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|“||The world is a filthy place; It's a filthy goddamn horror show. There's so much pain, you know? There's so much. There is something about all that blood; I drown in it. The Indians believed that blood holds all the bad spirits, and once a month in ceremonies they would cut themselves to let the spirits go free. Now, there is something smart about that, very smart. I like that. You think I'm crazy?||„|
|~ Tate during his psychology sessions.|
|“||In 1994, I set my mom's boyfriend on fire, and then I shot and killed fifteen kids at Westfield High. I murdered the gay couple who lived here before you, and I raped your wife.||„|
|~ Tate Langdon to Ben.|
Tate Langdon (also known as The Rubber Man) is one of the main characters and the true main antagonist in the first season of the anthology TV series, American Horror Story, known to fans as Murder House. Tate is the son of Constance Langdon and brother of Adelaide, Beauregard, and at least one other sibling. His ghost befriends and becomes the boyfriend of Violet Harmon. He is the father of Michael Langdon, the Anti-Christ that conceived after he dressed as the Rubber Man and raped Vivien Harmond, Violet's mother. This eventually ended their friendship, and a remorseful Tate vowed to atone his sins and wait until Violet to forgive him, even if she might never forgive him for an eternity.
He was portrayed by Evan Peters who also portrayed James Patrick March in Season 5.
BackgroundTate was born in 1977 to Hugo and Constance Langdon. Tate was the brother of Adelaide, Beauregard, and one more sibling, whose identity remains unknown in the canon of the show; it was revealed post season that the fourth sibling was an albino brother. He is the only one not burdened by some sort of mental or physical defect, although he was shown to be psychologically disturbed. This is due largely to his father's absence and his mother's neglect as a child. Although Constance shot Hugo upon discovering him in bed with Moira, Tate mentions several times how his father "ran away" when he was 6 years old. It is highly probable that, in order to spare Tate's memory of his father, Constance lied and told him that Hugo abandoned them. Tate, however, found solace in the ghost of Nora Montgomery, whom he viewed as somewhat of a mother figure, since Nora treated him like her own son after her real "Frankenstein-like" son Thaddeus tried to harm him. Tate reached his breaking point in 1994 when he set his mother's then boyfriend, Larry Harvey, on fire for murdering Beauregard with a pillow and then afterwards committed a mass shooting at Westfield High, taking the lives of 15 students.
Following the shooting, Tate returned home where he was killed by a SWAT team and since then has resided in the Murder House.
In Murder House
Tate first appears in the pilot as one of Violet's psychologist father Ben's new patients. While in session, he describes an ongoing dream in which he kills other people at his high school. It is then revealed in "Halloween: Part 2" that Tate was allegedly responsible for a school shooting that took the lives of twelve of his classmates. During Halloween night (the first time he had left the house since his death as ghosts are only able to leave the house during Halloween), he and Violet are visited by the ghosts of his last five victims. He was killed at home when SWAT-team members shot him 17 times for attempting to pull out a gun.
It is implied by Constance that Tate's violent and unstable behavior is the result of the house's influence, but he is also shown using meth the morning of the shooting. This is further supported by a teacher at the school, who said it seemed out of character for him. As a ghost, he has murdered numerous people in the house, often while dressed in a latex fetish suit. He also rapes and impregnates Vivien, Ben's wife and Violet's mother, causing her to give birth to an devious Anti-Christ: Michael Langdon.
Tate claims to know nothing about the murders he committed, both while being alive and after his death, but it is revealed in the season one finale that Tate was aware but was simply in denial/unable to take responsibility for his actions. Upon discovering that Tate had raped her mother, and was therefore responsible for her death, Violet breaks up with him, and banishes him from contact with her. Tate promises to wait for her to forgive him, even if it means waiting forever.
Personality and Appearance
Tate has a very grunge-like appearance, having been a teenager in the early 1990s. He likes Nirvana and in one episode asked Violet if she had any 'Kurt Cobain'. His disposition is primarily solemn and weary, with perpetual bags under his eyes. There is tension between him and his mother, Constance. He has even admitted to her that he hates her. His hatred for his mother was born out of her negligent parenting and the verbal abuse she constantly dealt him as a child in her drunken alcoholic rages. Despite her disapproval of his behavior, Constance frequently makes excuses for him, saying he is a sensitive boy. This appears to be true, as Tate appears to be apathetic at first, but he can quickly become enraged when someone or something he cares about is threatened. Tate pretends he is oblivious to his current state of existence to those unfamiliar with his past. In truth, he is aware that he is a ghost. He kept this a secret, fearing Violet would leave him if she knew.
As a ghost, Tate primarily dons a BDSM fetish Gimp coverall to become (what is popularly referred to as) the Rubber Man whenever he commits violent acts. In this persona, he killed Chad Warwick and Patrick in a particularly brutal fashion. He beat Chad and drowned him to death, and went on to beat Patrick and sodomize him with a fire poker as he was dying. Tate appears to be super-humanly strong as a ghost, as he was capable of overwhelming Patrick and Ben in separate fights. In his earlier treatments by Ben, Tate often fantasized about murdering his classmates (though seemingly unaware such "fantasies" are actually memories of true events) and took pleasure in mocking Ben about his sexual desires and infidelity with his past student, Hayden McClaine. Tate has also hinted to Ben about the lustful desires Tate had for Violet.
As his relationship with Violet and treatments with Ben continued, Tate seemed to become softer and friendlier. He often speaks highly of Ben as a father, telling Violet he wished he had a father like him while growing up. He also expressed the sentiment to Hayden that he was getting tired of hurting people. However, he continues to be unwilling to let Violet move out of the House, to the point where he attacked both Ben and Vivien as the Rubber Man, though at the end of Smoldering Children, it is revealed that this was because he was trying to prevent Violet from finding out she was dead, as he was afraid of how she would react. Tate would later tell Ben that he really did feel like his treatments were helping him get better. He also broke down in tears and admitted to the suffering he'd caused, though Ben did not believe he was really remorseful.
He although clearly unwell still seemed to care deeply for Violet and seemed madly in love with her to the point of not wanting her to leave him as shown in Smoldering Children where after Violet admits she cannot forgive him and says she won't be with him he breaks down in tears and desperately begs for her to stay with him saying "You're all I want. You're all I Have!"
- 15 High School students (Firearms)
- Himself (Provoked SWAT into shooting by pulling out a pistol)
- Chad Warwick (Nearly drowned, neck snapped, killed by pistol to chest)
- Patrick (Beaten to death whilst sodomized with a fire-poker)
- Bianca Forest (Chopped in half by an axe)
- Unnamed Bug Exterminator (Stabbed to death)
- Vivien Harmon (Rape victim, died in pregnancy)
- Larry Harvey (Set on fire)
- Leah (Psychological abuse and assault)
- Vivien Harmon (Psychological abuse and assault)
- Ben Harmon (Beaten and chloroformed)
- Gabriel (Attempted murder with knife)
- He is the first character in American Horror Story to be portrayed by Evan Peters.
- Tate's performance as a character, along with some of his motives and actions, lead many to believe he is not a complete villain.
- Tate mentions that he likes Kurt Cobain, who killed himself in the same year that Tate committed the murders and was killed. Tate's grunge clothing style also seems to be inspired by Cobain as well.
- In his school shooting fantasies, Tate's skull makeup is a replica of the intricate body tattoos of real life model and sideshow act Rick Genest, aka Rico Zombie. The show was sued due to this.
- The name Tate is a reference to Sharon Tate, just like Charles, Montgomery and Bianca refer to either victims or perpetrators of the infamous Mansion Family murders. The original description of the Tate character was "Charles Manson dangerous". (Evan Peters said that to prepare he read a lot of books about psychopaths like Charles Manson because he was charming as well as terrifying, like Tate.)
- The name Tate also apparently means either He who brings happiness or Cheerful. Ironically, Tate is the source of most of the despair to the Harmons, especially Violet.
- "Norman Bates, Jr." is a nickname given by Chad to Tate.
- Tate ran track at Westfield High.
- According to the school librarian, Tate mostly read books on birds and Byron. Tate is very much the archetypal byronic hero.
- "The Devil is real. And he's not a little red man with horns and a tail. He can be beautiful. Because he's a fallen angel, and he used to be God's favorite." (A quote from the episode "Piggy Piggy" references the fact that Tate is the true monster of the show.)
- Even if Tate is undead, his villany still extends with no ending point, for he is the one who is resposible for the birth of an horrid Anti-Christ.