Gow and his crew oppressed the inhabitants of the village they were supposed to guard, hiding behind their title as Earth Kingdom "soldiers" to justify it. When Zuko entered the village, Gow immediately took notice. After Lee and a friend of his threw an egg at one of Gow's men, Gow was quick to attempt intimidating Zuko into telling him who threw it. The banished prince, however, did not flinch, and angered Gow even more with his smart remarks. When the salesman of the town gave Zuko the bags of feed he had purchased, Gow was quick to steal the bags, thanking Zuko for "his contribution" and saying that "the army appreciated his support." Gow warned Zuko to leave town, tapping his hammer and saying that the "penalty for staying [was] a lot steeper than [he could] afford."
Later, Gow led his band to Gansu's homestead. He rudely informed the farmer that his elder son, Sensu, had been captured, prompting Gansu to tell him to "watch [his] mouth." Angered by this challenge, he charged at Gansu, but backed down when Zuko blocked his path.
After Gansu had left, Gow and his men came back to the farm, ordering the family to give them food. Gow then kidnapped Lee, Gansu's younger son, when the young boy pulled a knife on him and took the weapon for himself, threatening to conscript the boy into the Earth Kingdom Army. At Lee's mother's request, Zuko confronted Gow in order to get Lee back.
Zuko easily defeated the weaker soldiers, but Gow used his earthbending abilities in combination with his hammers to pose a bigger challenge and defeat Zuko, who was hiding his abilities as a firebender. As he closed in for the kill with his twin hammers, Zuko rose up and used firebending in conjunction with his dual dao swords. Gow proved to be no match for the firebender and was quickly defeated. When the shocked soldier demanded to know who he was, Zuko announced his true identity and reclaimed his knife.
Gow was very unkind, uncaring, and, as Lee's father stated, "a thug". He was known to bully others and abuse his power, mostly over women and children. He also seemed to have a cowardly quality about him, as he allowed all the other soldiers to attempt to defeat Zuko before he did, and recoiled in fear after he was defeated and the prince stepped forward to retrieve his knife after.
Gow was skilled with his twin hammers, which he used to earthbend and strike down Zuko, who fought only with his dual dao swords at the time. Despite his advantages, he was soon defeated easily by Zuko when the latter finally utilized firebending.