Sherlock (2010– )
17 user 28 critic

The Blind Banker 

Mysterious symbols and murders are showing up all over London, leading Sherlock and John to a secret Chinese crime syndicate called Black Lotus.



(creator), (creator) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Percival ...
Eddie Van Coon (as Dan Percival)
Paul Chequer ...
Howard Coggins ...
Janice Acquah ...
Jack Bence ...


Banker Eddie Van Coon and reporter Brian Lukis are both shot dead in identical slayings, in rooms locked from the inside. Chinese museum employee Soo Lin tells Sherlock Holmes that, as a teenaged orphan in China, she ran drugs for the Black Lotus crime syndicate, for whom the two dead men also worked. She too is then murdered, the killer being a human fly who can scale buildings. The gang mistake Watson for Holmes and capture him and his new girl-friend, requiring Holmes to come to the rescue. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 October 2010 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The only episode of the series not to feature Mycroft or Lestrade. The latter is mentioned once by Sherlock the first time he speaks to Dimmock. See more »


Holmes is "backstage" while the Chinese circus is performing. He sprays a single, yellow line across the mirror. He hears something behind him, spins around, the camera angle changes to include what Sherlock hears, with the mirror now behind him. On the mirror is now a doubled spray of the line, like he went back and forth over it, instead of the single line. See more »


[first lines]
Soo Lin Yao: The great artisans say, the more the teapot is used, the more beautiful it becomes.
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References Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1998) See more »


Written by David Arnold and Michael Price
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Maybe would have been better off receiving a second attempt at filming it, just as the pilot had been.
4 May 2014 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

Though maintaining an engaging rapport between its two protagonists and an imaginative filmmaking style, Sherlock sees a severe step back in quality in "The Blind Banker", a generic whodunit follow-up to the phenomenal pilot. There aren't any exciting villains or really interesting supporting characters, as both Mycroft and Lestrade have gone AWOL, and the feature-length second episode has a pace and thrill problem in general.

Curiously, it takes quite some time for that to become clear, as "The Blind Banker" commences with a lot of witty moments and the type of brilliant dead-pan situation analysing I've already grown to adore about Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes. However, after some thirty minutes, screenwriter Stephen Thompson appears to have run out of supplies and in exchange opts for only re-writing the source material and including an awful lot of detective story clichés. Neither would I have been surprised nor disappointed by that – at the time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had been writing his Sherlock Holmes novels, these sorts of storytelling techniques hadn't been counting as clichés and this series is still an adaption of his works after all – hadn't the crime-solving part consumed such a vast portion of the episode, incorporating the development of John and Sherlock's relationship and the introduction of Sarah a bit sloppily just along the way.

For the crime story and its outcome itself, well, it's surely not on the qualitative upper end of all Sherlock Holmes stories and it will hardly be remembered for its clever or even genuinely threatening antagonists. And as if to secure that this episode is inferior to the whole rest of the bunch by an English-Channel-sized margin with all means available, there's also a colossal bouquet of plot holes to indulge in, along with some general oversimplifying, i.e. Sherlock and John ambling through the not particularly tiny city of London and encountering important hints for unravelling the murders as frequently as bookstalls. Then there's the ever-present prowess of Sherlock Holmes that does go beyond the boundaries of believability a handful of times in "The Blind Banker", but I guess that's something you've got to accept with such a series and its other instalments don't very much exclude it either.

"The Blind Banker" surely is a fun time to watch and benefits from passionate acting, excellent dialogue, and the basic idea behind Sherlock that is of course kept on with. However, whether it's viewed with a critical eye or not, this episode is simply subpar to all of the series's others and maybe would have been better off receiving a second attempt at filming it, just as the pilot had been.

My detective scribblings: • Sherlock ex machina. I was really hoping not having to use that terrible pun when reviewing this series, but here I am, thanks to Stephen Thompson's lack of imagination. • Smart reference to the source material with Sherlock just randomly fighting a robed figure in the beginning of the episode. • Since he is right about the epitome of a socially awkward fellow, it's only been a matter of time until the series included Sherlock Holmes simpering and, well, here it is! • What is with Sherlock's soft-focused establishing shots? It does provide them with a more distinctive touch, but I don't see it as a highly necessary thing to do. Otherwise, there are loads of good-looking shots in this episode. • WHAT? Sherlock Holmes is using Internet Explorer? • And I also do wonder what sorts of news websites he is visiting if they are listing things such as "Canine roller-coaster enthusiast" under their top news. • General Shan creeping from the other side of the street really was a well-done suspension building move "The Blind Banker" would have needed more of. • As if series creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss had listened to my criticisms about their pilot (and not minding the facts that I uttered these three years after this episode had already premiered), Sherlock's unneeded thought bubbles have been taken out for the biggest part. However, this has now led to him soliloquising here and there, which I don't really prefer over the on-screen writing. • Best line of dialogue: "I said could you pass me a pen." Taking Sherlock Holmes as an inspiration, I'll start conversations with that phrase more often from now on.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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