In Sherlock S04E03, when the drone carrying the grenade arrives, Sherlock asks Mycroft about the trigger response time and Mycroft gives a blank look to Sherlock. Then Sherlock re-frames his question and asks him how much time we will have before detonation.

SHERLOCK: What’s the trigger response time?

(Mycroft looks at him blankly.)

SHERLOCK: Once we’re mobile, how long before detonation?

MYCROFT: We have a maximum of three seconds to vacate the blast radius.

Source: arianedevere.livejournal.com

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Mycroft is as intelligent as Sherlock. He works for the British govt. and himself authorized the purchase of these grenades (patience grenade).

How come he did not understand such a simple question? (consequently Sherlock had to re-frame his question) Why did he gave a blank look to Sherlock?

  • 1
    You know, you're right. I can only assume he's used to a different term than "trigger response time" So he didn't recognise it. Perhaps he knows it "detonation delay time". However, he should have been able to work it out.
    – Paulie_D
    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:24

2 Answers 2


It's a kind of "how stupid you are, brother mine" look. "What response time?". This is high-tech device which has an almost instant response time. So I think this look hasn't actual ment anything else than a obvious answer to Sherlock's question.

  • 3
    This was my thought as well. Mycroft simply believes that Sherlock is asking the wrong question. The response time is instant, what matters is how long they have to clear the blast radius.
    – SGR
    Feb 7, 2017 at 15:48

Mycroft doesn't apply himself like Sherlock does. This is sort of covered when we first meet Mycroft in season/series 1. He is smarter than Sherlock but he doesn't apply himself. He doesn't get the same high from deductions that Sherlock does. So even in a life-and-death situation, he wouldn't really try like Sherlock would.

  • 1
    But Mycroft is intimately familiar with these devices. He authorised their purchase....he even describes them to Sherlock. It's not a question of deductions...it's a matter of something he should know...but for some reason doesn't.
    – Paulie_D
    Feb 3, 2017 at 22:31
  • 1
    That's not true. He does know it. You know he knows it because he tells us after a while. It just takes him a while to gather his wits, and it takes Sherlock prompting him to do it. Thinking on his feet in fast-paced, life-and-death situations aren't his thing, he doesn't get the same high from them that Sherlock does, and indeed he's like the rest of us in that he doesn't quite know what to do. Like I said, he doesn't apply himself.
    – J Doe
    Feb 6, 2017 at 23:34

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