American Horror Story: Rubber Man

Posted on November 27, 2011

Once again, the only way to write about this show is to not care about flow or paragraph structure. It’s not quite stream of consciousness, but it’s getting there. If the show won’t attempt linear narrative, then we feel safe discussing it in a herky-jerky manner. Strap yourselves in.

Uh-oh. We’ve started asking questions. That’s never a good sign.

Questions like: If Tate can murder people, then why is Hayden not trying to kill Vivian? She certainly seems fairly murderous in her intent. If ghosts can take form inside the house, to the extent that they can fire guns and impregnate women, could it be that the ghosts can’t kill a pregnant lady? After all, it seems to us that all the supernatural shenanigans that are going on under that roof center around the idea of a baby. The house wants one. Fine. We salute the house’s 21st Century open-mindedness by pursuing a baby through a gay couple. But why were Tate and Hayden trying to drive Vivian nuts? The end result was that both she and her much-discussed babies are now no longer in the house.

Don’t get us wrong; obviously,Viv won’t be gone from horror house for long. After all, she threw Ben out and he’s still there every day. People never really leave the house, it seems. But what, exactly are the ghosts in the house trying to accomplish? It seems like every week they have a new goal with the Harmon family; drive Ben nuts, torment Violet, and now, drive Vivian nuts. We suppose the argument could be made that they’re ghosts and therefore not likely to think in a linear fashion, but still. We’ve had everything the writers could think of thrown at us every week since the beginning, and that’s been a lot of fun. They’re clearly trying to craft a larger, overarching story here and that is quite welcome, as far as we’re concerned. You can’t keep relying on jump cuts and Jessica Lange to do all the work. At some point, a plot has to emerge.

So if the house (we’re using the term generally here; it could mean either “the house” as an entity or just as a collective term for all the various creatures un-living inside it) wants a baby (more specifically, Dead Nora wants a baby), then why is it driving the people who move into it crazy? Why make the gay couple fight all the time, thereby reducing the chances of them securing the much-wanted baby? It’s probably a mistake to ascribe motives either to the house or to the ghosts as a group, but with the reveal of the baby-seeking ghosts, all the murders and events designed to drive people away from the house make a whole hell of a lot less sense now.

In other news, Tate is the Rubber Man and we can’t say we’re all that surprised. The only adult male ghosts in the house are Tate, the gay couple, or Nora’s husband, right? Of that group, it only makes sense that Tate would be the one to get Viv pregnant. Besides, we already saw him in the suit once. We didn’t actually need to get an entire origin story on the suit and find out where, how, and why it was bought, but it’s nice to have definitive answers on at least one aspect of the show.

And if Tate’s such a sensitive soul, why did he murder the gay couple so brutally?

Also, is it a sad commentary on the two of us that we just now figured out that the show is deliberately rolling around in particularly American fears? It is called “AMERICAN Horror Story,” after all. From baby-snatching, school shootings, home invasions, and serial killers to back alley abortions and kinky gay sex; it’s like the house is a microcosm of all the things Americans fear the most. Expect undocumented immigrant ghosts before the season is out.

And while even the most open-minded parents might feel a twinge of fear at the idea of a sexually active teenage daughter, we’re willing to bet even the most liberal of them would have major issues with their daughter sleeping with the dead school shooter who, oh, by the way, got mom pregnant when he raped her. But then again, we’re pretty sure Violet is dead herself. She hasn’t apparently left the house in about two weeks (which we’re guessing takes us right back to the time of her suicide attempt) and even as she and Viv tried to escape the house, she only made it as far as the driveway. Girl can’t leave the property. We’re wondering if she even knows it.

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  • Anonymous

    But…..Tate could leave the property! He went to the beach. And running down the street. Why can he leave and no one else?

    And why is it stupid husband couldn’t wait to move the family out of the house and now that Viv is all about leaving he is trying to force her to stay there? Hate him.

    If it is a sad commentary on you two that you just got the “American” part it is even worse on me since I didn’t get it till I read this. Oops!

    • Alina Valero

      dead can roam free on halloween. that’s why he could go to the beach and the coffee shop and why hayden could get in the security officer’s car.

    • Anonymous

      Everyone was able to leave on Halloween (they explained that it was the one night the dead could freely wander). Remember how Moira got to go see her mother? And remember the scene of Moira, Chad, Patrick, Maria, Gladys (the nurses) wandering back as the sun was rising? 

    • Sobaika Mirza

      In regards to the ‘American’ part of the story, I think a lot of the murders on the show directly correlate to specific infamous American tragedies:

      Nora’s baby – Lindbergh baby
      Tate – Columbine
      Maria/Nurse Murder – Based on the murders of Richard Speck

      The show also fictionalized the death of Sal Mineo, and from what I can tell that is a true story.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t she leave the property to go next door and meet the medium?  

    lojoso – Tate left the property on Halloween.  Supposedly, on Halloween, ghosts can go where they want.  Nora went to see her mom, too.

    • Why was Tate unable to consummate with Violet on the beach, but was perfectly able to rape Vivien?  That’s what I don’t understand.

      • My take is he was well contained in the suit, but Violet might have been grossed out by the gun shot wounds all over his torso.

        • He has since consummated with Violet– they were naked in bed this week, weren’t they?  So what changed?  I mean, maybe Violet is dead now, and that’s why, but that still doesn’t explain why he was able to have sex with Vivien and not Violet before now.

          • Terence Ng

            I just don’t think he wanted to have sex with Violet on the beach, not that he couldn’t. I think that was the point where he was discovering how much he liked her. Previous to that, she was a person in the house, not someone who wanted more out of him.

            As for him and Violet having sex, I think the scene was ambiguous in its dialogue and tried to deceive with sex, but parts of the dialogue don’t make sense. He asks her if it hurt, she says yes, and he says it hurt for him the first time, too. But unless he has a sensitive dick, or he as having some receptive buttsex, that makes no sense. Instead, it seems to suggest that he’s talking about dying, which may indicate that Violet had just killed herself, or they’re reflecting on her killing herself.

            However, if she killed herself, wouldn’t her parents have found her body? Or at least started to smell it?

          • I assumed they were talking about cutting.

          • Terence Ng

            Oh, that’s right! Could be, could be!

          • On Halloween, she didn’t know he was a ghost.

      • Anonymous

        Was he unable to or just didn’t want to on the beach?

        • Maybe he couldn’t do it that far away from the house, without the house’s power.

    • Violet talked to the medium *before* she took the pills.

      My question is, if she’s dead, where’s her corpse? If she’s been dead for two weeks and her body hasn’t been buried or popped into a freezer or something, you’d think Vivien would have noticed the smell by now.

  • Hayden doesn’t WANT to kill Vivien.  She wants Vivien to give birth so she and Nora can steal her babies.  If she’s out of the house and mad, then Ben can have her declared unfit, keep her hospitalized, and bring the babies back into the house, where he will reside if she’s out of the picture.  Then Hayden and Nora will take charge of those kids. I wouldn’t count Viv out, though. She’s tough and has an ally in Luke.

    I also don’t think the house made the gay couple fight. They would been having those fights regardless of where they lived, only with a predictable rather than tragic outcome. Ditto the Harmons.  Their marital discord was inevitable.  The house just uses the inherent problems in a relationship to drive people to commit atrocities.  I believe the same is true of the Montgomerys: Charles built the house to impress and appease Nora, who was unhappy with him before they moved in.  Larry Harvey and his wife seem to have been driven apart by Larry’s infidelity, but would Larry’s wife have committed suicide if she lived elsewhere? Probably not. Tate also– he probably would just have been a melancholy, depressive kid who never would have shot up a school.  Now, he’s a mass murderer who is still killing after his death, a damned soul.  Pretty horrible, really, how otherwise flawed and damaged people who might have  been OK are utterly destroyed by this toxic place.

    Tate seems to be the only ghost who is truly violent and murderous. Also, somehow he’s capable of impregnating a live woman?  I’m not sure he is literally the father of Viv’s babies, but maybe spiritually, the house is the impregnator.  Can’t wait to see how it goes down when Violet finds out about Viv and Tate…

    • Anonymous

      Since the Harvey girls (ooh, Judy Garland reference) died in the house, why haven’t we seen them?

      • Anonymous

        Haven’t seen Mrs. Harvey, either. Maybe the writers are saving them for special. Or, they are too grotesque (burnt and disfigured) to come out — their appearance would have clued everyone too early that something in the soup ain’t right.

        But I do have to ask the question — how come the maid is the only shape shifter?

  • Oooh, love the idea of Viv being dead. I mean, damn…that is a totally screwed up sentence to write if you didn’t know I was talking about fictional characters.

    ANYway, I hate Ryan Murphy – btwn this and Glee, the bastard owns my brain. I most definitely need to get back to Nip/Tuck. Is it even half as genius as this?

    • I think Violet is dead, not Viv, though maybe Viv will die in childbirth.  That would be messed up.

      • Anonymous

        I’m wondering if while Viv is under her 5150,  the husband will die in the house somehow, then when she returns , she’ll be the only one living (except for Jessica Lange and Morris Chestnut, but do we know he’s alive?).   Kind of “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death-ish.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      I loved Nip/Tuck when it began. Of course, it fell apart into a giant mass of cray cray, but it was a good show.

  • BerlinerNYC

    Re: the seemingly counterproductive nature of the house (driving people crazy rather than making them feel cozy and in the mood to start making babies), I think the house is tormenting the dead at least as much as the living. I mean, clearly, the ghosts aren’t very often getting their way. The house keeps pitting everyone against each other: living against dead, dead against dead, living against living.

    At least we got to see the cheating bf’s ass this week. Is ZQ going to finally drop trou? It’s only from a therapeutic standpoint that I suggest that getting nekkid on TV could help him in his public coming-out process. 😉

    • Quinto should wear rubber more often

      • BerlinerNYC

        I was about to feverishly say that I want to enjoy ZQ without latex, but I’m sure it was just the house making me say that. 😉

  • Maybe Tate can do those things because he doesn’t KNOW he’s dead?

  • Sweethearts. They don’t kill the pregnant lady because they want what’s inside her. The babies aren’t able to live outside the womb yet. I’m thinking they’ll wait until the babies are born. Then she’s a dead woman walking. 

    Also, what I don’t understand: even the ghosts that don’t understand they’re dead have their wounds. Why doesn’t Tate have his? I mean we didn’t actually see him completely with his shirt off (unfortunately!) but I think he doesn’t have any wounds. That why I thought they wouldn’t have sex on Halloween, because it would show. It’s just odd. 
    But I’m thinking all will become clearer in the future.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      I would really like the Tate and sex angle to be explained. It just bugs me. He specifically stopped on the beach but can do it now and could do it with Vivian..? Hopefully there’s some clarification in the future.

      • Terence Ng

        I think it’s just that he didn’t want to. He always could. The beach scene didn’t read “I can’t because I’m made of ectoplasm” reason.

    • Mary McClelland

      I *thought* their plan was to keep Viv alive until the babies then off her and the babies, so that doesn’t explain why they were trying to drive her insane and from the house. It doesn’t add up to me given they, at this point, need Viv to house the twins.

    • Anonymous

      i wonder if maybe tate can appear differently to different people–like how the maid looks young and beautiful to ben but older to everyone else–maybe violet (and everyone else) doesn’t want to see him the way he truly looks?

  • Anonymous

    Well, you’re right that the show raises a lot of questions that don’t have clear and logical answers.  I actually like that aspect of the show because it sets up a situation that defies logic and forces the viewer to try to come up with answers that make sense in the context of a show about a haunted hell house…which is impossible but doesn’t stop us from trying.  Isn’t that also in a way a part of the American horror experience, our compulsive need to make sense of everything?

    With that said, I have come up with some far out theories of my own.  I think that Tate is either Satan or he’s a sensitive teenage boy who has been possessed by Satan and exists in a dual state of Evil and Good side by side.  You ask how he could be a sensitive soul and brutally kill Chad and Pat – remember he’s also committed a school massacre, raped Vivian, and terrorized Leah the Ex-Mean Girl turned biblical scholar – not exactly the acts of a dewy eyed romantic.  There are certainly hints that Violet is dead, but I suspect these are red herrings and that she’s still alive and will come to suffer some kind of horrible fate at the hands of Tate/Satan (Tatan?) The house might be a kind of hell on earth which is why nobody can escape its hold on them.

    I also find interesting that the show taps into the uniquely female American Horror experience.  The fear of rape; being used for our wombs; falling for the wrong guy and giving everything up for him; being driven mad by real horrors just to be ridiculed and locked away for being insane.  When Vivien is taken away at the end and says “At least I’ll be out of this house.” she proved herself to be the sanest person on the show!

  • Anonymous

    Another reviewer wondered if Tate was of 2 minds-literally. The sweet soul and the murderous psychopath. He mentioned something about an unborn twin? I dont see the show often enough to recall

    • Mary McClelland

      OOooohhhh… and Constance told Viv she had FOUR babies but all but Tate were born deformed or sick. Maybe Tate was a twin but the other died at birth or shortly after and now haunts the basement where he/she was buried? No one has seen Constance’s fourth child yet!

      • Two Tates! Perfect!

        • I was kinda thinking of that- Twin Tates, one is alive, one is dead.

          • And maybe just in one body, too.  Evil Tate may come in when something needs to get done.  Would also explain Tate’s whole “I need to prepare” before going after Viv.

        • Anonymous

          I hope the other one is named Larry – Larry and Tate – a Bewitched reference.

  • I don’t think it was Tate in the suit murdering the gay couple…and maybe Tate and Violet could finally consummate now that they are both dead?

    • It definitely was Tate who killed Chad and Patrick.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      The scenes of Tate dragging their bodies to the basement and shooting Chad dead at Moira’s suggestion weren’t enough for you?

      On a side note, Chad reaching his hand out to Patrick even as he died was sort of heartbreaking.

      • Terence Ng

        Worse that they staged it as a murder suicide. 🙁

  • Sobaika Mirza

    I think of the house and a ghost as a giant octopus and its many legs. All of them move independently and clang against each other (Hayden tried to cut the babies out of Vivian but Nora woke up Ben and had him intervene) but ultimately serve the house’s interests. It does make for very confusing storytelling though.

    I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I think Tate was abused at some point as a kid. His exchange with Violet on the beach (‘not with a girl’), the violent manner in which he killed Patrick, hatred for his mother, etc. make me believe there’s a specific place where all of his troubles started.

    • Terence Ng

      That might explain his “it hurt the first time for me too” line and also explain his aggressive sodomizing of Patrick with the firepoker: all indications of a rape? Or did Patrick encounter Ghost Tate as a trick and rape him? Living Tate didn’t seem the kind to have had sex before. Maybe his first time was after he died and with Living Patrick? That might explain his particular aggression; he didn’t sodomize Chad with the poker.

      He also doesn’t seem to interact with the ghost of his father, either, who appeared this episode. Perhaps his father abused him? It’s unlikely, since the character doesn’t seem to be leading that way, but it might explain Tate’s coldness toward Constance if she allowed it to happen.

      • Sobaika Mirza

        I’m thinking one of Constance’s many boyfriends, explaining why he hates her so much and calls her a whore, also why she made that comment about ‘sharing her men’ when talking to Addie.

        • Anonymous

          I got the sense that one of her men slept with Addie. That’s why Addie said “Hell no!” to being a virgin when Violet asked.

      •  I think your comment has alot of weight. Tate is in love with Violet but I’ve wondered if he isn’t also bi. Remember one of the first episodes when he’s showing Violet the attic and she pulls out some gay magazines? She says gay sex is hot and Tate says totally.

      • Your comment was good and raised some thoughts I’ve had about Tate. I’ve wondered if he was bi? One of the first episodes he’s showing Violet the attic. She pullls out some gay magazines and says gay sex is hot. Tate says “totally.”
        He comes on to Patrick trying to get something from him to get him and Chd out of the house. He’s very seductive.

  • muzan-e

    There’s one other adult male ghost in the house, I think. The interactive House-exploration game on the website provides some footage and background on a couple who lived there … prior to Chad and co., I think. Both very dead now, of course, but given the SM themes running through their relationship, I was so certain that they were responsible for the Rubber progeny.  But no! *g*

    I do think that Tate’s savagery is justified, though. It was surely the House which stirred his aggressions when he was a living creature – that’s what it does, after all, seizing an inclination it finds useful (entertaining?) and amplifying it. But that effect’s clearly lingering in all of its ghosts: they’re exaggerations of their living selves – 

    which is maybe part of why Addie was so grateful to have died outside of its grip. 

    • Sobaika Mirza

      That’s what I got from Hayden’s speech and the shot of her mounting Constance’s husband and then stabbing him repeatedly, the ghosts are a concentrated version of the people who died there. Makes sense given Young Moira’s hypersexualization.

  • I don’t think even the other ghosts know Violet is dead.  I almost got the impression that Tate and Nora are the only ghosts behind the baby plan and that the house is just the backdrop. Maybe Tate thinks he has Violet now to make the baby plans come true so he didn’t care if Viv left?  Then again they went out of thier way to tell us that the spawn of a ghost and living person would herald the end of the world.  So the fuck knows.  I’m enjoying the ride for now.  I’m sure it will turn out sucky eventually.  The best thing longterm for the show would be to invent new haunted houses with new supernatural paradigms each season.

    • Mary McClelland

      I think he wants to drive Viv out so he can keep Violet forever. Like believes with Viv and Ben there, he could lose Violet, so if they leave the house he’ll have Violet all to himself. 

  • Rebecca Holt

    I love the idea of Violet being a ghost now….that would also be a good way for the writers to keep the family there at the house….no mother and father would want to leave their daughter behind even if she is a ghost

    • Mary McClelland

      I wish the entire family would disappear and next season is a whole new family. I am hoping Violet stays behind and Viv and Ben leave with the new babies beacuse tragedy pushed them out, but they remain in the area and connected to the house (sort of like Constance), but a new family moves in and experiences a whole new set of weirdness. 

    • Terence Ng

      Re: Casper

  • I think they should rift on a “Blair Witch” theme next season.

  • Anonymous

    The only thing I can say with certainty is that both Violet and her mother have very, very bad taste in men (not counting hot security guard, but you know that’s not going to end well….)

  • More questions:

    * Why were Chad and Moira so cozy in “Halloween Part 2” when she literally handed Tate the weapon he used to kill Chad and Patrick?
    * Will Ben pick up on Violet’s reference to “creepy old women with feather dusters” and finally realize something is up with Moira?
    * How plausible is it that Vivien had never heard of “The Yellow Wallpaper”?
    * I would have suggested that Tate dressing up for the Westfeld High massacre and putting on the rubber suit before murdering Chad and Patrick and raping Viv was a way of dissociating himself from those acts (and that he might honestly not know he’d done those things), but after his conversation with Hayden before his second assault on Viv, where he talks about working himself up to it, I think he’s a sociopath.
    * Who else wants to smack Violet?

    • Terence Ng

      * As someone mentioned above, they seem to be concentrated aspects of themselves. A lot of subtleties seem to be lost. Despite the fact that Living Chad and Living Patrick were angry with each other, they still cared about their relationship to mourn the insanity of their situation, while Pat was furious when he saw Chad killed, and Chad reached for Pat when he was dying. But int heir ghost forms, they just relive themselves as “bitter gay couple/house obsessed gay guy”. Likewise, Moira was the one who stopped Tate from being more sadistic, though she may have warped it with the additional need for the murder to look like a suicide. Instead of strangling the dying Chad, she had him shoot them: a quicker final death.

      * I know, right? Man, how hard is it for them to get this? But then again, Violet could just be “referring” to an older girl as being an “old bat”.

      * Potentially plausible. Vivien doesn’t strike me as a scholarly feminist so much as a strong, independent woman. The story gets cross referenced in both feminist lit and horror lit, which someone, even a “casual feminist” woman might miss. The hysteria concept is also a factoid that’s gotten a bit more spread out to the public recently, but something most people still don’t know.

      * Agreed. Agreed. The “suit” and the dress up all seem to be dissociative tokens for him to commit violent actions he hates. Again, he can’t even remember the shootings he committed.

      * Smack? I want to punch her in the face.

      • Tate doesn’t remember (or so he says) the school shootings, but he seems perfectly aware of what he’s about to do to Vivien while talking with Hayden, so I think that by the standards of an average living human, ghost!Tate is a sociopath: “a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness … Though lacking empathy and emotional depth, they often manage to pass themselves off as average individuals by feigning emotions and lying about their past.” I think his attempts to stop Violet’s cutting and give Nora a baby are about control and power, rather than concern for them.

  • Hayden doesn’t want to kill Viv (yet) because Hayden wants the babies.  Killing Viv means killing the babies.  They probably didn’t plan for Viv to leave, but Hayden is psychotic, so she’s going to torture Viv, not kill her.

    I’m not so sure that Nora is the start of all this.  We don’t know what is buried under the house, like in _Poltergeist_.  In the photo when the hose was built, there are no trees or other buildings.  I’m betting it was built on something pissed off that a house was built there in the first place, and that entity is the cause of everything.

    Tate is a sensitive soul?  That might be true, but don’t forget the twenty students he killed at his high school (twenty names on the plaque Violet looks at when she’s at school).  Oh, wait.  It might be fifteen, three columns of five each.  But I did count five names in each column.

    When you ask if Violet knows it, I think that’s the point.  No one who commits suicide (Tate, Nora) knows they are dead.  Larry’s wife also committed suicide, but we haven’t seen her yet.  So, yeah, Violet is probably dead now but doesn’t know it because it was suicide.

    • Tate did not commit suicide.  Not directly, anyway.  He was shot to death by the SWAT team.

      • Sobaika Mirza

        It was suicide by cop, he intended to die.

      • Suicide by cop.  The way he stood up, smiled, pointed the finger at his own head like he was shooting himself, and then dove for the gun.  He was more than ready to die.

        • I agree, but I don’t think they are unaware of their own death because they are suicides.  Tate seems to have a serious dissociation issue.  Violet, not sure if she’s dead or not, so not sure this “suicides don’t know they’re dead” theory holds water.

          • Then why have all suicides so far had to be told they are dead but those who have been murdered do not?

    • Anonymous

      There was some vague talk about how the house drove him to kill the students, like it drove the good doctor insane, and it got the maids murdered, and it made the gay couple fight or something.

      But yes, they did seem to be building up some level of sympathy for Tate, but if that was their intent it’s out the window now. The way he murdered the gay couple and raped Vivian — that definitely wasn’t something the House was making him do.

      • If it was Tate.  See below the discussion about how Tate might be part of twin’s, paired up with that “fourth child” we haven’t seen yet.  There might be a twin or the twin might inhabit Tate’s body and do bad things.  Constance said Tate was the only child who wasn’t born bad.

  • Mary McClelland

    Yeah the whole Hayden baby-snatching drama does not add up. Clearly if Vivian is either killed before giving birth or driven out of the home NO BABIES! They basically have to keep Viv home and then when the babies are born kill at least one of them. Also, I think ghosts can kill people – remember the two nurse ghosts killed the home invaders who tried to recreate their murder starring violet and Viv.

    Also, I think Hayden/Tate are refraining from killing Tate because they want Vivian’s babies and she has to remain alive long enough for them to get born.

    Third point: Wasn’t burn man’s whole family killed in the house; where is his wife and three children? We never see them! Although we finally got a glimpse of Constance’s dead hubby. I wonder if she interacts with him?

    And yes, I think Violet is dead or soon will be. 

    • Terence Ng

      No, Tate clearly states that Pat and Chad chose not to have a kid, which is why he killed them. They left them alone because Chad and Pat said they were going to have a baby, but then their marital strife caused them to decide not to. That’s why Tate says he killed them and did so in hopes that another family would move in and have a baby and Nora would get her wish. If the two decided to have a kid, they would have lived.

      Hayden’s plan for the babies was basically that Vivien would be committed and the babies would go to Ben, who has to live in the house now because Violet needs a guardian, so then Hayden and Nora would “have” the babies.

      There’s also got to be some obvious connection to the house and life and death. All these people die in the house, but what happens when someone is born in the house?

      Maybe the big reveal at the end is that the house itself is trying to push the baby birth so that it will cleanse the house and liberate the spirits?

      • Mary McClelland

        Interesting… I didn’t pay enough attention to the Chad/Pat baby drama. My husband has the same theory about Hayden hoping Ben will return the babies to the house, but I seriously doubt it. Ben wants out of the house more than Vivien.

        • Terence Ng

          True, but Violet refuses to leave, and they can’t leave the house until they sell it, which was the whole reason why they didn’t leave after the home invasion. So basically, Ben has to stay in the house and the babies have to stay with him.

    • Tate killed the home invaders who tried to recreate the murder with violet and viv. 

      • Mary McClelland

        No he told Constance “They did it” while standing next to the tub in the basement. They killed at least one of the invaders. 

  • The plot is all over the place and, like Glee, the show is now always great; but Rubber Man was one of the creepiest episodes yet. And I love Hayden. She is one angry ghost and so much fun to watch.

  • As much as I like Jessica Lange and most of the other cast memebers, I will never watch this show.

  • Terence Ng

    I’d be glad if Violet is dead. After this ep, I think she sucks. You’re pissed at your dad for not caring that your mom is going nuts, you know exactly why she is but you don’t tell her, even though she’s experienced enough to believe you more than anyone else, then you stab her in the back for your boyfriend. Whatever, girl.

    Also, Contance’s husband is also in the house (and finally made an appearance). He was the one sleeping with Hayden. Ghosts can fuck with one another and get stabbed, but won’t die.
    Generally, I felt the Tate reveal was lame. The Rubber Man could have been something a lot more interesting than just Bad!Tate, like the manifestation of the house’s power. That would make the twins’ existence a lot more interesting. Now they’re just rape-ghost babies made to give the less significant Nora a sudden malevolence despite her general caring helpfulness before.

    Anyway, I think making Tate the Rubber Man was a cop out.

    The Yellow Wallpaper would have been more interesting if they didn’t do a point blank description and then ham fist the theme with this episode to death. There was a lot more ground work to apply Yellow Wallpaper to the themes of the entire season instead of trying to develop it blatantly in this episode. It only makes the writers seem as though they have no idea what they’re writing; you’re entire season has been Yellow Wallpaper, you didn’t need to cram it all into this one episode to “prove it”.

    And I definitely rolled my eyes when Vivien’s first reaction to the home invaders is to run back INTO the house. It’s a bit too obvious when a character runs back to the exact place they don’t want to be when they also have the option of running into the street or to another person’s house.

    • If Violet were to tell the truth about the ghosts in the back seat, everyone would just think she’s saying it to save her mother.  No one would believe her.

      • Terence Ng

        But she DID tell the truth about the ghosts. She gave a police report. It was only when she lied saying that the police report was false and that she was only saying what Viv wanted that she screwed Viv and any future attempt to vindicate her mother. NOW everyone will think she’s just trying to save Vivien. Violet – massive suckitude. Maybe she didn’t have a reason to kill herself before, but she sure has one now: guilt for being a massive weenie. 

    • Wouldn’t Ben and Vivien still have found Violet’s body if she were dead?  Everyone else who came back as a ghost had a corpse.  Who buried Violet if she died?

      • Terence Ng

        One of the ghosts could have buried the body, I guess? Though technically, Larry has been the only one dealing with dead bodies, while ghosts are free to kill/maim/fuck the living.

        • Sobaika Mirza

          Tate and Moira handled the dead bodies of the invaders – ‘you get the shovel, I’ll get the bleach.’

          • I thought Constance and Larry handled the Armenian’s body.  Tate can kill, Moira can clean, but I thought it was humans who had to handle corpses.  Maybe I’m wrong, though.

          • Terence Ng

            Damn, you’re right! Hm…

    • Anonymous

      If Tate could stage a murder-suicide, he would have found a way to hide the body. Violet hasn’t been to school in two weeks.

      • Terence Ng

        True. Now, do they change clothes? Has Tate been wearing the same thing every time we see him? Has Hayden? Also, Viv was claiming Hayden was in the house. If Ben knew for a fact that Hayden was dead, he might be more skeptical. But in terms of continuity for the series, Ben still thinks Hayden’s death was faked, that she’s still alive, and Luke told them both that Hayden “escaped” his car, so she’s still out there.

        You’d think Ben would be more concerned about his violently insane mistress who broke into their house and attacked his pregnant wife, with the goal of cutting her babies out with a broken shard of glass, who is still free potentially still being a very real threat to his family.

        • Sobaika Mirza

          I haven’t paid attention to the rest, but Tate has definitely been changing clothes throughout the season.

        • Mary McClelland

          Hayden has been wearing the same thing; I guess she has nothing else to wear…

          Moira seems to only have one outfit as well. 

          • Moira made it very clear that she wants to wear the uniform only even though B&V said she really did have to do it.

  • Anyone else really disappointed that Rubber Man turned out to be just Tate after all?  I so badly wanted him to be Constance’s fourth child…

    • Terence Ng

      SO disappointed. I didn’t want the Rubber Man to “be” anyone.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, the fact that everything about the Rubber Man was so… prosaic? Was pretty disappointing.

      Also disappointing? The fact that Violet, previously the Best Harmon, as far as I’m concerned, became a total asshole over the course of this episode. Really? Siding with your dead serial killer boyfriend over your mother? Even if you don’t know that he’s the one who knocked her up, it’s still some really fucked up prioritizing.

      And can we add Freudian psychology/Oedipal complexes/incest to the list of things that this show uses that freak out Americans?

      • Sobaika Mirza

        As shitty as it was, it’s a very teenage girl thing to do. Most would choose their tragic, misunderstood first love over anyone, even if it’s a craptacular decision in hindsight.

        • Anonymous

          I think that would probably be what the writers themselves were thinking when they wrote it in, but I think it’s more or less just an excuse for weak characterization of teenage girls. Violet was previously a very cynical girl who was apprehensive in her relationship with a guy that she realized to be a dead serial killer who is at least partially unaware of his actions.

          • Is Violet supposed to be one of those girls, you know, like the ones who wrote love letters to Ted Bundy in jail?

      • Anonymous

        I agree, I too wanted the Rubber Man to be something “more” than just sadistic Tate. 

        I found myself so angry at Violet. How she could be that insanely selfish is beyond my comprehension. I despise her. Deeply.

    • Mary McClelland

      Me,Me!  I was totally pulling for it to be a surprise! Constance’s fourth child would have been AMAZING!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah. .they definitely want us to think that Violet is dead (the hints are there: Not leaving the house, not eating).

    but at this point, since they were so obvious on the Rubber Man reveal, I’m thinking that if it walks like a duck. . .

    so I don’t think we’re being outwitted here.  I think Violet *is* indeed, dead from that Suicide via pills, and Tate buried the body in the basement.

  • I know Violet has been changing her clothes, as well as Tate. I think if a ghost doesn’t know it’s dead, it can do that. 

    I think Constance having her then lover (Burning Man) kill Beau is what set Tate off on his shooting spree. As Constance said to Violet re: the death of Addie “He doesn’t always react well.”

    Was Chad reviving down in the basement before Tate shot him? He was drowned and his neck was snapped. Was the ghost Chad emerging then, because I don’t know how he recovered after a broken neck.

  • Tate can bury bodies. This is not hard to understand. He’s done it before.

    • And neither Ben or Vivien notice a fresh grave?  How is that possible?

      • All bodies were buried in the land where the gazebo now sits.  That plot of land could never grow anything and always looked like it had just been torn up.

      • well, they buried those serial killer wanna-bes in the basement (or somewhere on the property) and ben and vivien didn’t notice that. so yes, it is possible. 

        • That was pre-gazebo.  I assumed, as  Nels below me did also, that all bodies were buried in that plot of land.  That is why Moira and Constance were talking about ALL the skeletons that would be found there, not just Moira and Hayden’s, if the Armenian guy put a pool there.  I’m assuming all the abortion babies are buried there, Beauregard, the serial killer groupies, probably others we don’t know about.  There’s no access to that land anymore.  I’m not sure anyone is actually buried in the basement, are they?  And even if they are, you’d STILL notice the disturbed ground, probably even moreso than you would outside. It’s very tough to hide a fresh grave that’s human sized.

      • Anonymous

        Considering that those two hadn’t even noticed that their daughter had not gone to school for two weeks, or for that matter, that she’s constantly hanging out in the house with one of Daddy’s “patients,” or that in this day and age of information overload they are abysmally uninformed about the dude (as in: shot and killed whole bunch of people)–anything is possible. Not noticing a fresh grave? That would seem fairly par for the course for those two.

        • You know, a lot of parents don’t “notice” that their teenaged kids aren’t going to school.  They leave home before their kids, and they get home after them.  If your kid is 16 or 17, you probably aren’t chasing after them to go to school unless you hear from the school that they’re truant (which the school is mandated by law to keep up on and report).  Maybe she’s pretending to leave the house, then sneaking back in.  It happens.  As for being “abysmally uninformed” about Tate… why would they ever think  he’s someone who committed mass murder 17 years before?  To them, he’s just a teenaged boy, their neighbor’s son.  None of this makes it seem likely to me that they would miss a fresh grave on their property.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think they know he’s Constance’s son. She told Viv that Addie was her only child right now, all the other ones were dead.

            So who the hell was Ben talking to on the phone about Tate?

          • Anonymous

            If my 17 year old misses a class (even with an excused absence), that very evening I get an automated call on my cell, my home, my husband’s cell, telling me she was not in class. Ben works at home all day. Vivian seems to be at home all day stripping wallpaper, communing with her dead housekeeper (who is at home ALL DAY!), the real estate agent, or various ghosts. And nobody’s noticing what Violet is up to? It may “happen” for a day or two, but for 2 weeks? Sorry, but those two are just bogus.

            You’d think the name of a high school mass murderer might have triggered something in the minds of one of these presumably intelligent adults –even if it happened 17 years ago. I’m never going to forget the names associated with Columbine and that’s going on 12 years. I was a kid when Manson killed Sharon Tate. I remembered the names. Even if the parents were living under a rock and missed the entire episode–if I am a shrink with a dangerously disturbed patient who I find sneaking around my house with my teenage daughter, you bet I’m going to find out everything I can about the dude and then some. They don’t know he’s Constance’s son. (Though that fact alone would send me straight to Facebook and Google.) It’s just not remotely believable to me that they would know nothing about him.

            I don’t mean to quibble; I think my point is, for the whackiness of this show to work, it still has to make sense and be believable on some level. It started out all right, but I think it has descended into a level of absurdity that is neither amusing, ironic, nor frightening. It doesn’t help that I cannot stand the entire family in the midst of the crisis.

            I don’t know. I’ve loved haunted houses ever since I saw The Haunting (the 63 version) when I was a kid. It remains for me the most perfect haunted house movie ever made and still gives me chills me when I see it. AHS, by comparison, is getting awfully silly and not in a good way. I’ll stick it out this season but after that…

          • Does Ben really not know that Tate is Constance’s son?  I thought he was shown speaking to his mother on the phone. 

          • Anonymous

            I do not think that was revealed until the Halloween episode; I don’t think we know who Ben was talking to; probably the house.

  • I definitely think Violet’s dead too. Did anyone happen to notice the weird lights in her eyes throughout the entire episode? They looked like they were just reflections at first, but no matter what kind of lighting she was in, her eyes stayed really dark and there were very distinct orbs of light in her eyes. It was freaky, and it’s definitely what cemented the idea that she’s dead in my mind.

  • The fact that Vivian had ultrasounds before that said nothing about twins makes me think that, somehow, the second baby is the one Hayden had been carrying. Vivian wasn’t having twins until she’d learned that Ben had gotten Hayden pregnant after he’d claimed he stopped seeing her.

    • I wonder if it is actually two babies- or if the doctors just think that because Vivian’s growing so rapidly? Demon babies might grow faster.
      My other theory re:twins is that one is actually Ben’s baby and one is Tate’s (since she had sex with both of them the same day. I know technically that’s impossible for humans, but maybe not when one of the baby daddies is a ghost) and the two babies will eventually battle it out inside Viv.

      • Anonymous

        It’s not actually impossible for twins to have two different fathers, as long as they’re dizygotic. There are at least a couple of examples that have made the news in recent years.

  • sigh. why tate? trying so hard not to hate this character. i think he WANTS to change, but like hayden pointed out (in a shakesperean for plot’s sake moment) that the ghosts are incapable of change, the truth is that tate will always revert to being violent.

  • They ruined their best character by making Tate rubber man, it was the easy and obvious route. It completely takes away any sympathy the audience could have for tate and even the young fangirls who are obsessed with him are feeling conflicted. 

    Pro-tip: don’t make your most well-written, complex character a rapist. 

    Unless of course Tate has a twin (i’ve seen some pretty convincing evidence for this….i’m a nerd), in which case, sure, this could be interesting. 

    • Where did you see convincing evidence for this?  I want to be convinced too!  Though sometimes I think fans come up with cooler ideas for these shows than the writers do.  Cf., The X-Files, Battlestar Galactica, LOST

      • Anonymous

        From the first episode of the “American Horror Story”, Tate sees a bloody version of himself standing behind Ben during their fist session. Upon closer look, you can see that this is not Tate. The character is actually dressed identical to him, but has shorter hair. This may or may not be his twin. In addition to this, other evidence could back up this theory, such as:In a promotional poster for the show, you can see twins boys sitting up in the left corner of a room in theMurder House. They appear to not be the twins (Troy & Bryan) who were murdered in the 70s. They look younger and are dressed differently, whereas, Troy and Bryan are always seen wearing the same striped shirts and jeans. Also, one of the boys appears to have shorter hair, which is similar to the boy Tate saw in the corner of his room. (NOTE: Another possibility is that the actors portraying the twins were changed after the promotional pictures were taken.)In some scenes, such as ones seen in “Piggy, Piggy”, take place in 1994 and Tate appears to have scars on his face. Yet other times, the scars are absent. In addition, it is presumed that Tate would have evidence of being shot like Nora and Moira, who were both killed by gunshots. In the sneak preview of “Rubber Man”, Tate is seen topless without any scars or evidence of his death. (NOTE: There could be a significant reason for this, or it could be a goof by production.)We have met three of Constance’s four children and the twin could be her fourth child. Ryan Murphy has stated that it is possible that we will never get to see Constance’s 4th child.

        • On the interactive video thingie on the FX website, Adelaide is called “the sisters” and there are two little girls with Downs Syndrome holding hands.  I thought that maybe Adelaide had a twin, or that there was another daughter who also had Downs…

      • There are some pretty hardcore, devoted fans on tumblr and searching through the “american horror story” tag I found a post where someone used screenshots to show variations in Tate’s hair (sometimes it’s short and well-kept, other times it’s long and curly), also if you look at the flashback to the school shooting, Tate has a cut or scar on the left side of his face, but when the police come to his house he doesn’t. also, his mom never says his name is tate, she only says “that’s my baby” and how could he have shot up the school, left, and made it back home without being noticed?

        i dont know, i’m pretty convinced there’s a twin tate (or at least i’m hoping there’s still a tate i can root for, because i am crushing on him like a 12-year-old girl).

  • Mason Lavin

    First off they messed up “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Guy doesn’t lock his wife in a room. She moves to the room with the creepy wallpaper, and then locks herself in at the end, ’cause she’s crazy. She finally tosses the key out the window to hubby, he goes and gets it, gets in, and faints ’cause she’s creeping along the perimeter of the room. She just steps over him, now totally nuts. Yeah, hubby was a doctor, and yeah he did the whole “rest treatment” thing (for post baby depression, btw), but she locks herself in at the end. Picky, I know, and Moira’s point still stands. Modern medicine, and male doctors, want to dismiss women’s health problems and call them “crazy.” (The original story was written to make that point to a REAL MD Charlotte Perkins-Gillman had gone to for help and who had prescribed the “rest cure.” Apparently he changed the way he practice medicine b/c of that story!)

    It never occurred to me that Violet was dead. DUH! I don’t know if she is, but it is an interesting thought. I think she’s not, because I think that is what Tate really wants in the end. if he had it now, I think he wouldn’t be trying to drive the rest of the family out of the house.

    The Babies are demonic. There’s the crazy lady in the church, and then don’t we see something about a Pope? And the preview shows Constance hysterical with Tate screaming “what have you done!?!” so, clearly the babies are a BAD idea.

    I thought Tate was the guy in the black suit because we saw him take off the mask awhile ago. No big reveal, but cool. I think the “twins” or “two sides of him” idea will play out. On Halloween he didn’t know he shot all those folks AND he couldn’t perform sexually. Those were linked.  Inside the house, well, he’s both, right?

    And scary demonic baby in the basement needs to make another appearance. Seriously.

    I really hope this goes somewhere that makes sense, or I’m going to be pissed.

  • What bugged me the most was when Violet lied about seeing the home invasion people just so that she could stay in the house with her dead psycho boyfriend. I mean, they never found the intruders’ bodies, so it makes sense that they might still be out there. It didn’t hurt her/Tate to tell the truth and give poor Vivian some peace of mind.

  • @lojoso: Tate could only leave on Halloween, when all the resident ghosties and ghoulies were free to leave the premises and wander about.  Remember Moira asked for the night off so she could visit her dying mother and as it turns out, help her along?  Also, all the resident spooks returned to the house early in the morning on 11/1. I think Violet’s also one of the departed but like Nora, the afterlife shoe has not dropped on her just yet.  DO wonder what sort of paranormal lore they’re going to pull out to explain the fact that Tate impregnated a living woman…

  • Amy

    I missed the “American Fears” theme as well. I was too distracted by
    Kate Mara’s fabulous acting this week. That and since they don’t have
    “occupy murder house” sitting on their front lawn or the 55th annual
    Republican debate in the basement, it seemed a pleasantly subtle theme:)

  • Anonymous

    I’m going with the fourth kid being Tate’s twin brother; a bad twin and a “good” one.   As for Vivian’s twin babies, Constance will steal them and her plan is that they grow up somehow to be Tate and his brother.   There are twins all over this show.
    And yes, I think Violet’s dead – she hasn’t been to school in weeks.

  • Anonymous

    There is not enough Zachary Quinto in a rubber suit trying to seduce other men on television. Not enough by FAR.

  • Now it’s sad commentary on me that not tell you laid out the theory on Violet, I was like, “Wait…wha, WHAT?” Yeah, didn’t even try to connect those dots. I just keep thinking, “WHY is she SO creepy?!”

  • Kendra Lynn

    I think Tate could totally be a twin — the whole “twins run in families” trope; Viv’s pregnant with twins, so the dad’s a twin, etc.

  • “If Tate can murder people, then why is Hayden not trying to kill Vivian?”
    – Because she wants the babies to survive so she can take one. 

    “But why were Tate and Hayden trying to drive Vivian nuts? The end result was that both she and her much-discussed babies are now no longer in the house.”
    – I think they talked about this, that because she’s crazy, the babies will return to the father when they are born, thus returning to the house for easy grabbing.

    “Why make the gay couple fight all the time, thereby reducing the chances of them securing the much-wanted baby?”
    – I think they were fighting all the time anyway, due to Not Zachary Quinto’s infidelity. Perhaps it wasn’t the ghosts actively trying to make them fight; the house just has negative energy anyway.

    “And if Tate’s such a sensitive soul, why did he murder the gay couple so brutally?”
    – Clearly he goes somewhere else, when he knows it has to be done. I think he feels the ends justify the means, and he clearly has a very deep channel of rage that is probably unchecked now that he is a ghost (he seems larger and stronger in that suit, doesn’t he?). His mother is Constance, after all.

    “The house is a microcosm of all the things Americans fear the most.” 
    – Good call on this! The fear of urban legends fits right into this as well.

    And WHOA! on Violet. I hope this is true.