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 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.
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.
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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