After Skyfall, it seemed like James Bond had reached a terminus in his career as a secret agent. He was a washed-up alcoholic who could barely execute his mission. His mentor, M, had been murdered. Even his childhood estate was blown to hell. When you’ve defeated the enemy who took away everything you hold dear, how do you pick up the pieces and move on? Do you open a bed and breakfast in Tenby? Maybe head up to the island of Islay and try your hand at distilling some Scotch? Why not move to Monaco and play Baccarat professionally?
If you’re James Bond, the chapter of your life titled “Spectre” looks a lot like previous chapters. 007 starts off immediately in trouble for raising hell in Mexico City. He’s sternly disciplined by Ralph Fiennes, MI6’s new, slightly less matronly M. As punishment, Q loans Bond a spiffy new Aston Martin that harkens back to his classic DB5 coupe. Moneypenny even pops in to dispense some flirtatious encouragement. It’s quite a preamble to let you know that, don’t worry, James Bond isn’t going anywhere.
Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond has seen a thin trail of breadcrumbs leading between each film, and the reappearance of Jesper Christensen’s Mr. White suggests that continues to be the case here. And considering that SPECTRE has been an ongoing thorn in James Bond’s side since Dr. No, it was only a matter of time before the nefarious organization resurfaced. Christoph Waltz literally emerges from the shadows as the organization’s head, asserting that he’s the one who been making James Bond so miserable these past few years (At least until the next film, when we find out that it’s really some other guy pulling the strings.)
By the time Mr. Bond gets to leaping out of windows, canoodling with Monica Bellucci, firing jet fuel out of the back of his coupe, and inverting his helicopter, you remember that he can never retire to a small fishing town. MI6’s benefits package is just too good. James Bond settles back into the workaday world of prosaic espionage when Spectre infiltrates U.S. theaters on November 6.