Sweet Tooth: Gus' Extraordinary Abilities, Explained
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Season 1 of Sweet Tooth, now streaming on Netflix.
In Netflix's Sweet Tooth, young Gus (Christian Convery) is given more depth than the comics, pushing an altruistic and hopeful lad and not just a tragic kid trying to survive humans in a pandemic. He isn't a superhero but a hybrid born in a lab. However, as Season 1 unfolds, we discover the deer-boy actually has powers that make him a bit superhuman. As they equip him to survive the dark world ahead, let's dissect what Gus' special abilities are.
Super Hearing And Smell
Gus displays super hearing and smell early on when he runs into a couple of hunters just outside the cabin zone. He picks up on where they're at and how many exist, which helps his dad, Pubba, ward off the threat. He constantly uses his abilities to eavesdrop on Jepp and Bear's conversation and to find food such as caramel apples. But the biggest usage comes when Last Men storm the visitors center at Yellowstone. Gus susses out how many soldiers are approaching the deck. These "spider senses" help Jepp kill the crew. As Sweet Toothprogresses, they also keep Team Gus safe on their travels.
Gus displays enhanced agility when the soldiers come. He tries to evade the leader using his leaping ability, speed and slingshot to torment him. His skills pop up again when he flees his cabin after Pubba's death to find Jepp, asking the man to take him to Colorado. His agility plays a key role when jumping on/off the train too. Gus also uses it to flee the Animal Army, and when he runs out of Birdie's home after learning he was an experiment.
Gus uses night vision to find Jepp after the ex-soldier rebuff his Colorado offer. His eyes glow at the campsite and with the family at Yellowstone when he is tucked in. As Jepp admits, it's a bit creepy. However, it comes in handy when the soldiers raid the inn looking for him. It suggests Gus could become more deer than human when called upon, which is something Pubba worried about as he didn't know if these things could help Gus out in the wild as he got older.
Talking To Animals
Gus isn't Doctor Dolittle, but he can "speak" to animals in a sense. It seems like he has a telepathic link, as seen when he runs away from Birdie's home and is found sprinting with other deer. However, it's not as dramatic as when he faces the tiger the Animal Army wanted to unleash on Jepp. Gus gets the beast to stop being angry, so much so the big feline returns to its cage. It's another ability that convinces Jepp and Bear that the boy might well be a Chosen One in this post-apocalyptic world.
Gus' origin is linked to the microbes Birdie's science team found in Alaska, but the Sweet Tooth comic had him made from an indigenous deity. The show teases this with a large deer with giant antlers that distracts the Last Men squad leader at the inn as he's about to tranquilize Gus. The man spots the creature and stops dead in his tracks, allowing Jepp to kill him from the back.
It's never confirmed if this is a real deer or something Gus conjures, considering Jepp doesn't seem to react to it. Gus also finds a wild deer in his cabin after Pubba's death. Fans wonder if he can summon his kind in the flesh, if he manifests them out of thin air or if it's a reactive measure where he's putting out deer images for people -- and even himself -- to see.
Sweet Tooth stars Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Aliza Vellani, Stefania LaVie Owen, Dania Ramirez and Neil Sandilands, with Will Forte and James Brolin. Season 1 is now available on Netflix.