Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Things That Worry Me #1

You know the pre-titles sequence in For Your Eyes Only, in which Blofeld tricks Bond onto a remote-controlled helicopter?

Why does the vicar make the sign of the cross as Bond departs in the chopper?

If he knows something deadly is afoot, he must be in league with Blofeld, so either...

a) he's not really a vicar but actually one of Blofeld's men disguised as a vicar, or

b) he is an actual vicar who's been paid by Blofeld to be part of his assassination conspiracy.

If a), why?  And why doesn't Bond ask about this new guy at the Church where Tracey is buried?

If b), why?  What would induce a presumably average, ordinary, law-abiding vicar to team up with Blofeld?  And also, why doesn't he just shoot Bond in the graveyard?

And what does Blofeld need him for?  Okay, he delivers the fake message about Bond being needed at HQ.  But this is seemingly the only thing he does in the conspiracy (if he is indeed part of the conspiracy, as opposed to an innocent vicar who unwittingly relays a fake message) but the message could have been far more easily faked, given the apparent laxity of Bond's precautions (he just accepts the message at face value without checking it in any way).

And I repeat: if he's not a real vicar, why the religious sentiment with the sign of the cross?

And even if he is a real vicar, but an evil one who conspires to murder people with international gangsters, why is he still worried about giving Bond the last rites? 

He's either a genuine vicar with terrorist-connections and a deeply ambivalent and wildly fluctuating attitude to his faith, or a hood with a very dark sense of humour... and possibly a sardonic vein of anti-clericalism in his character.

Or... another possibility entirely... he's a genuine vicar with the gift of second sight and a fatalistic attitude to the future.

Or he's a genuine (if morally weak) vicar with the gift of second sight, and he hates James Bond for some reason... so much so that he opportunistically chooses to let Bond go to his death.

Or possibly he hates the helicopter pilot for some reason and opportunistically chooses to let him die.

That actually makes a lot more sense because, if he can see the future, that must mean that he knows that Bond will escape the trap and only the pilot and Blofeld will die.  (It can't be that he hates Blofeld because Blofeld isn't there when he - the vicar - makes the sign of the cross, so there'd be no point.)

The only problem here is the implausibility of a specific guy who that particular vicar hates just happening to turn up at the vicar's church in a helicopter on the day when he's about to be murdered by Blofeld as part of an assassination conspiracy... but coincidences do happen.

As far as I can tell, this is by far the best explanation.

My god, Roald Dahl was a great writer, wasn't he?

I wonder why the fatalistic, cynical, vindictive, morally-ambivalent psychic vicar/seer hated the helicopter pilot so much.

This guy may be the most complicated and fascinating character ever to appear in a Bond movie.

(UPDATE:  Yes, I know Roald Dahl didn't write this one.  It was a joke.)


  1. Firstly: just because he's bald, uses a wheelchair and strokes a white cat, you assume he's Blofeld?

    Secondly: couldn't the Vicar just be very wary of helicopters in general? KISS,

  2. He's a usually good vicar being blackmailed/threatened by Blofield?

  3. The thought occurs that even if the vicar doesn't know Bond's line of work, he probably does know that Tracy was a mob boss's daughter, and probably knows that the widower former son-in-law of a mob boss being called away suddenly via unmarked helicopter from his wife's grave is... probably not good.