Review

Review

TV Recap: 'American Horror Story' Episode 108 - 'Rubber Man'

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American Horror Story Episode 108

"Rubber Man"

Written By: Ryan Murphy

Directed By: Miguel Artera

Original Airdate: 23 November 2011

In This Episode...

Nora is still wandering through the house, confused and missing her baby. Hayden tries to explain to her that she is dead, and trapped in this house with other "lost souls." She hatches a plan to take Vivien's twins and give one to Nora so that they each get a replacement baby for the ones they lost. Nora is pretty much useless, but Hayden starts haunting her by making the lights flicker and throwing knick-knacks from shelves. At first, Vivien thinks it is side effects from the anti-nausea medicine her doctor gave her. But Moira tells her that she should get out of here - the house is possessed. Vivien heeds her warning, wakes Violet up, and the two jump in the car, intending to drive to Viv's sister's house in Florida. In the car, the ladies see two of the home invaders that tried to kill them, and they race back into the house.

Ben thinks that Vivien is coming unhinged. The cops found no evidence of the intruders in the car. When asked, Violet lies and says she didn't see anything; she told the cops what her mom wanted to hear. Violet, of course, did see what mom saw; she had just lost her virginity to Tate and he told her not to tell anyone because they would think that she was crazy and lock her up. So she lied. Ben decides he is staying at the house that night - not for Vivien, but for Violet.

Vivien goes through a whole ritual before going to bed, checking under the bed, in the closets, and behind the curtains for the boogeyman. Satisfied that it is all clear, she crawls into bed. It is mere seconds before she hears a creak... a squeak... she gets up to investigate... a shadow runs behind her. Viv starts screaming and hits her panic button. A shadowy figure runs into the room. Terrified beyond reason, Vivien grabs the gun she stole from Marcy earlier in the day, and shoots blindly. The "intruder" is Ben.

The EMTs arrive and want to take him to the hospital. The shot was just a through-and-through flesh wound; Ben says he will be fine. Luke, the security guard, arrives and is not happy to see Ben there, trying to tell the cops that he and Vivien are separated. The two argue about who is crazier: Viv or Ben. Ben gave Vivien a Valium to settle her down. The Valium just makes her dopey, so when Hayden returns to haunt her, it is even crazier and more surreal. Hayden taunts her, wanting her babies and telling Vivien that she is dead. Tate, dressed as Rubber Man, comes in and attacks Vivien, throwing her on the ground and raping her. Ben shakes her out of her haze - it is Ben who is on top of her, Luke at her side. They get her to her feet and reveal that she is going to the hospital for evaluation. Vivien doesn't put up a fight; after all, "At least I'll be out of this house."

Fun fact: it is Tate who is the father to Vivien's twins, which explains why, if she strays too far from home, she gets ill. If her babies are half-ghost, they will need to stay around the house.

Dig It or Bury It?

In a show like American Horror Story, having random flashbacks is an interesting choice. In a typical show, you can figure out the time frame based on where people are in their lives. But with AHS, just because someone is dead doesn't mean that it isn't the present. So while it wasn't confusing, it was jarring. 

Also jarring is the time-of-day. For example, Moira is telling Vivien to get out of the house during the day; the next scene is Vivien, in a panic, dragging Violet from bed in the middle of the night. Did I just assume the previous scene was during the day? Was the script supervisor asleep? Does the house control the hours of the day? Am I making too big a deal of this?

Full Disclosure

It was Chad who bought the rubber suit. He saw hardcore S&M chats that Patrick was having online, so in an attempt to entice him back into bed, Chad visits a high-end sex shop. He is intimidated by all the contraptions, but the salesman sells him on the rubber suit by telling him if it doesn't work out in the bedroom, he can always wear it for Halloween. And Chad loves Halloween. Chad surprised Patrick with the suit, but he is not interested. In fact, it leads to a fight that ends with Patrick leaving, telling Chad that he "likes leather, not latex."

Tate assures Nora that once he gets Chad and Patrick out of the house, a new family will move in that can give her "what she wants" - a baby. Tate dresses in the rubber suit and drowns Chad and beats Patrick. He drags them into the basement for their killing blows, but is stopped by Moira, who hands him a gun that belonged to the guys. "They have families who will be looking for them." Tate stages it to look like a murder-suicide to prevent a police investigation. Just before he died, Chad reached out weakly in an attempt to hold Patrick's hand. Tate finds it romantic - they will be together forever.

Constance Harm

No Constance this week. That is harmful to my viewing pleasure.

Prophecies?

The psychic is back, telling Constance about the end of the world, something about the pope... it was a little scatter-shot. But it does seem like Ben is starting to believe that Vivien was attacked.

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