We are just hours away from discovering the future of Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson), our complicated heroine in The Gilded Age who is a rebellious, forward-thinking woman for her time, but who fails to realize the unanimous warnings against Tom Raikes (Thomas Cocquerel) are genuine. It’s just that, as we’ve already fished, only the lawyer has the inside information that Marian is, in fact, a millionaire or a potential millionaire thanks to the shares bought by her father who invested in the railroads and so far she believes in his love for her. Poor Marian.
At home, Marian is a bit at odds with her aunts, who have given her shelter but who are conservative and strict. By keeping her under traditional rules, Marian distance herself from a love match, but there is no question that she will need to marry to be able to afford her life. It is through this societal trap that Tom Raikes is managing to win Marian over, a chicken-and-egg effect that makes us very nervous.
Apart from Raikes, the other potential candidates are not as inspiring either. It excludes her 1st cousin, Oscar Van Rhijn (Blake Ritson), an unassuming homosexual who, at his turn, is eyeing the fortune of Gladys Russell (Tassia Farmiga) instead. We are left then with the one man that pleases us the most, Larry Russell (Harry Richardson) the young future architect who is perfect for Marian. They get along, they like each other’s company. Who would be against the two?
Bertha Russell (Carrie Coon), who, like Agnes Van Rhijn (Christine Baranski), would immediately reject the idea. But aren’t Bertha and Marian friends? Yes, Bertha adores Marian, but she has a very specific plan for her children and it doesn’t include “mere millionaires”, which isn’t even the case with Marian (yet!).
To make matters worse, this is a theme that unites – check it out – Bertha and Agnes. Agnes doesn’t want her niece married to someone with “new money”, as much as she can be flexible to wish Marian protected as well as, if she’s lucky, with an affectionate husband. In that case, there would be no one else on the horizon besides Larry Russell to fill those requirements, shall we agree? I believe we might and Agnes doesn’t.
The thing is, the first season could end with the young woman making the mistake of eloping with Tom Raikes, which was her decision and only Peggy Scott (Denée Benton) is aware of thus far. There are some photos from the last episode that signal that Marian might open her heart to her aunt Aida (Cynthia Nixon), who obviously disapproves of her choice.
But the BEST of the photos is the one from the dance, in which we see Larry and Marian together.
“Personally, I think it’s a good love match,” executive producer Salli Richardson-Whitfield admitted on the HollywoodLife Podcast in February 2022. At the time, she suggested that Agnes would be against it, but that Bertha would like the call.
I now disagree. On the other hand, Larry’s father might like it because it was thanks to Marian that he got the turn to win the lawsuit in the Pennsylvania railroad accident.
I’m team-Larry. Is that you?