the wall and I immediately said to my friend, "Hey, those looks like Chinese numerals." And what do you know... a quick check on google confirms my guess. You're telling me Sherlock Holmes doesn't recognize basic Chinese numerals? Or that this updated, tech-savy genius doesn't even know how to use a search engine? You don't even have to know Chinese to guess what those symbols are. Anyone who's sat through 9th grade history class would be able to at least "deduce" that a single horizontal dash means "one" in Chinese.

 

And then funniest of all... with one casual glance, Watson's date, Sarah, was able to notice a clue in a photograph that Sherlock Holmes himself missed even though he's been staring at it for days... days! Just what the heck in going on here? This is a man who's supposed to be able to deduce your living habits from the tiny dog hairs on your pant legs. Why was he behaving so out-of-character? Why did he sit there patiently and listen to the Chinese girl tell her boring, cliche sob story about being poor and forced to join a gang? It was lame and boring and had nothing to do with the case. Even I wanted to yell at her to hurry it up and get to the relevant facts. Since when did Sherlock Holmes acquire the patience of a saint?

 

To top it off, he then left the defenseless girl on her own to chase after some assassin, even knowing the assassin was trying to kill her. Did it not occur to him that perhaps simply staying put next to the intended target would be the best way to catch the assassin? As soon as Sherlock ran out the door, my friend turned to me and said, "she's gonna die, I know it." Moments later, he was proven correct. And where the heck were the security guards during all this? It's a museum, for god's sake. Why are trespassers able to wander about at will and firing off their guns into galleries filled with priceless artifacts?

 

Towards the end of the episode, Sherlock "deduced" that the code cipher would be a book that both victims owned, and then failed to find such a book anywhere among the piles of books owned by both victims. In the end, he had to steal the book off some random tourist wandering the streets. What was the point of all that then? And have I mentioned the redundant use of onscreen texts in this scene? Sherlock flips through the book, the camera zooms in on the page to reveal the word, Sherlock reads the word out loud, the word then pops up on screen as a text. Uh... why? Perhaps they are simply being mindful of the deaf, dumb and visually-challenged members of the audience. Gotta cover all bases, you know?

 

Ok!...haha... wow, sorry. Didn't know there was so much that bugged me about this episode until I started typing. Didn't mean to go on and on like this. My apologies for the rambling. Bottom line, this episode was just one big silly mess, and no one is sorrier than I am about that.

Edited by 9lil6
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I'm still not sure whether the poll wants us to rate the episodes against each other, or against some absolute standard. But I've already watched all six episodes any number of times, and so chose "worth watching again."

 

My favorite thing about this episode is the introduction of Sarah. She's intelligent, funny, cute, and seems a good match for John. I hope they bring her back in Series 3. Once he gets past the worst of his shock and grief, John should finally have an opportunity to develop a real relationship with a girlfriend (with Sherlock presumably not interfering in his life for a while). Perhaps Sarah (who is no slouch at deduction) will even point out to John that chances are Sherlock is still alive.

 

My biggest annoyance with this episode is the scene where Sherlock and John are attempting to find the "code" book. Sherlock points out that it has to be a book that both of the dead men owned, yet he makes no use of this fact. The logical method would be to first sort both collections into, say, alphabetical order by author and title. Then Sherlock could read his authors and titles aloud while John follows along, checking to see if they also appear in his books. Then John could have gotten a reasonable night's sleep. (And might never have made a date with Sarah -- oops!)

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Query: Why are there no "View" buttons on the votes for this episode (as there are for "A Study in Pink")?

 

(I suppose if this was originally posted as a "private" poll, with the understanding that one's vote would not be viewable, then it would be dirty pool to disclose the votes now.)

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I think the episode works well in flowing the series along but as a stand-alone fails to reach to standard of every other episode. It's still enjoyable however and has some really charming bits, I also really liked the character of the museum tea lady (I forgot her name). I'm sad she had to die.

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It occurred to me that a lot of Americans and other non-British people might have missed a bit of a joke in this episode:

 

As they are walking across a broad plaza (Trafalgar Square), Sherlock tells John that he needs some advice on painting, needs to talk to an expert. The large building they are approaching is the National Gallery -- so clearly we (and John) are expected to assume that Sherlock is planning to consult one of the Gallery's art experts -- but instead, he goes to see a graffiti practitioner in a nearby alley.

 

While writing the above, I searched for an Ariane DeVere transcript in order to get the exact dialog, but apparently she has only done transcripts for the second-season episodes. However, I did stumble across a section of the BBC web site that has entire scripts in PDF form, including "The Blind Banker" (but no other Sherlock episodes, alas!). It's interesting to note that some things in the script were omitted or changed in the final version (which is why I actually prefer transcripts for quotation purposes). Cool!

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When John brings Sherlock to see the graffiti on the brick wall along the railroad tracks, but the wall has been painted over, so Sherlock grabs John's head between his hands, asking how much he remembers -- is anyone else thinking "Vulcan mind meld"?

 

Just wondering ....

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When John brings Sherlock to see the graffiti on the brick wall along the railroad tracks, but the wall has been painted over, so Sherlock grabs John's head between his hands, asking how much he remembers -- is anyone else thinking "Vulcan mind meld"?

Just wondering ....

 

Yep... :D

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I re-watched this episode yesterday and I have a question about the 'London A-Z'. I own the copy with the spiral binding (issue from 2010 I believe) and I don't get it how Sherlock can find a word on page 15?

 

Page 15 is a map, as are the other 174 pages until you get to the street index on page 175.

 

Now, I know that he uses a different London A-Z (not one with a spiral binding, but a 'proper book') but aren't all the London A-Zs more or less the same? (Meaning, first you'll find the maps, followed by the index)

 

I hope you can help me ;)

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If that were the only plot hole in this episode ....

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I agree with you;

A good episode, but not the best. My favourite is "A Scandal In Belgravia" much more action and intrigue there.

Slow and tedious, you can see that the creators were looking to "tie" the series together with this episode. For this it works well but as a standalone episode, low par in comparison to the rest (and a Scandal!!)

Slow shows work if they are both slow AND interesting, such as Wire in the Blood.

This is not.

I hope next season's middle episode is better than this.

Fingers crossed...

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... A good episode, but not the best. ... Slow and tedious, you can see that the creators were looking to "tie" the series together with this episode. For this it works well but as a standalone episode, low par in comparison to the rest ... Slow shows work if they are both slow AND interesting ... This is not.

I hope next season's middle episode is better than this.

Fingers crossed...

 

I agree, the middle episodes have so far been the weakest (presumably on purpose, since a show that starts with a weak episode will not gain an audience, and a show that ends with a weak episode will not carry its viewers over to the following season).

 

I'm not sure I understand your "tie the series together" comment. That sounds like an interesting analysis, but it's not something that I had noticed. Could you elaborate? I'd love to have more reasons to like this episode (in addition to Sarah).

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Well (Although I watched it a while a go so my evidence may be a little weak), the create a stronger bond between Sherlock and John, line up the pieces for a confrontation with Moriaty. Though this episode the establish Moriaty 's influence over the criminal world and make him present him more as an arch enemy over a passing "bad guy" such as the Serial Killer Cab Driver (Only appeared in one episode)

Other (shorter) shows such as Law and Order have passing bad guys that either are arrested and or killed in one episode (exceptions apply)

However because of the length of the episodes and the fact there are three in each season makes it necessary that each episode ties into the overall plot/storyline of the show. Such as the Serial Killer Cab Driver having a helper, the Black Lotus being secretly helped/controlled etc. by Moriaty.

Through the connections it "ties the series together".

Hope this helps and you understand what I meant.

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[This episode serves to]... create a stronger bond between Sherlock and John, line up the pieces for a confrontation with Moriaty, ... establish Moriaty 's influence over the criminal world and make him present him more as an arch enemy ....

That's a very good point. Despite its obvious flaws, the episode does establish Sherlock as an ongoing series of connected stories, rather than just another collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. Thanks for pointing that out!

 

 

Other (shorter) shows such as Law and Order have passing bad guys that either are arrested and or killed in one episode (exceptions apeopley)

There's that "people" thing again, that I was asking about in one of my posts over on the abbreviations thread. I get that (in this case) it's the word "apply" with the word "people" embedded in it. But why?

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If that were the only plot hole in this episode ....

 

okayyy... glad I'm not the only one ;)

 

although.. after a 'the blind banker'-pause I came to like this episode much better than before.

 

Don't know why exactly though..

 

 

But I agree that it ties the series as well as the characters closer together. I very much like the introduction of Sarah, she's such a lovely character :wub: . This way we also get a glimpse of John's life (being a doctor, searching for a caring partner etc.). I think that's important for future episodes because he's the one who teaches Sherlock some empathy.

 

I wish we'd know what Sherlock's childhood was like. I'd like to know what made him believe that feelings are just interactions of molecules and not something you would long to have, just to 'feel good'. Through John, he at least notices that there are different ways of living a life and, as we all know, he enters that unfamiliar territory with Irene Adler (although he would never admit it :P ).

 

But I think that's part of him being a perfectionist. Having feelings for a woman would distract him from his work, which could be fatal.

 

 

 

But I think I digress... *sorry* :)

 

 

All in all I would say that both the Blind Banker and the Hounds of Baskerville give us a closer look at the relationship between Sherlock and John (I'm thinking of the "I have no friends/I have only one"-scene). So maybe those second episodes aren't that bad after all. :)

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.. after a 'the blind banker'-pause I came to like this episode much better than before....

 

I've sometimes had that experience too, when I rewatch a show or movie -- but, alas, with this one, I just keep noticing more plot holes!

 

 

... I very much like the introduction of Sarah, she's such a lovely character :wub: . This way we also get a glimpse of John's life (being a doctor, searching for a caring partner etc.). I think that's important for future episodes because he's the one who teaches Sherlock some empathy.

 

I too like Sarah very much. However, she seems an awful lot like Mary Morstan from "The Sign of the Four", so now that I've read that story, it seems very odd to me that they introduced Sarah at all -- assuming that they have any idea of ever bringing Mary into the series.

 

I sincerely hope that they'll use John and Sherlock's separation at the beginning of Series 3 to show John actually doing doctor-type things (i.e., not just falling asleep!), and developing a warm relationship with a woman. That's a good point about John being the empathy coach, but I think having something of a life of his own is also important for presenting John as a well-rounded character. The show needn't focus on that very often, but it should be there.

 

 

All in all I would say that both the Blind Banker and the Hounds of Baskerville give us a closer look at the relationship between Sherlock and John (I'm thinking of the "I have no friends/I have only one"-scene). So maybe those second episodes aren't that bad after all. :)

 

True!

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The "people" thing that I asked about (in post 21 above) turned out to be an overactive autocorrect algorithm. I have moved that discussion to its own thread in the Bugs & Problems subforum. We think the problem is fixed, but if you ever notice, e.g., "apply" turning into "apeopley" or "applaud" turning into "apeopleaud" please let us know!

 

We return you now to our regularly scheduled programming.

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However, she seems an awful lot like Mary Morstan from "The Sign of the Four", so now that I've read that story, it seems very odd to me that they introduced Sarah at all -- assuming that they have any idea of ever bringing Mary into the series.

 

 

I guess I'll have to read that story next *shame on me* :rolleyes:

 

And yes, they definitely should focus on John and his life as a doctor and on his private life as well. Even though I like Sherlock and John working together, you soon get the impression that John is just Sherlock's assistant. And I think there's much more in John than that. :)

 

(And if I were John I would like to make my OWN money. Currently he's totally dependent on Sherlock. Of course he helps him with it but I can't imagine that to be a fulfilled 'job' from John's point of view.)

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