Fans of Agents of SHIELD, rejoice! Everyone’s favorite snarky assassin is returning to the show. Entertainment Weekly reports actor Nick Blood is returning to the show as Agent Lance Hunter, after being written off (along with Adrianne Palicki’s Agent Bobbi Morse) in Season 3. No further details are available at this time, but it would appear ABC is trying to right their superhero ship after losing two key cast members.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to knock it out of the part both critically and commercially on the big screen, the company’s television offerings have a more checkered reputation. For every Jessica Jones garnering praise for tackling hard social issues there’s two Iron Fist and Inhumans dragging down the company’s batting average. But what of Agents of SHIELD? The ABC show was Disney’s first stab at integrating their film and television offerings, with middling results. Sure, Sif (Jamie Alexander) showed up for an episode or two, and the events of Captain America: Civil War affected SHIELD in a big way, but for the most part the show has existed on the fringe of the MCU.
At the end of season three, back in 2015, ABC tried to expand the influence of Agents of SHIELD by taking Agent Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) and Agent Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) and attempting to spin them off into their own show. Entitled Marvel’s Most Wanted, the show would’ve follow Morse and Hunter as they became fugitives from the law after taking the fall to protectSHIELD at the end of the third season. For those that don’t recall, Bobbi and Hunter ended up killing three high-ranking members of the Russian government to save the Russian Prime Minister from Inhuman assassins. As SHIELD is no longer supposed to exist, to save the spy agency the two had to disavow any connection as American spies killing Russians on Russian soil would spark an international incident. In their final episode, the on-again/off-again couple said a “spy’s good-bye” to their fellow agents.
Palicki and Blood were written off specifically to give them leeway to film the pilot for Marvel’s Most Wanted, but ABC ultimately passed on the project. During TCAs that year, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey explained it just wasn’t a good fit.
“Most Wanted, ultimately at the end of the day, did not feel as strong as some of the other pilots that we shot,” Dungey said. “We talked about it with Marvel and we all came to an agreement that we want to figure out what the next show is that we do together, is something that we all feel is as creatively strong as it can be.”
But as late as January of this year, ABC and Marvel were still towing the line that neither character would return. But with the return of Hunter, could Bobbi be far behind? Sure, Palicki is currently a regular on Seth MacFarlane’s new show The Orville, but the reviews aren’t that great. Hopefully “once an agent, always an agent” means Mockingbird’s return is in the near future .