American Horror Story "Rubber Man" TV REVIEW

Bring out the gimp!

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Bring out the gimp!

THE ONE WHERE The Rubber Man’s identity is revealed, and Vivien’s taken into hospital after accidentally shooting Ben.

VERDICT I have a big problem with the revelation that Tate is the Rubber Man. Firstly (and trivially), it’s such a shame that it wasn’t revealed in a cliffhanger, leaving us stewing for a week – coming at the start of an episode, it feels rather tossed away. Secondly, Tate’s motivation for rape and double-murder – creating a baby for Nora Montgomery – is baffling. We’ve seen little indication that he gives two hoots about Nora before, and why would a ghost even think they’re capable of fathering a child? Of course, we’re talking about a character who‘s a. psychopathic and b. dead, so trying to apply conventional standards is ultimately foolish. Even so… it’s pretty hard to swallow, as is Hayden’s sudden transformation into a scheming nymphomaniac (suddenly, it seems, everyone has a plan to steal Vivien’s baby!) who’s in full control of her ghostly powers. Sorry, but I’m not really buying any of it.

FINALLY! Violet alludes to Moira’s aged appearance, with her dig about ”old ladies with feather dusters” dig. But of course, Ben doesn’t put two and two together, or ask what the hell she means! Argh! Incidentally, why does Moira appear like that to some people, given that all the other ghosts look like they did when they died? Is it her choice?

REFERENCES A rather literate episode this, what with Moira discussing Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” , Vivien accusing Ben of trying to “gaslight her” (a reference to the play/film in which a man tries to convince his wife she’s going insane), and Hayden paraphrasing a line from John Keats’s “Ode To A Nightingale” .

BEST LINE Sex shop guy: “Every relationship is a power play - with or without the props.”

Ian Berriman

Read all our American Horror Story season one reviews .

American Horror Story airs in the UK on FX, on Monday nights at 10.00pm.

Deputy Editor, SFX

Ian Berriman has been working for SFX – the world's leading sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine – since March 2002. He also writes for Total Film, Electronic Sound and Retro Pop; other publications he's contributed to include Horrorville, When Saturday Comes and What DVD. A life-long Doctor Who fan, he's also a supporter of Hull City, and live-tweets along to BBC Four's Top Of The Pops repeats from his @TOTPFacts account.