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Tate Langdon

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Tate Langdon is a 17-year-old psychiatric patient harboring dark secrets. He is a character in the first season (dubbed by fans "Murder House") portrayed by Evan Peters.

Background:

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Tate was born in 1977 to Constance Langdon and Hugo Langdon. Tate was the brother of Adelaide, Beauregard, and possibly one other unidentified albino sibling. Though he alone of the Langdon children has escaped visible physical defect, he is very mentally disturbed, perhaps owing in some part to his absentee father and neglectful mother. Constance killed his father, Hugo, for his infidelities. However, Tate believed that his father ran away and abandoned their family when Tate was six years old. Constance lied to Tate about Hugo's fate, both to spare his feelings and to prevent her incarceration. Tate reached his mental breaking point in 1994 when he committed a mass shooting at Westfield High, taking the lives of 15 students.

Following the shooting, Tate returned home and was killed by a SWAT team in his bedroom. Since then, Tate has resided in the house as a ghost.

Personality and Appearance

Tate has a very grunge-like appearance, appropriate to a teenager in the early 1990s. Like his musical idol Kurt Cobain, his disposition is primarily solemn and weary. He has perpetual bags under his eyes, perhaps due to drug abuse. He has shaggy dirty-blond hair and brown eyes. Tate has a hatred for his mother, Constance, 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, Constance frequently makes excuses for him, calling him a sensitive boy. Tate can quickly become enraged when someone or something he cares about is threatened. To those unfamiliar with his past, Tate feigns ignorance of his current state of existence. In truth, he is aware that he is a ghost, but fears rejection if it is known, especially from his new friend Violet Harmon.

Story

Tate is Ben's teenage psychiatric patient. He sits with Ben at their first meeting and describes symptoms of some severe psychological issues, telling Ben about fantasies he has where he 'prepares for the noble war.' In these fantasies, Tate dons black leather clothing, a skull painted on to his face and neck, and his hair is slicked back. He kills people, and has no remorse. Tate claims that he kills people he likes, and he doesn't feel anything, because he thinks he is taking them from the 'filthy goddamn horror show' that the world is to a place that is clean and kind. He asks Ben if he thinks he is crazy for these fantasies, but Ben disagrees and says Tate is merely creative and that he has heard a lot worse.

Tate has a rather strange and abrupt first meeting with Dr Harmon's daughter, Violet. He appears in her bathroom doorway and catches her using a blade to cut her wrist over the sink. He tells her that if she is trying to kill herself, she should cut vertically instead of horizontally, because "they can't stitch that up." Violet is startled and embarrassed, asking him how he got into the bathroom. He replies that if she is trying to kill herself, she should try locking the door.

During Tate and Ben's second meeting, Ben realizes that Tate has not been taking his medication. Ben informs him that if he deems Tate a threat to society, he will have to report him to the police. However, he has not done so yet. Ben then tells Tate that everyone can get better, but that Tate has a lot of psychological issues he isn't dealing with. Ben suggests that one of those issues might be fear of rejection after Tate's father abandoned them. Tate tells Ben that he didn't take the medication because he was afraid his 'big dick' wouldn't work, and that he had met someone.

Tate is sitting with Violet in her bedroom after his second session with her father. They bond over their similarities and show each other their wrists, or the cuts on their wrists, and explain what each one was for. One of Violet's cuts was because her first day at Westfield High sucked, and Tate adds that he was kicked out of that school. They realize that they have similar dysfunctional families and have the same taste in music. Tate then writes the word "TAINT" on her chalkboard, and she asks why he is seeing her father. He tells her to not ask questions that she already knows the answer to. Ben appears in Violet's doorway soon after, and demands that Tate leave because it is not appropriate for him to be in Violet's bedroom. Tate then says to Ben, "What's that thing you think I'm afraid of? Fear of rejection?" and storms out of the house in a rage. Ben demands that Violet stay away from Tate.

Violet informs Tate that she is being severely bullied at school by Leah. Tate tells Violet to kill her, and that she would be doing the world a service because it would be 'one less high school bitch to worry about.' Violet does not want to kill Leah, so Tate suggests that Violet scare her instead. They devise a plan to lure Leah to Violet's house under the ruse of having cocaine to sell.

When Leah arrives, Violet takes her to the basement, where Tate is rocking in a chair with a shirt reading, "NORMAL PEOPLE SCARE ME." Leah is very confused and realizes that Violet had lied about the cocaine. Tate tells Violet to turn off the lights and the room goes dark. Tate begins to cackle as the lights flicker on and off. The monstrous Infantata pops up every few seconds, bearing black eyes, claws, and jagged teeth. Violet starts to scream with fear and the monster scratches Leah's face. Violet manages to turn the lights back on and the monster has disappeared. The two girls are alone with Tate, who is still rocking in his chair like before. Violet yells at Leah to get out, and then starts to scream at Tate, because she was very scared and confused. She tells Tate that she never wants to see him again, and he screams after her, "I thought you weren't afraid of anything!"

Despite this incident, Violet and Tate's relationship flourishes and they begin to fall for one another. Tate decides to take Violet on a real date on Halloween, instead of just meeting up with her in the basement of her house. They go to the beach, where they kiss until Violet moves to have sex with him. Tate pulls back and says that he does not want to yet. A group of high school students show up, and Violet assumes that they are dressed in gore-ridden prosthetics and clothing. The students act as if they know Tate, asking him 'why he did it'. Tate acts as if he has no idea what the people are talking about. He accuses them of being rowdy high school jerks out to cause trouble, and leaves with Violet.

Tate and Violet are back inside the house when they hear a knock on the door. The high school kids had followed them back to the house. Violet grabs a pair of scissors and goes outside to confront them. Tate emerges from the house and the students chase him back to the beach where they first confronted him. They continually ask him why he did 'it' - 'it' being, killing them. One girl, a cheerleader, says that she should be in her 30's by now and married with kids, but because of Tate she is dead and stuck in her current form forever. Tate still claims to not know what they are speaking of, asking why he would do something like that.

Violet decides to do some online research on Tate and discovers that he was the one who murdered the high school students who visited them on Halloween. She finds a picture of Tate, and an article speaking of how he killed 15 students at Westfield High in 1994. Violet stumbles upon a website that states that Tate was killed by the S.W.A.T. team in that very bedroom, following his mass murder. Violet makes a trip to the high school and asks the librarian that survived the shooting about Tate. Violet is desperate to know why he killed those children, saying that good people didn't just start shooting people. The librarian informs her that maybe Tate wasn't a good person.

Violet goes home and is overcome with sadness after the realization that Tate was a mass murderer and a ghost. She enters her bedroom and sees that he has written, "I love you" on her chalkboard. Violet begins to sob. She takes her water bottle and swallows a large amount of sleeping pills in an attempt to kill herself.

Tate is dragging Violet's seemingly lifeless body across her house, screaming, "Don't you die on me, Violet!" He then laid with her in the bathtub, running the water over her head and sticking his fingers down her throat in an attempt to make her throw up the pills she had taken. She begins to cough and throw up, and then starts to cry because of what has happened. Violet dies in Tate's arms and returns as a ghost, unaware of her own death. Tate hides her corpse in the crawlspace of the house so that Violet won't realize that she overdosed that day.

Tate overhears Violet's father planning to send her away, as she has been extremely depressed and not attending school as of late. Tate knows that ghosts cannot leave the premises and will eventually realize that she died when she attempts to leave. He decides that the best way for Violet to cope with being a ghost is if she makes the decision to die herself. Tate suggests that Violet should overdose on pills so she could be with him forever, "like Romeo and Juliet." Violet seems to agree at first, but then runs throughout the house screaming frantically for her parents. After various attempts to leave the house, she is dismayed to realize that each time she leaves, she comes right back into the house somehow. Tate then tells a confused and hopeless Violet that he needs to show her something, and he leads her beneath the house into a crawl space, where her rotting body has been hidden. Violet becomes overcome with sadness when she finds out that she is dead, and Tate tries comforting her by saying that although she died crying, she died safe and loved.

Nora Montgomery wants a new baby, because her own child had been turned into the Infantata. Tate has guaranteed that he will give her one. Although he failed with the house's former owners, Tate was able to trick Vivien into thinking he was her husband. He raped and impregnated her. Nora later asks for her baby, but Tate refuses because he is now in love with Violet. He says that he can't give Nora the baby, because the baby is Violet's brother. Nora is insistent and she informs Tate that she will still take the child for herself.

Chad tells Violet that Tate is the father of one of her younger siblings and that he had raped her mother. Violet immediately confronted Tate, asking about all of the horrible things he had done. She tells him that she thought he was like her, attracted to the darkness. She says that she has since worked out that Tate is the darkness itself. Violet says that she loves him, but that she cannot forgive him. Violet tells him to go away. Tate is overwrought and begins shouting "You're all I want! You're all I have!" in a plea for her to let him stay. However, Violet continues to tell him to go away and he disappears.

Tate is with Hayden as they watch the deceased Harmon family setting up a Christmas tree. Violet seems happy, until she meets eyes with Tate, and her smile falters. Hayden tells Tate to give up, but he says that he will way forever for Violet to forgive him if he has to.

Quotes

  • to Ben Harmon: "I prepare for the noble war. I'm calm, I know the secret. I know what's coming and I know no one can stop me, not even myself. I kill people I like. Some of them beg for their life. I don't feel sad. I don't feel anything. It's a filthy world we live in. It's a filthy goddamn helpless world, and honestly, I feel like I'm helping to take them away from the shit, and the piss, and the vomit that run through the streets. I'm helping to take them to somewhere clean, and kind. There's something about all that blood man. I drown in it."
  • to Violet Harmon: "If you're trying to kill yourself, cut vertically. They can’t stitch that up. And if you're trying to kill yourself, you might also try locking the door."
  • to Violet Harmon: "Something has changed in you. Towards me. You're distant, cold. I don't know what I've done, but I'll leave you alone from now on if that's what you want. Is that what you want? You know why I'd leave you alone? Because I care about your feelings more than mine. I love you. There, I said it, not just on some chalkboard. I would never let anybody or anything hurt you. I've never felt that way about anyone."

Notes

Tate Langdon is the first character portrayed by Evan Peters, the second being Kit Walker, the third being Kyle Spencer, the fourth being Jimmy Darling. His most recent role was as James Patrick March.

References

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