TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY 1.08 “Rubber Man”
The big reveal this episode is that Tate is the dude behind the rubber suit who impregnated Vivien. As far as reveals go, I’ve certainly seen better, considering the fact that we’ve already seen Tate in the rubber suit. I’m unhappy with “Rubber Man” for two reasons: stripping Tate of all his previous sympathetic qualities (sure, he was a mass murderer, but now he’s a double-rapist with both his own penis and a fire poker) and for depriving the audience of sweet, sweet Jessica Lange vampin’.
“Rubber Man” was a bit of a drag. While last week I appreciated the halt in action in order to get some answers, two episodes in a row of exposition overload felt a little heavy—particularly because the answers this week were such a bummer. Tate now sucks big time—yeah, he’s trying to help Nora land another baby, so I guess I can forgive his killing of the gay couple when they decided against having children. But was it really necessary for him—or for the writers—to ass rape Patrick with a fire poker? For what possible reason did that scene need to exist? It makes no plot sense, no character sense; the scene only exists to be edgy, and that’s shit.
Violet now also sucks. She wants to stay in the house with her dead deflowering boyfriend, so she allows her pregnant, cuckqueaned mother to be carted off to a mental institution rather than admit that her boyfriend is one ghost of many populating the Murder House. I’ve always been on Violet’s side since her parents are tragically inept, but that was pretty inexcusable, no matter how guilty she felt about it later. “This is all my fault.” Yes, this is quite specifically all your fault. Imagine how shitty you’re going to feel when you realize the boy for whom you just betrayed your mother GHOST RAPED HER.
Connie Britton had another wonderful episode of acting her face off despite the weak writing. Vivien’s abrupt descent into perceived hysteria would seem cheap and unearned on many other actresses, but Britton slam dunked the episode with her subtly shaking delivery and guarded expressions. Goddamn, that lady can act, ya heard? Ben was typically despicable, instantly rejecting Vivien’s claims despite his own experiences with the weirdness of the house. I was therefore delighted when Viv shot him in the gut, albeit accidentally. And I’m so glad we got to see more of Outrageously Handsome Security Officer Luke! I really like him and love his disdain for Ben. Additionally, I enjoy his support of Vivien and his chiseled features.
So that’s the scoop on the living characters last week. Let’s check in on the dead folks, shall we? Hayden’s enjoying her new power as Ghost Bitch, terrorizing Vivien and establishing herself as the shit-stirrer of the ghosts. Nora spends the entire episode crying and Hayden does her best to get her to man up. She tries to seduce Tate, convinces Nora that the two of them can each have one of Vivien’s twins and just generally continues to behave like the loose-moraled pile of crazy she was when she was alive. I love her.
Moira appears to be on Vivien’s side, defending her to Hayden and warning her to get out of the house. She tells Vivien the partial truth about the house and seems genuinely concerned with protecting her. I dig it—but it could possibly be a ruse.
So Tate knows he’s dead; he just doesn’t know why or how, correct?
How did Tate’s ghost seed impregnate Vivien? It’s also possible that the babies are Ben’s, since they had sex before Tate rubber raped her. Or maybe one twin is Ben’s and one is Tate’s rubber ghost baby! Anything can happen on American Horror Story.
Where is Nora’s baby? Is it the crazy thing in the basement? Why can’t she find it then?
We learned today that the house has power. Is this why Tate could have sex with Violet (and Vivien) inside of the house but not when they were on the beach?
OR—can he have sex with Violet now because (dun dun DUN!), she’s dead? Maybe her suicide attempt a few weeks ago took? We’ve only seen her in the house for the past couple of episodes, and this week we find out that she hasn’t been to school in two weeks. It’s possible Ben and Vivien think Violet’s ghost is their living daughter, but this theory needs some work in that, if she’s dead, where’s her body?
Why are Nora and Hayden trying to get Vivien out of the house? If they want her babies, why force her out of the house and, presumably, out of their reach? Shouldn’t they just leave her alone until she’s given birth and then drive her crazy and kill her babies so they can have them? Those dead ladies are stupid.
Why doesn’t Tate have bullet wounds in his chest when he’s shirtless?
All in all, not my favorite episode, but I’m definitely curious enough to keep watching. Which is a good, because a new episode airs tomorrow and I'm supposed to review it for you! Tune in Friday for the review of Wednesday's episode. I apologize for the tardiness of this review, what with my food coma and all.