‘American Horror Story’ 1.08 Recap: “Brother, You Better Gear Up”

Have you been waiting for ‘American Horror Story’ to reveal the story behind the creepy guy in the rubber S&M suit? I sure have!

Last week’s episode was called, simply enough, ‘Rubber Man’. In a flashback to “Six Months Ago,” we see more of the gay couple, Chad and Patrick. Chad (Zachary Quinto) searches Patrick’s internet history and discovers that he’s been having chat-room sex with someone on an S&M web site. With tensions between the couple already strained, the prudish Chad gets it in his head that he needs to be more adventurous in bed to keep Patrick’s attention. He visits a sex shop and lets the clerk talk him into buying the rubber suit. This turns out to be a bad idea. Patrick laughs in his face, calls him pathethic, and informs him that, by the way, he’s into leather, not rubber.

When Chad throws out the suit, Tate fishes it out of the trash. This is our confirmation that Tate is in fact the Rubber Man. It was Tate who murdered Chad and Patrick (and, even more disturbingly, sodomized Patrick’s corpse with a fire poker). Tate also raped Vivien and is the father of her baby. He ostensibly did this because Ghost Nora (the doctor’s wife) has been whining about wanting a new baby in the house. Since the gay couple shelved their plans to adopt, Tate had to get them out of the way and expedite procreation in a new resident. Oh, also, Tate is batshit crazy, in case that wasn’t already clear.

I’m a little bothered by one thing in this storyline (other than the violence and sexual mutilation, of course). Tate interacts with other ghosts and seems to already fully realize that he’s dead. Yet later, when the Harmons arrive, he’s oblivious to his condition. Is this a plot hole, or does his mental state slip in and out over time?

In the present day, Viv tells Marcy the realtor and Moira about her visit from Ghost Nora. Marcy thinks that she’s just paranoid due to pregnancy hormones. Moira, surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly), supports Vivien by saying, “I for one believe in things unseen.”

Behind the scenes, Hayden is going a little stir crazy in the house. She clashes with Nora, and takes it upon herself to set the woman straight about being dead and all. She then hatches a plan to torment Vivien and steal her babies. She stages a bunch of haunting activity and tries to drive Viv crazy. At first, Viv believes that the pregnancy drugs are making her paranoid, and then accuses Ben of doing something to her intentionally. Eventually, Moira tells her that the house is possessed and urges her to get out.

With this episode, I am absolutely convinced of my theory that daughter Violet has been dead for the past few episodes. We learn now that she’s been skipping school and hasn’t left the house for two weeks. Heeding Moira’s warning, Vivien grabs the girl and tries to pack her in a car to get out of there. The episode blatantly toys with the audience by making us think that the characters are going to leave the property, when, at the last second, Hayden and the home invasion psychos send them running back inside.

By this point, Vivien is absolutely manic. Ben thinks that she’s lost her mind. When Violet, who knows about the ghosts and doesn’t want to leave the house, lies about not seeing the things that her mother has seen, even friendly security guard Luke (Morris Chestnut) believes that Viv has snapped. As soon as she accidentally shoots Ben, that seals the deal. They call the cops and have her hauled away, to be committed to a mental hospital. I’m not really clear on how Hayden and Nora expect to steal her babies if she’s locked up in a loony bin, but I suppose that they have some master plan for that.

In another revelation this episode, we learn that Violet gave up her virginity to Tate – after she knew that he was dead. That girl is messed up. What’s not clear is whether this is before or after she also died (I assume after).

The preview for the next episode leaves me a little concerned. From the looks of it, the show is going to try to introduce a conspiracy element involving the church and some prophecy about how a baby conceived by mortal and ghost will cause the apocalypse, or something. It sounds kind of silly. I’m hoping that it’s just a misleading preview. We’ll know more soon.


        • Josh Zyber

          Surely no bigger than sneaking the Armenian guy into the house, murdering him, and dragging his body off the property while the rest of the family was home. 🙂

          Also, I don’t think that Ben or Vivien were in the house during Violet’s suicide (attempt). If she is still alive, then nobody noticed Tate dragging her to the bathroom, filling the tub, and smacking her around and shouting until she regained consciousness.

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