Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Character Review: Lance Hunter


Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’s second season can almost be thought of as two separate seasons. The first half covered the deterioration of Hydra and Coulson’s psyche, ending with a huge bang — or, if you will, shake. The second half covered the discovery of the Inhumans and superpowered people.

Because there’s been so much character development this season (and since we have the time to kill), let’s dive in and take a trip down Agents of SHIELD memory lane, character by character.

Miss a post? Get caught up: Melinda May  |  Grant Ward  |  Fitz  |  Simmons  |  Bobbi Morse

[Mid-Season Report: Bobbi and Hunter]

The Positive: Lance Hunter morphed from a standard SHIELD agent you could take or leave and feel indifferent either way to the humorous voice of reason, ready and willing to get the job done.

Or more simply put, as my fiancee said, “When he showed up at that bar and signed that napkin, I was completely for him.”

It took nearly half the season, but Hunter stood on his own as a character. By the mid-season finale, he was a standard member of Coulson’s team. He showed a willingness and dedication to every field mission, no matter who he was partnered with. He tracked Grant Ward undercover, set up a sting operation against Hydra (with a bland American accent!), escaped from fake!SHIELD custody, and met up with Coulson on the run to extract some vigilante justice.

Oh, and he helped Fitz escape his fake!SHIELD tails using just a hand dryer in a diner bathroom.

He was a wild card, but in a different sense than Ward. Various factors (immediate boss dying on the job, working alongside his ex-wife) kept Hunter wondering if he truly wanted to stay with SHIELD. Seriously — we didn’t know if he would be a permanent player until he signed that cocktail napkin and gave it to Coulson. And even then, he had legitimate excuses to just walk away and never look back. Being kidnapped by your friend under your ex-wife’s orders? Yeah, I might walk away …

By the time the season ended, he was the comic relief of every scene, the hilarious voice of reason pointing out the flaws and downfalls of their circumstances.

The Negative: Take away his accent, and Lance Hunter didn’t stand out of the crowd. For the first half of the season, he was kind of the new Ward, the stock, good-looking male SHIELD agent. He had a standard back story about an evil ex-wife that we may or may not have cared about. He was an outside character who joined the team after one episode with no sense of more than that one-note back story.

It wasn’t a great first impression.

So to get us to care about him, Agents of SHIELD put him on the same team as his she-beast ex-wife, who we all enjoyed right from the start. This complaint was the same for Bobbi: their ex-lover banter. The first few episodes of it came across as nails on chalkboard after a scene or two. Maybe it was because we may not have cared much about Hunter and that’s why it felt so grating at the start; once they toned it down and we started liking him a little bit more, it became what it should have always been: humorous and mood-lightening.

Also, the fact that the actor’s name is a better character name than Lance Hunter. I mean, Nick Blood just sounds like it’s from a comic book.

Next Season: Season 3 Hunter seems firmly tied to Bobbi. He ended Season 2 glued to her bedside after not speaking to her for episodes. He’s already signed his contract to stay with SHIELD, but if Bobbi asks him to leave, he would. He seems poised and ready to admit that he still loves her, and they need to stop this pointless dance.

I can’t see Hunter taking a desk job even if Bobbi does. He’ll stick by Coulson for sure; all they did together in those last few episodes on the run bonded them together. Hunter’s staying with SHIELD. I see him convincing Bobbi to do the same, but just take a step back. You can take the SHIELD out of the agent, but you can’t take the agent out of the SHIELD.

Wait. Maybe reverse that.

Where He Started: B-
Where He Ended: B+
Overall Grade: B. With a shaky start, Lance Hunter showed promise as a standalone SHIELD agent. He ended strong, and season three promises a better Hunter than before.

Next: Agents of SHIELD: Why Simmons Was the Most Interesting Character in Season 2

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