Warning: General spoilers ahead
Of all the characters on The Strain, Gus is the one that has really gotten the shaft as of late. I mean, the poor guy had already lost his mother, brother and best friend, and just when he found a purpose by joining Vaun (Stephen McHattie) and his SWAT team of sun hunters, the whole crew went up in smoke (literally). However, last week, he met El Angel del Plata (Joaquin Cosio), and while I still have hope those 2 will eventually become allies, that meeting got off on the wrong foot too. By the end of the episode, Gus is left once again with no home, no friends, and actually nowhere to turn to at all.
Last week, I had the good fortune of participating in a press conference call with actor Miguel Gomez to get some intel on what we can expect from Gus in the remainder of the season. Of course, Miguel couldn’t spill too much, but the one theme that kept coming up over and over again is that while may be all alone again in this world, he motivations haven’t changed. Revenge has been, and always will be, the prime directive for Gus, as Miguel explains, “Yes, I think that’s what really drives him. I think he feels that he lost his mom, and his brother, and his best friend because of his mistakes, and I think his nature is to be protective of the people he cares about and the people that care about him. So, yes, I think that’s what’s driving him, that revenge and that redemption, and I think he has one goal now and that’s to seek out whoever caused all these things to happen to his family and get revenge on it.”
And, nothing exemplifies that than that very heart-breaking, painful scene from last week’s episode of Gus facing his mother, as her body is possessed by the Master. Hands-down the best scene of the episode and very likely will be one of the most memorable of the season. It was also one of the most memorable for Miguel, and he said that it was just as creepy filming the scene as it was for the fans seeing it for the first time on the small screen. “It is super creepy because Adriana Barraza, the lady that plays Gus’s mom, she’s such a wonderful lady. She’s such a beautiful person, and to see her in that makeup and then to hear her speak those words to me, it was definitely something that—the way I am is I allow that into my body, into me, and those fears and those things to sort of awaken. And when I hear her saying these things and I just think back, and yes, it was super creepy to see her in that makeup and to see her completely change, no longer Gus’s mom, just pure evil at that moment. Yes, it was really scary and creepy,” Miguel explains.
I will admit that Gus is one of my favorite characters from the trilogy, and one of the things I love about him is he’s tough as nails and rarely shows fear. Yes, I’m sure he feels fear, but it never shows, which is a good thing since showing fear can be used against you by the enemy. Think about that training session with Vaun. When Gus realizes he’s out of bullets and a strigoi is heading straight for him, he keeps his cool and actually makes a joke instead. “ I think, like you say, he absolutely feels fear, and some of the things that he comes across is very scary. It’s not that he doesn’t feel that fear. But he comes from the streets, from really rough elements and circumstances, and he’s used to that survival mentality and conditioned to face death a lot, I think. Because in the streets you can really die at any moment, especially if you’re involved with illegal activities it’s always a possibility,” Miguel says.
He goes on to explain, “And it’s survival of the fittest. So, he knows how to, I guess, mask that fear. I think even with the clothes he wears and the shaved head and his tattoos, it’s all just battle onwards. It’s all just him adapting to his situation, to his culture, to what’s going on around him. So, it’s really hard. I would say it’s just a wall. It’s a defense mechanism that he has. But, yes, he definitely feels that fear, I would say.”
And, of course, given the shocking turn of events for Vaun and his crew of sun hunters in episode 2.03, we had to ask Miguel about that. Even though Vaun started out as a kidnapper, and Gus for some time wanted nothing more than to escape his clutch, Miguel does admit that he learned a lot from the unlikely ally. “The good that came from it was that he got some really good training, and I think he’s really equipped now to fight these vampires, and he learned a new way to actually kill them, and he knows how to fight, and he knows how to engage in combat with these monsters. So, yes, he definitely learned the skills,” Miguel explains.
And, lastly, but most importantly, even though Vaun is gone (but certainly not in the hearts of the fandom!), Miguel certainly felt honored working with actor Stephen McHattie, and thinks only the best of him. “Yes, he’s a cool cat, man. He’s a really cool guy. He’s pretty quiet, man. But, yes, he’s a really great, incredible actor.”
So, what’s next for Gus? Well, as I had mentioned, I do have high hopes that Gus and the Silver Angel will eventually get past their differences and come together as allies. However, Chuck Hogan at San Diego Comic-Con last month, also provided some good clues. As the readers of the books know, Gus eventually crosses paths with and teams up with the famed Dhampir, Mr. Quinlan and his band of sun hunters (and as most of us know, the character “Vaun” was originally supposed to be Mr. Quinlan). Hogan said that even though Vaun turns out to not be Quinlan, when the real Q eventually shows up, the plan still remains for Gus to be paired up with him just like in the trilogy.
The Strain airs on Sundays at 10/9c on FX.
Edited for space and content.
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com
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