Here’s my theory analysis of your favorite DBH grump and mine! I’ve gone through his major traits and possible influences on him, and I’m happy to chat with you about them if you’d like.
Resentment of Androids
Connor is essentially a RoboCop for lack of a better term, and there’s a serious risk of every cop being replaced if Connor shows promise. Considering the rioters in Marcus’s first chapter, androids replacing all human workers is a growing concern across the country.
And from the fact that another cop is having breakfast with him in the famous coffee scene, Gavin does have friends in the force.
So his anger towards Connor in particular is out of protective instinct. For himself and the good cops he works with that will be out of jobs if Connor accomplishes his mission (reference intended).
But the truth is that this android’s success or failure is out of Gavin’s control, which would only make his resentment even worse. Gavin is the kind of person to fight, scrape, and claw his way to success if it kills him (and I don’t think I even need to catalog canon evidence for that, since it can be inferred from his general behavior).
Being powerless to stop something is so against everything that he is and I honestly don’t think he could resign himself to android police officers and detectives taking over their jobs. This open resentment is how he makes his stand.
He also copes with this powerlessness against androids by treating all of them as being less than human. If they aren’t valid beings, then Gavin doesn’t have to respect them — and they’re not a threat worth considering.
This dehumanization is a real life psychological phenomenon most typically seen in opposing forces in warfare, but I won’t go into that here so we can stay on topic (and because it very, very sad). Also they aren’t quite at war when Gavin is displaying these traits, so he’s a bit ahead of the game.
But it’s beyond that, or rather it has notable potential to originate from a personal grudge as well.
Gavin has powerful opinions on humans having command over androids. This suggests a concern with possible dominance of androids over humans, especially when paired with the threat they pose to human workers.
Although the extent to which he is concerned is unclear, I would say he’s worried in his own way. His perspective on humans vs. androids is reinforced in later scenes (one shown below), where he puts strong emphasis on androids obeying humans.
While we’re talking about Gavin’s feelings, I have one more thing to delve into before I continue on the personal grudge angle.
Love/Hate for Hank
Gavin will back down if Hank steps up, even if he makes a stink about doing it. That said, he’ll take barefaced jabs at Hank too.
This demonstrates that he has respect for Hank, most likely because of his accomplishments as a police offer given their shared profession, but it’s difficult to say without further canon evidence to point to.
It could be a simple matter of rank where Gavin has to face career-based consequences for disobeying an order from a superior officer– but I would say that is unlikely since Hank had to draw his firearm to get Gavin’s attention during the interrogation scene.
A stronger likelihood is that Gavin begrudgingly respects Hank as a cop, so he will ultimately do what he says even as he also mocks him.
Looping back to the grudge, there is one line of dialogue from Gavin in particular that makes me suspect there is bad blood here:
“You’re not gonna get away with it this time…”
Get away with what? And this time?
Y i k e s
So this is from the scene when Hank intervenes between Gavin and Connor, and this is what Gavin tells Hank.
There was a point before this that Hank stepped in and stopped Gavin, and it seems like the consequences were severe enough to earn deeply seated resentment from Gavin.
Whatever it was, Gavin feels like Hank “got away with it” last time, and he wants to stop it from happening again. I would be willing to assume that it didn’t involve an android last time– if it wasn’t for the other line of dialogue below:
Since the first time he saw him, Gavin wanted to outright kill Connor. Not rough him up like the rioters did to Marcus, but actually kill him. And I doubt that he was exaggerating.
Officers in the USA are trained in the proper procedure to not draw their guns unless they see a weapon or have strong suspicion of murderous or harmful intent, and to not put their finger on the trigger unless the intend to shoot.
Assuming policies have not changed drastically in the time of DBH, Gavin is 100% serious about killing him and indeed, having wanted to since he first laid eyes on him.
That kind of overt hatred comes from something deeper than political perspective or social pressures. It could come from an upbringing where his immediate loved ones taught him to hate androids, or it could come from a traumatic personal experience with an Android (like that girl had in the beginning of the game).
Unless we get a sequel or a Gavin-centric game/DLC, we may never know what truly motivated Gavin to hate Connor so intensely (not casting any shade on the Reed x Connor shippers here, I’m a multishipper tbh).
But this was a fun close look at Detroit’s most aggressive detective, and I hope you enjoyed it too! Comment, message, heart it, etc., whatever you’re comfortable with– I appreciate you reading!