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Thomas Gaines is a character in the novel Final Destination: Dead Man's Hand. A carpenter and fan of Star Trek, he is the newlywed husband of Allie Goodwin-Gaines and a survivor of the Merlin's Tower accident, serving as the male protagonist in the story. Originally the ex-boyfriend of Allie, they eventually got back together and decided to get married at a chapel in Vegas, despite being intoxicated at the time. The next morning, Allie was furious when Tom brought up the subject of their marriage and began to regret the whole idea in the first place. However, after calming her down by talking to her that morning, they agree to try and work the marriage out and decide to venture through the city. Tom realizes that Allie is still debating the situation while inside of an elevator, but after taking some advice from Ethel Newton, an elderly woman whose been married to her husband for some time, she decides not to give up Tom, since he's a "good man" as Ethel put it. Tom himself is wary of the marriage, as he spaces out like his wife did while in the Merlin's Tower casino, but after Allie finally is okay to say that she is "Mrs. Gaines," the tension between the two is lifted.

Later that night, they begin to talk some more about their marriage at Merlin's Tower, and after they finish their dinner, they head inside the elevator, where one of the occupants glares at Allie, and Tom jokingly says he's gonna beat up the person giving her trouble, inadvertently scaring Arlen Ploog after he thought they were talking about him. The two apologize to Ploog for causing so much trouble, shortly before the elevator comes out of socket and people begin to fall outside the glass panes to their deaths. Tom is pinned against the glass panes and his skull and bones are crushed by all the falling passengers. However, none of this has really happened yet and Tom and his wife are safely in the elevator. It turns out that Allie witnessed a dreadful premonition in her mind, and she freaks out and begins to tell the passengers that the elevator is going to crash and everyone is about to die. One of the riders, Warren Ackerman announces he's a cop and warns her to calm down, or else she'll be punished for disturbing the peace. Even though Tom tries to calm Allie down and defend her wife, she forces herself out of the elevator once the doors open, only to be caught in-between them once the panels close on her and try to crush her in half. With the help of Arlen, Allie is released and both of them, as well as Arlen and the detective and his girlfriend wait in the lobby on that floor. However, as they're waiting, they looked outside and are shocked to see and hear the elevator coming out of socket and send all of the civilians to their deaths.

After the accident, the survivors are interrogated by Agent Hotz and his partner McGavin of the FBI, where Tom tries to explain that his wife had nothing to do with the accident. However, Hotz begins to imply that both she and Arlen were both sleeper terrorists (since Allie planned everything in the first place) and even goes as far as implicating Tom in the conspiracy. Eventually, the survivors are released and transported through the city in a police van. During the ride, a traffic light comes out of socket and plows through the van, killing the driver and injuring a few occupants, including Tom. With the help of Warren, Allie managed to get off her seat belt so she could stop the van, shortly before vomiting all over herself and Tom when she realized she was kneeling in the driver's intestines. After coming back from the hospital, they go to another hotel to relax after the traumatic events, and Tom leaves so he could purchase food for Allie while she took a shower. When Tom came back, he noticed that the bathroom was flooding and heard no response when he knocked on the door to ask if she was okay. He kicked it open and found that Allie was drowning in the shower, so he broke through the glass door and rescued her before she died, just in time for the hairdryer to haphazardly turn on. As they rush out the room to avoid being caught in the current (the room was practically half-full of water) the door slams shut and locks itself, preventing their escape. With no other option, Tom and Allie are forced to run outside onto the balcony as the hairdryer falls into the water and explodes, immediately before a few onlookers spot Tom, and Allie's naked body.

Later that night, Tom and Allie watch the news in the hospital and find out that Shawna was involved in a terrible accident after she was run over by a sports car in Merlin's Tower. Allie finally convinces Tom that Death is beginning to hunt the survivors down and the two search for Warren and Arlen, only to find out that they had died as well. With no other option, they decide to leave the city.

Tom is the fourth survivor of the Merlin's Tower accident to die.

Death

After the previous survivors die, Tom and Allie leave Las Vegas at night in attempts to elude Death. During the ride, their tire pops and Tom is forced to go outside to change it. As he changes the tire, the jack holding up the car snaps and he jumps backwards to avoid getting crushed. Unfortunately, as he dives back, a semi appears out of nowhere and runs over his body, killing him instantly.

Signs/Clues

  • Tom almost died twice; the first was when the driver of the patrol van dies and the van swerves out of control, almost killing all the survivors once it nearly plows into a tank truck. The second was when a hairdryer landed in the water after the shower overflowed and caused several chain reactions that eventually led to a huge explosion.
  • While driving out of town, Tom sings an off-key rendition of Blue Öyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" after Allie unintentionally references the title.
  • Inspecting the ruined tire, Allie notes that it doesn't like it simply blew out, it looks like something completely shredded it.
  • Right before Tom is hit by the truck, the car radio turns on and begins playing Animals' "We Gotta Get Outta This Place", a song which appears several times throughout the book.
  • All the survivors of the Merlin's Tower accident died out of order. Why this happened is unclear.

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