American Horror Story

Season 1 Episode 8

Rubber Man

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 23, 2011 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
211 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The enigmatic Rubber Man's origins are revealed as he makes his presence felt, while Hayden conspires to rob Vivien of her unborn children.

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  • Oh the horror

    Strongest episode so far this season. Have to say this was actually quite an episode. I liked the interchanging plot - shifting back to Chad and his boyfriend. I was also hoping for another level of the Rubber Man character (as below), but it was still quite good all around. The "haunted house" aspect of the plot actually came out of hiding this episode and was fully on display. And the deterioration of Vivien was strongly on display. I actually found Hayden to really help move this story forward and connect a lot of the dots from the previous 7 episodes! Looking forward to the last couple.moreless
  • Rubber Man

    Rubber Man was a superb episode of American Horror Story and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of great character and plot development. The episode was a bit slow or rather it didn't feel as good as previous episodes but it was nice to get more info about the ghostly residents of the Murder House, and to find out the history of the Rubber Suit and just who was inside it when sleeping with Vivien. This was definitely an interesting episode and I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!moreless
  • Casper the not-so-friendly gimp...

    Ok, so this was the first episode of the season that I didn't love. It was a great episode, but it just lacked the cohesion of the previous eps.

    Tate, the ever adorable yet clearly psychotic Kurt Cobain wannabe, is the rubberdude. He shot up his school, raped Viv, killed the previous owners, and yet I STILL feel some real sympathy for the kid. For this fact alone the writers deserve some proper high-fives. To create a character that commits such dispicably evil acts and yet still does not come across as totally and irrevocably repellant to the audience is quite the feat.

    There's much more to Tate, that much is clear, but I think what really peaked my interest was Moira's little interaction with him in the basement. Telling him that he needs to stop trying to please all the women in the house. His motive for killing the previous owners and raping Viv is that he is trying to acquire a baby to make Nora happy. What on earth did Constance do or let happen to this kid whilst he was alive?!

    Hayden is an annoying little addition to the episode this week. Her vendetta against Viv comes across as immature and unsavoury rather than the insane and twisted I imagine they were going for in the script.

    Constance and Larry were both missing from this episode and it really did show. The real highlights of the episode were Marcy the anti-PC realtor and Moira the bi-aged maid and possibly the saddest character to ever grace TV screens.

    Ben completed his character development into an all-out douche bag of epic proportions, and I found myself do a little internal *sqee* when Viv shot him, and a big hefty sigh of disappointment when he turned out to be perfectly fine.

    Violet's shining moment this week was her confrontation with Ben, where she comments upon his perverted taste in women and how she's surprised he hasn't tried anything with her yet. She's a fiesty little one! I forsee her guilt over lying and indirectly contributing to her mother's sectioning being a big issue over the next few weeks.

    All in all the episode was a good one, with a tonne of answers to go along with a pile more questions- although at the moment the writers are getting that balance of give-and-take spot on and avoiding going down the Lost route of all Q's and no A's. In the coming weeks I look forward to witnessing (hopefully) Ben's downfall, Violet's struggle to decide who's side she's on- the living or the dead?, and most of all I am keen as mustard to find out exactly what Constance and Tate's deal is....

  • Mixed Nuts

    After watching the most recent episode of American Horror Story, I was left with the impression that the writers are just as confused as we are. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to keep watching it every week. But 'Rubber Man' left a bad taste in my mouth.

    To begin with, may I say that the Harmons are the WORST FAMILY EVER. It's a wonder they've tolerated each other for this long. Here are my character sketches:

    Ben Harmon - Husband, Father, Egomaniacal moron. Inspite of personally seeing his dead mistress Hayden hovering around the house, he would much rather believe that Vivien has gone crazy than be open to the possibility that she's telling the truth. That being said, maybe his actions were deliberate, and he wanted Vivien out of the way (although he genuinely looked concerned for her well-being). Multiple sources including crazy Larry have repeated that the house has bad mojo. So he's either dumber than an intellectually challenged brick, or he has a hidden agenda yet to be revealed.

    Vivien Harmon - Wife, Mother, Brain-eater. Yes, she's undoubtedly loony. But not straight-jacket loony. I've hated her character ever since the show began. Not for any specific reason. She's just....well, IRRITATING. Ben was an idiot for cheating on her, but his reasons for doing it are quite obvious. This was the first time I felt a tinge of pity for her. Maybe because she has the spawn(s) of Satan as her future AND current offspring. Besides, she WAS violated by a deranged teenage ghost in a gimp suit. I'll cut her some slack.

    Violet Harmon - Yes, she's a teenager. Yes, she's pissed. But seriously, what could Vivien have possibly done to be royally screwed by her own daughter like that? So let me get this straight. She would much rather lie through her teeth to stay in the house with her dead, rapist-murderer creeper boyfriend, than back up her pregnant, emotionally vulnerable mom, who just found out that her cheating bastard of a husband was still in touch with his mistress. Talk about being a cold-hearted bitch! There are feelers going around that she might already be a ghost (the bathtub scene where she tried to commit suicide). But that's no excuse.That's still your Mom! Despite whatever that's happened, Ben and Vivien haven't been the worst parents. She just became my new worst character on the show.

    The big reveal for this episode was of course, the identity of rubber man. It wasn't much of a surprise to see Tate revealed as the gimp ghost. But again, it's difficult to figure out what the writers are thinking. This show actually seems to have 2 Tates. Let's call them Tates 1 and 2.

    Tate 1 - Gimp suit ghost, butchers people for pleasure and approval, completely aware of his actions

    Tate 2 - Has no clue that he's dead, is in love with Violet, doesn't remember slaughtering his fellow schoolmates.

    Both Tates however, are aware of the existence of the ghosts around the house. There are so many discrepancies in his character that it's bordering on stupid!


    - No Constance or Larry in this episode. Maybe that's why I felt a little underwhelmed.

    - Ok. So we saw how the gay couple got killed. What was the point?

    -The problem now arises - Who do we root for? There isn't anyone on the show left to like. I'll probably keep watching just to catch a glimpse of young Moira. Woof!

    - We saw how the Harmons spent their Thanksgiving. Here's to hoping you have a better one!

    Happy Thanksgiving!moreless
  • Now we know who the prime killer is...*spoilers everywhere*

    The episode stared with the flashbacks of the first episode. And it is revealed who is the Rubber Man. Why, why is it been revealed on the third minute of the episode? The episode might be much more interesting if writers could keep the secret till the end of it.

    But here we go... Tate is The Rubber Man and the killer of costume's first owner. The first owner was Chad(Zachary Quinto) who just tried to draw his boyfriend attention.

    Hayden tries to incline other ghost against the Vivien.Because she wanted on of Vivien's babies. Other she agreed to give Nora if she'll help. So Hayden tries to drive Vivien crazy by doing all that poltergeist stuff.

    Moira is a good character after all so she tried to help Vivien and persuaded her to leave. This, of course, didn't happen because there were unaccomplished dead maniacs on the back seat of the car. But Vivien though that they are alive and just came to finish the job.

    Violette wanted to tell truth about the ghosts to her parents but Tate insisted not to tell anyone. So she didn't confirmed her mother's story and now Ben thinks that her wife has mental disease.

    The culmination started when Haiden convinced Tate to help her and drive Vivien crazy. And they succeed guilty conscience. THE END.

    Episode was great but there are too many questions left. Why did Tate start to kill? Why did he screw Vivian? Why Nora don't remember what happened to her? And so on, and so on.

    I hope all questions will be revealed till the end of the season!moreless
Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto

Chad Warwick

Guest Star

Teddy Sears

Teddy Sears

Teddy Sears

Guest Star

Kathleen Rose Perkins

Kathleen Rose Perkins


Guest Star

Kate Mara

Kate Mara

Hayden McClaine

Recurring Role

Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy

Moira O'Hara

Recurring Role

Lily Rabe

Lily Rabe

Nora Montgomery

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Moira: That's what men do--they make you think you're crazy so that they can have their fun.

    • Marcy: Oh lord. Moira, how about a calming cup of tea for Mrs. Harmon?
      Vivien: Don't patronize me, Marcy. In fact, there is someone who wants my husband, who wants my life.
      Marcy: You know, cousin Helen went paranoid when she was pregnant with her second. She imagined the stuffed animals in the nursery dancing to some dreadful African drumbeat. She thought they were enacting voodoo on her. We got her hormones straightened out, and she was right back on the happy track in no time.

    • Peggy: Look, Pat's obviously got some interests that he doesn't feel free sharing with you.
      Chad: Ugh!
      Peggy: Now, if you don't want to end up sharing him, then you need to make a preemptive strike.
      Chad: What do you mean?
      Peggy: I mean you have to fight. Pat's a great guy, Chad, worth fighting for. And if that means you have to fight with a cat-o'-nine-tails and some titty clamps, then brother, you better gear up.

    • Chad: Why are you being such an asshole? This turns you on. I know it does.
      Patrick: Seriously, Chad, depressing sex is even more depressing when you try so hard.

    • Marcy: I wasn't here when he came back to visit. Did you tell him your ghost story? Maybe he laughed and you bit the man's head off.
      Vivien: Excuse me, Marcy. I'm not crazy, I'm just pregnant.

    • Moira: You want them to find you?
      Tate: I'm open to suggestions.
      Moira: I think you should get over your compulsive need to please the ladies of this house.
      Tate: I think I have mommy issues. You know a good therapist?

  • NOTES (3)


    • Patrick: Take it off, so we can watch Rachel Zoe without me without me worrying about you passing off.
      Referencing Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig, aka Rachel Zoe, and her Bravo reality series, The Rachel Zoe Project. Rachel is a fashion stylist and the show documents her business and personal life.

    • Hayden: "Adieu, nightingale. Thy plaintive anthem fades."
      Referencing the poem "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats, written in May 1819 and first published in Annals of the Fine Arts in July of that year. Hayden misquotes it slightly, as the actual line is, "Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades."