‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ mystery: Who is Michael Langdon and what’s his connection to Rubber Man?

Who is Michael Langdon (Cody Fern), the mysterious long-haired character on “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” that’s hanging out with Rubber Man and causing all kinds of problems for our Outpost 3 survivors? As it turns out, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Michael before on FX’s anthology series.

Way back in the first season, Tate Langdon (Evan Peters) put on the infamous Rubber Man suit and raped the new owner of the so-called “Murder House,” Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton). Vivien became pregnant with Tate’s twin babies, and while one died in childbirth the other was eventually given to nosy neighbor Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange). Constance raised Rubber Man’s child, whom she named Michael, and came home one day to find out that he’d killed his babysitter.

Young Michael issn’t mentioned again for the next several years within the “AHS” universe — that is, until he arrives via horse-drawn carriage in “Apocalypse’s” Season 8 premiere. Dressed all in black and representing the Cooperative, a group that’s created bunkers to house the survivors of the nuclear winter, Michael tells Wilhemina Venable (Sarah Paulson) that he’s visiting Outpost 3 in order to judge which of her survivors will be moved to a stronger bunker with a 10-year food supply.

As he begins interviewing the Outpost 3 survivors, Michael learns that Mr. Gallant (Evan Peters) is gay and that he has personal issues with his grandmother, Evie Gallant (Joan Collins). Soon after their meeting, Gallant is paid two visits by none other than the Rubber Man himself: the first is a sexual encounter and the second is a strange manifestation in which Rubber Man appears as Evie and tricks Gallant into killing her.

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Now, it’s totally up for debate whether this is the actual Rubber Man from Season 1 or whether it’s simply Michael conjuring up the frightening image of his biological father to entice/scare Gallant. But it’s important to remember that Rubber Man’s true identity is Tate, a ghost who’s bound by ethereal laws to the Murder House property; the only time Tate and the other ghosts are allowed to wander outside of the grounds is on Halloween.

If this actually is Tate Langdon wearing the Rubber Man costume, that means either one of three things: 1) Gallant’s encounters with Rubber Man take place on Halloween, 2) Outpost 3 was created underneath the Murder House, or 3) the nuclear explosions caused the ghosts to be freed from their eternal home. Here’s hoping we’ll find out more about Michael Langdon in the third episode, titled “Forbidden Fruit,” airing September 26 on FX.

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