Study Guide

Skyfall Betrayal

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M: Take the shot. [pause] I said take the shot.

EVE: I can't! I may hit Bond.

M: Take the bloody shot!

For Bond, M's order is a double betrayal. Not only did M put his life in danger by ordering Eve to take a risky shot, but also, by ordering Eve to take the shot, M is showing a lack of confidence in Bond's abilities. She doesn't think he can recover the data on his own.

M: Oh, we've sold your flat, put your things into storage. Standard procedure on the death of an unmarried employee with no next of kin. You should have called.

M comes across as petty here, but she really did think Bond was dead. She didn't sell his stuff just to spite him.

TANNER: I didn't know Bond passed the tests.

M: He didn't.

M's response comes off as a moment of levity here, breaking the tension after a serious situation. But we'll later learn that her lying is no laughing matter: she may have thought she was helping Bond, but her actions almost get him killed.

BOND: I made my own choices.

SILVA: [laughs] You think you did. That's her genius.

Silva wants to convince Bond that M has been manipulating him from the beginning. Do you think he has a point? Technically, M is Bond's boss, so she does make his choices for him. But does that mean Bond's not thinking for himself at all?

SILVA: You're still clinging to your faith in that old woman. When all she does is lie to you. […] What is this if not betrayal? She sent you after me knowing you're not ready, knowing you'll likely die. Mommy was very bad!

Now we see why Silva is playing the betrayal angle. He feels betrayed himself, and he thinks that if he can convince Bond that he was betrayed, too, then Bond will help him and turn against M. He makes the mistake of thinking that Bond is like him, when the two men couldn't be more different in some important ways.

SILVA: They kept me for five months in a room with no air. They tortured me. And I protected your secrets. I protected you. But they made me suffer. And suffer. And suffer. Until I realized it was you who betrayed me. You betrayed me. So, I had only one thing left. My cyanide capsule in my back left molar. You remember, right? So I broke the tooth and bit into the capsule. And burned all my insides. But I didn't die. Life clung to me like a disease. And then I understood why I had survived. I needed to look in your eyes one last time.

Now we get a clear picture as to why Silva feels betrayed, and we almost feel sorry for the guy. What he went through was harrowing and painful, and that's not even counting the emotional turmoil caused by his feelings of betrayal by M. We'd like to say that it wasn't personal, just like it wasn't personal when M ordered Eve to shoot and possibly kill Bond. But M actually did turn Silva in, because she didn't trust him anymore. It was personal. Maybe he has a reason for hurt feelings.

M: Your name is on the memorial wall of the very building you attacked. I will have it struck off. Soon your past will be as nonexistent as your future. I'll never see you again.

Silva feels betrayed, and M makes no effort to make it up to him. Instead, she sticks her finger in his wound and twists when she tells him that she will erase any memory of him. To cause someone not exist is the ultimate betrayal of that person. It's another irony, too, considering how much effort Silva has made to live off the grid. But he doesn't see it that way.

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