Sunday, October 31, 2010
Review: Sherlock, The Blind Banker
“The Blind Banker” opens with a sequence that proves why Sherlock makes a terrible roommate. It soon proceeds with a classic Holmsian mystery: how could someone get into a high-security bank and leave a cryptic message? How can murders take place in a room locked from the inside? This leads to an adventure surrounding ciphers, smuggling and murder. There’s an awkwardly hilarious fight at a circus (chalk that up as another reason why Sherlock’s a bad roommate- he tags along on first dates).
This episode allows for the relationship of John and Sherlock to develop further and gives Martin Freeman as Watson a lot of material to work with in this installment. His moments of dealing with the domestic side of life and meeting a girl he likes is really endearing to watch. Benedict Cumberbatch also had the opportunity to show the fighting side of Holmes at several moments in this episode (he was a boxer, a sword/cane/riding crop fighter and a bit of a martial artist in the stories). He has several close calls in the episode- mostly unnoticed by poor John standing outside.
A running gag this episode was Sherlock’s going off to investigate and leaving Watson locked out of wherever he’s broken into. Throughout the stories, Watson is often following Sherlock, waiting to be let in on something that inevitably, Sherlock discovered two pages ago. In this episode it also facilitates a case of mistaken identity. A dangerous gang of Chinese smugglers believes that John is Sherlock and puts his new girlfriend, Sarah, in peril.
Call me over-analytical, but the mistaken identity seems symbolic of the way John and Sherlock are fusing into a single unit. To the criminals of London, they may as well be one person because they function together so perfectly. True, Holmes can work on his own, but not as well, and probably not for as long.
Also, Sherlock consulting the vandal doing graffiti art on the gallery and sending him on a mission could be a bit of a throwback to the Baker Street Irregulars (I just finished The Sign of Four this week, so their on my mind- perhaps why I’m making the connection).
Overall, intelligent, entertaining and it left off with a menacing mention of Moriarty lurking nearby.
Gemma Chan (from Doctor Who “The Waters of Mars”) as Soo Lin is a very sympathetic character, one we regret the fate of although we know what it will be. Paul Chequer (Eugene from the “Random Shoes” episode of Torchwood) appears as the detective in charge of the case while Lestrade is engaged elsewhere.
I was a bit disappointed that they had to cut some scenes from within the story again this week to fit the time slot more exactly. Now, will the Region 1 DVDs also be cut up because that always ticks me off- no programming slot to fill, due to an invention called *the internet* we are aware of the cut scenes- just put them on the DVD, seriously.