Does Agent 47 like his job now?

From Codename 47 to Absolution, we’ve sort of been given the impression that 47 never actually got any kind of enjoyment out of his work. He seemed at best to not care one way or another, or not even think about it at all, and at worst to appear frustrated and even almost depressed over being a professional killer. Yeah, he took pride in being the best, and charged and performed accordingly, but that seemed to be all he had.

But with the WoA trilogy and associated material, 47 has appeared to take a more upbeat outlook on his career. While he still doesn’t seem to take any joy out of the actual killing, he does seem to be at peace with who he is killing and why they have been marked for death, and at times has even seemed to be enjoying himself when on the hunt and setting up his intricate kills, and even eager to have prey to hunt on a few occasions. So that brings me to the question that I’ve pondered since H2: does 47 now actually like what he does?

The games have given us numerous examples of this being the case even prior to the final scene of H3 where we see that little smirk he gets at the thought of getting back to work:

Looking at the main missions of H1, when in disguise and talking to his targets, 47 has a friendlier, more optimistic tone in his voice, as opposed to the deadpan snarker of previous games who almost seemed to be in a grouchy mood just having to talk to someone.

In the Patient Zero campaign, when Diana tells him that Liberation sleeper agents were triggered by Nabazov’s kill switch, he seems more than just interested; he sounds almost excited. “A kill switch?! Who are the targets?!” He knew right away what Diana was getting at, and seemed to react with what could almost be described as delight that the situation took such an unexpected turn.

During Nightcall, he double-checks that Alma Reynard is not a target, to make sure that he’s not being ordered to do his usual thing yet.

The option of pushing Jorge Franco to his death has him make the incredible Dr. Livingston joke, which I’m fully convinced he did only to amuse himself. There was literally no other reason for him to make that joke at that time in that way, even if Diana had been listening in; the situation wasn’t like finding Dr. Livingston at all, and yet he made it funny, like he was trying to spice up the situation and enjoy himself.

When beginning the Ark Society mission, as everybody is going over their roles, he demands to know about his targets, his tone sounding almost like he doesn’t really care what everyone else is up to and just wants to get to hunt his prey, perhaps hoping when he asks about them that they’re not innocent casualties that he’ll just make short and swift deaths for to be merciful, but that they’re as corrupt as the other targets have been so that he can get creative.

Even in H3, where 47 is at his most serious and business-like in the trilogy, with Grey dead, Diana missing, ICA turned against him and he and Olivia made fugitives, he still finds a way to make his assassinations fun and humorous, in a karmic way.

And then, of course, there’s the snarky smugness he gets from wiping Edwards’s mind with the serum, his eagerness to get back to work with Diana, and all the fun he’s now having in Freelancer as a vigilante who accepts cash, check or credit card to slaughter bad guys by the dozens.

Now, I’m certain 47 still doesn’t actually enjoy taking lives in-and-of itself, and knows that it’s the greatest moral wrong a human being can commit against another, and feels whatever passes for remorse or regret for him on some deep level. However, everything leading up to the death blow, the extraction afterward, as well as the satisfaction of knowing that he proved to someone who believed themselves untouchable how wrong they were, I think he has learned to not only accept and embrace what he does, but that there’s ample evidence that, unlike the first five games, he actively enjoys it now.

Any disagreements or a different way of looking at it?


Well, 47 has retired before and discovered he can’t escape his life as a contract killer, so he’s embracing it instead. Nowadays he’s making wisecracks and planning these over-complicated assassination methods, so that means he’s probably more at peace, confident in his abilities and eager to challenge himself.

I don’t know if 47 ‘enjoys’ the killing part of job, but he knows he’s the best in the world at it. This gives him pride and fulfillment, and he enjoys the fact that he has such a perfect reputation.


I think he does like his job so to speak but not in the same sense that it’s fun for him (unlike it is for us) but more so it gives him a sense of belonging, like it’s where he’s meant to be. Even though he was literally created for this line of work, I don’t think it really resonated with until after SA.

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I think that upon retirement, 47 took a part-time job at Starbucks but then quit and went back to being an assassin when he realized how much he missed serving up emetic rat poison to people. You know what they say, “Old Habits Die Hard.” It was exactly like when Jay Leno retired, but then he quickly returned to hosting The Tonight Show. Well, except that instead of interviewing people, 47 kills them. So I guess not exactly the same, but still pretty close.


I think he likes it more than before. He’s always liked it to an extent.

You could say that each hit now feels like a choice rather than a job, which makes a difference. It was always about control. Something he never had in the facility or when he was bound to the ICA.

And, if you look at his Freelancer crib, it says a lot. He’s lonely, but happily living in the lap of luxury on his own terms. What guy has a painting of cats in his kitchen that is unhappy where his job/life has gone? Basically, since he and Diana can call the shots without the threat of Edwards or the ICA looming (knock on wood), he seems much more at ease. Not to mention his smile at the end of H3.


The problem with that view, though, is that it was always a choice for 47 after the first game. In C47, after escaping the asylum, he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know who he was or how he had the skills to do what he did, he just knew that he knew how to do it and he was better than anyone else he he witnessed doing it, and understood that you needed money to survive in the world and realized he could get lots of it using those skills. But after the first game, with his first retirement, he chose to go a different path. Yeah, he went back to contract killing out of necessity, but that was also a choice, because he wanted to help Vittorio, and then afterward, he knew he was most comfortable continuing to kill, so he stayed in the business. But it was always his choice to do so.

Same with the ICA. The ICA never had dominion over 47’s life; he was not an employee, he was an outside, independent contractor who accepted work from them. He could decline any job they sent to him if he wished, and he left them several times, with the only reason he was pursued by them later because first Travis and then Edwards was calling the shots. The Agency itself was not his boss in the strict sense, and did not own him. They actually owed him for their continued existence several times over. He even told Diana in Contracts that if ICA didn’t get a handle on how the Franchise was undercutting them, he’d find a new employer to work for, so he was always ready to ditch them if they became a liability to him. 47 forced ICA to make certain decisions more than they ever made his decisions for him.

So it’s always been a choice for him, that’s what makes the H3 ending seem hollow, because 47 has been here before three different times already and come to the same conclusion each time. The only difference with this latest time is that he seems to have settled on a reason for why he does it that’s more satisfying and fulfilling than just because he can and he’s better at it than anyone else. He and Diana both enjoy making people who believe they are untouchable realize that they are wrong. It’s not even about killing bad people per se, as even some good people might piss off the rest of the crime world and think they won’t be punished for it. 47 seems to have fun proving that concept wrong, and so has embraced his job now because he actually enjoys destroying that notion of invincibility.

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I’ll have to disagree with this sentiment. IMO, he was more likely to be surprised than excited like “happy” or as if he’s rubbing his hands together with his eyes opened wide. :laughing:

I mean what passes for “excited” for 47. Listen to everything he says in that opening, and how he says it.

“Improvisation is part of the craft. Go on.” Translation: Always assume I’m ready for anything.

“This should be interesting.” Translation: You’ve got my attention. It takes something extreme to get Diana this flustered.

“A kill switch?! Who are the targets?!” Translation: You mean, the game isn’t over yet? Fun! What’s my next move.

That’s how I always took that moment.

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