American Horror Story 1.08 “Rubber Man” Recap

Kevin Fitzpatrick November 23, 2011 1

American Horror Story - Rubber ManAmerican Horror Story reveals the terrifying truth with episode 8 “Rubber Man,” as we finally learn the identity of the ominous latex-suited spirit skulking about the murder house, while Vivien (Connie Britton) begins cracking under the pressure the house’s ghosts place upon her, and we learn more of the relationship between former house owners Chad Warwick (Zachary Quinto) and Pat (Teddy Sears). In case you missed out on last week’s “Open House,” we’ve got all the ghostly twists and turns to hold you over until the next terrifying episode!

Of course, if you’re too frightened to watch tonight’s action for yourself, read on for our American Horror Story recap of “Rubber Man’!

Six months ago, our mysterious Rubber Man walks down the house’s hallways as Marcy (Christine Estabrook) oversees the movers bringing in the Harmons’furniture outside. The ghost of Nora Montgomery (Lily Rabe) cries about all the renovations and new furniture, noting how she no longer recognizes anything, and a hand reaches out to her shoulder offering comfort, but she only asks for her missing baby. The figure rushes outside, and grabs the discarded Rubber Man suit from the trash as we flash back to the scene from the pilot of Rubber Man and Vivien having sex, while Ben looks on downstairs in a daze. After their encounter, Rubber Man retreats to the bathroom wherein he removes his mask to reveal…Tate Langdon!

Back in the present, Vivien tries to convince both Moira and Marcy that she’s seen the apparent ghost of Nora Montgomery within the house, though Marcy refuses to believe and leaves to continue pursuing check from Mr. Escandarian (yup, THAT one from last week’s ‘Open House‘). Moira does her best to reassure Vivien that she isn’t going crazy.

An unspecified period of time earlier, a still-living Chad Warwick (Zachary Quinto) confers with a friend over lunch that he believes his partner Pat to be cheating and renegging on their plans for a child, having found a conversation with Pat’s online BDSM partner on his computer. The friend assures him that if he wants to keep his man, he should ‘gear up’and look into what his partner evidently likes. Chad tepidly visits a bondage shop, and when the owner senses his trepidation at the harder stuff, he points him toward the now familiar latex body suit.

Chad attempts to surprise Pat at home by wearing the suit, but to no avail, as Pat has grown tired of their sex no matter what, and come to hate Chad for his obsessions with decorating the house. Chad angrily throws his partner out, as Pat reminds him that they likely won’t be able to keep the house much longer anyway given their financial state. ‘And for the record, I like leather, not latex.’Burn.

In the present, Nora continues her crying streak until the ghost of Hayden (Kate Mara) appears to express her annoyance at the grieving woman’s weeping. While Nora doesn’t understand at first, Hayden explains that the two, like many others, are dead spirits inexplicably trapped within the house, some innocent, and some (like Moira) ‘in on the game.” Hayden explains that they do have a power while they reside within the house, and the both hatch a plot to each reclaim the babies lost to them by each taking one of Vivien’s unborn twins. After all, Vivien can’t raise her children from an insane asylum.

That night, their mental assault on Vivien begins, as the woman begins hearing noises throughout the house, and comes upon Beau’s red ball. Soon lamps, books and vases all start falling off their perches, lights flicker with flashes of Hayden, and even a giant bookcase flies across the wall trapping Vivien in the bathroom, where she finds Rubber Man’s mask in the sink!

American Horror Story - Rubber ManBack in flashback, Tate puts on the Rubber Man mask, and we resume the scene from ‘Halloween, Part 1‘wherein he brutally drowns Chad in his bobbing apples, and immediately after beats Pat near to death, even (offscreen) shoving a fireplace poker up his…ouch! Nora’s spirit finds Pat’s body downstairs, and Tate reveals that he killed them for reneging on their decision to have a baby, thus with the couple dead a new family would move in and hopefully produce a child.

In the present basement, Violet rolls the ball to an off-screen Beau, as Ben finds his daughter and brings her upstairs to talk about how she’s been missing school. Violet only fires back that she doesn’t like it, fakes bullying, and that her father is to blame for Vivien slowly going crazy, with his cold behavior and infidelity. Curiously, she refers to Moira as ‘Old Lady Feather Duster’the first real indication Ben has that Moira isn’t what she seems.

Upstairs, Moira makes tea for a still-rattled Vivien, who believes her hallucinations to be the result of her doctor’s nausea medicine. Moira attempts to level with her employer by insinuating that all men attempt to drive women crazy, that the house is possessed by malevolent spirits, and she and Violet should flee as soon as possible! Taking the words to heart, Vivien wakes Violet to pack her things and leave the house that very moment, but once outside the spirits of the criminals from ‘Home Invasion‘appear in the car’s backseat!

Sometime later, Ben has arrived at the house and scolds Vivien for trying to take his children across state lines for any reason, the police having found no evidence of the supposed home invaders’presence. Vivien refutes his efforts to psychoanalyze her, to which he changes the subject to his wife’s apparent consumption of brains!

American Horror Story - Rubber ManUpstairs, Violet and Tate have apparently had their first time together, and Tate insists that she not tell her mother the truth about the spirits inside the house, as it will only serve to separate the young lovers. When Ben calls her down to corroborate her mother’s story and refute Vivien’s theory of Ben and Hayden setting her up, Violet lies and claims she only told the cops what she thought her mother wanted her to hear, having not seen anything. Ben defiantly asserts that he’s staying in the house that night.

Downstairs, the spirit of Hayden chides Tate’s lack of manhood, and he refuses her ghostly advances by leaving to do what ‘you know you have to do.” Meanwhile, Vivien frantically calls Marcy over, and feigns illness to get the realtor out of the room so Vivien can steal the gun from her purse! Later that night Vivien makes inspections about her bedroom before finally settling down, but soon the creaks, shadows, and a quick encounter with Rubber Man send her screaming and pushing the security button. When Ben enters the room to see what the panic is, Vivien shoots him in the midsection!

Ben survives the light gunshot wound rather easily as police fill the house, and security guard Luke arrives demanding to see Vivien, whom Ben has given a valium to. Not trusting Ben’s story, Luke informs the police of Ben’s currently not living there, and his former mistress with a criminal record. Upstairs, Hayden wakes Vivien from her valium haze, and the two women argue about Ben before Hayden smashes the security button, reveals her ghostly presence, and desire for Vivien’s babies. When Vivien calls Hayden sick, she unleashes the babies’real father, a rubber suited Tate, to throw Vivien off the bed and ‘go for round two!’

As the latex-suited Tate looms over her, Vivien suddenly snaps out of it to find Ben atop her, with Luke standing nearby, trying to calm her fit. Vivien adamantly claims that the ‘rapist in a rubber suit’must be nearby along with Hayden, having been present moments before. Neither Luke nor Ben see any threat, and as Violet leads police into the room, Ben confesses that he had to do it, it being having Vivien taken away for psychiatric evaluation.

American Horror Story - Rubber Man

Ben and Violet watch as the police take Vivien away, and Ben assures Violet that she did the best she could do by telling the truth. As Ben steps outside, a de-suited Tate appears to comfort his teenage love. Back to the past however, we see Tate dragging Chad Warwick’s down to the basement, where Chad sputters back to life.

Moira appears to advise Tate that both men have families that will come looking, and offers him a gun to stage the scene. A weary Chad looks on as Tate shoots Pat’s body in the chest, before positioning the gun in Chad’s hand against his chest, and firing.

Retreating up the stairs, Tate muses ‘It’s kinda romantic, isn’t it? Now they’ll be together forever.’

Will American Horror Story be able to keep up the scares now that we know the identity of “Rubber Man?” What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for an all-new episode of American Horror Story on FX!

  • Bill

    That was quite the review sir. I missed last weeks episode due to the big bar night haha So kinda upset I couldn't find the show on demand or free online without having to download something or some toolbar. Your review got me right where I needed to be for tonight's episode. Kudos to you Kevin on a great episode review