The Blind Banker: The episode nobody loves is the most important for understanding Series 4
With only a few weeks before series 4 of Sherlock airs, all of us are scrambling to tweak our metas into arguments that don’t completely suck. I like posting mine regardless of how terrible they are because I feel like a badass queer codebreaker. I publish a meta, look at my reflection in the computer screen, and go, “nice!” to myself regardless of the quality of the meta in front of me. This is one of those times.
I don’t love The Blind Banker. It’s an acquired taste, that’s for sure. It’s the episode I tell all my friends who don’t care about TJLC or meta-writing to skip if they’re not hooked on Sherlock after A Study in Pink. However, it’s the most important episode if you care at all about analyzing character and story mirrors throughout BBC Sherlock.
Every episode of Sherlock has “Short-term” mirrors – meaning stories between characters overlap/stand for the stories of others within the same episode (or series). For example, Molly and John both saying they’re “moving on” from their life with Sherlock in The Empty Hearse is an example of a short-term mirror. Another is Sherlock and Irene dressing with the help of their “live-in P.A.s” before meeting each other. The Blind Banker is no exception to this. We see a former drug smuggler get roped into helping her older brother after something was stolen – the same episode we see Mycroft approach Sherlock after the flashdrive was stolen in order to get his younger brother’s help. There are plenty of short-term mirrors there, but they do little to help us understand BBC Sherlock as a whole. Want to know what’s going to happen in Series 4? You’ve got to look Long-term.
So let’s complete the long-term mirrors then, shall we?
“The Spider”, Soo Lin’s brother, hunts down his younger sister to help him do some shady things like they used to. She resists him as much as she can but once he finds her hiding, she doesn’t resist him any longer.
Spider is also a descriptor given to another man in BBC Sherlock:
In The Blind Banker, The Spider has become a puppet for the one they call “Shan”.
Does that look familiar?
Remember Sherlock “Mary has a Secret Tattoo” deduction? That doesn’t mean she’s in The Black Lotus, but she should be seen as a mirror for those who are.
So the Spider is under the influence of the General. The General is given access into London by a mysterious person called “M”.
And we all know who “M” is:
Yikes. “M” has gotten way over his head on this one. But what do you expect from a man who can’t be out of the office when the Korean elections are imminent? It takes both good and evil to run the British Government.
Soo Lin was a very well-natured young woman who, despite her past and brother, didn’t mean to harm anyone. She just wanted to be left alone, to live her life, to continue her work.
But even she gave up resisting her older brother and the General.
Remember how Janine’s last name changed to “Donlevy” in The Abominable Bride? That is a direct reference to Laurie King’s “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” where Sherlock Holmes retires to a cottage in Sussex Downs (mentioned by Janine in His Last Vow) only to take on Patricia Donleavy, Moriarty’s daughter. Sherlock mentioning “The Monstrous Regiment” at the end of TAB is another reference to King and her Holmes story “A Monstrous Regiment of Women”.
So. You with me? Good. Because if you remember The Blind Banker, you know who killed Shan – and you know why – because of Sherlock and John’s interference in their master plan. And you can imagine how Mycroft exterminating Agra would go down once everyone at Baker Street finds out.
But no one on this show can stay dead, can they? We’ll see if it sticks.
So we’re in for a moment like this:
You know what that moment is? John Watson has so many things on him that make a person believe he is Sherlock Holmes. It’s the foreshadowed moment of series 4 where Sherlock Holmes and John Watson become one.