Previously On: JAMES BOND

James Bond

There are lots of franchises out there and lots of storylines one needs to remember. Previously On is our way of providing a quick refresher with the plot points you may need to keep in mind for that upcoming sequel or spinoff. This installment updates you on all the happenings in rebooted James Bond franchise featuring Daniel Craig as the suave British secret agent with a license to kill.

Novice Agent

James Bond Casino Royale

James Bond, MI6 agent with a freshly issued license to kill, is assigned to capture a terrorist bomb maker in Madagascar. Bond flubs the assignment, killing the target in a foreign embassy and sparking an international incident.

Meanwhile, Obanno of the African rebel group the Lord’s Resistence Army, entrusts $101 million with La Chiffre, an Albanian who provides banking and money laundering services to terrorist groups. Unbeknownst to Obanno, La Chiffre plans to divert the funds temporarily by gaming the stock market through advance knowledge of a terrorist attack aimed at an airline manufacturer Miami, allowing him to profit and then return to the funds to their proper destination.

Following up on a clue he obtained from the dead bomb maker’s cellphone, Bond heads to the Bahamas where he finds Dimitrios, the person coordinating the attack on the airline. Bond follows him to Miami andfoils the bombing, killing Dimitrios in the process. Bond also discovers a link between Dimitrios and La Chiffre.

With the money entrusted to him by Obanno now lost because of the thwarted bombing, La Chiffre organizes a high stake poker tournament in Montenegro in order to come up with the funds. Bond’s superior at MI6, M, assigns him to enter the tournament and disrupt La Chiffre’s plans with the hope that he would turn to British Intelligence for protection in exchange for information on his clients. They assign a treasury agent, Vesper Lynn to keep an eye on Bond and the $10 million buy-in needed for the tournament.

In the initial rounds of the tournament,Bond does poorly, loosing his initial $100 million stake. During a break, he kills Obanno and his bodyguard after he sees the two coming from threatening La Chiffre over the missing money. Vesper refuses to front Bond the $5 million needed to buy back into the tournament, but Bond is given the money by Felix Leiter, a CIA agent who had also infiltrated the tournament, but had worse luck than Bond did.

Reentering the tournament,Bond survives an attempt to poison him before winning, leaving La Chiffre back where he started. Shortly thereafter La Chiffre has Bond and Vesper kidnapped. He tortures Bond for his access code to the account where the tournament winnings have been transferred to. Bond refuses. Before La Chiffre can kill him, La Chiffre is killed by a mysterious Mr. White, the man who had first entrusted him with the millions to be given to Obanno. White leaves the semi-conscious Bond and Vesper alive.

Upon recovering in an MI6 safe house, Bond concludes that their contact in Montenegro Remne Mathias must have sold he and Vesper out to La Chiffre, and has him taken into custody. Vesper stays by Bond’s side as he spends time recovering from his wounds incurred during La Chiffre’s torture and the two fall in love. Bond has Vesper transfer the winnings back to the Royal Treasury, he then resigns from MI6 and the two head to Venice to start a new life.

Once they arrive in Venice, M contacts Bond and advises him that the Treasury has not yet received the money Vesper supposedly transferred. Bond realizes that she must have betrayed him and sets off across the city to find her. Bond catches up with her on her way to hand off the money to Mr White. A gunfight ensues with White escaping and Vesper allowing herself to drown after apologizing to Bond.

M inform Bond that they discovered that Vesper was being blackmailed into becoming a double agent by La Chiffre. She also suggests that Vesper must have cut a deal with Mr. White to save Bond’s life. Bond tracks Mr White to Italy, where he wounds and captures him.

The Coming Of Quantum

James Bond Quantum of Solace

Returning to a safe house with the captured Mr. White, M interrogates him about a shadowy organization called Quantum. Mr White says that hey have agents everywhere, and to prove his point, M’s own bodyguard, Mitchell, attacks her. Bond stops him but n the confusion, Mr. White escapes.

Searching Mitchell’s apartment for clues, Bond and M discover a trail that leads to Bolivia and environmentalist entrepreneur Dominick Greene. In Bolivia, Bond teams up with Camille Montes, Greene’s lover, though she was only getting close to him so she could have access to his associate exiled Bolivian General Medrano, who had murdered her family when she was a child. Following Greene to Austria, Bond manages to infiltrate a meeting of the higher-ups of Quantum being held under cover of an opera performance. He is discovered, but not before identifying many of the participants in the meeting.

During Bond’s escape, Greene orders the Special Branch bodyguard of an advisor to the British Prime Minister who is also a Quantum member killed. Back in London, it is assumed that Bond killed the agent and has gone rogue. M orders passports and credit cards revoked. Bond heads back to Italy, where Mathis, no exonerated, is retired. He agrees to accompany Bond to Bolivia to chase after Greene, but there he is murdered by corrupt police. Dying in Bond’s arms, Mathis tells Bond he needs to forgive Vesper and himself.

Bond and Camille reconnoiter a section of Bolivian desert that Medrano is giving Quantum in exchange for their help in him regaining control of the country. They discover that Quantum has been working to monopolize the Bolivian water supply, effectively giving them power over Medrano. As Greene and Medrano sign the contract that would give Quantum control of the country’s water, Bond breaks up the meeting. Camille kills Medrano, while Bond captures and interrogates Greene about Quantum. He then drives him deep into the desert, dumping him out of his vehicle and instructing him to walk back to civilization.

Traveling to Kazan, Russia, Bond confronts the Quantum agent who was Vesper’s former lover and who tricked her into thinking he was in danger from the organization if she didn’t become a double agent. Rather than kill him for dragging Vesper into something that led to her death, Bond allows MI6 to apprehend him.


James Bond Skyfall

Bond spends the next several years in service to Her Majesty’s Government. While on assignment to stop the theft of a hard drive containing the names of several undercover agents in Istanbul with new agent Eve Moneypenny, Bond is shot and presumed dead. In actuality, he quickly recovers but chooses to remain in hiding. His “retirement” is short lived when he sees on the news that a terrorist attack struck MI6 headquarters. He returns to London to find that M is being pressure into retirement by Gareth Mallory, the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. The attack on MI6 headquarters was distinctly targeted to get her attention. When Bond returns, she orders him out into the field, despite his failing all of the physical and psychological tests required for a field agent.

Arriving in Shanghai, Bond tracks Patrice, the mercenary who stole the hard drive, but is unable to retrieve it before Patrice is killed. Bond searches his body and finds a chip for a casino in Macau. Heading there, he meets Sévérine, Patrice’s accomplice. She leads him to a deserted island installation and her employer, Raoul Silva, the man behind the MI6 bombing. A former MI6 agent who was under M’s command when she was a section chief in Hong Kong. After he attempted to hack into China’s intelligence community’s computers without authorization, M traded him to the Chinese in exchange for six prisoners. After being tortured by the Chinese, and surviving a failed suicide-by-cyanide-capsule attempt, he managed to escape and refashioned himself as a cyber-terrorist for hire. Sévérine is killed by Silva, but Bond captures him as RAF helicopters arrive to take him into custody.

A short time later, Q is attempting to break into Silva’s laptop but inadvertently gives it access to all of MI6s computers. This is what Silva had been planning for, and prearranged programming shuts down much of MI6 and allows him to escape. Meanwhile, M is at another Parliament inquiry over MI6’s recent actions. Silva heads to the meeting to kill M, but Bond, with the help of Mallory and Moneypenny, is able to thwart his plan.

Bond realizes that the only safe place for M is somewhere where there are no computers. He heads for Scotland and Skyfall, the familial estate of the Bond family which has fallen into some disrepair from Bond’s neglect. With the help of longtime groundskeeper Kincaide. The three manage to rig a series of booby-traps that help them fight off Silva’s henchmen. Bond ultimately kills Silva, but not before M is fatally wounded. Some time later, Mallory is appointed the new head of MI6.

Ghosts From The Past

James Bond Spectre

Several weeks after M’s funeral, Bond is in Mexico where he kills Marco Sciarra, a terrorist planning an attack on a stadium in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead celebrations. As the killing was unsanctioned, threatening an international incident and complicating the planned consolidation of MI5 and MI6, Mallory suspends Bond from active duty. As part of the consolidation of the two intelligence services, Mallory finds himself in something of a power struggle with his opposite number in MI5, Max Denbigh. Later Bond confides in Moneypenny that he was acting on the final wish of the old M, who asked him to kill Sciarra in a video message delivered to him days after her death.

Against orders, Bond heads to Rome, where Sciarra’s widow tells him of a meeting of the organization that her late husband belonged to where they will choose his replacement. Bond is able to gain entrance to the meeting using Sciarra’s ring, which is embossed with a stylized octopus. Bond identifies the leader of the organization as Franz Oberhauser, someone thought to have died years ago. Oberhauser orders the death of someone called the Pale King, before revealing that he is aware of Bond’s presence at the meeting. Bond flees.

Moneypenny informs Bond that the Pale King is actually Mr. White, who has had a falling out with Oberhauser. Bond traces Mr. White to Austria, where the agent finds him dying. Bond agrees to protect his daughter, psychiatrist Madeleine Swann, who can lead him to information about Oberhauser. Mr. White then commits suicide with Bond’s pistol, rather than continue on with his slow, lingering death.

Bond travels to meet Madeleine and manages to keep her from being abducted by Oberhauser’s men. Q arrives and lets Bond know that the organization Oberhauser runs had connections to nearly every one of Bond’s major missions – Mr. Green, La Chiffre, Dominic Greene, Quantum, Silva. Madeleine states that the organization is called Spectre.

With Madeleine’s help, Bond  tracks Oberhauser to a compound in the Sahara Desert. There, Oberhauser reveals how his father became Bond’s ward after his parents were killed in a skiing accident when James was a boy. Out of jealousy, he killed his father and faked his own death, reemergiing later with the name Ernst Stravo Blofeld. As he tortures Bond, Oberhauser/Blofeld claims that he founded SPECTRE and has been the architect of a number of the tragedies in Bond’s life including the death of Vesper and Silvia’s attack on MI6 and M. He also reveals that he is behind the consolidation of the two British intelligence branchs and that Denbigh works for Spectre. Denbigh’s push to have the newly combine agency enter into an intelligence sharing agreement with eight other countries through a computerized system called Nine Eyes was also orchestrated by Blofeld in order to give him access to their combioned knowledge. Bond and Madeleine escape, destroting the Spectre complex and seemingly killing Blofeld.

Racing back to London with Madeleine, Bond informs Mallory of Denbigh’s plan. Q manages to hack the Nine Eyes system and shut it down before it goes on line, while Mallory confronts Denbigh, who dies in their struggle. Blofeld appears and attempts to kill Bond and Madeleine one last time in the implosion of the old bombed-out MI6 building. They escape and Bond causes Blofeld’s helicopter to crash onto Westminster Bridge. Bond leaves Blofeld to be arrested by Mallory while he departs with Madeleine, seemingly leaving his life as a secret agent with a license to kill behind him…

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About Rich Drees 7023 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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