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Headscratchers / For Your Eyes Only

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  • Bond dives underwater to meet Melina and update her on what he's learned about Kristatos. In returning to her ship, she removes her SCUBA tank and leaves it at the bottom of the ocean. Later in the film, it's available to save their lives. WHY WOULD SHE LEAVE IT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
    • To be honest, this seemed obvious to me from the first time I saw it: It's a place marker. Underwater Ruins are just like any other archaeological site - they must be examined inch by inch. Ultimately, Melina is an archaeologist, and those ruins are huge. She's close enough to her boat that she has plenty of air, and in shallow enough water that she won't get the bends. So she's leaving something large enough both to be seen and that it won't drift away/be eaten by sharks or other fish by the time she comes back to pick up where she left off.
  • Assuming that it is Blofeld (he's unnamed, presumably due to the copyright issues surrounding Thunderball), when does the teaser for this film fall?
    • 1981. A deleted bit of dialogue (likely for Lawyer-Friendliness) has Blofeld explaining "I've been waiting 10 years for this day." What happened 10 years prior? Diamonds Are Forever.
  • Bond's wife Tracy lived in Portugal and she was killed there in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Why was she buried in London?
    • Because she's Bond's wife, he's from London, and as her next of kin, he would have the rights to dictate where she would be buried.
    • Also, she didn't live in Portugal- she and her father happened to be there when they met Bond. In fact I think she was staying at a hotel. Her father is an international crime lord- its not a stretch that both of them lived in several places, so Draco probably wouldn't have a problem with her being buried there. The fact that Tracy is played by an English actress and speaks with an English accent might be enough to Hand Wave an explanation that she grew up in England, or spent a lot of time there, even if she isn't English by birth. More reason to bury her there.
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    • Didn't they say her mother was English in OHMSS?
  • Why didn't Bond destroy the ATAC while it was still in the wreck? His mission wasn't to recover the ATAC, it was to make sure nobody else did.
    • It's pretty hard to see how he could have done so in a way which a) made sure that it was destroyed and b) didn't risk his own and Melina's lives?
    • Presumably he just never considered it and figured that he could simply grab the ATAC and run. His pause when Gogol arrived seems to indicate that he was unsure about whether or not to destroy the technology.
      • This, but added to the fact that there was no reason to destroy it in the wreck. High-tech equipment costs money to build. At that point, he didn't know about the JIM diver coming for him, and once he got away from the JIM diver, he didn't have a chance. Not until Gogol arrived with a gunman did he have a choice between turning over the ATAC or getting killed or perhaps to Take a Third Option, which is what he did.
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    • Well, Q is always getting on him about not returning equipment in pristine condition...
    • I imagine that destroying it was a last resort (it is presumably an expensive and useful piece of equipment, after all) if it couldn't be recovered.
      • It was stated several times that it's permanent loss/destruction was an acceptable outcome. First, when the minister asked how deep the water was, it was stated the water was not deep enough, meaning recovery was not impossible, so they had to undertake it. Second, Bond mentions the ATAC technician apparently hadn't had time to blow it up, himself. That's why Bond's' "detente" line to Gogol made no sense. He succeeded and Gogol failed. There was no stalemate.
      • It's an acceptable outcome, but that's not the same as a preferred outcome. They don't want it falling into Soviet hands either way, but on balance the British would rather have the ATAC recovered and back in their possession than not, since it's a useful bit of kit that gives whichever side has it an advantage over the other. Bond succeeded in the sense that he managed to prevent the Soviets from getting their hands on it and using it against the British, but it's a Pyrrhic Victory since the British don't have it anymore either — and so can't use it against the Soviets. The 'detente' comes from the fact that, since the ATAC has been taken out of the picture by Bond tossing it over a cliff to its destruction, both sides are essentially 'equal'; neither has the advantage that possessing ATAC would give them.
      • The British built the ATAC in the first place, though, and can presumably do so again, unlike the Soviets who needed to steal a pre-existing ATAC in order to have one.
      • Well, yes, but presumably they don't want to have to build it again if they don't need to is the essential point. It'll take them time, effort and resources to rebuild it, during which they won't have the advantage over the Soviets that it gives them, and the Soviets may discover a way to build it themselves or discover something else which would nullify any advantage having ATAC would give the British.
      • It makes sense because the Russians haven't actually invested anything in acquiring the ATAC. They were willing to buy it from Kristatos, but they hadn't actually lost any money or assets in the operation. Gogol wanted the ATAC and was willing to come out and buy it (presumably for an exorbitant price), but once it was destroyed Gogol wasn't willing to kill Bond in front of a ton of witnesses in retaliation. It hasn't actually cost Gogol anything, and the British have lost a valuable piece of equipment that they'll have to replace, in addition to the cost of the operation to recover it, so Gogol laughs and walks away.
      • Destroying the ATAC was actually the first option. It had a dedicated thermite charge and destruct mechanism. The CO's last order was "destruct ATAC system" and it just didn't happen because the person who tried to pull destruct lever drowned. Bond and Melina removed the ATAC instead of setting the timer was likely for safety reasons. They were several hundred feet underwater, had little time to work and couldn't rely on explosives and detonators that were exposed to salt water. By the time Bond had the ATAC in his hands, he was literally standing right in front of Gogol and an armed guard. So he threw it over the cliff and destroyed it.
      • In fact, standard procedure in the military or intelligence for classified equipment or materials that was in danger of falling into the enemy hands is to destroy it rather than try to salvage it later. It's what happened with a US Military plane during the "Hainan Island incident". Before the plane landed, the crew used hammers to smash sensitive equipment to bits and tossed stuff overboard into the sea.
  • Blofeld's strategy of killing Bond involved flying him around in a remote-controlled helicopter which he operated from the safety of... a flat rooftop with nothing hiding him, with no weapons or guards to protect him in case something went wrong, and he's also crippled and bound to a wheelchair. Wouldn't it have been a lot less risky to just hire a sniper to kill Bond from a distance, get himself a sniper rifle to shoot Bond while he's in the chopper, or even plant a bomb inside the helicopter so that it would explode while Bond was inside? He was the head of one of the most powerful/dangerous terrorist groups in the world, so you'd think he would have stuff like that leftover from the "glory days".
    • Because Blofeld is not the kind of guy that would do that. It is simply not his MO (apart from the ending scene in OHMSS, where he was simply pissed off at Bond at the moment for crippling him). He wants to see Bond dead, but he wants to kill him personally (that means alone) and not before he frightens him with "foolproof inescapable" trap. That is also the answer to the question why he wasn't somewhere in cover - He was so damn sure nothing can go wrong. He might even have wanted to hear Bond beg for his life - ironic, when he himself did it. When he saw it was not going to happen, he decided to end it, but it was already too late for poor Blof...
    • Simple overconfidence. He's got Bond locked in the back of an out-of-control helicopter in mid-flight, after all, he's not expecting Bond to turn the tables on him like that.
  • Was the vicar on Blofeld's side? I've always found his cross sign as Bond flew away a bit of a coincidence.
    • Possibly. He was the one who informed Bond of the helicopter's arrival.
    • I doubt he's a real vicar, just an agent dressed as a clergyman, like Q later on in the same film.
      • Or he could be a real vicar who simply got duped. If Bond regularly, or even semi-regularly, visits his wife's grave, he has probably met and spoken to him. It would be extremely easy for someone to call him and claim to be with Universal Exports and have him tell Bond that there's an emergency and that a helicopter is being sent to pick him up. With no caller ID and no reason to believe it's anyone else, there's no reason for the vicar not to relay the message. It would also make it easier to sell Bond on the trap.
  • Other than legal reasons, are there any in-universe reasons why Bond never brings up the encounter with with Blofeld (in this film or any following ones)? The whole idea that he wouldn't think of telling at least someone at MI-6 "Hey, you know that guy who did all those terrorist plots and then disappeared? He just tried to kill me, but I got him?" is hard to swallow. Even if they can't utter his name I would think there would be ways around it (e.g Bond "I met familiar foe earlier" M/Q/Moneypenny "Oh? who?" Bond "I'll fill you in later").
    • Could of been another doppleganger or at least assumed at first until they had time to confirm it was the real one
    • Or he did report it and all the subsequent paperwork, investigation and recovery happened off-screen. The subsequent sinking could've taken place days, weeks or even months later. Remember, television episodes and movies do a lot of time compression. The film's entire plot probably took place over the course of a week or two.
      • Definetly happened off-screen before the other events in the movie. Why Bond wouldn't have reported there were two bodies and a helicopter to take care of? The first thing he logically did was to contact MI-6 to tell he had to land a helicopter with "Universal Exports" written on it and with a least one additional device that could contain a bomb. Sometimes, an introduction scene is a whole standalone narrative and there's then no need to insert connection between it and the rest of the movie.
  • Why did the Blofeld Doppelganger not react by crashing the helicopter into something when he saw Bond getting to the outside of the helicopter?
    • Because he wanted Bond to struggle. At one point, Bond was dangling from one of the skids, which amused Blofeld to no end. Once Bond ended up in the cockpit, Blofeld immediately went to crash the helicopter. He probably thought the remote system would prevent Bond from regaining control; which it did until Bond disabled it. Had Blofeld known that Bond was able to spot part of the remote system or that simply yanking on some electrical cables would disable it, he probably would have crashed it sooner.
  • Why did the Cuban assassin kill the parents of Melina when she was in the yacht? If he saw that there was a third person on the yacht, why not just wait so there would be no eye witnesses?
    • It was a matter of convenience. His target was on the yacht in plain view and he didn't care about collateral damage. He probably didn't care about leaving witnesses either because he lived at a secure location surrounded by security.
    • In fact, the two other attempts to kill Bond took place in public with plenty of witnesses. Let's also not forget that it was part of an effort to frame Columbo and have him killed.
  • When the henchmen to Gonzales apprehend Bond at his swimming pool, the Cuban assassin tells the henchman to take Bond away but where specifically where they taking Bond to? They did 3/4 of a lap around the pool and it seems like there was no particular destination.
    • Gonzales' property seems to be fairly large with formidable security. It wouldn't be surprising if Bond wasn't the first one to trespass on his property. They probably planned to just take him to a specific spot out in the woods, kill him and then bury him. Or make him dig his own grave, kill him, and then bury him.
      • Gonzales identified Bond right away as a man with a license to kill. Did he intend to just take him off the property or to kill him. If it was the former, he knew he was a dangerous man, so stronger measures would have seemed prudent.
      • No, they were definitely not going to escort him off the property. It's all in the dialog.
      Gonzales: A Walther PPK. Standard issue British Secret Service. License to kill (he looks to Locke, who gives Gonzales a nod of approval), or be killed. Take him away.
      • It was not that he was James Bond, just that he was a government agent. In fairness, Bond was unarmed, outnumbered, surrounded by armed men and on Gonzales' property. So he was pretty sure he had control of the situation up until he took his final belly flop.
      • Was Locke actually on the job that day? I assumed he was visiting because he does absolutely nothing when Bond does nothing. He signals his associate at the pool not to shoot and waits at his table. I assumed he intentionally didn't shoot Bond because he wasn't hired to do so.
      • Locke was tasked with paying Gonzales, so he was working that day (killing is not the only part of his job description). He just didn't intervene because with Gonzales dead, that's one less loose end, money saved and an opportunity for Locke and his associate to leave quietly while the others are occupied. Why get involved when there were plenty of others willing to do the dirty work? He may have also been quietly sizing up Bond and was clearly expecting to encounter him again if he survived.
  • How did a trained biathlete— a man who hits targets the size of a silver dollar—not hit something as large as Bond from the prone position?
    • He was toying with him. He was a KGB Agent, so he knew who Bond was and was happy to kill him.
      • Didn't the KGB cooperate with Bond (i.e. General Gogol)?
      • Yes they did because the Big Bad of the film was a threat to both their countries, but they're still on opposite sides and at the beginning of "The Spy Who Loved Me", it was the KGB who were trying to kill him in the opening scene. While Gogol likes Bond and doesn't want him killed, he can't exactly micromanage his own people who are in the field.
      • Then again, it's possible that Kreiger wasn't trying to kill Bond but further sell him on the idea that Columbo wants him dead. Bond probably didn't know Kreiger was a KGB agent at the time.