HBO’s period drama, ‘The Gilded Age,’ transports the audience to the late 1800s, focusing on the struggle for power and status between the people with old money and new money. One of the main characters in the show is Marian Brook, whose life changes after she comes to New York to live with her aunts following the death of her father, who left no wealth to her name. In the first season, she is pursued by lawyer Tom Raikes, who claims immense love for her and persuades her to marry him. In the second season, however, Mr. Raikes is nowhere to be seen. What happened to him? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
What Happened to Tom Raikes?
Tom Raikes was introduced in ‘The Gilded Age’ as a gentleman who is underestimated by the people around him because of his lack of wealth. When he comes to New York, he expresses his love for Marian Brook. To show her aunts that he can do better, he quickly finds a place for himself in New York’s elite social circles. While Marian is impressed, Aunt Agnes is not convinced about his intentions. She knows that he wants to marry her niece, but she senses the opportunist and adventurer inside him and warns Marian to stay away from him.
In her innocence and ignorance, Marian doesn’t heed her aunt’s words and almost makes a terrible mistake. She agrees to run away with Mr. Raikes and marry him, even though she knows it will make an outcast of her. She is unconcerned with what people will think and that she won’t be included in society anymore. For Mr. Raikes, however, it is a heavy price, one he doesn’t intend to pay. The night before he was supposed to run away with Marian, he is spotted with Cissie Bingham at the opera house by Aurora Fane, who had suspected the man’s intentions all along.
Whenever Mrs. Fane tried to warn Marian, she was rebuffed. However, when she sees Mr. Raikes at the opera, she is convinced that her suspicions are not misplaced. She decides to recount the scene to Marian and discovers that her actions are quite timely because her cousin is all set to run away with the man who had already intended to ditch her. By the time Mrs. Fane finds Marian, Mr. Raikes is already a few hours late, leaving her and others to wonder if he has changed his mind.
At first, Marian imagines that he must have been caught in something unforeseen and unfortunate, like an accident, but when she reaches his office, she finds him writing a letter that was intended for her. It’s clear that Mr. Raikes didn’t really care about Marian, and all he wanted was to place himself in a better social position. When it becomes clear that Marian doesn’t offer him that, he quickly moves on to a better option, leaving her in the lurch.
Why is Thomas Cocquerel Not in The Gilded Age Season 2?
After breaking Marian’s heart in the Season 1 finale, it becomes clear that Tom Raikes has chosen a different path for himself. He was last seen getting cozy with Cissie Bingham, who also has some controversy attached to her parentage, but the circle that she runs in allows the protection that is not afforded by people like Mrs. Chamberlain. She also has a lot of money to her name, which makes her a promising prospect for Mr. Raikes, who wants nothing more than to climb the social ladder and become a part of the New York elite.
In the first episode of Season 2, it is revealed that he and Cissie Bingham are getting married. It is heartbreaking for Marian to discover this, but it’s not shocking for anyone. The marriage seals Mr. Raikes’ fate as his primary purpose in the show was to be Marian’s romantic interest. Now that he has outgrown his purpose and because he is not particularly well-liked anymore, it doesn’t make sense for the show to follow his story.
With his character’s arc reaching an end in ‘The Gilded Age,’ actor Thomas Cocquerel does not return for the second season. It remains to be seen whether the show’s writers will find a way to bring him back in the future seasons, but for now, Marian’s life is taking a new turn, and Mr. Raikes doesn’t fit into the picture anymore.