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This article is about character from the Netflix series. You may be looking for Gus, the character from the graphic novels.


Known by his human name Gus, Genetic Unit Series 1 is the protagonist of the Netflix series Sweet Tooth. A 10-year-old child with the genes of a deer and human, Gus was born near the beginning of a terrifying pandemic and raised in total isolation all his life. A year after his guardian's death, Gus yearned to find his mother and traveled with the mysterious Thomas Jepperd to search for answers.


Birth and Upbringing[]

Gus was the first human-animal hybrid created at Fort Smith Labs by Birdie in a scientific experiment with live microorganisms. When Birdie realised what she had created, she entrusted her secret to her closest friend and fellow scientist, Judy. The two kept Gus safe and under the radar while they continued experiments and observations.

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Gus shortly after being created by Birdie.

After the breakout of the H5G9 virus, Birdie feared that Gus would be experimented on if he fell into the hands of the government. She further feared that the research that helped create Gus, should it fall into the wrong hands, would be used to kill milions. Birdie entrusted Gus to Richard Fox, a man she had only just met.[1] Richard fled with Gus to Yellowstone National Park, where he created a life for them in the woods and raised Gus as his own son. Gus adored his "Pubba" and had a happy childhood, playing in the snow, drinking maple syrup, and reading versions of classic children's books that Richard wrote and illustrated for him. For one birthday, Richard made Gus a stuffed dog out of his own socks, which the boy proudly named "Dog" and carried with him everywhere.

Despite their happy life, Richard never lost sight of the danger to Gus from the Last Men. He taught Gus a series of protocols for how to handle potential dangers and reviewed them with him regularly: "If I hear a growl, I will duck. If I hear a voice, I will run. If I see a human, I will hide." Gus had strict instructions never to go outside the fence around their camp. Like most children, however, Gus was curious about the outside world and objected to being considered "too little" to know the reason behind the rules. For a while, Richard was able to satisfy him with a modified version of the events leading up to their escape to the woods, but eventually curiosity led Gus to attempt to venture beyond the fence. Richard was horrified and swiftly carried him back to safety.

Unfortunately, it was too late, and Last Men soon appeared at their boundary. Richard made Gus hide in a "cubby" under the stairs in their house and went out to deal with the threat. When he returned, he had been infected with the Sick and soon passed away, leaving nine-year-old Gus alone in the woods and fending for himself. After about a year, Gus eventually grew bored of living in the woods and, following a box full of Birdie's stuff, left in search of his mother. Gus encountered hunters who wished to take his antlers and sell them on the black market. Gus was saved from the hunters, however, by Thomas Jepperd, who reluctantly agreed to help him get to Colorado and find his mother .[2]

Journey to Find Birdie[]

Following Jepperd's promise to aid Gus in finding Birdie, the two sought to find a way to Colorado. Jepperd explained the concept of the Last Men to Gus, including that they were scavengers and not afraid to kill hybrid children. The two set off, hoping to find a train they could catch to get them to their destination. They were, however, captured by the Last Men after Jepperd tried to steal medication from the train's cargo. They were later rescued by the Animal Army, led by Bear.[3]

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Gus is made king of the Animal Army for the night.

Gus was taken to the Animal Army's headquarters, a run down arcade that they had taken control of following the Great Crumble. When Bear realised that she had come closer than ever to a hybrid, she told her followers that Gus was to be treated like a king. Complexities arose, however, when Bear found out that Jepperd was a former Last Man and therefore could not be trusted. Nonetheless, Gus told Bear that he trusted Jepperd and despite uprisings from the Animal Army — in which Bear was deposed — Gus and Jepperd escaped the army alive with Bear as an additional member of their company.[4]

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Gus was furious when he found out that he was, indeed, Genetic Unit Series 1.

Gus, Bear, and Jepperd were able to catch a train to Colorado and, despite Bear and Jepperd believing that Birdie was long gone, the gang stumbled upon a house in the distance that they believed resembled the one in Birdie's photo. Upon entering, they found that Birdie was long gone, but her colleague and friend, Judy, remained behind. Judy was amazed upon sight of Gus and immediately recognized him as Genetic Unit System 1. Judy invited the three inside where they learned information about Birdie and were given a key to the attic, which contained numerous folders of research that Birdie saved from Fort Smith before its destruction. It was in those folders that Gus learned that he was not born, but engineered by Birdie, and therefore she was not his mother and Pubba was not his father. Gus was infuriated and felt betrayed by the information and ran from the house into the forest.[5]

False friends[]

In his fury, Gus stumbled upon a derelict airplane that had seemingly fell from the sky. Inside, Gus was able to fix the radio, which he used to talk with the Preserve, falsely believing Aimee to still be the proprietor. Within moments, Jepperd arrived and the two talked about the information they had just learned. Gus revealed that he had made contact with the Preserve, and Jepperd began to panic. Jepperd was shot moments later by the Last Men, who took Gus away in a box to the Preserve; it was at this moment Gus realised that the Preserve was not what it once was.

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Gus stands with the other hybrids.

Gus was taken to the Preserve where he was placed in the custody of Dr. Singh, whom was ordered to experiment on him, continuing the research and legacy of the late Gladys Bell. Upon first sight of Gus, however, Adi realised that Gus was older than the rest of the hybrids and more intelligent, therefore probably the first of the hybrids. Referencing a superstition regarding Gus's deer counterpart, Adi convinced Johnny to give him another hybrid for experimentation instead and let him have more time to study Gus.

Inside the stables, Gus was alone for a while until Wendy and the other hybrids approached him and welcomed him as one of their own. They came together in a giant group hug, and Gus was happy to have found others like himself.[6]


Gus has a vivid imagination. He created an entire little task force of straw animals to "help" him with his chores and keep him company. He created and then "fought" an army of snowmen, later describing the encounter to a scarecrow-like construction meant to resemble his deceased Pubba. His imagination helped keep him sane in the midst of overwhelming loneliness, but he ultimately found that his imaginary friends were not enough and destroyed them in a fire, nearly burning up Dog as well before snatching him out of flames.[7] Gus is generally an extremely optimistic and hopeful person, but occasionally the hardships of his life break through and cause him to lose control, during which times he is inclined to run away and try to destroy or throw away even things that are very precious to him.[8]

At first Gus was scared of every human because of the way his adopted dad taught him, but as time went on, his trust towards humans grew to the point of travelling with two humans. Gus is also stubborn, as when he found out where his birth mother might be he would stop at nothing to get there.


  • Enhanced Smell: Gus is able to smell people even when they're not in his sight.
  • Enhanced Hearing: Gus is capable of hearing from great distance.
  • Enhanced Agility: Gus's agility is far more than a normal human as shown when he was able to chase a train and jump onto it with ease compared to Thomas and Bear.
  • Marksmanship: Gus is quite skilled with the slingshot he received for his birthday as a child. He has very precise aim, although the projectiles he shoots are not usually large enough to do much damage.
  • Animal Telepathy: Gus demonstrates a curious ability to communicate with animals, who seem to recognize him as one of their own. When a young doe makes its way into Gus and Pubba's home, she remains calm while Gus reaches out and pets her.   Then, when Tiger takes control of the Animal Army and attempts to execute Tommy by having her captive tiger eat him, Gus is able to calm "Daisy" simply by standing in front of her and saying, "Please don't eat my friend”.
  • Night Vision: 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.


  • Noise sensitivity: Gus's enhanced hearing can sometimes scare him and cause him pain especially when bullets are involved.

Trivia about Gus[]

  • Gus was not the first hybrid, in season 3 ,the caribou man was declared the first, and his name is an acronym for Genetic Unit Series 1. He was engineered by Birdie.
  • Gus loves drinking maple syrup, which he and his Pubba made together in the woods.
  • As a child, Gus repeatedly tried to cross the stream near their house by jumping from rock to rock, but always failed to make the final, longest jump without stumbling into the water. He finally succeeded on the very day his Pubba died. This may be symbolic of the idea that he was now big enough to survive on his own.
  • Gus initially believed that the doe he encountered several times near their home was his "mama," despite Richard telling him that his mother was gone. It was not until much later that Richard revealed that Gus's mother was human.