Screenplay by Steve Thompson.
The Blind Banker is in the middle act of a season, and comes therefore with a problem you’ll find with many mid-season episodes – it’s the weakest. Not only that, but it’s the middle of the first season, which means the weakness isn’t from doing anything particularly badly, just from the show not really being developed.
But I didn’t dislike The Blind Banker. It’s not an un-entertaining episode. But it’s an example of what you get when the elements of filmmaking come together perfectly, other than the screenplay. Which is a problem, because that’s the weakness that shows through. Euros Lyn’s directing is as you’d expect it to be, and Cumberbatch and Freeman continue to be a workable pair. Everything else that makes Sherlock unique is on regular form, but when these things are brining to life a script that’s only passable, that’s a problem.
Sherlock is a crime drama, but it’s also a drama. The reason the show’s become so popular is because it focuses more on the dramatic aspects than the criminal investigation process. The CSI franchise is successful, but what makes it successful is the highly-analytic nature of it – Sherlock isn’t like that; it’s about the characters, and how their adventures bring them closer together, or sometimes take them further apart. But The Blind Banker is an episode focusing on the crime. Which isn’t in itself a bad thing in anyway. Having an episode of a crime drama be about solving a crime is hardly the wrong decision. But what made A Study in Pink work so well was the way that case was designed so that Holmes and Watson would develop a relationship – this episode sets-out on the assumption that it’s already developed, and in no way attempts to change anything. Again, that’s not a wrong decision, but given the way the show was established, The Blind Banker‘s method was the inferior of two choices.
It’s passable, and likeable, but only in the minimal sense. It accomplishes want it wanted to do, but ultimately, that was to fill space until the next episode.
Sherlock: the Blind Banker — minimally likeable series of events 6/10.