American Horror Story Review: Rubber Man Revealed!

at . Comments

Norman Bates has nothing on Vivien Harmon.

The Psycho character once famously said that "we all go a little mad sometimes," but imagine if his husband's ex-mistress was clamoring for his child and some dude in a rubber suit tried to rape him. I can't imagine he'd qualify his level of madness in that case.

Cops in the House

Both these events and a lot more went down on "Rubber Man," an American Horror Story episode that delivered on its promise to reveal the person under that black mask (hello, Tate!), while also making it clearer than ever just what those ghosts in the basement want:


You're a gay couple who no longer plans to adopt? So long! You're a female with a troubled history of conception, married to a cheater? We're gonna knock you up with twins and drive you so crazy that those kids are forced to reside in our home... without one institutionalized parent.

For perhaps the first time all season, American Horror Story didn't leave me with many questions. There was plenty of frightening, violent nuttiness this week, but there were also answers, thanks to a pretty tight story arc: drive Vivien insane. The plan certainly worked, and it was anchored by a number of terrific performances.

Lily Rabe continues to elicit both fear and sympathy as Nora; Kate Mara is bat$hit crazy and awesome as Hayden; Zachary Quinto is perfectly cast as the troubled, short-tempered half of a floundering couple; and Connie Britton? What can even be said about this actress that we Friday Night Lights fans have not been screaming for years?

She can hit every emotion, from rage to panic to concern to confusion. Simply put, I feel awful for Vivien. Is there anything more frustrating than having no one on your side? To feel all alone? We've all been there, even if we all haven't exactly been attacked by a man in a rubber suit or told our unborn babies might have horns.

I question whether Ben would be so quick to send his wife to a mental hospital, considering he's experienced plenty of crazy happenings in the house, as well. But nothing along the lines of what Hayden and Tate have put Vivien through. I don't, however, question Violet going along with her undead boyfriend. She's a teenager. She's been dragged into her parents' problems, literally, moving across the country for them only to be told they were still splitting up. Of course she's gonna rebel and take the side of the guy who just took her virginity.

The same guy who also impregnated her mother by pretending to be her father. Gross.

So that's where we stand heading into the final few episodes of the season. We were given plenty of answers this week, from the identity of Rubber Man, to his reason for donning that suit, to the over-arching goal of Nora and her ghostly cohorts. But what will they do now that their target is out of the house and, presumably, out of their reach?

Okay. I guess the episode did leave me with at least one question.


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (86 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Violet is not dead. Atleast I hope she's not...of course since Herman Cain believes Targeted Identity Programs are not's acceptable that Violet being 'evolved' is Violet being dead. Euphemism prevades our language, Orwell would be saddened how much we've missed the poing of something being 'Orwellian.' (Soap box put away).
One thing, and its why horror movies usually get me thrown out for laughing histerically, is that I'm always amused at how much disbelief people will suspsend(which is required for a horror story) always has a line, and it's funny where the line is.
Does it matter how Tate got Vivien pregnant? Should we really care how a 'dead man got a woman pregnant.' I mean he is a ghost to begin with, it is a bit futile to make sense of how he gets Vivien pregnant, you've already accepted that he's a ghost. Keep your disbelief suspended.
We are shocked Tate got Vivien pregnant and is now sniffing on Violet? The guy did waste like 20 people(and thats just the people from high school, not the house tenants he's also greased). We should not be surprised at anything Tate does.


i agree that violet is dead, but i question, too, whether tate as rubber man was really capable of impregnating vivien. that just doesn't make logical sense. and if vivien is now out of the house and away from it, why do the ghosts believe she will ever come back? also, didn't anyone else see the mess hayden made in the house? did it all magically go back together?


Rachey B- it's where the people die, not where they are buried.

Claire mac

i don't think Tate and Violet had sex. I think they were talking about the first time they cut themselves. Also, i don't think Tate is the father of the twins. Everytime it seems like they will redeem Tate he does something totally douchey


If Violet is dead, someone would have found her body. Unless Tate hid it , I suppose. But that brings up a big question about the bodies of all the ghosts. Moira is "stuck here forever now" (said by Constance, as Ben erects the Gazebo over her and Hayden's bodies) because her remains will never be found. But the deaths of Tate and the gay couple were known to the police, so they had to have been buried in a cemetary, as I believe it is illegal to bury someone is your yard, even with permission. Could Constance have gotten their ashes and spread them at the House? That works for Tate, but not Dan and Patrick, who surely had family, or at least that female friend that Dan was venting to over mojitos. This, I think, is the most puzzling inconsistency. Otherwise, I really want to know more about the dismembered baby of the original owners.
The question of how Tate was able to impregnate Vivian is less confusing, if you recall that there is expansive international folk-lore of women being visited by spirits like Incubi.

Amy jackey

Tate is dead.


Violet is dead. She really did kill herself 2 weeks ago. That's why she hasn't been to school or left the house. And why she can now have sex with Tate.


I agree with you Christine 100%


I still think there is more to the whole tate thing not quite sure he was the on that got viv prego. The voice of the man that asked Nora what she wanted was not Tate to me it sounded like her husbands. I was a huge Big love fan and it sounded just like Alby to me and they did not show who got that thing out of the trash. Yes we know that Tate wore it and killed the other couple and yes we did see him take it off in the bathroom after sex with Viv but did we really they tend to show sences out of order on this show. Also is tate really dead? I know he is a teenager and he killed class mate like in the 90's and the cops shot him but was I the only one that heard Moira tell him in after killing the Chad "not like that these boys have families and they are gonna want to know what happened to them. Do you want the police to come looking and find you."? I don't know this show make me think twice and still never leave knowing what just happened sometimes.


I get the impression Tate isn't your average ghost. He seems more solid and more present than the rest. I am making this up, more or less, but I have been thinking about the whole, "How does a ghost impregnate a human?" issue too. And the closest I can come to something that makes sense to me is that its pure ghostly will. He basically poltergeisted in her, causing a biological process to start that normally shouldn't have, and then imbued it with some of his ghostly being. They often show that he often has more intelligence than one would expect, so maybe he figured out how to do that. Next week should be interesting, because it looks like the church is going to get wind of this, somehow, all the way up to the Pope..

Tags: ,