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Episode 1.2, "The Blind Banker"

What Did You Think Of "THe Blind Banker?"  

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    • 8/10 Certainly Worth Watching Again.
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    • 7/10 Slightly Above The Norm.
      9
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I've been asking for years why the Black Lotus didn't interrogate Van Coon and Lukis *before* killing them, and the answer didn't occur to me until today -- it's canon!  :picard:

As has been discussed on this thread since page one, even though Moftiss claims that the episode is loosely based on The Dancing Men, several of us see an even closer resemblance to The Sign of the Four.

In both TSot4 and TBB:

Thief #1 has stolen a nearly priceless Asian treasure, which is then stolen again by Thief #2, who smuggles it into England.  Thief #1 follows Thief #2, bringing along a Small Acrobatic Man who is instructed to gain entrance to the home of Thief #2 so that Thief #1 can interrogate him.  However, after entering the home through a skylight, the Small Acrobatic Man kills Thief #2.  Meanwhile, Doctor Watson meets a sweet, pretty, very observant blond woman who gains his affections.

T.o.b.y has been saying all along that of the six episodes in the first two series, TBB most captures the feel of Doyle's original stories, plot holes and all.  Guess I should have paid more attention to her!

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Yay Tobe!

Questions:

1. Is a reason given for why the Small Acrobatic Man kills Thief 2?

2. What is the likelihood that I will ever have a chance to type that sentence again?

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We should just call him Sam for short, quicker than writing out the whole thing. :D

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Wonder if he's related to Cam.

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Yes, Ma'am!

Well, actually, not a chance.  But I had to say it, didn't I?

Yes, there's a reason, of sorts -- in canon, Sam is a ruthless little savage -- literally, from a tribe of headhunters or cannibals or something (ACD was never one to miss a cliche) -- and he just couldn't help himself -- Sam see victim, Sam kill victim.  Ungawa!

In other words, Moftiss showed admirable restraint!

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Yes, I'm seriously starting to think that TBB was the cleaned-up version.

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15 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I've been asking for years why the Black Lotus didn't interrogate Van Coon and Lukis *before* killing them, and the answer didn't occur to me until today -- it's canon!  :picard:

As has been discussed on this thread since page one, even though Moftiss claims that the episode is loosely based on The Dancing Men, several of us see an even closer resemblance to The Sign of the Four.

In both TSot4 and TBB:

Thief #1 has stolen a nearly priceless Asian treasure, which is then stolen again by Thief #2, who smuggles it into England.  Thief #1 follows Thief #2, bringing along a Small Acrobatic Man who is instructed to gain entrance to the home of Thief #2 so that Thief #1 can interrogate him.  However, after entering the home through a skylight, the Small Acrobatic Man kills Thief #2.  Meanwhile, Doctor Watson meets a sweet, pretty, very observant blond woman who gains his affections.

T.o.b.y has been saying all along that of the six episodes in the first two series, TBB most captures the feel of Doyle's original stories, plot holes and all.  Guess I should have paid more attention to her!

The Blind Banker suffers a bit from being sandwiched between two really strong episodes, but it's a bit of a sleeper delight.  It takes a couple of viewings at least (or for me anyhow) to appreciate how well-constructed and true to Canon it is.  At first I was a bit thrown by the whole "Ninja Assassin Battle in Sherlock's Sitting Room" followed by the 'Circus from Hell' setpiece . . but it certainly does have that outré flavor of The Sign of Four.  Other less flashy touches are definitely true to the Canon, too.  I'm very fond of 'The Dancing Men' as a story, but I read it and saw the Granada Brett episode after TBB, so the first time through I didn't realize that TDM was being invoked.  The whole Asian motif drew me in . . though Sherlock Holmes is traditionally very fluent in Mandarin Chinese, so I wouldn't have expected his modern counterpart to struggle so much with Chinese ordinal numbers.  Especially compared to how off the rails the last few episodes got, TBB is a small jewel of restraint and an admirable update to Canon . . back when we thought that's what Moffat was going for. 

My autographed photo of Benedict shows Sherlock standing in front of the gates to London's Chinatown.  Yes, I'm fond of this episode, though the whole Death Circus thing still freaks me out, as well as the fate of poor Soo Lin.  I'm partial to The Great Game and to A Study in Pink, both of which admirably reflect the spirit of Conan Doyle's stories, too, but TBB has been underrated and its writer, Steve Thompson was practically pilloried, which was hardly fair.  Steve showed the haters when he came back in Season 2 as the primary writer (with input from Mofftiss) of 'The Reichenbach Fall'.

I'm sure this has been mentioned long before I showed up here, but the sweet blonde woman who appears in this episode as the recipient of the jade hairpin was Benedict's partner at the time, Olivia Poulet. 

P.S. to mention that TBB is the first incidence we see of how skillfully Sherlock can turn on that Puppy-Eyed Vulnerable Charm to manipulate women.  D@mn those Puppy Eyes.  Melt the clothing right off a girl, they would.  Allowing their bearer to jump off your balcony is nothing.

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On ‎3‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 12:10 PM, J.P. said:

Well maybe all the plotholes and bad writing were just closely following the canon… :D

I believe Moftiss have (jokingly? Or not?) offered that as an explanation at least once.....

There are some gems in TBB, my favorite being when John and Sherlock accidently bump into each other in Chinatown, and John's already figured out that they need to go to the lucky cat shop. The look on Sherlock's face when he realizes that John's one step ahead of him....

I think TBB suffers from the same malady that threatens the entire series, at least for me. Which is, I'm bored silly any time neither John nor Sherlock are on the screen (although I might make an exception for Lestrade. ;) ) It seems to me all my least favorite episodes -- TBB, HOB, T6T -- spend extra time on secondary characters, which leaves less time to spend with Our Boys. Even ASIP and HLV drag at the beginning, imo. Once they get the exposition out of the way they gallop along at quite a pleasant pace, though, so those two get away with it. Yes, I realize this all makes me seem rather shallow. Sue me. :P 

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On ‎3‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 5:22 PM, Arcadia said:

I believe Moftiss have (jokingly? Or not?) offered that as an explanation at least once.....

There are some gems in TBB, my favorite being when John and Sherlock accidently bump into each other in Chinatown, and John's already figured out that they need to go to the lucky cat shop. The look on Sherlock's face when he realizes that John's one step ahead of him....

I think TBB suffers from the same malady that threatens the entire series, at least for me. Which is, I'm bored silly any time neither John nor Sherlock are on the screen (although I might make an exception for Lestrade. ;) ) It seems to me all my least favorite episodes -- TBB, HOB, T6T -- spend extra time on secondary characters, which leaves less time to spend with Our Boys. Even ASIP and HLV drag at the beginning, imo. Once they get the exposition out of the way they gallop along at quite a pleasant pace, though, so those two get away with it. Yes, I realize this all makes me seem rather shallow. Sue me. :P 

Speaking for myself, I *always* make an exception for Lestrade.

I enjoy many of our other supporting characters, but if I can pinpoint a specific malady with the show (beyond the ones I've already mentioned several times), it would be not nearly enough screen time for Rupert Graves.  Our good Inspector is the star of the minisode, "Many Happy Returns", but that hardly counts.

Personally I would love to see a crossover episode or, heck, an entire spin-off series where our two supremely dishy Silver Fox LEOs from the rival Holmes TV series, Lestrade and Captain Tommy Gregson of "Elementary" meet and compare notes on working with consulting detectives and, I dunno, run around together in their major metro areas helping each other catch villains.  Tentative working title: "G. & T." Think I can sell it?  If BBC Sherlock is well and truly defunct, than perhaps DI Lestrade needs to emigrate to the New York City Police Department and bring his Silver Foxiness to this side of the Atlantic.  No reason why *he* needs to be out of a job because Mofftiss wants to pack it in.  :)

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Hey, I'd watch it!  :D

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So would I! :D

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Gemma Chan (who is currently playing a blue-skinned alien in Captain Marvel) talks at some length in this interview about her first big role as Soo Lin Yao, and about how much change there has been in casting guidelines since then.

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My initial reaction is just wow.

But I also feel I have to defend the Sherlock team on this one.

I apologise, but I do feel there is a bit of over-sensitivity around these issues sometimes and  Gemma at least shows some awareness of this.

I remember some fans slagging the episode at the time and some of the criticism was totally unjustified.

They chose to go down the Chinese route, they could have just as easily chosen and Irish route, an Islamic/Mafia  route...in fact any number of crime/terror options were open to them.

Did it matter which one they chose?

And I am sorry, they wanted an actor to adopt a particular accent?  Wow.  That's something new, lkie actors aren't asked to do that everyday of their lives.

I won't say too much more on this in case I offend even more people.

But Gemma was damn good.  I've watched and enjoyed her in other things since.

But I will defend to the end the BBC Sherlock team in all of their choices. 

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It sounds a bit strange to me to complain about asking her to do an accent when the role was specifically that of an immigrant for whom English was a second language.

As for the clichés, yeah, duh, this is a Doyle adaptation. Have the people complaining read Doyle? Like, at all? The original stories are rife with this kind of thing. When I first saw the episode, I thought they were doing it that way on purpose to recreate the original Sherlock Holmes vibe.

I really like Soo Lin. And I think the actress did a great job so I am happy to learn how successfull she ist today.

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Besleybean, I don't think Ms. Chan is criticizing the Sherlock writers.  Sounds to me like she's mostly pointing out how different things were only nine or ten years ago, and that what's considered normal has changed tremendously in the interim.

I must however admit to some personal bewilderment over the current move toward casting minority actors in historically-inaccurate roles.  I'm all for open casting -- there's no reason to assume that a character of unspecified race is white -- but if it was stupid or wrong to cast Italians as American Indians or whites as Asians (as used to be commonly done), why is it now any more reasonable or correct to cast an Asian as a 16th century Scottish noblewoman?

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I possibly need to discuss with this members of the Chinese community.

But I don't see what's stereotypical about the role.

Surely it's the complete opposite?

I mean there can't be that many British Chinese who are involved with organised crime.

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