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American Horror Story Review: Rubber Man Revealed!

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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:

Babies.

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.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (81 Votes)

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

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    I don't care how long Tate's been a ghost, he still technically has the form of a teenager and it disgusts me that he slept with Vivian and then developed a relationship with her daughter which leads to him sleeping with her too. Jerry Springer for ghosts, anyone? And Hayden just makes me want to punch her in the face.

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    I think youd notice your GUN missing from your handbag!!! i mean that wasnt exactly a small bag!!

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    I don't get... Why would the ghosts want Viv sent out of the house when she almost had a miscarriage last time she wanted to leave. Kind of defeats the purpose of having new babies in the house ? Can anyone explain...

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    No quite a bit enjoyable what I expect but at least I know what are the plans of this ghost maniacs..... What we need now is a fucking exorcist who can kick the shit out of Tate and Hayden!!!!!!

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    What I don't get is how tate could be the father of viven's babies when he's dead?

    Theblakeness

    I've given up trying to understand this show. I am just going to watch and wait for them to tell me what I need to know. Because as soon as I start to understand the show changes. So I will watch and enjoy and just give up trying to figure it out lol