For the first two episodes of American Horror Stories, there’s no place like home, sweet home.
FX on Hulu’s AHS spinoff anthology series mirrors the very first episodes of the long-running horror series as a new family makes their way to the infamous Los Angeles home in the first episode, “Rubber(wo)Man.” This time, it’s a couple of house-flippers, Michael (Matt Bomer) and Troy (Gavin Creel), and their disinterested teenage daughter Scarlett (Sierra McKormick).
Upon unpacking, Scarlett finds the leather rubber suit — yes, that one — and gives the devilish attire a try. The familiar trill of Bernard Hermann’s “Twisted Nerve” (famous for its use in Kill Bill) harkens to the scenes from the AHS‘s first sinister moments. While she checks herself out in the mirror, Scarlett sees another figure, also donning the murder attire, staring back at her. She rips it off and throws it out, but as we learned in Season 1, what lives in the murder house stays in the murder house.
Scarlett attracts the attention of fellow classmate and potential girlfriend Maya (Paris Jackson). While she fantasizes about her classmate in bed, Scarlett’s daydream takes a heinous turn where she imagines choking her crush. “Twisted Nerve” shrills in the background. Shortly after, Scarlett’s parents lecture her on her BDSM Internet searches, concerned that they might affect her sex life.
“This is not just shame and pain. This is violence,” Michael says.
The family goes to see a therapist to work out Scarlett’s “issues.” The session unveils Scarlett’s 10-day kidnapping and urges the family to ponder how the house is affecting their psyche. The therapist sees phantoms of the Troy and Bryan Rutger twins, whose spirits are among those inhabiting the house. A figure wearing the rubber suit slits her throat.
Scarlett sneaks out to meet with Maya at a slumber party, leaving her parents asleep and alone in the house. Just when Scarlett feels comfortable confiding in Maya about what turns her on, another friend, Shanti, informs her that her sexual confessions are being secretly recorded and livestreamed.
At this point, AHS fans can see parallels to Violet’s (Taissa Farmiga) moments in Season 1 – an emotional scene in the bathtub and a suicide threat. Maya and her friends, upon Scarlett’s request, venture into the haunted house. They go deeper and deeper inside and find remnants of the home’s frightening past including the Infantata, which takes out Maya. Scarlett, donning the rubber suit, exacts her revenge on the rest of the girls, adding to the home’s already abundant history of bloodlust.
“Rubber(wo)Man: Part Two” continues the series’ murder house storyline, this time featuring Kaia Gerber as a shameless killer. It seems Scarlett has found a new partner in murder and love.
Just like Tate (Evan Peters) and Violet, Scarlett and Gerber’s Ruby share their deepest traumas and form an unbreakable bond. Turns out Ruby killed herself in the past, becoming a victim of the home’s inescapability.
“Kill yourself then we can be together forever,” Ruby tries to convince Scarlett, who remains among the living.
Law officials are on Scarlett’s trail, hoping to learn more about what happened to her classmates. The newly minted ghosts seek to make Scarlett’s life a living hell, but Ruby vows to protect her girlfriend. Michael reveals that he’s had his own encounter with Piggy Man, from AHS: Roanoke and the first AHS installment. To make matters worse, the house isn’t making money and the parents are finally realizing that the stories may be true.
Aaron Tveit appears as Adam, a contractor Troy has hired to spruce up the place and perform other services. Disturbed by a rotting smell, Adam and his assistant bust down the wall Scarlett used to cover up her mess and discover the four dead bodies. Adam, looking to get a cut in the “haunted B & B thing” and the couple’s marriage, kills his assistant and blackmails the family. Before he could leave, the Rubberman stabs Adam. In an attempt to outrun the murderer, Michael and Troy realize they can’t escape the house and it’s revealed Ruby killed them both.
“Now you have no excuse not to stay,” Ruby tells Scarlett, who is horrified at the sights of all the new dead bodies and their ghosts. She shortly comes to terms with her parents’ deaths.
Halloween, the one day where the dead can walk the Earth, has finally arrived and Scarlett’s former classmates are out for blood. Put off by Ruby’s cold behavior, Shanti (Belissa Escobedo) runs away but admits to Scarlett that she knows the truth about her friend’s actions. Just when the gang of vengeful girls come for Shanti, Ruby comes to her protection in the hopes of redeeming herself in Scarlett’s eyes.
The episode ends with Scarlett deciding that she wants to live life beyond the house. She apologizes to her victims and bids farewell to her fathers, leaving the murder house and Ruby behind. Flash forward 10 months into the future and Scarlett seeks to exact Ruby’s revenge on her abusive fake uncle.
By the end of the episode, Scarlett, Ruby and everyone else in the murder house revel in a new Halloween tradition.