Season 1 Episode 2

The Blind Banker

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Aug 01, 2010 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
458 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sherlock and Watson work on deciphering deadly symbols that are covering the walls around London, killing everyone who sees them within hours, before any further victim succumbs to the mysterious Black Lotus.

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  • Easily the weakest episode of the bunch... but still good

    This episode was initially very intriguing, but at times the story would drag. The best part was Sherlock, John and Sarah's three person date fiasco, but this episode clearly suffered from trying to be too ethnic. Stereotypes aside, it also suffered from a surprisingly obvious number of plot holes, including:

    -Soo Lin trying to distance herself from a the smuggling ring, but she somehow lives two doors down from their trading spot.

    -John Watson leaves behind a targeted civilian to chase after Sherlock, going against the natural instinct of any man trained in the army and then stands around helplessly after losing sight of the murderer, instead of returning to aid her.

    -Upon discovering one of their items had been stolen, the smugglers chose to kill both people involved, instead of bothering to ask either of them where the item was.

    -Sherlock somehow manages to not notice for days that Soo Lin has begun to translate symbols on his paper, despite the fact that he was carrying the thing around with him and looked at it since then.

    -While overhearing Sherlock and John plan to see and rescue Soo Lin, her love interest, who has been searching for her for days, does not offer to help or go with them.

    Despite many clever lines, enjoyable scenes and the chemistry between Sherlock and John, the plot of this episode and the villains involved were on par with Rush Hour.moreless
  • Not as great as other installments but still an engaging Holmes mystery....

    .... The next chapter in the BBC "Sherlock" series, "The Blind Banker" sees Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson on the trail of a killer who leaves only the bodies of his victims and strange cipher codes behind. Perhaps a step or two behind the fast-paced precedent set by the first episode, "A Study In Pink," "The Blind Banker" is a very entertaining hour and a half. Perhaps one reason "The Blind Banker" is not quite up to the same level as "A Study In Pink" is because it is not as faithful to any particular Arthur Conan Doyle story. While "A Study In Pink" was a fairly-faithful (with clever twists and modern updating) adaptation of Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes mystery, "A Study In Scarlet," "The Blind Banker" seems to borrow loosely from "The Valley of Fear" and "The Dancing Men" to create a largely original story. Original or not, director Euros Lyn creates a tense screen thriller and Cumberbatch and Freeman are in top form as Holmes and Watson, respectively. Despite not being one of the finest installments of the "Sherlock" series, "The Blind Banker" is undoubtedly a high-quality and engaging episode.moreless
  • 1x02 - The Blind Banker

    While I really liked how John and Sherlock are working together, I couldn't help but cringe at the story line. But once I ignored it, there was pretty hilarious.
  • What happened?

    This version of Sherlock seems to have gone downhill, fast.

    In the first episode you could hardly tell that it lasted 90 minutes, the writing was fast paced and exciting so the time flew by. This was not the case for the second episode.

    In this instalment the story started off rather bland and the pacing really dragged. It's a huge shame as well, because they could have done something really exciting with this episode.

    The first episode opened questions about Moriaty and Sherlock's brother Mycroft, but it was hardly touched on in this episode. Only in the last 5 minutes did we get a teaser that one of them is involved.

    Considering that this is the only a three-part show there could have been more on that. And that would have been way more exciting. We can assume this will be touched on in the final episode, but why should we assume? We could speculate more, and be excited more, if we had been teased this whole episode about what's to come. This episode would have been fine if it was part of a longer series, but it's not.

    Saying that though I've given the episode a 7.5 because it's still a lot better than most other stuff on TV at the moment.moreless
  • Huge letdown from first episode

    My big fear was that this was going to turn into some Torchwood Holmes aimed at preteens. But the first episode was very smart and dark.

    I was looking forward to the second episode and it was a disappointment. Now we're in the corny world of Torchwood and Doctor Who (which is fine for those shows) but not for Sherlock Holmes.

    There's no reason for Watson to even be in this episode. They had a great chemistry in the first episode. That's gone. The villains are dull and predictable.

    I hope the 3rd episode is an improvement.

    They only had to write three. I'm amazed they ran out of steam so quickly.moreless
Paul Chequer

Paul Chequer

DI Dimmock

Guest Star

Zoe Telford

Zoe Telford


Guest Star

Gemma Chan

Gemma Chan

Soo Lin Yao

Guest Star

Una Stubbs

Una Stubbs

Mrs Hudson

Recurring Role

Loo Brealey

Loo Brealey

Molly Hooper

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Dan Brown's novel The Lost Symbol can repeatedly be seen briefly during this episode. Its plot revolves mainly around symbols and codes, thus sharing a theme with this episode.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Sherlock: The world's run on codes and ciphers, John. From the million-pound security system at the bank to the PIN machine you took exception to. Cryptography inhabits our every waking moment.

    • Sherlock: You took your time.
      Watson: Yeah, I didn't do the shopping.
      Sherlock: What? Why not?
      Watson: Because I had a row in the shop with a chip and pin machine.
      Sherlock: You had a row with a machine?
      Watson: Sort of. It sat there and I shouted abuse.

    • Watson: Is that my computer?
      Sherlock: Of course.
      Watson: What?
      Sherlock: Mine was in the bedroom.
      Watson: What, and you couldn't be bothered to get up? It's password protected.
      Sherlock: In a manner of speaking. Took me less than a minute to guess yours. Not exactly Fort Knox.

    • Sherlock: I said could you pass me a pen?
      Watson: What, when?
      Sherlock: About an hour ago.
      Watson: Didn't notice I'd gone out then?

    • Watson: Where are we headed?
      Sherlock: I need to ask some advice.
      Watson: What? Sorry?
      Sherlock: You heard me perfectly; I'm not saying it again.
      Watson: (amused) You need advice.

    • Dimmock: Your friend...
      Watson: Listen, whatever you say, I'm behind you 100%
      Dimmock: He's an arrogant sod.
      Watson: Well, that was mild. People say a lot worse than that.

    • Sherlock: I'd stick with the pasta. Don't want to be doing roast pork, not if you're slicing up cadavers.
      Molly: What are you having?
      Sherlock: Don't eat when I'm working. Digesting slows me down.

    • Dimmock: Anything else I can do? To assist you, I mean.
      Sherlock: Some silence right now would be marvelous.

    • Sherlock: I need some air. We're going out tonight.
      Watson: Actually, I've got a date.
      Sherlock: What?
      Watson: It's where two people who like each other go out and have fun.
      Sherlock: That's what I was suggesting.
      Watson: No, it wasn't. At least I hope not.

    • Sherlock: I need your help.
      Watson: I do have a couple of other things on my mind this evening.
      Sherlock: Like what?
      Watson: You are kidding.
      Sherlock: What's so important?
      Watson: Sherlock, I'm right in the middle of a date. You want me to chase some killer while I...
      Sherlock: What?
      Watson: While I'm trying to get off with Sarah. (Sarah overhears) Hey... ready?

    • Shan: A book is like a magic garden carried in your pocket.

    • Watson: I'm not Sherlock Holmes!
      Shan: I don't believe you.
      Sherlock: You should, you know. Sherlock Holmes is nothing at all like him. How would you describe me, John? Resourceful? Dynamic? Enigmatic?
      Watson: Late?

    • Sherlock: We'll just slip off. No need to mention us in your report.
      Dimmock: Mr. Holmes...
      Sherlock: I have high hopes for you, Inspector, a glittering career.
      Dimmock: If I go where you point me.
      Sherlock: Exactly.

  • NOTES (2)

    • According to Stephen Moffat, this episode was allegedly inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Dancing Men," published in the December 1903 issue of the Strand magazine and later collected in The Return of Sherlock Holmes. However, that story features a substitution cipher. The code featured here is a numeric code, which is found in Doyle's novel The Valley of Fear.

    • International Airdates:
      The Netherlands: October 27, 2010 on Nederland 1
      U.S.: October 31, 2010 on PBS (Masterpiece Theatre)
      Czech Republic: October 18, 2011 on AXN


    • Dimmock: Like Spider-Man?
      Referencing the Marvel comic book character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and who first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962). Peter Parker, bitten by a radioactive spider, gains spider-like powers and becomes a superhero. The hero, Marvel's icon, has had several of his own comic book series and appeared in TV shows and movies.