Into the Badlands 309, Gaius
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Exclusive: Into the Badlands' Lewis Tan talks Gaius' future in 'Cobra Fang, Panther Claw'

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Apr 8, 2019

In case you thought Into the Badlands was done surprising us, tonight's episode was a strong indicator that this show is far from finished delivering some shocking twists and turns — and the final death blow to at least one character? Personally, I refuse to believe that one of our faves is actually dead and gone, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens next.

The fate of a lot of characters is up in the air at this point, especially with Pilgrim poised to take over the Badlands with the help of some of the Master's formerly sleeping dark-eyed ones, but one we're keeping our eye on in particular is Gaius Chau (Lewis Tan), especially after tonight's shocking episode.

SYFY FANGRRLS had the opportunity to chat with Tan about his character's arc through this most recent sequence of episodes, Gaius' changing relationship with Tilda, and whether there's more romance in store for Gaius and the Widow heading toward the series' end.

One of the big surprises last week was when we learned that Gaius has a half-brother. What was your reaction when you found that out, and what was your goal in trying to depict that relationship on-screen?

That was an interesting one, because I didn't know that the character had a half-brother. I wasn't told about the half-brother until I got that script. There was originally a different monologue where his mother tells him that his half-brother is from this affair that his dad had with a servant, a cog. So that's, in my mind, where it comes from.

The dynamic that I tried to go into with it is, Daegan is kind of in Gaius' position. He understands where his brother's coming from. The character is a reflection of what Gaius has gone through already, so it's one of those things where, in saving him, he's also saving himself, and he's also preventing someone from suffering even more than what he went through. 

Into the Badlands 309, Gaius and Tilda

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Between last week's episode and then this week, there's been a big reminder that Gaius' relationship with his family is ... well, complicated is probably putting it mildly. How did you approach those scenes? Why do you think that Gaius, even after everything his family's done, is unable to deliver that killing blow himself?

That was a hard thing to approach. I knew that scene, with Gaius' mother, was eventually coming, and we actually shot that scene, but then we had to re-shoot it because there were some lighting issues. So after waiting for months and knowing that that scene is coming, and having that sinking feeling in your stomach for so long, we shot the scene, and then I thought it was over and I was really relieved, and then we had to re-shoot it, so it was like another nightmare because I had to go back into that experience. That's the second scene that we ended up using.

The reason why Gaius, in my mind, doesn't kill his own mother is because that is what she wants. That's going to satisfy her and show that he's changed into the monster that she has been forcing upon him, because she believes that that type of fear and savageness and brutality is what you need to be a ruler. That's how his whole family has lived. Even his sister believes that. So the fact that Gaius doesn't kill her, but knows that she has to be stopped, and lets Tilda do it instead, indicates he's thinking that. It's not that he can't do it; it's just that he's not going to show her that she has driven him to this point. And then the fact that Tilda, the person who she just met and doesn't even care about, is the one who finally puts an end to her? I think it's a worse fate, in the long run. I had a debate about this for the showrunners for a while too, because I wasn't quite sure if that was the right choice, but, looking back on it, I think it definitely was.

Speaking of Gaius and Tilda, theirs is a dynamic that's really changed just over the course of the season. They've looked out for each other in a lot of ways, especially since the whole reason they came together in the first place was to track down the Widow. Are we going to see that friendship continue to evolve?

Yeah, definitely. It's interesting, the dynamic between us, because, well, we're just so different aesthetically. It just looks like an odd couple, right? But they really are so similar. They both like the Widow, in many different ways. They both follow the Widow's desire and her heart for the changing landscape. They both believe the same things, basically. And they're also both on the path of self-discovery, so it's interesting because they should be best friends, but I think Tilda doesn't really trust Gaius up until a point.

But now that they're building trust with each other, the bond has just clicked and it's going to be one of those things where you realize, "Oh man, we have so much more in common than I expected." You'll see more of that in the coming episodes towards the finale. There are a couple of scenes in particular that really cement their bond and their friendship.

Gaius and the Widow haven't really been on-screen together since the show came back, except for the cameo that he had in her vision. But now that they're finally reunited, is there any more romance on the horizon for them as a couple in real life?

Now that she didn't stab me to death?

Into the Badlands 310, Gaius and the Widow

AMC Networks

It was dream-you, it wasn't real-you.

I love that episode, it's one of my favorites.

Look, all this would be silly if it wasn't for a cause, and what greater cause do we have than love and hope? If we don't have that, we have no future. I think it's been stated many times in Into the Badlands: What are we actually fighting for? Why is Henry going to grow up here if the world's destroyed? What's the point? We want to have hope and love in the future. If we don't have those things, then why are we doing all this?

Gaius and the Widow's relationship is one of the strongest examples of that in Into the Badlands now, because a lot of people have died, so this relationship is one of the lasting ones that's holding on towards the finale. So yes, we will see more of that, we will understand some new dynamics, and we will see more of that storyline. Plus Gaius is deeply in love with her.

It feels like Gaius has been freed from a lot of his past, that pain and the trauma. With his mother and his sister gone, how is this going to affect his new relationships and his journey looking towards the remainder of the season?

That's a great question. Well, I mean Gaius' whole life has been fighting this war against his family. Not only was he fighting a war against Pilgrim, but he's also been fighting against his own mother and his sister and his dad for his whole life. This opens up a whole new world of opportunity for him. It's very similar to even real life, where you accomplish these certain goals, and then there are new mountains to trek through and new walls to break through. Each time you get to a certain level, there's more. That's just the journey, and you have to just embrace it.

Gaius gets to this point where now that's gone, so what's next? He has a relationship with the Widow, but what are his life's desires after that? The changing landscape of the Badlands is involved, there are many different factors that are involved. We'll get some of those answers, but right after his mother and his sister are gone, the next thing he has to do is face their common enemy, Pilgrim. There are a lot of variables that go into that, and that's going to greatly affect the rest of his life.

Check out a sneak peek of next week's episode, "Black Lotus, White Rose," below, airing Monday, April 15, at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.

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