The idea behind American Horror Stories is that Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are taking their American Horror Story formula and applying it to weekly, self-contained stories. The first story, “Rubber (wo)Man”, spools out in two 45-minute episodes. Think of it as a feature-length horror film split into two, with commercial breaks (for those not watching on Hulu’s ad-free plan, of course).American Horror Stories Seasons 1
In this first story, Scarlett (Sierra McCormick) is moving to a massive new home with her house-flipping dads Michael (Matt Bomer) and Troy (Gavin Creel). The house has a reputation around Los Angeles as a “death house,” with stories that say the ghosts of people who have been murdered there are roaming around. Michael and Troy want to use that reputation to their advantage, turning the stately old mansion into a “haunted B&B” of sorts, and do the renovations themselves. Scarlett, as most 16-year-olds would be, rolls her eyes at them and is truly afraid the the rumors are true.
When she is in her room, a ball rolls in from nowhere, then she goes to her closet and sees a rubber S&M suit hanging there. She puts it on, and momentarily likes how it feels and looks. But then she gets creeped out and throws it in the garbage; however, it comes back the next day.
Scarlett has other things to occupy her, though; she’s got her eye on Maya (Paris Jackson), a popular mean girl. When Maya flirts with her at school, Scarlett’s best friend Shanti (Belissa Escobedo) thinks Maya has an agenda. Scarlett is just happy that Maya doesn’t think she’s a weirdo. Later, Maya invites her to a sleepover at her house with her buddies. When Scarlett texts, “Your friends are bitches,” Maya texts back, “I know. I’ll protect you.”
Scarlett’s dads have discovered that Charlotte has continued to watch violent porn after she was caught watching it the year before. Then, she dons the rubber suit that night, grabs a knife and “pranks” her dads, scaring the crap out of them; she slashes Troy’s arm in the process. They bring in a therapist, Dr. Andi Grant (Merrin Dungey) to talk to her; the doctor thinks that the dark energy of the house contributes to Charlotte’s dark emotions.