Bond and Mr White

One of my favourite scenes in Spectre was the one between Bond and Mr. White... But, despite the fact I enjoyed the scene, there's just something about it that doesn't sit well with me. Let me explain what I mean.

This is a man who Bond would gladly have killed back in Casino Royale if he hadn't of needed him. Yet here, it seems that all is forgiven between them?.. That just doesn't seem right to me.. From the clip we saw of this scene in the trailers I expected Bond to coldly dispatch White once he'd finished talking with him, but he doesn't. And, to a certain extent, I'm okay with that, as it shows that Bond is no longer just a killing machine. But, what I'm not okay with is Bond giving White a loaded gun. I mean, what the hell! I know this was done in order to gain White's trust but it still seems rather stupid of Bond. Not only that, but then once White is dead he gently closes his eyes.. I must admit that there is something rather beautiful about this moment, but it does seem rather strange for Bond to be so, so forgiving. And then for Bond to defend White to his daughter later on?.. It just all seems rather strange and forced.

What did you make of this scene?
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Comments

  • In CR there were scenes where one was completely at the mercy of the other; White could have easily killed Bond, and Bond could have easily killed White. Neither of them did it of course, and I think this gives them a sort of respect for each other. Each of them knows exactly who and what the other one is, and the rules they play by. It's an interesting back and forth they have across three films.
  • DariusDarius UK
    edited November 2015 Posts: 354
    @LicenseToChill

    White wants Bond to take care of his daughter, so it wouldn't make sense to kill him. White is also dying and wants to end it quickly, so Bond offers this option.

    Bond needs the information White has, so it doesn't make sense to kill him -- best to let him do it himself once he's spilled the beans.

    By the way, I would edit the title of this thread to warn against spoilers.
  • Seven_Point_Six_FiveSeven_Point_Six_Five Southern California
    Posts: 1,257
    I wanted Bond to put a bullet through Mr. White's heart but I knew they were going to puss out and not have Bond kill him.

    But I agree, Bond's overall treatment of Mr. White did seem a bit out of character.

    Also, I'm surprised Bond didn't knock over the white king on the chess board before leaving. That was the perfect chance for some obvious symbolism.
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 709
    I wanted Bond to put a bullet through Mr. White's heart but I knew they were going to puss out and not have Bond kill him.

    But I agree, Bond's overall treatment of Mr. White did seem a bit out of character.

    Also, I'm surprised Bond didn't knock over the white king on the chess board before leaving. That was the perfect chance for some obvious symbolism.
    HA! Yes I thought that too. He could have done it in a casual way, just flicking it over on his way out the door. It would have been obvious, but, why not? Then Hinx could have noticed it later.


  • Posts: 632
    He did let Vesper's boyfriend go at the end of QOS, so I wasn't surprised he extended White the same courtesy. Getting information on Oberhauser and solving that mystery was far more important to him then revenge, plus White was dying. From the first glance of White in the trailer, I marveled how such an affluent man had fallen so low in the span between movies. Perhaps Bond took pity on him and has forgiven him in his role in Vesper's demise?
  • Did anyone notice
    When Bond first sees White, in the basement room with all the TVs, there appears to be a jug of piss on the floor next to him. Long way from the luxury of Lake Como!
  • Posts: 1,680
    Bond didnt have a desire to kill White IMO, we see this when Bond mentions him growing a conscience & when he closed his eyes when dead.


  • Posts: 12,436
    It felt like an honour among thieves type of vibe i thought. I really liked it.
  • Posts: 11,493
    Frankly, I'm glad Bond didn't kill him. He could see White was in terrible shape and suffering already. White was no longer a threat, just a man on his deathbed wanting his daughter's safety. Bond needed what his daughter knew and White needed his daughter's protection; it was a simple exchange.
  • Posts: 1,314
    Why were spectre after Madeleine anyway?
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited November 2015 Posts: 5,205
    RogueAgent wrote: »
    It felt like an honour among thieves type of vibe i thought. I really liked it.

    I agree with this. Plus White knew he was dying and Bond promised to protect Madeleine--and did, for once!--so that tipped the scale in Bond's favor.

    The *best* decision the screenwriters made this time around was to bring back White--to look at what really worked in QoS--and to invent his daughter.
  • Matt007 wrote: »
    Why were spectre after Madeleine anyway?

    They are not ones to leave loose ends. They would want to eliminate anyone they think would potential threaten their existence. It was one of the reasons they were after Lucia, after her husband died, she was no longer a "protected" person. She knew too much despite not being personally afflicted with the group, it would be easier for them to kill her then strike a deal.

    The same applies for Madeline. She was clearly aware of this and took the job in the Hoffler Klinik as it was seemingly out of Spectre's grasp. However after Bond turned up and saw Mr. White (who disclosed the existence of L'Americain) they knew Bond would travel to her and uncover their organisation. The way they found Madeline was through Hinx discovering the camera in White's chalet recording the entire meeting. Essentially Bond led Spectre to Madeline. A rather shoddy piece of detective work as he had already noted the camera earlier.

    On the other hand, the fact that Oberhauser is watching everything would suggest that he could have watched White's suicide in real time.

    The truth is once you unpick the storyline you could drive a bus through it's plot-holes.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited November 2015 Posts: 5,205
    Matt007 wrote: »
    The truth is once you unpick the storyline you could drive a bus through it's plot-holes.

    At least it's smaller than a subway car... ;)
  • eddychaputeddychaput Montreal, Canada
    Posts: 364
    dinovelvet wrote: »
    In CR there were scenes where one was completely at the mercy of the other; White could have easily killed Bond, and Bond could have easily killed White. Neither of them did it of course, and I think this gives them a sort of respect for each other. Each of them knows exactly who and what the other one is, and the rules they play by. It's an interesting back and forth they have across three films.

    That is probably one of the best points one can make. I would add that at this stage, considering Mr. White's condition, I doubt Bond would reap much satisfaction in killing him.
  • Posts: 1,314
    My favourite line in the film: "two dead men enjoying the evening air"

    Or something like that. Memory not great.

    White is one great character across the films. And expertly acted. Although he turns Scottish when he says "he's eating dinner with your family"
  • Posts: 2,488
    I agree with you. But then White told Bond that Vesper saved his life in CR. So I think....that White never wanted to kill Bond. It was strictly business. And White has no business with Bond in SP so...why kill him.

    At least that's how I justify it....still the scene wasn't needed...I swear I could have written parts of the movie better...

    Have Bond kill White out of mercy so he can finally die in peace instead of struggling for 2 more weeks.......so when Oberhauser shows the video to Swann it makes sense why Bond is begging her to close her eyes...


    Also mods put SPOILER in the name of the thread
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    dinovelvet wrote: »
    In CR there were scenes where one was completely at the mercy of the other; White could have easily killed Bond, and Bond could have easily killed White. Neither of them did it of course, and I think this gives them a sort of respect for each other. Each of them knows exactly who and what the other one is, and the rules they play by. It's an interesting back and forth they have across three films.

    Good points.
  • Posts: 14,109
    Why would Bond kill White? White has remorse about his past life and is trying to make amend. Furthermore he's being punished already, although ironically for the crimes he refused to commit. Beside if SPECTRE wants to eliminate White it means he is a potential nuisance to them and an ally for Bond. Both the circumstances and the person have changed.

    And although a short lived one, White became one of the most interesting allies of Bond in the last few decades.
  • Bond would never have killed White in the state he was in. white was practically on death's door, Bond's a cruel man but he wouldn't pull the trigger on someone so obviously in pain and close to death.

    One of the things that Mendes constantly mentions in SP is the life and choices of an 'assassin'. I think Bond sees a lot of himself in White, they are both opposites of the same coin; they kill people. It's likely one of the reasons why Bond decides to retire at the end (ironically with Mr White's daughter), he doesn't want to end up like his nemesis; alone, forgotten and dead. The life of an assassin is lonely and full of secrets and lies.

    Mr. White is probably the most important character thematically in the film. Bond senses a certain kinship with the now feeble Pale King.
  • I was just having a think about how (despite his lack of screentime) Mr. White still manages to get really fleshed out as a character in SP. Also it has to be said that Jesper gives a fantastic performance in this film. He is haunted, fragile, pathetic and menacing. He's really not getting his praises sung high enough.

    Anyway, I've tried to sketch out the life of Mr. White. I want people to interject with their own theories about what this guy got up to before his demise
    _____________________________________________________________

    - We know little about his early life aside from the fact that he's a criminal and a 'assassin'.

    - It's likely he got married in his 30's and had Madeline in his mid 30's. I presume by this point he was already in Spectre. His rank in Spectre is never explicitly mentioned, but considering his role in CR and QOS we can presume it's fairly high-up (maybe the deputy?). I'd imagine he headed up the Quantum division and was close with Blofeld who claims to have visited the White family home.

    -Him and his wife were clearly very much in love at one point and visited the L'Americain hotel every year following their honeymoon. When Madeline was born they took her along too.

    -Assassins try and break into his family home and kill him but a young Madeline saves him. We also see lots of pictures of him and Madeline suggesting he was once close to his daughter.

    -His wife leaves him. It's suggested that she is still alive. After their divorce he still continues to use the L'Americain hotel room, only now as a base for his operations and a hideout.

    -Him and Madeline grow estranged. I can't remember the exact dialogue from the film but she turns her back on him. When we meet her she hasn't seen or heard from him in 7 years.

    -During this time White travels to Uganda to meet Steven Obanno and put him in contact witha Spectre contractor, Le Chiffre. He later interrogates British Treasury official, Vesper Lynd, into working for Spectre. Vesper strikes a deal with Spectre to spare Bond's life in exchange for the money. Bond is able to arrest White.

    -White is interrogated in an MI6 safehouse in Italy where he insists that his organisation has global reach and are currently operating unbeknownst to the world's intelligence communities. White is able to escape capture.

    -Several years later White begins to disagree with the methods being used by Blofeld. He believes Blofeld has changed and is too willing to kill women and children for power. Essentially, White suddenly has a change of heart and redeems himself. We also learn he operates under the code name 'The Pale King'.

    -Having upset Blofeld, White goes into hiding. He also discovers that thalium has been placed inside his mobile, thus poisoning him severely. He hides out in a chalet in Austria where no one can find him waiting to die (Spectre have also sent their best assassin to kill him). Bond discovers him, by this point he is noticeably frail and delusional. After striking a deal with Bond, White shoots himself in the head knowing that 007 will protect his daughter and kill Blofeld.

    -The last we see of White his body has been decomposing for a day or two and crows are picking at his face.
  • TokolosheTokoloshe Under your bed
    Posts: 2,667
    Excellent work, @Pierce2Daniel - thanks!

    The only thing I can see to add is that he personally executed Le Chiffre for his failure.
  • Posts: 1,680
    And Whites activity at the Quantum/Spectre opera meeting in QOS.
  • ChevronChevron Northern Ireland
    Posts: 370
    Something I thought of when I was reading the links between Spectre and the Octopussy short story. Bond goes to see Dexter-Smythe about the death of Oberhauser. But instead of bringing him in he allows Dexter-Smythe to commit sucide.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    Chevron wrote: »
    Something I thought of when I was reading the links between Spectre and the Octopussy short story. Bond goes to see Dexter-Smythe about the death of Oberhauser. But instead of bringing him in he allows Dexter-Smythe to commit sucide.

    Kind of. But Dexter doesn't commit suicide....he is stung by a scorpian fish and drowned by an octopus whilst swimming. He never takes Bond up on his 'subtle' offer.
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 372
    I'll admit I was surprised too, because I really thought Bond went there with the intention of killing him. But seeing the state he was in, I guess anyone would've thought that he didn't deserve more punishment. I suppose it's not like Bond to feel this way, but it might be possible to be disgusted by the evil doings of another person, even when they're targeting someone you despise.
  • Posts: 4,383
    Does this BTS shot from Spectre reveal Mr. White's true identity?
    http://i1.wp.com/www.commander007.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Spectre_619.5.jpg

    Or is Friedrich König just an alias? Wouldn't his surname be Swann? I like how White's codename 'The Pale King' and his daughter's surname are evocative of his (supposed) name.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,341
    Does this BTS shot from Spectre reveal Mr. White's true identity?
    http://i1.wp.com/www.commander007.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Spectre_619.5.jpg

    Or is Friedrich König just an alias? Wouldn't his surname be Swann? I like how White's codename 'The Pale King' and his daughter's surname are evocative of his (supposed) name.

    I assume that that was before the producers decided to give Mr White a new background to tie him into the Madeleine Swann character? Or, diplomatically, one could say that that was merely an alias? Who knows?
  • Posts: 313
    Konig means King in German. Must be an alias.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,341
    Gettler wrote: »
    Konig means King in German. Must be an alias.

    Ah, it's actually very clever then?
  • TokolosheTokoloshe Under your bed
    Posts: 2,667
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Gettler wrote: »
    Konig means King in German. Must be an alias.

    Ah, it's actually very clever then?


    Yes I'd say so.

    The screen appears to show search results for anything using the words PALE, KING or any translation thereof. Hence the item on the right is a taxi receipt in the name of Pale, which is probably unrelated to him but has just popped up in the search.

    Fantastic attention to detail - love it!

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