Mark Watches ‘Sherlock’: S01E02 – The Blind Banker

In the second episode of the first series of Sherlock, the famed detective and his partner deal with ciphers (a la The Dancing Men) to try to solve a set of murders that seem to target entirely unrelated people. Also: RACISM. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Sherlock.

You know, I haven’t really had the chance to do something I started off this whole wild adventure with: complain. Loudly. And pervasively. If you’ve noticed, ever since I finished the Twilight series, every series of books and television that I’ve picked up since then has been something I’ve become a fan of. Which is great! That is so terribly exciting for me. I love finding new things to enjoy! But the entire Mark Does Stuff idea was spawned from that original book series, which…well, if you followed along, you know that I nearly had a nervous breakdown from reading those books. And I don’t say that as hyperbole or to make light of that concept. I seriously had extremely adverse physical and mental reactions towards the process, WHICH WERE NOT REALLY ALL THAT FUN. So there’s been a part of me, deep in the back of my mind, that worries that one day I’ll choose a series that I am initially excited about and then I’ll grow to hate it and my very special manger and terror will become entertainment and such. Which is fine, but man…I hate so much stuff as it is.

I don’t want to hate Sherlock. I loved the first episode a great deal. And I don’t think that I’ll end up detesting this, but holy fucking god, this episode did not help me to love this show at all.

IS IT TIME FOR MARK TO BRING BACK THE ALL CAPS RAGE MACHINE? It might be. I can’t promise it. But it’s no longer in the back of my subconscious. It’s on the tip of my tongue. Because jesus christ, this episode pissed me off. (Not all of it, as there is stuff to like and enjoy, but we’ll get to that.)

So let me start off with some perspective, both personal and a bit more public than that. I’m a person of color. I like that term. And my relationship with my race and ethnicity has been rather confusing and bizarre for me. I’m Mexican, adopted by a Japanese/Hawaiian dad and a mother who’s part Irish and Welsh and a whole other host of ethnic backgrounds, all of them neatly and succinctly summarized by saying she’s white.

I don’t speak Spanish. I learned a lot by osmosis and through school. I don’t pass as white in virtually any social situation, though I don’t always get read as being Latino. I get “Middle Eastern” a lot, both because people seem to think everyone from that area looks the same and because I have a heavy beard, which makes them SUPER RACISTS or something. No, seriously, the ridiculous Islamaphobia I have been the butt of, despite being Latino, is mind-blowing sometimes. Thanks, racist people.

Actually, here’s a great starting point to understanding what it was like for me, a brown kid in a sea of white faces as a child, to grow up without people who looked like me. I wrote about my experience as a child of color because of a very important idea that I still have to struggle with to this day. It was much more prevalent in my childhood, but this particular episode of Sherlock reminded me of those days. And if this is a totally new concept to some of you, allow me to elaborate!

When I was a kid, no one had brown skin. I mean….no one! I lived in Boise, Idaho and my twin brother and I were the ~exotic~ foreigners to our classmates. It wasn’t something that was particularly used against us when we were that young, and at times, it was nice to get attention period, negative or positive. The whole concept of exoticism now drives me up the wall, but at the time, it wasn’t as othering as it soon would become. Instead, though, I just simply believed really absurd things because I knew no better. You know, things like “Prince Eric is totally my father,” or “Mom, I am seriously Egyptian, please take me to my pyramid.”

As I got older and moved to a neighborhood FULL of people who looked so much more likely, I became far more aware that what the world presented to everyone else wasn’t any different. I still didn’t know of many people with brown skin on television or in the bands I listened to. (Side note: This is how I rationalized away the homophobia in Bad Brains. They weren’t white and they were playing hardcore and this excited me until I could not be any more excited. Oppression intersects in interesting ways, no?)

If there was anything I was able to pick up at a very early age, it was how lacking minorities were in popular media. I noticed how so few women went to hardcore shows. I noticed that Latinos like myself were caricatures on the television. I noticed how homosexuals were always sassy partners in the movies. And it bothered me so much that I would go out of my way to find and support things that countered this idea that the world was very white and very straight and very male. Of course, I now know this is much more prevalent and damaging than I did when I was just thirteen years old, but there are few things in the world that can make me groan or roll my eyes hard enough to spawn thunder than pop culture that relegates marginalized groups to frustrating stereotypes. (I AM SIDE-EYEING YOU SO HARD, GLEE.)

So, have I introduced myself properly? Feel like you have an idea where I’m coming from? Ok, cool, because WHAT THE FUCK DOES STEPHEN THOMPSON AND EVERYONE WHO CRAFTED THIS EPISODE THINK THEY ARE DOING

I MEAN. OK. LET ME START WITH THE OBVIOUS ONE. “Ooooh, oh my god, Chinese people are soooooooooo ~exotic~ and ~totally weird and foreign~ and have ~totally different customs than we do~ so LET US PAINT THEM AS A CULTURE THAT IS TOTALLY GOING TO PLAN AN OVERCOMPLICATED PLOT JUST TO ~THREATEN ALL THE POOR WHITE PEOPLE’S LIVES~

Ok, despite that I have a Japanese last name (which I love!!!) and that I have an entire branch of my family made up of people who are Hawaiian and Japanese, I make no qualms about being Asian myself. I’m not! So I am no expert on doing the wonderful “ASIANS ARE TOTALLY WEIRD” dance that this episode waltzes all over Chinese people. What I can say is that, as a person of color, I HAVE SEEN THIS USED SO MANY BILLION OF TIMES THAT I CAN SPOT IT A MILE AWAY.

How many tropes can you spot??? LET’S TURN IT INTO A GAME.

1)   Oh no, Asian people are really scary with their gangs and all! Oh no, this is so terrifying, all these Asian gangs!

2)   Asians are totally like, the most amazing acrobats and like, they can bend into all kinds of fun positions so they can MURDER A BUNCH OF WHITE MEN someone call The Sun and tell them to put this on the front page SO WE CAN SAVE THE POOR WHITE MEN BEING MURDERED IN THEIR EXPENSIVE HOUSES AND LOFTS.

3)   Chinese people are totally, like, into breaking the law to bring their non-white products into Great Britain so they can, like, totally take over our markets! Oh no, this is so bad!

4)   Oh, Asians! You steal and kidnap our people so you can murder them with ridiculously inefficient but distinctly Asian apparatuses!

5)   Oh, those silly Chinese! They are so ridiculously talented at whatever they do with their unique skills and we should fear the fact that they are going to TAKE OVER OUR COUNTRY. (That’s a subtext, for the record, as it’s probably the one trope that isn’t explicitly spelled out.)

6)   It’s not my fault that I am in this situation! I am not a bad banker, and capitalism is not an evil economic entity that created the situation where I could lose all this money so quickly! No, it’s totally the ruthless Chinese and their dedication to thievery that caused me to die! None of this is my fault!

Do you get the picture? I know that I have spoken about 2% about the actual plot and content of this episode, but can you imagine how terribly distracting this was? Literally, like every 5 minutes, I was facepalming at the same familiar narrative about a “foreign” culture being presented to me. Actually, that process went a little more like this:

Grimacing —> Wincing —-> Eye Rolling —–> Facepalming —–> Head-Desking —–> Shouting At The Heavens —–> WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYY

Ok, maybe none of this makes any sense to you, and maybe you’re ready to write off a lot of this as situational or specific only to “The Blind Banker.” What is so disturbing to me about how casual these stereotypes are here is not that I believe some of you cannot recognize them. As it’s been made apparent, quite a lot of people apparently picked up on how ridiculous a lot of the framing was in this episode. Which is good! I am glad people can start to recognize that it’s seriously perfectly fine to look at media and pop culture with that kind of critical eye. These are all good things, yes?

What disturbs me is the fact that these narratives about the Chinese, about Asian people in general, and about all those under the umbrella of people of color EVER MADE IT INTO THIS EPISODE IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE. I don’t place the blame or thrust of this complaint on a single one of you who recommended me this show or who watched it an ultimately enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say I dislike the show myself. We’re at 50/50 here and it’s always different for me when I decide I’ve reached the breaking point of a specific show or book or band or whatever. I don’t think I’ve reached that point and I think I’ll be ok going into “The Great Game” and still manage to enjoy the show.

I just seriously wonder what the fuck went on in the heads of Stephen Thompson or Euros Lyn or Steven Moffat or Mark Gatiss or anyone who wrote this script or contributed to it. I wonder if there wasn’t a point that one of them didn’t stop to think, “Well, shit. Are we really going to do this? Do we really need to frame this entire episode this way?” Surely, someone saw this and thought that maybe this was a really awful, awful idea to try and execute, right?

And I know the inevitable is coming, so let me address it right off the bat: I’m not calling any of these people racists. I like to think that I am able to make the distinction between whether a person has written an unfortunate implication or relied on a stereotypical narrative or just framed everything poorly. And honestly, that’s probably what these people did. I know people might say things like, “BUT THEY HAVE ASIAN FRIENDS!” or “THERE ARE CHINESE ACTORS IN THIS AND THEY DIDN’T PROTEST!” and then I’ll just want to lay my head on my pillow and sleep for a really long time because that just makes me tired typing it.

Actions, behaviors, words, and narratives can inherently support casual racism, and that doesn’t mean the person or organization behind it dons a white robe and pointy hat on the weekends. Casual racism is still racism, and sometimes it feels more insidious than out-and-proud racist blather. I imagine that all these people felt they had good intentions for this story and perhaps they even wanted to write an episode that wasn’t full of white people. But that doesn’t mean the end result is something that I necessarily want to support or enjoy. If anything, “The Blind Banker” feels like incredibly lazy writing, and I’d like to believe that Moffat, Thompson, and Gatiss are much better writers than that. We don’t need narratives like the ones presented here to tell a story. Well, not only do we not need them, we don’t want them. I just want to see something different.

And look, don’t take my word for it. I’m a person of color and these narratives are so familiar to me that it pains me to have to write about them IN FUCKING 2011. But when it comes to the distinct flavor of Orientalism and Yellow Peril that this episode seems to bash over our heads, you should seriously read the words of Anna Chen, who summarizes these exact problems much more beautifully than I have.


  • Ok, I did do a lot of yelling here. Fair enough. And despite that it’s really, really hard for me to look past the prejudicial bullshit in “The Blind Banker,” it’s not all bad!
  • The opening scenes between Sherlock and Watson were a treat, especially the contrast between Watson fighting a payment device while Sherlock fights a man with a sword.
  • I also enjoyed that the show outright acknowledges the issue of money. How do these two get paid? I feel like I’m not going to have too many questions about that in the future.
  • I did feel that the women in the first episode were a bit disposable and two-dimensional, so I’m glad we get a bit more from Sarah. Who, by the way, goes on the worst date of all time by the end of this episode. Also
  • In the scene where Sherlock and Watson arrive at the Lucky Cat Emporium, it was nice to see that Watson was actually a step ahead of Sherlock. Sometimes, Sherlock gets so lost in his brain that he can’t see the obvious.
  • A wonderfully creepy moment: Sherlock realizing that the killer hasn’t left the apartment he just broke into.
  • It’s also great to see the growing relationship between Sherlock and Watson, from Sherlock’s uncomfortably awkward attempts to be social with Watson by crashing his date with Sarah to trying to “hang out” with him. It’s endearing, really, and also contributes to a wonderfully hilarious homoeroticism between the two. LOOK, I CANNOT IGNORE THE SUBTEXT. Does anyone else feel like it’s PAINFULLY OBVIOUS?
  • Ok, so is the “M” at the end of the episode Moriarty? IT HAS TO BE.
  • Don’t answer this, just thinking aloud: Why did Sherlock let Dimmock take the credit?
  • Ok, this is so bizarre, but LAST SHERLOCK REVIEW TOMORROW. Oh god, WHAT A WEIRD SENSATION.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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239 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Sherlock’: S01E02 – The Blind Banker

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  20. RedRoses2 says:

    Now I feel like I should be embarrassed that I didn't really notice the racism. But I do understand the reliance on stereotypes in media – in Dramatic Writing I, my professor told us that the fastest and easiest way to get across what your character is like is through stereotypes. If you want to create a more fleshed-out character, you subvert the stereotypes or invert them or a combination of both. But yeah, it is a tactic used when you're out of ideas and need to put something out there.

    I'm confused on what you mean by the Chinese being responsible for lost of money in the episode, though. When I watched the episode, I understood it to simply mean that there were these two bankers who were part of this Chinese mafia-type thing who were smuggling expensive artifacts for some reason into the U.K. They kept one of the artifacts, and the mafia wanted it back, so they killed them and then tried to find it but kept failing. I don't think any actual bank money was involved at all. But I could be wrong; it's been a while since I watched that episode.

    With the overly-elaborate death trap thing, that's used a lot in television or movies. Gives the main character ample amount of time to save the day. So while it's strange that they're relying on something like it when they could just shoot them, it's a less clever version of what the cab driver did in the first episode. It just doesn't make any sense regarding who the characters are, what their goals are, etc.

    I have no idea what was going on when the script was being written, but from the looks of it, either they weren't able to put in as much effort into it as they could with the first episode, or they were in a time crunch, or they were running low on creativity juices, it does suffer from lazy scriptwriting.

    Also, taking into account England's past relationship with China, I'm not really surprised that it was aired. Even the original Sherlock Holmes stories implied that it was the Chinese who were doping the Englishmen with opium, when it was the English who took the opium plant from China then sold it back to them to hook them on it, then both Englishmen and the Chinese suffered from it. Then there's the warring that went on between the two, China only just now getting Hong Kong back from England, etc.

    On a slightly different note, while the casual racism is a problem, I think the fact that they outright stated in the first episode that Sherlock is a highly-functioning sociopath yet make it very clear that he is perfectly capable, is far more intelligent than most of the other characters, and should not in any sense of the word be pitied gives mentally-ill little me some hope that not all media depicts people like me as completely batshit crazy with absolutely no sense whatsoever. The fact that they throw in some homoerotic subtext between Sherlock and John and me being gay makes my Sherlock Holmes inner-fangirl very, very happy that, if nothing else, Sherlock Holmes can be my queer-and-mentally-ill poster child.

  21. 00Kakkoi00 says:

    I don't mind casual racism, I find it funny most of the time. People are so over dramatic with race. There were moments that I REALLY liked, which were all the bulllet points you mentioned. I loved him being stuck in the house with the killer thing.

    Onto the race thing, though I didn't find it *offensive*, there was just too much going on. There was a point where I did go "Wow, they're gonna cram ALL the chinese stereotypes into this?" but it didn't *offend* me, it just annoyed me, because It made the episode WAY too crowded. They crammed about every stereotype you could EVER think of into this episode, it was just ridiciloulous. Even the origami shit, I was just like "Can you STOP please?"

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      You don't mind casual racism because….you're probably racist? I mean….why would you type that so other people could read it? Holy god, what a poor decision.

      • 00Kakkoi00 says:

        What the fuck are you talking about? I said that I don't find the stereotypes used offensive so much as ANNOYING. How the hell does that mean I'm a racist? I'm not usually very sensitive about race. It takes alot for me to actually get *offended* when it comes to race. It ANNOYS me but it doesnt get me angry or frustrated unless it's REALLY bad, though in saying that I couldn't help but get offended at some of the things that happened in L.A. Noire despite the fact that I know it was actually like that at the time the game was set. It really upset me. So I do get offended by race situations sometimes, even if I'm not that race that's the target, but with this episode I merely, and very quickly, saw that the stereotpyes are stupid and unrealistic and so, with that, I don't take them very seriously. I couldn't take this episode in general seriously, which is a shame because I love the other two. But with the amount of stereotypes how COULD I take it seriously? Thats why I don't get angry about it, It became less of an episode and more of 'Roll the dice and we'll see what the next sterotype it' It was too dumb, to the point where I'm surprised it was checked off as okay to make into an episode.

        Me being a racist, that was a REALLY stupid conclusion to come to when you read my comment. Yes, I can laugh when racism is small, because casual racism I laugh at tends to be the people that are more making fun of racism by telling really innopropriate jokes, not because they ACTUALLY think it's true, but because everyone, including the person telling the joke, is AWARE of how stupid the stereotype is and are laughing at it because it's unrealistic to think a whole race is like a certain thing or does a certain thing. It's funny when the joke is told in a way that aknowledges that the groups races have been set into are SO exaggerated, SO silly and unrealistic, that they can barely be take seriously. The stereotype is a joke in itself, because it's to the point where it's uttery and undeniably ridiculous. Alot of the time I can't take stereotype issues of any kind seriously at all, because alot of the stereotypes are too dumb. When someone thinks they're real or actually takes them really, like truely seriously, I just can't help but look at them as if they're a zombie. I grew up in a mult cultural place, so when attention is brought to SPECIFIC one I always find it odd because I know that in reality, that people don't act like that, so I can never work out HOW the stereotypes become what they are in the first place. It doesn't make sense. So stereotypes don't make sense to me, some are actually kind of absurd, like a certain group of people being into kinky stuff, or a whole other group of people shagging animals or something, or all americans having to be fat or Brits having messed up teeth, and therefore since some stereotypes are targeted at certain races, no, alot of the time, as race hasn't been a very improtant thing to me, I don't see anyreason to take it seriously, because it's too dumb. So when stereotypes are used on TV as base for storyline? And then showering more stereotypes onto that? Of course I'm going to fucking find it annoying. So, somehow, finding most stereotypes absurd and unrealitsic to the point of *actual* hilarity, makes me a racist? Please.Not everyone takes race as seriously as you do, but that doesn't mean they're a fucking racist.

        • breesquared says:

          If your only problem with there being so many stereotypes is that it's 'annoyingly crowded' not 'madly problematic representation that can hurt other people' then yeah, you sound kind of racist.
          Maybe you weren't offended because you're not the group being targetted, in which case whether or not you're offended or annoyed /isn't really the point/. This isn't about you and your feelings, it's about the racist representation and how it affects that group, and trying to make it sound like your POV is what matters is ridiculously dismissive.

  22. AulaCicero says:

    'Hey Mark, i know i should post this on your Mark Reads thread, but for some reason my computer is not letting me access the site. I just wanted to ask when we can expect your Lord Of the Rings Review? Go easy on Tolkien with the criticism, I don't think he is racist and well yah he tends to be a bit sexist for modern readers. His vies are influenced by the 19th and early 20th century and can be seen as offensive in our modern eyes. I am honestly looking forward what you think of his style. Most people divide in two categories, you either hate him or you love him.

    Well sorry to get so off topic.


  23. David M.B. says:

    (Before I begin, let me apologize for the length of this rant, and about having to take up multiple comments to get it onto the blog. What can I say? I feel passionately about this issue, and have lots of things to communicate.)

    Ok, I'm going to say this straight out – I totally disagree with everything Mark says about this episode being racist. I understand where one could get really weary of Asian caricatures in the media, but I simply don't think they're here. Let me point out my disagreements with the list that Mark makes of all the so-called racist points here.

    1) Oh no, Asian people are really scary with their gangs and all! Oh no, this is so terrifying, all these Asian gangs!

    First off, all gangs are terrifying, including the Asian ones. There's nothing racist about making the bad guys of a Sherlock episode an Asian gang, any more than making Nazis the bad guys in an Indiana Jones movie. The Chinese gang is SUPPOSED to be terrifying here, because they're the bad guys. And if you remember, not all the Chinese characters here were bad guys.

    2) Asians are totally like, the most amazing acrobats and like, they can bend into all kinds of fun positions so they can MURDER A BUNCH OF WHITE MEN someone call The Sun and tell them to put this on the front page SO WE CAN SAVE THE POOR WHITE MEN BEING MURDERED IN THEIR EXPENSIVE HOUSES AND LOFTS.

    Oh, please. The bad guys in this episode were a Chinese gang doubling as a circus in London, and they needed someone to get into high-rise buildings. They used their acrobat, who is good at climbing. THIS LOGIC DOES NOT DEFY CREDIBILITY. While perhaps being theatrical and fantastical (which I personally like), there's nothing illogical here. I don't think this is a statement that all Asians are great acrobats, or that all Asian acrobats are killers. That being said, THERE ARE SUCH THINGS AS GREAT ASIAN ACROBATS. Just like there are great American acrobats, or great Norwegian Acrobats, or great Mexican Acrobats. In this episode, the acrobat was Chinese, and since he was employed by the gang, he was a killer. End of story.

    3) Chinese people are totally, like, into breaking the law to bring their non-white products into Great Britain so they can, like, totally take over our markets! Oh no, this is so bad!

    One, the smuggling of Asian goods into England on the black market actually happens, and no, it's not a good thing, just like the smuggling of ANY goods into ANY country on the black market is not a good thing.

    And two, in this episode, the smuggling was not what made the gang really evil, it was the way they punished people who got in their way – like MURDERING them. The killings were the focus of the show, the reason Sherlock gets involved. Not the smuggling. There was no special attention given to it, and because of that, there didn't seem to be any insidious message involving the "Asian takeover of our markets". At least not to me, and to me, that kind of thinking seems extremely paranoid. This was a murder mystery involving gangs. Gangs smuggle artwork on the black market. End of story.

    • David M.B. says:

      4) Oh, Asians! You steal and kidnap our people so you can murder them with ridiculously inefficient but distinctly Asian apparatuses!

      For the purpose the apparatus served in the kidnapping, it was extremely efficient. It wasn't just meant to kill Sarah. It was meant to act as a timer that would mentally torture Watson into giving them information they thought he had before it killed Sarah. (Pay attention!) Plus it was quite theatrical, which a) was fun to watch, and b) served to drive up Watson's nerves so he would crack. Also, the "distinctly Asian apparatus" was distinctly Asian because IT WAS PART OF AN ACT FROM A DISTINCTLY CHINESE CIRCUS. Oh, but forgive me, I forgot there are no such things as Chinese circuses that put on acts involving old Chinese apparatuses in order to show off their culture and attract tourists to watch them. Oh wait . . . there are.

      5) Oh, those silly Chinese! They are so ridiculously talented at whatever they do with their unique skills and we should fear the fact that they are going to TAKE OVER OUR COUNTRY. (That’s a subtext, for the record, as it’s probably the one trope that isn’t explicitly spelled out.)

      This subtext isn't there at all. There was no mention of world domination, only of black-market smuggling and murders. And, if I remember correctly, there was no mention of distaste towards white people either, even from the evil Asian gang, which is what you'd expect if there was even an inkling here about Asians taking over the Western world. They never said "you foreigners, you will never understand our ways, blundering ungracefully, disturbing the balance of nature", or any stupid shit like that, which you see ALL THE TIME in even the most popular action flicks. I never see those being accused of racism. I'd say the way the bad guys were treated in Sherlock was a cut above.

      About the Asian bad guys being talented – in a Sherlock Holmes mystery, you need a talented bad guy to compete with Sherlock. In this episode, the bad guys were an Asian gang, and as I said earlier, there is nothing wrong with this. They needed to be good at what they do. Voila! Talented Asian Bad Guys. LOGICAL STORY TECHNIQUE. NOT RACIST.

      6) It’s not my fault that I am in this situation! I am not a bad banker, and capitalism is not an evil economic entity that created the situation where I could lose all this money so quickly! No, it’s totally the ruthless Chinese and their dedication to thievery that caused me to die! None of this is my fault!

      First off, Mark, where did you get the idea that banking or capitalism had anything to do with the murders? The victim was murdered because he stole from the gang. They decided to threaten him by going to his workplace (a bank), and writing messages on the walls. END OF STORY.

      Secondly, the banking executive that hires Sherlock to check out his security system is only given a couple scenes, and in those scenes, he comes off as a bit of a douchebag. This episode was not sympathetic to big banking executives, nor did it use the murder to paint them in a good light. Remember, the victim from the bank was murdered because he was a thief, not because he was a banker, or because he was white. In addition to being a thief, we get a quick discussion about him being materialistic, and observations are made that he's not a good boyfriend. He wasn't a fallen hero. In fact, he didn't even get enough screen time to be established as either a good guy or a bad guy, because he wasn't important enough in the plot to warrant such screen time. Why wasn't he important enough? BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T TRYING TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT SAINTLY BANKERS. THEY WERE TRYING TO WRITE A MURDER MYSTERY.

    • David M.B. says:

      I could be accused of ignoring stereotypes just because they make sense to the plot, but honestly, I think that's absurd. If you're going to have a murder mystery about a Chinese gang masquerading as a circus that celebrates Chinese culture, these alleged "stereotypical tropes" are bound to turn up. If there are any real stereotypes here, they're so much weaker and vaguer than we see so often in other current media that I cringe at the level of paranoia involved in criticizing them so elaborately. And, to be honest, I thought a foreign gang masquerading as a circus made for fun bad guys. If it had been a German gang, or a Swedish gang, or an American gang, none of this criticism would be here. It's only because the bad guys are Chinese that there's an uproar. Using Mark's logic, I could accuse him of racism for that. But I'm not going to, because it's bad logic, and I know damn well Mark's not racist.

      And I agree that the Chinese gang is treated in a way that makes them seem exotic and mysterious, but I think that's just a good way of making the bad guys intriguing. There's a definite line between romanticizing something and displaying racist prejudices. This episode stays firmly in the realm if the former. Remember, this is total fiction, and it's OK to make your bad guys a little fantastical, as long as they stay within the realm of logic, which they do here. In truth, I'm glad they romanticized the gang, because it made them scarier, and more intriguing, and it made for good filmmaking.

      Please understand, this is not a personal attack on Mark, or on any of the other people here who expressed similar opinions to his. I just think the opinions are groundless, and use bad logic to sustain themselves. Frankly, I've been following Mark Reads for months, and I've enjoyed every single one of his entries – I've also met him, and I think he's an utterly fantastic guy. But in my opinion, this review is out of line, and demonizes the creators of this Sherlock in a way I find very disappointing.

      However, I still look forward to reading more Sherlock reviews, and I'm sure I'll enjoy them just as immensely as I've enjoyed anything that Mark has ever written.

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