RECAP: American Horror Story Episode 8

11.28.2011

By Mark Peikert

Is the writing unraveling as the Rubber Man is revealed?

In keeping with the feeling that American Horror Story is being written on the fly, the identity of the Rubber Man, whose powerful sperm count impregnated the middle-aged Vivien during their sole sexual encounter, was revealed as… dead high schooler Tate. Wait, what?

Turns out, Tate has a long history of hanging around the house and trying to give original owner Norah a baby to take the place of her dismembered one. When the gay couple that lived in the Murder House just before Viv and Ben moved in decide against adopting (after a fight that involves Teddy Sears’ bare ass), Tate dons their latex bondage suit and kills them, gratuitously ramming a fireplace poker up Sears’ ass. The next logical step is to fuck new gal on the block Viv to give Norah what she wants.

In order to finalize the project, Vivien has to be gotten rid of, of course. So Hayden conspires with Norah (who for some reason has forgotten she’s dead) and Tate to drive Viv crazy, making things move and generally freaking her out. (Kate Mara refuses to contribute anything other than what is in the script, so all we get from Hayden is crazy-eyed bitch.) Desperate to escape, Viv grabs Violet one particularly poltergeist-y night and they jump into their car, where the gruesome twosome who held them hostage are waiting, bloody and terrifying.

Problem is, if Violet tells her father that she saw them too, she’ll never again get to see that ol’ high school massacre mastermind Tate, so she lies and says she saw nothing, shortly after she tells Ben that he’s disgusting and she’s basically raising herself.

Woozy from drugs that night, Vivien freaks out when Tate reappears in the rubber suit, and grapples for the gun she stole from the poor, put-upon realtor. Surprise! She accidentally shoots Ben after hitting her panic button, and when she incoherently babbles about a rapist in a suit, Ben has her committed.

“You told the truth,” Ben reassures a stricken Violet. Guess sticking around for a dead, homicidal boy had better be worth losing your mother, huh Violet?

The final scene flashes back to Tate dumping Zachary Quinto’s still-alive body in the basement next to his lover, before Frances Conroy Maid advises him to make it look like a murder-suicide. So he pumps both their bodies full of lead and calls it a day.

Next episode promises both the return of a sorely missed Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson as her psychic sidekick. Maybe their camping carryings on will dispel the smell of ramshackle writing that is beginning to pervade the show.

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