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Art doesn't have to be hard or intimidating. It can be just fun.
Gael is a socially conscious and politically active artist who lives at The Coterie. His professional lived ebbs and flows greatly, drifting from a graphic designer at Speckulate to following his dreams of interning for a professional artist.
Gael Martinez is the youngest child of Hugo and Mrs. Martinez, and the younger brother of Jazmin Martinez. Gael was raised in an old-fashioned and strict Latin family and community, where being different wasn't accepted or encouraged. From a young age, Gael was aware of his feeling towards both men and women. He repressed his feelings towards men because of his family and the community's strict beliefs. Gael had a passion for art from the time he was a young child.
He was also close to his older sister, Jazmin. Gael may have been the first family member Jazmin told she was transgender. He was accepting of her identity and came out as bisexual to her. When Jazmin was turned away by their family, Gael maintained a close relationship with his sister. The siblings eventually drifted apart physically but remained in touch over the phone.
About a year before "DTLA", Gael rekindled his relationship with Jazmin after seeing her at the Pride March. He was later hired as a graphic designer for Speckulate and moved into The Coterie.
A passionate and flirtatious artist, Gael is known for his easygoing yet playboy antics. He loves art and design.
Gael is an attractive young man in his early twenties, with curly brown hair and almond-shaped brown eyes. He has the shadow of a neatly trimmed beard and thick eyebrows. He has a tall yet athletic physique standing just over six-feet.
Gael is introduced as the attractive friend of Mariana who recommended The Coterie to her as a place to live. He hits it off with Callie on her first night at the apartment, and they talk about art and life. He shows her his art and they flirt back and forth before having sex. When Callie learned that Gael is the guy that Mariana works with and has a crush on, she visits Gael to call off their hookup. This results in them having sex again, but this time, Callie is certain that the affair has to end. That night while at the pool, Mariana and Callie witness Gael making out with a man in his loft. While the girls feel awkward after witnessing Gael, Callie, much to his surprise, stated that it wasn't an issue, and they restarted their casual non-exclusive relationship. They later broke up after realizing that neither one of them were able to focus on their professional careers while being distracted with one another.
In Capoeira, Gael and Callie pour wine with her apologizing for not telling him that Jamie bought his art piece. He accepts her apology. Gael apologizes for the things he said, as being with her wasn’t a mistake. He asks her if things between her and Jamie are over. She explains things are complicated. Gael has sex with someone in his loft.
The next day, Gael visits Davia in her room, taking her by surprise as she was expecting Dennis. He asks if she’s seen Dennis but she hasn't yet. He shows her the mural he made over Jacob’s photo on Dennis' wall, but admits that he feels conflicted about whether or not he did the right thing. He elaborates that he hasn't been able to reach Dennis all day, nor has anyone else seen him. Davia tells Gael not to worry yet and he reluctantly agrees.
That night, the group toasts to Callie passing the bar and having a new job with a defense attorney. Gael and Callie exchange a look that Mariana asks about, though Callie claims that nothing happened between them. Mariana toasts to Callie moving in as well, with Gael asking about Isabella. In a flashback, Isabella visits Gael as she’s lonely and they’re both single. He accepts her wine bottle and they have sex. Gael asks Mariana why she moved out, to which Mariana lies that Isabella just left and didn’t leave a note. Alice proposes having a family dinner which makes everyone realize that Malika isn’t there.
In Arraignment Day, Davia sulks in the Coterie kitchen just as Gael comes down. She admits that her principal is observing her class and if he doesn’t approve her for a third-year teacher they won’t pay for her masters. He jokes about her quarter-life crisis but knows she’ll be great. She hasn’t heard from Dennis as she’s trying to give him space. Gael knows Dennis is lucky to have a friend like her.
Mariana heads to the sit-in and is confronted by a group of white supremacists who call her racial slurs and intimidate her. Gael appears and records the protestors which continue as they chant for DA Hanson’s re-election and continue to scream “All Lives Matter” to Gael and Mariana. Gael helps Mariana retreat into the courtroom, forming a shield of sorts around her. Later, he records the white supremacist's again when they breach the courthouse to advocate for Malika being kept in prison.
Alice and Kelly arrive at the sit-in. Kelly tells Alice to do her act here instead and rallies the group to listen, and they decide to listen. Gael and Kelly help Alice onto a ledge where she is recorded by Dyonte and Gael. She gives her performance which everyone seems to love. Later, Gael and Dyonte make an ad shining a light on DA Hanson’s racial politics and that Malika is not a threat to society. They show footage of DA Hanson ignoring the community leaders and refusing to acknowledge their petition. They show footage of the women Malika released, and the bigots cheering for Hanson. The security guard unchains Malika to take her somewhere else.
In the kitchen, the Coterie group is saddened over their loss when they are joined by the BLM leaders. Malika enters a few moments later as everyone claps for her return. She thanks them for their help, and the video that Gael and Dyonte made was enough for DA Hanson to drop the charges. Gael leaves to tell Mariana and Callie that Malika is back with her charges dropped. He than celebrates with everyone over their victory.
In Whoosh, Pow, Bang, Gael’s friends from art school text him about their big breaks making him sulk. Davia arrives ready for wine though he isn’t ready to talk. She opens up about struggling with the restorative justice program which he is familiar with, as he did that in art school. Kelly brings in a huge set of balloons forcing her to lie to Gael and Davia that it’s her birthday since the Byte Club girls are still there. Alice, Davia, and Gael sing happy birthday to Mariana as Callie walks in, though the girls leave to talk alone.
Gael shows the teens Jean-Michel Basquiat’s graffiti art and how he put his feelings into his art. Gael admits to relating to the need to put his feelings into art since he wasn’t good at putting his feelings into words. Davia thought instead of a talking circle they would try the art, though a girl is reluctant to draw he assures her she can do it. The teens excitedly look at the materials.
Davia helps Gael cleanup while they talk about his art, with him feeling as though he’s fallen behind his friends. He didn’t do an internship because he needed to get a job to pay off his student loans. She asks if he can do the internship now with him knowing of someone who is looking. She assures him that everyone is on their timeline so it doesn’t matter how fast they get there, just that they do.
Gael arrives for his new internship and meets Gideon, Yuri’s intern who he fires when Gael arrives. He is doing a project about the aurora borealis and wants to use Norsemen tools for his project, instructing Gael to get them. He then asks Gideon why he hasn’t left yet. Gael is visibly surprised by Yuri's abrasive attitude.
In Because, Men, Davia watches the clock during restorative justice when Matt walks in. She tells him Gael is late so they haven’t started yet. He tells her about his awkward happy birthday for Principal Solomon though he brought her one of the cupcakes. Gael arrives in a hurry so Davia briefly introduces him to Matt, while the female students. Jessie and Nyah, ogle Gael from afar, remarking that they got kicked out of class solely to see Gael. Matt leaves while Gael vents about his internship as Yuri is making him do errands during the day, even though the internship is supposed to be at night. Davia suggests telling him, no but Gael can’t, as he has to pay his dues. He also brought her lunch that she left on the counter. Her students begin to whisper about Davia being too fat for Gael, as they believe the two are dating. Andre defends Davia which leads to an argument in the classroom, and Davia angrily tells them to stop before leaving emotional. Gael watches in surprise.
Davia is crying on her bed when Gael enters to see if she’s okay. She lies that she’s fine but he doesn't’ believe that, understanding why the students got to her. She claims it’s not about the students but Dennis. She’s adit to being in love with him and that he returned the sentiment so they had sex, then he left. She fears that after they had sex he realized he doesn’t love her like that. She points out the thin girls he’s dated in the past so Gael assures her that she’s beautiful and sexy. She finds it hard to believe him since he’s hot, so he shows her the video of Davia singing about loving her body that they recorded. She admits to thinking she was past everything but then she heard her mother telling her that she could have any guy if she lost weight or to be thankful someone loves her even if they’re married. She’s struggling to be a body-positive girl. Gael reminds her that she’s also human and that Dennis rattled her confidence even if he didn’t mean to. She doesn't want to tell him how she feels as she doesn’t want to hurt him more, but Gael reminds her that she doesn’t have to be tough or always protect Dennis’s feelings. She thanks him for that and for helping with the kids. She then returns the advice by telling him not to work 12 hours a day for free even if he is paying his dues, as it isn’t fair.
Yuri is painting on the floor when Gael arrives so he tells him to check the list of things for tomorrow. Gael tells him he isn’t available during the day, stressing that the job was for five hours a day, so he’s been teaching the kids restorative justice through art at a middle school. Yuri offers to talk to the kids about being a famous artist, which Gael agrees with. He asks if Gael at least paints if he doesn’t do errands, so he tells Gael to paint the canvases identically to him and mimic his style for the backgrounds.
In New Moon, Alice, Callie, Davia, Gael, and Mariana emerge on the roof and compliment the beauty. Matt arrives and compliments the view on the roof, to which she looks to Gael and insinuates a relationship between them. Gael stops her from getting a drink as they aren’t supposed to drink as it will cloud their intentions. Matt is confused about what the ceremony is for, with Kelly chiming in that she thought they were watching New Moon, the second film in the Twilight saga. Gael clarifies that they are setting intentions and goals so Kelly bails just as Dyonte and Isaac arrive. Davia, Matt, and Gael talk awkwardly and she leaves them alone to talk. Matt adds that Davia is great which Gael agrees with.
Davia and Gael talk about Callie and how he wants someone serious and committed. He asks how things are with Matt and admits to thinking Matt is cute and that he would date him. In the present, Davia smiles at Matt and Gael. Malika plans to burn the notes in a metal pot so Gael excuses himself to find a pan. Davia notes that they are both writing a lot of intentions and that’s another thing Matt and Gael have in common. Callie looks under the bed and sees glowing eyes, causing her to scream and hide in a closet. She screams for help and Gael rushes to her aid worriedly. The creature makes noise so she pulls him into the closet and worries that it might get someone else, or that it already got Mariana.
Gael goes to the bathroom and finds Mariana and Raj. Raj points out that raccoons can carry rabies.
Callie and Gael erupt from the closet covered in coats, hats, and scarves which surprises Davia and Matt. Gael instructs them to hide in their loft until they can trap the creature, which surprises Callie as she thought they were going to kill it. Davia reminds them they are in downtown LA not the wilderness so it might be a fat squirrel. They see a raccoon and everyone runs off screaming.
Gael, Alice, and Callie leap into the dining room to capture the raccoon. The trio stalks the halls and finds the creature drinking a beer bottle. It retreats into the trash can so Gael flips it upside down to trap it, but it begins to move the can so Alice puts a pile of books on it. Kelly emerges to ask what is going on and scares everyone.
Animal control arrives but Callie, Alice, and Gael turn them away. Kelly emerges with a raccoon and thanks to them, but she needs to find Lucy. Malika, Dyonte, and Isaac dart through the Coterie screaming about the raccoon in the pool until they see Kelly holding the raccoon. Kelly is looking after the creatures for a traveling animal show and gives Ethel to Gael and Callie compliments that Ethel and Gael have the same eyes.
Callie and Gael laugh over him using Mariana’s heels to scare the raccoon. He compliments their teamwork skills which she agrees with. He remarks that it’s fun having fun with her, which she agrees with. He then goes to bed while she stays up by the pool.
In Trust, Gael shows Davia and her students Yuri’s art. He warns Andre that even if he doesn’t get the art that he should still be respectful. He remembers Yuri berating him for not getting a stiff bristle brush. He warns Davia that Yuri is in a bad mood. Yuri arrives to make art with the group.
Yuri guides the students as they paint and Andre asks why Yuri became an artist, to which he admits that he sucked at school but they should stay in class and listen to Davia. She thanks Yuri for his help and applauds his work before noting that Gael is talented. She recalls being in his loft as he tries to work on his own paintings but he doesn’t have an in with any of the galleries. She recommends asking Yuri but he notes that the artist has to ask him, he can’t ask the artist. In the present, Yuri remarks that he’s never seen Gael’s work.
Yuri compliments the student’s art and Andre asks what gets art into a museum. He explains that critics review his work. He asks them to critique his work, which makes Gael and Davia nervous. Jesse remarks that she doesn’t get it which Andre agrees with. Yuri explains it isn’t about what it means but how it makes them feel, to which they admit to not feeling anything about the painting. Yuri understands as art is subjective. Davia and the class left after thanking Yuri. Gael thanks Yuri for helping and he is appreciative, but then picks up a knife and slices open his painting before storming away.
Gael talks to Yuri about his art, as Yuri hasn’t been able to paint anything since his wife left two years ago. He was a terrible husband but a decent father, and having the kids there reminded him of his wife and daughter. He hadn’t felt inspiration since she left but Gael recommends channeling everything he feels into his work and do it for her. Yuri appreciates the attempts to cheer him out, as he knows he can be kind of an asshole. He offers to come to look at Gael’s work tomorrow.
Gael can’t decide which painting to show Yuri and Davia tries to help him choose. He thanks her for helping him get there. Yuri calls to say that he isn’t coming and needs Gael at the studio now as he’s working on new pieces. Gael visits Yuri who has finally unlocked his inspiration but needs Gael to execute his sketch. Gael remarks that there isn’t much to go on, so Yuri tells him to prove he is a talented artist.
In Driver's Seat, The Coterie group plays a game that Kelly invented, with nearly everyone being confused. Gael compliments her on the game being specific, with help from Callie. Mariana tells Callie that she got their mom a candle of the month subscription, remembering Callie turning down all her ideas so Mariana lies that there was a pop-up sale. Tony arrives to check out the Coterie as he is picking up Callie for a real-life outing, which earns boos from Alice and Kelly. Davia tells Gael to make his move before someone else does. He then has to leave when Yuri texts him.
He arrives at Yuri’s place to look at the painting Yuri asked him to paint. Yuri is enraged as it isn’t exactly what he wanted as Gael took liberties. He believes he placed too much faith in Gael and demands that he put it in storage now that he’ll only have four new works, thanks to Gael.
Yuri’s art gallery showing arrives, and Gael takes Callie a drink when he remembers bumping into Davia as they leave the Coterie. Callie is getting ready when Mariana enters and compliments her appearance. Davia wonders why Gael is playing coy but he just doesn’t want to get hurt again nor does he know what she wants. Davia tells Gael to take a risk. At the gallery, Callie and Gael complement each other as he admits there are a ton of important people there. Callie tells him to go introduce himself as Yuri walks over. He calls one of the influencers to meet Gael.
Davia remembers talking to Gael before she left for her date and him for the gallery. She admitted to being nervous about going out with someone else when she's still talking with Dennis, but Gael assures he that Matt is a good guy and she should give him a chance.
Callie reapplies her lipstick as Gael brings her a bottle of wine to celebrate by the pool. He is excited about all the artists he met that night. He’s surprised Yuri was so effusive after the meltdown, so Gael is planning to get Yuri to see his work so he can get a letter of recommendation and have a show. He apologizes for abandoning Callie al knight but she assures him that it’s fine. He remembers seeing Callie and Yuri together at the showcase. Yuri approaches Gael later and compliments Callie, and after ensuring that Gael isn’t interested in her, Yuri asks permission to get Callie's number. Gael tells Callie that Yuri wanted his number and she asks if he would be okay with her dating his boss, to which he claims that if that’s what she wants he wouldn’t want to stand in the way. She tells him that she’s not interested in dating with the hectic nature of work. She then leaves to finish some work. They hug goodnight as she goes back to her apartment.
Gael arrives to see two artists admiring the painting he made which is worth 50,000 as soon as Yuri signs it. Yuri arrives and signs his name on the painting without another word to Gael. That morning, Kelly asks Alice if there are any apartments available as her friend is looking. Alice claims that one might be opening up soon, telling a curious Davia that it’s Dennis’s loft. Now emotional, Davia tells an inquisitive Gael that she didn’t know about that.
That night, Gael nervously paces his loft before sending Callie a "you up?" text message.
In She's Back, Isabella arrives at the Coterie and passes a resident, remembering her time spent in the complex. She goes to Gael’s loft and is reminded of the night they spent together. He invites her inside.
Callie holds the elevator for Gael and he stands next to her. Callie tells Gael that she texted him back, to which he lies that he fell asleep and figured out what he wanted to talk about. She asks what his plans are today to which he remarks that he’s quitting his internship. Gael arrives at Yuri’s loft to talk with him, and Yuri gives him 5,000 dollars for his part in the painting. Gael is annoyed over it but Yuri reminds him that his name in the corner got it sold, but there could be more money, trips to Europe, and more in the future if he stays.
He goes to the middle school to teach art, when probation officers arrive to arrest Andre Johnson for his third strike as Andre was supposed to be in Math class. Andre refuses as his Math teacher is the one who told him to come here. Davia tells the probation officers that Andre shouldn’t be in trouble. Principal Solomon is unhappy that the teacher went behind his back with the restorative justice program, but Davia argues that it is helping them, especially through art. Dan reminds them the core test is coming up, which Jordan thinks would make a great extra credit class but Dan worries that it will cost too much money. Gael offers to donate his supplies and time but Dan isn’t too involved. Jordan shows him the drawings the students have made, and Dan approves it as a pilot course for now but if the test doesn’t go well he’s pulling it. He warns that the teachers and Andre are on thin ice, to which Andre leaves for calls. The teachers celebrate.
Davia dismisses her class and Andre thanks her for standing up for him. He is really happy about the after-school program but they need the cops out of the school. He knows nothing has been happening so they started a petition, and refuse to take the common core test if they don’t take the cops out of the school. He’s tired of coming to school and being afraid. He wants to take a stand for justice and themselves just like she taught them. He knows if they all sing it they can’t take them all out. He knows it’s a lot to ask of her to sign it, but gives her a sheet just in case. Davia looks at the petition while Gael remarks that Andre isn’t selling his soul. Gael goes to Yuri’s to tell him the truth.
Davia and Gael talk in his loft the night before and she encourages him to quit since he’s being taken advantage of. He thinks it’s stupid to walk away after being given five thousand dollars, and toast to selling their souls.
Gael’s dream isn’t to have Yuri sign his name onto his creations and give the check back. Yuri asks if Callie responded to him wanting her number, to which Gael remarks that he isn’t her type. Callie goes to Gael’s loft in response to his text asking to meet, and Isabella is there too. He tells her that they should talk later, so Callie leaves.
Gael apologizes to Callie about Isabella being in his loft as he wasn’t expecting her. Callie asks why she was there.
Isabella tells Gael that she’s pregnant with his baby and she plans to have the baby. She doesn’t expect anything but thought he should know. He wants to help if the baby is his.
Gael tells Callie what Isabella said and she asks what he plans to do. He can’t let Isabella do this alone.
In Closing Arguments, Gael helps Isabella to bed but she just wants to rest. He helps her take off her shoes so she can curl up on the bed. He leaves to talk with Callie outside, apologizing for their dinner but she tells him to take care of Isabella. He thanks her and heads back into the loft to sit by Isabella’s side. She began to sob as she was scared she would lose the baby. He reassures her that she and the baby are going to be fine. He apologizes for not being there but she tells him it’s fine as she didn’t want to interrupt his date with Callie. She’s glad Dennis called him and so is he. Unbeknownst to either of them, Callie watches from outside the loft.
The next day, Gael talks to Davia about Isabella’s job offer as he worries he won’t be there if something else happens. His relationship with Callie is complicated as he’s worried about both women when he’s with the other. He doesn’t know how to juggle it all when the baby comes. Davia tells him that if he really loves Callie he needs to split his time and affection between them and be okay with that. Gael asks if she’s chosen between Matt and Dennis. He visits Isabella to discuss how involved he’ll be with the pregnancy and baby. He doesn’t want her to go to Santa Barbara after what happened and for her not to worry she’s taking him from anyone or anything else. She asks about Callie.
Earlier that evening, Callie goes to the roof to meet with Gael. She asks about Isabella who is sleeping after the traumatic scare. He asks about the trial and she’s waiting on the verdict but isn’t sure how it will go. She asks what he wanted to talk about and he looks at her tearfully. He says he’s going to be a father and doesn’t know how to do that part-time. He wants to be the partner she deserves but isn’t capable of doing both. She knows that too and tells him that when he shines his light on someone it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world because he gives everything he has. She knows the light needs to be on Isabella and the baby. They cry together as it’s hard but they both know it’s right. They share a hug. Now, Gael tells Isabella that he wants her to stay and the hold hands.
Jazmin Martinez - Jazmin is Gael's older sister, who he has looked out for since they were kids. They are very close but often don't see eye-to-eye due to their differing personalities. Gael is more of a lover than a fighter, while Jazmin is the opposite and speaks up when things seemed unfair. She borrowed money from him after she lost her initial job. He lent her money to help her get back on her feet. He also helped get her in touch with Jamie Hunter, a lawyer friend of Callie's, after she was unfairly fired for being transgender. At the end of the day, no matter their disagreements, he is fiercely protective of her, as seen in "Imposter" when he went toe-to-toe with a bigoted caterer to protect her honor. Jazmin also only speaks positively about her brother, though she admits that he can be naïve at times.
Callie Adams Foster - (Callie and Gael) Callie moved into the apartment complex that Gael was residing in, and they instantly had a connection. They met on her first night at the apartment and bonded over their mutual love for art, political activism, and a basic connection. Gael showed her his art and they had sex in his loft. The next morning, Gael was getting ready to go on a bike ride when Callie and Mariana interrupt him. Mariana introduced the pair, and both played along with it. Gael then left, and Mariana quickly restated her interest in Gael to Callie before leaving for work. When Callie went back to Gael that night to break things off with them, they ended up having sex again, which Callie regretted because she lied to Mariana. That night at the roof of the pool, Callie told Mariana the truth and they witnessed Gael making out and then beginning to have sex with another male. Both girls were shocked and Callie downed her wine as Mariana quickly stated that she forgave her and could have Gael. Callie avoided him until she talked with Jude and faced her reservations about dating a bisexual man, which Gael instantly thought would have been an issue due to his past. Callie, much to his surprise, stated that it wasn't an issue. They began a rocky on-and-off again relationship.
Isabella Tavez - Gael initially met Isabella through a working app. She requested help moving her boxes into storage and was randomly paired with Gael. She flirted with him and even found a way to request him to be her helper again. Isabella propositioned him with sex, however, he turned her down as he still wasn't over his previous relationship. While initially humiliated, Isabella understood and asked him to help install locks on her windows and doors. Gael helped her move into The Coterie. After moving in, the two became single and lonely so Isabella approached him one night with a bottle of wine and a proposition. He accepted and they had sex, though she moved out of the Coterie afterwards due to a dispute with Mariana. She returned a few weeks later to tell him of her pregnancy with his child and that she planned to keep it. Gael promised to be there for her and let her move into his loft. She doesn't want to cause problems in his relationship with Callie, and even planned a private romantic date for the duo.
Bryan - (Gael and Bryan) Bryan and Gael were originally non-exclusive boyfriends. It is unknown how they met, but neither one of them were ready to partake in an exclusive relationship when they met. When Gael met Callie, the new resident at The Coterie, things began to change. Bryan became competitive and vied for Gael's attention, hoping to beat out Callie for Gael's affections. In "Swipe Right", Bryan admits that he wants a committed relationship with Gael and doesn't want to share him with anyone. Bryan leaves The Coterie to give Gael time to think about what he wants.