For Your Eyes Only starts on a down note: Bond laying flowers at the grave of his wife, Tracy, killed off by Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s the first time in a decade that a Bond film has alluded to the SPECTRE supervillain, and indeed when Bond’s helicopter is hijacked by remote control moments later, the archnemesis in command seems awfully familiar.
For copyright reasons, this man cannot be Blofeld — the series’ producers lost the rights to that character in a legal dispute with Thunderball screenwriter Kevin McClory. Indeed we never see his face, and the character is never named in the film. But clearly, this is Blofeld, bald and Persian cat-loving, and from the looks of his wheelchair and neck brace he’s about had enough of his run-ins with Bond.
As the helicopter soars over London, Bond tries desperately to retake control while not-Blofeld tries gleefully to scare the pants off him. But just as not-Blofeld is about to administer the coup de grace by crashing the helicopter into an abandoned factory, Bond pulls the right wire, cutting off not-Blofeld’s control panel — and the tables are turned. The helicopter swoops down and impales the villain’s motorized wheelchair on its skids, hoisting him into the air. Bond then lets not-Blofeld plead for his life for a few minutes before dumping him down a factory chimney.
It’s an entertaining scene and a nice way to tie up one of the franchise’s longest loose ends, but the whole shebang is nearly derailed by Blofeld’s bizarre final line: “Mr. Bond! Please! We can make a deal! I’ll buy you a delicatessen! In stainless steel!” It’s nonsensical, it’s ridiculous, and worst of all it rhymes.