Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Character is simply habit long continued.
- Plutarch, Greek Essayist and Biographer (46-120 A.D.)

Next Wednesday, the identity of the Rubber Man will be revealed, but as a certified American Horror Story addict, I have pondered and watched and re-watched every episode, and I feel quite confident in saying, I know who the Rubber Man is.

This is the ultimate spoiler, right up there with “Who shot J.R.” and “Who killed Laura Palmer“, so I’m stacking the page with some images from the show . . . This is your last chance to bail out before I let you know who the Rubber Man is.

The Rubber Man - American Horror Story

The Rubber Man - American Horror Story

The Rubber Man - American Horror Story

The Rubber Man is Satan, he is The Devil Himself.

The truth of this hit me last night, in a twitter conversation with the high priestess of AHS fandom, Kelsey Y. With over three million viewers each episode, certainly a ton of people are already thinking this (and a google search confirms it) but I can take pride in knowing I got to the conclusion all on my own (with a little help from my friend.)

First a few assumptions:

From all I can tell, every detail has meaning in this show, there are no red herrings, no attempts to confuse the viewer with false clues, so if it’s in the show, we can make use of it. (One of my favorite details so far – Tate making mention of the genius of Kurt Cobain. I love Nirvana, but it seemed a little strange that a teen of today would reference a band that peaked 20 years ago. Makes perfect sense a few episodes later when you find out he was killed in the aftermath of his rampage back in 1994.)

The idea that every detail matters is an important assumption.

Ghosts don’t impregnate. This is more of a gut feeling, but while I can imagine a ghost killing, it takes human life to make human life seems a pretty good assumption. It’s a hunch, the theory of Rubber Man as Satan in the living flesh doesn’t depend on it, but this narrowed things down for me and helped me arrive at my conclusion.

But first, let’s shoot down the two most popular theories:

Knowing that the Rubber Man’s identity was going to be revealed in the next episode, the topic of “Who is the Rubber Man?” blew up all across the Internet over the last week, but I made a conscious decision to avoid all the forums and discussions because I wanted to figure this out for myself. After it hit me and I felt confident I knew who Rubber Man was, I finally felt free to see what other people were saying and I found out that the two most popular suspects for Rubber Man are Tate and Constance, with a healthy dose of people saying it’s a character we’ve yet to meet (*cough* Satan *cough*) but let’s look at the two characters we can identify:

Why not Tate?

On Halloween, when Tate was messing with Violet and wearing the suit, his body looked totally different than the bigger and more buffed up Rubber Man we see in ever other scene. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have a beautiful sense of detail throughout this series, and this is no mistake.

Again, there’s also that gut feeling that a ghost can’t get a woman pregnant.

Constance?

She certainly loves that baby as if she were the baby’s momma, but is she the baby daddy? This is actually a popular theory, and for the craziest show on television, we can’t rule this out completely – could Constance be a shemale? A hermaphrodite?

Way too much of a stretch, even for this show. She’s given birth to three, let’s call them “special” children and then her golden boy, Tate. Hermaphrodites are sterile, and even if she were to have gone Chaz Bono after the births, she’s still shooting blanks.

Also, Jessica Lange’s no “a” cup, and Rubber Man has no boobs.

Here’s the kicker, though – call it cheating, but I didn’t find out this detail until after I came to the conclusion, but there’s an actor named Riley Schmidt playing Rubber Man. If Rubber Man was one of the existing characters, they’d just put that actor or actress in a suit for the Rubber Man scenes. There has to be a reason someone else is playing Rubber Man, you have to assume that Riley Schmidt will be showing his face next episdoe, so you can rule out ANY character that we’ve already seen on the show.

Why Satan?

All that talk of hooves – the nurse faints at the sight of the ultrasound, next episode, Vivian tracks her down, the lady mentions “hooves” and we find out she was so devistated by what she’s seen, she abandoned her career in nursing to join the church as a nun. I don’t think any details in this show are meaningless, but if that didn’t say enough, in the next episode on an ob/gyn visit, Vivian underscored it by asking about hooves again . . .

(Update: on a tip from Chris, who runs the biggest Tate Langdon group on Facebook, just watched episode 6, “Piggy Piggy” again, not only does the nun mention hooves, she says flat out the baby is the unclean one, the beast. I’d also forgotten the scene from that episode where Leah (former Bully, basement victim) asks Violet, “Do you believe in the devil?” . . . “No” . . . “I do. I’ve looked him in the eye.” and she goes on to talk about Revelations, a pregnant woman, the beast and the Red Dragon.)

Then there’s also the way Rubber Man tossed the gay man across the room before killing both him and his partner. That was far beyond human strength. Again, this show is all about the details, and this detail cannot be ignored.

It’s just three clues, but three clues too strong to ignore.

One of the most awesome things about this show is the way it pays homage to so many great horror movies of the past, it’s fun for the fans of horror, it’s also pretty cool to see Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk showing themselves as true fans of the genre.

(Side thought – What’s the difference between a rip off and a homage? A rip off is an inferior work that steals because the writers don’t have any original thoughts of their own. An homage is a wink and a nod to the readers and viewers, an homage is a tribute paid to a great work from a work that is also great itself.)

We’ve seen so many American Horror Story homages to great horror movies of the past – The Shining, Re-Animator, The Changeling (the original one), The Strangers . . . prepare yourself next week for the father of Rosemary’s Baby to be unveiled.

If intrade had a prediction market on it, I’d be sinking a nice chunk of change on it, but looks like we’ll just have to wait and see if I’m right. It’ll be fun to see and I welcome your ridicule if I was wrong.

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29 Responses to I know who the Rubber Man is.

  • Just noticed the “high priestess” of AHS fandom comment. ūüôā What a compliment!
    I really enjoyed reading your artice. Everything you wrote does make a lot of sense. My theory is that it is Constance’s husband, Hugo, but you and Chris could be right on the money with this one.
    In fact, that is my #2 theory!
    You pointed out some really good points such as the strength of the Rubber man and of course the hooves that the tech saw on the ultrasound machine. That does make it a good possibility that it wouldn’t be a ghost, or human, for that matter.
    I keep having this image in my head of the Rubber man unzipping his suit and you see a nasty, terrifying devil man. That would be a doozey…

    • Hugo is another good candidate, maybe that’s why Constance is so attached to that child and having “another sweet child in the house.” A character we’ve already seen would be more satisfying because it gives the viewer an “ah ha!” moment, but the fact that there is an actor playing Rubber Man tells me it’s a character we’ve yet to see outside the suit. (Have you been to the youregoingtodieinthere.com website? There are so many stories and characters that have yet to unfold.)

      It definitely will be a doozey, you’re right about that. I keep thinking they can’t possibly sustain this level of suspense week after week, and then each week it’s like more crazy on top of the craziness. Love it!

  • Interesting! I’m hoping it’s someone who will make us all go WTH! Another theory I keep hearing popping up is Franklin. I can’t wait for Wednesday.

    • Franklin definitely had all the necessary meanness and brutality to be Rubber Man. That opening scene was just about the only time in the series where it was almost more than I could bear to watch. Most of the people who get killed on the show kind of have it coming to them, but those two nurses, especially the virgin girl on the couch saying her prayers, almost unbearable to watch.

      So wishing there was a fast forward to get to Wednesday!

      • I know, I hate that part. I feel so bad, because she was a Christian and now she walks the earth as a ghost instead of going to heaven. That scene, and Tate shooting classmates, and the fact it is Tate at all, who seems just too sweet to do such evil. It is all sooo disturbing, and yet I can’t turn away.

        • I hadn’t even thought of that aspect of it – as brutal as it was to see that innocent girl killed by Franklin, to think she’s now trapped in that house as a ghost – even more brutal. If ever there was a girl who deserved to go to the front of the line in Heaven, that was her.

          Re: Tate – as a character, I loved that guy, even through the episode where the dead breakfast club made it pretty clear what he had done, but to actually see him go Columbine on his classmates, hard to like him any more.

          Oh yeah, one more slip on the continuity – screenshots of Violet doing her “roundsearch” on the shooting mention Trenchcoat Mafia, five years before Columbine even happened.

  • I have been to that website and took the tour. Lots more killings to unfold! That flashback with Franklin was probably my least favorite flashback.

    • The newlyweds from the 40s, the love triangle from the 50s, the home movie family & creepy children’s story from the 70s, the disco bondage couple from the 80s, the clean freak from 2000, all them parts of the house’s history yet to be told!

  • I just read an article where Ryan Murphy admitted that the Rubber Man had a connection to Chad and Patrick. Have you guys heard about the next episode after the revelation of RM that it’s gonna have Elizabeth Short AKA The Black Dahlia and something about her dentist being an occupant of Murder House? But yes, I agree Wednesday needs to hurry up and get here!

    • Wow, more juicy tidbits. Well I hope Chad and Patrick were Satanists, or I may be out of luck. It’s funny because I was on the AHS group at Facebook and a lady named Gianna was making me just a little less sure of myself in saying she thought it was Constance’s fourth child, who rumor has it is also going to be revealed in the next episode. We’ve never got any hint that there was any connection between Constance (or her kids) and Chad and Patrick, though. Not that I can remember.

      So far, I’ve been relying on memory, but am probably going to have to go back and make a run-through one time from the pilot to refresh my memory on somethings, like the conversation between Leah and Violet, I had completely forgotten that until Chris mentioned it.

  • Nice article Mike. Thanks a lot for the Tate page plug.

    As Mike, Kelsey and I have discussed, I also abide by this theory, although my version is slightly different. Whereas Mike sees he literal beast Devil inside the suit, I think it’s more that Rubber Man is a physical embodiment of the house/malign force itself. Such a force could and probably should be called the Devil (as this surely must be the only house like this on Earth and thus the evil at its core the most evil thing in existence – thus: “The Devil”).

    I therefore don’t think there’s any visible being inside the suit. Nor do I think that they’d shot The Devil in any circumstance (best left to imagination). Which is why I think the suit is so easily found lying around. You can’t pull off the “doozey” reveal with my theory though.

    I hadn’t thought of Franklin at all though – I love that idea! Though he didn’t die in the house, surely. Personally Franklin has been one of the most intriguing characters for me so far and I loved that flashback.

    Indeed the show pay shomage to horror classics often (Carrie is another one btw, as I’m told the punishment cupboard is a nod to that). I think it’s already paid heavy tribute to the great film that is Rosemary’s Baby (poisoned cupcake from neighbours and the mention that Vivien carries a devil child), and there could be more to come. In RB she carries the anti-christ if I remember correctly (Satan’s child), meaning what Vivien carries might be the same.

    I think the fact that RM is played by a random actor in incosequential. They still might say he’s been character we know. Current RM actor is probably stunt trained. They do this is TV. Pick someone to play him now, then choose who he is later. Wouldn’t suprise me.

    What’s all this about newly revealed house residents! I need to see the list now!

    • On the house manifesting itself as Rubber Man theory, we’ve seen the suit unoccupied when they first found it, perhaps the house unzips itself from the suit and the suit just drops. I’m pretty sure there has to be an unzipping though, otherwise, how do we find out with no ambiguity who the Rubber Man is before the opening credits?

      Franklin, did you read how Murphy said he was patterned off Richard Speck?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Speck

      Franklin would have had to have died on the property though, if he were living, he’d be way too old to be tossing people across the room.

      I listed residents of the 40s, 50s, 70s, 80s and 2000s. You can find all five of those couples & families at

      http://www.youregoingtodieinthere.com

      Pretty cool, all five cases, they’ve yet to make an appearance, but we get a tease at the website.

  • I’ve spent my entire Sunday getting caught up on the episodes. I couldn’t stop watching them! ūüôā Something that puzzles me though…Vivien is having twins. Both Satan’s spawn? Or is one Ben’s?

    • I was getting ready to watch through all the episodes, but then I noticed the FX website and Hulu both don’t have episode 2, “Home Invasion” available. Doh! Why is that episode not available???

      Yeah, that twins revelation really throws yet another twist on things, for a show where anything’s possible, really hard to pin a theory on what that means. Strange too, because episode 5, the ultrasound tech passes out at the sight of hooves, but no mention of twins until another checkup episode 7? Seems twins would be easier to spot than hooves, but ex-ultrasound tech / nun lady mentions singular, “the beast”, “the unclean one”.

      Pretty hard to make sense of how the twins factor in, but can’t wait to find out.

    • I like that theory, since she had sex with both of them on the same day, that could be a possibility.

  • I am convinced the Plastic Man is Thaddeus – the Montgomery’s baby that the good Dr. pieced back together and brought to life.

    The ‘baby’ has grown older and the plastic suit is an effective way of covering up the stitched together body parts.

    It continues to feed on blood – the blood of those killed in the house – and as such has not perished due to old age over the years.

    • It’s a good theory, but Thaddeus is the Infantata killer in the basement, the one who killed the twins in episode 1, the one Tate used to terrorize Leah . . .

      http://americanhorrorstory.wikia.com/wiki/Infantata

      It’s not impossible that he’s the Rubber Man, but he seems more like a blood thirsty killer than a lover. I really doubt Infantata could rock Vivien’s world the way Rubber Man did.

  • Attention to detail:

    Number one, the punky dead girl says to Tate that he asks her if she believes in God, but she says yes and then he shoots her anyway. In the shooting scene, Tate says nothing.

    The Jock and the Cheerleader are so clearly boyfriend/girlfriend, but when asked in the Halloween episodes, he says he does not have a girlfriend.

    It seems they are not sticking to detail to me, or is there some reason behind the continuity errors?

    • By the way, yes my name really is Leah, I did not just give myself that name because there is a girl in the show named Leah.

    • There was another thing about the shooting scene – we see Tate in the crazy skeleton face paint when he had a dream / vision of it, but when we saw the actual shooting, he’s Tate looking his normal school boy self, no face paint. Maybe he visualized it one way and actually did it another, but that was strange to see he carried it out without the crazy face paint.

      Do you believe in God? Should have been in that scene, shouldn’t it? You’re right, and definitely paying close attention. I did hear one person on a fan site say he may have said it, but you have to crank the volume up because it was barely audible. I didn’t hear it, though.

      Jock and Cheerleader? They were definitely close and together in the shooting scene, not sure we can call it a continuity error if he says he didn’t have a girlfriend, though.

      Good post, I wish it was Wednesday already!

  • That third picture gave me the chills lol. But there are tons of other theories that seem more accurate.

    First theory:
    The rubber man is the infantata. It has tremendous strenght since it is a weird beast, so superstrenght would totally fit, also, most importantly, leah says she saw the devil refering to the infantata, and viviens baby was called the antichrist. Also both the rubber man and infantata have pitch black eyes, and one could think it used the rubber suit to hide his horrible body. So heres a BIG question, how did charles actually revive his son? sewing up stuff doesnt bring it to life, so my guess is that he made a pact with the devil to reanimate his son, but it possesed thaddeus himself. Now, if the devil is the infantata, and the infantata is the rubber man, then the devil is the rubber man, our theories kinda fit actually.

    Second theory:
    Ive become literally addicted to Sam and Nikki argento, characers only seen on the ”youre going to die in there website” they did lots of s&m, so ignoring this detail would be fatal. I have two sub theories with this one: the first one is that the rubber man is sam argento, he was killed with s&m stuff so he took revenge on the gays, since they were into that too. The second theory is that there was someone who hated people who did BDSM, so that person killed the Argentos and then the gays since both couples did s&m.

  • I just wanted to go ahead and share some thoughts before the show air’s tonight, YAY! But I have seen some other theories. One person brought up what if the Rubber Man is an archangel (going by the theology Leah brought up in the “piggy, Piggy episode). What if one of the twins is evil and one of them is good, maybe one produced by the Rubber Man, the other by Ben. And maybe Ben is some sort of Devil incarnate and doesn’t know. This theory is way out there and probably won’t happen, but it was worth a shot.

    • There has to be some meaning to the twins, so crazy as one good, one evil child in Vivian’s womb may seem, it’s not too crazy for this show. In fact, it’s hard for the twins to make sense any other way.

      Finally, it’s Wednesday. This is probably the most anticipated episode in the young show’s life, whoever Rubber Man turns out to be, let’s just hope Murphy and Falchuk hit it out of the park with this one.

  • Well, it was certainly a doozey! My wife actually called it two seconds before he unzipped his suit – “It’s Tate!” And Tate it was, but like every episode before, when one question is answered, more questions are raised.

    We know why Hayden and Nora are emotionally attached to having new babies in the house, but why is Constance also invested in Vivian’s twins, and more importantly, why is Tate so obsessed with bringing new babies into the house? It’s not just the fact that Tate impregnated Vivian, but even more telling is that when Chad and Pat looked like they were headed for splitsville and no longer going to adopt a child into the house, Tate killed them both, in order to make way for a new family and a new opportunity for a baby in the house.

    So the Rubber Man is Tate, but just as I was ready to admit missing my call, just as I was about to abandon the idea of Rubber Man as the Devil, writing off the ultrasound tech and Leah’s Revelations scene as false clues, the episode ends and we get a tease for episode 9, and we see two scenes with The Pope! Now how does The Pope get involved with a story based on a family in a house in Los Angeles?

    The only way The Pope gets involved is if he finds out, through divine intervention, that the Antichrist is about to be born.

  • I heard them say in the preview that if a child is born of a human and a spirit it would end the world, so yeah, I’m guessing the Pope got a divine heads up.

    I was a disappointed to find out that Tate was the father, personally. It rings a little false for me. I was looking for something more out of it than “teenager puts on discarded fetish gear.”

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