The Blind Banker: A mysterious cypher is being scrawled on walls around London, and the first person to see it dies within hours of reading it. Can Sherlock and Watson solve the case?
That’s the episode synopsis for tonight’s Sherlock. Quite a meandering episode really, I have to admit that my mind went wandering a couple of times during the 90 minute mystery.
Sherlock and Watson are called in by an old university friend of Sherlock’s to investigate a random piece of vandalism it the office. He’s a banker, in both the literal and the cockney rhyming slang sense of the word.
The duo are shown some bizarre yellow spray painting on a portrait in a side office. It’s clear that the symbol means something, but Sherlock can’t work out what. However, with a couple of deductive leaps, he’s breaking into another banker’s house and discovering the man’s corpse. And while the much more slow-witted DI Dimmock (after establishing DI Lestrade last week, isn’t it a bit soon to be throwing another detective at us?) decides that it’s a clear case of suicide, Holmes swiftly proves that it was murder: the man was left-handed, but was shot in the right side of the head.
As Sherlock and Watson delve deeper into the case, another dead body is discovered which confirms that there’s a murder. Except there’s still no assistance from the police.
And so, the detective flatmates are on their own for most of the episode, eventually establishing that the two dead men were smugglers for a Chinese gang and that they were killed because something owed to the gang had been stolen. Along the way, they pick up a love interest for Watson, who ends up on a date. Sherlock plays gooseberry and the now-trio get themselves in a spot of bother.
Watson and the girl are captured by the gang and – due to several crafty points laid down throughout the episode – the Chinese think Watson is Sherlock. He has his debit card, and a cheque made out to Holmes and was heard by one of them shouting “I’m Sherlock Holmes…I work alone.”
Sadly, The Blind Banker lacked the punchy dialogue of the first episode and the mystery this week was slightly lacklustre. After brilliantly proving what a genius Sherlock was in A Study Of Pink, even Holmes didn’t have quite the level of snappy retorts this week.
I was baffled when Watson discovered graffiti on a wall by the railway, which disappeared by the time he summoned Holmes to see it. Yes, someone painted over the graffiti. In about ten minutes. If they get bored with the smuggling, they’lll make a killing as decorators. The thing is, Holmes and Watson were clearly being followed. If the Chinese are ruthless enough to kill people, then why erase the evidence? Why not just kill the pair?
And what’s with all the strangling of Holmes when they clearly had access to guns? Sorry, but it all seemed terribly patchy for my liking. I’m not discounting the fact that a second viewing may be more revealing, but I found this episode hard to connect with.
Still, there was some enjoyment to be had playing “Spot the Doctor Who locations that are being used in Sherlock”. This week, Cardiff’s Temple Of Peace, which featured in the recent Silurian storyline in series 5 (and previously in the Eccleston episode The End Of The World). And if I’m not mistaken, was that the library from [[Silence In The Library (Doctor Who episode)|Silence In The Library]]/Forest Of The Dead (Doctor Who episode)|Forest Of The Dead]]?
Did anyone else find this episode a bit of a damp squid (reference to the IT Crowd finale intended).