- American Horror Story -Who's In The Rubber Man Suit On 'American Horror Stories'? Tate Langdon's Presence Was There Even If Evan Peters Wasn't
The Rubber Man has haunted the American Horror Story universe since the very first episode. And the first two installments of the AHS spinoff, American Horror Stories, extend that rubbery legacy. Spoilers ahead. The identity of the Rubber Man in American Horror Stories isn't clear, though the first thought that comes to mind is that it's Tate Langdon again. Tate was revealed to be the "Rubber Man," who impregnated Vivien Harmon in Season 1's Murder House. But if you were hoping for an Evan Peters cameo (aren't I always?), he didn't show up. Yet, plenty of others have worn the suit over the course of AHS and whether or not it was Tate in Stories, the Rubber Man continues to be a corrupting presence in the Murder House.
In the first two episodes of Stories, "Rubber(wo)Man" Parts 1 and 2, Sierra McCormick's Scarlett has just moved into the notorious Murder House with her dads when she finds the bondage latex suit in a closet. When Scarlett first puts on the suit, she looks in the mirror and sees the Rubber Man in the reflection. The creepy experience leads her to throw the suit out. But just like when Ben Harmon threw it in the trash in AHS, it miraculously reappears in the house and Scarlet takes up the mantle of the Rubber Woman. That's what gender equality is all about, folks!
Even though the man inside the suit doesn't look like Peters, the most likely person to be the inspiring presence of the Rubber Man is Tate. Not only did Tate wear it to haunt the living before, but there are also a few other clues.
When Scarlett first puts on the suit, the whistling "Twisted Nerve" tune is heard — a Tate Langdon (and Elle Driver) staple. After Ben threw out the suit in AHS, Tate was the one to bring it back into the house. Scarlett murdered her high school bullies in the suit... a very Tate thing to do. And as a fan pointed out on Reddit (h/t Digital Spy), when Scarlett is done with her murder-minded masturbation in Part 1, there's a figure in the doorway at the 14:06 mark. They're hard to make out, but with very light hair and a green sweater, who else could it be but Tate? Especially since, right after that scene, the Rubber Man appears on the ceiling over the sleeping Scarlett.
In Murder House and Apocalypse, actor Riley Schmidt was usually the one wearing the suit — even when one of the other characters was technically inside of it. And to confuse matters more, Connie Britton told TV Guide Magazine that Dylan McDermott wore the suit for the AHS pilot — when, really, that was supposed to be Peters's Tate. So clearly, the AHS universe plays fast and loose with who's actually in the suit and which character it's supposed to be. As for the actor in the suit in Stories, it doesn't look like Schmidt returned according to IMDb. But then again, no one is directly credited for Rubber Man in the "Rubber(wo)Man" credits or on IMDb.
Many people have worn the suit beyond Tate. Zachary Quinto's Chad bought it to help his failing relationship and wore it while alive in a flashback during Murder House's "Rubber Man" episode. Ben wore it in Murder House's "Afterbirth" to scare off a family. And Antichrist Michael Langdon wore it in Apocalypse's "Return to Murder House." Two out of three of those people should still be ghosts in the Murder House. Then, there's the Rubber Man who appeared in Apocalypse at Outpost 3.
The AHS Antichrist himself, Cody Fern, explained the ambiguity of the Rubber Man to OUT ahead of the Apocalypse finale (h/t Screen Rant). "The Rubber Man is also a demon, so when someone is wearing the suit, they become the Rubber Man," Fern said. "But when nobody is wearing the suit, Rubber Man — through the power of Murder House — becomes a demon, and that demon is in many aspects controlled by [Michael] Langdon."
He went on to say that Michael does whatever he can to "draw out the innermost desires in a human being," or their "shadow self." I don't know if Fern's interpretation is 100% Ryan Murphy-approved, but the actor said the Rubber Man suit is a tool of Michael's to "tempt a person into giving in to the evil inside of them." And that's exactly what happened to Scarlett.
Although Tate impregnated Vivien while wearing the suit, Vivien said in "Return to Murder House" that Tate wasn't Michael's father — Satan was. (Could it be... Satan?! Yes, yes it could.) It's not like Satan was literally wearing the suit then, so why couldn't the suit now be a tool of the Antichrist's that led Scarlett to give into her murderous desires?
Well, depending on if Stories exists in a pre or post-Apocalypse world, Michael may cease to exist. But the demon in the Rubber Man suit lives on, even if Michael's not controlling it or Tate's not wearing it. Though, what's the harm in believing it was Tate wearing it the whole time? That's kind of what the show vaguely hinted at with the little nods to him, like Kaia Gerber's Ruby rocking Tate's "Normal People Scare Me" shirt at the end of Part 2. Even if Peters's wasn't present, the spirit of Tate was there.
Now, the only question I have left is... is there more than one suit? Or is this a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants situation? Because if everybody in the Murder House is wearing the same S&M suit, then they all (ghosts included!) really do need hot showers.
Images: FX on Hulu, FX