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Philip Jennings: Don't Get in His Blind Spot!


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#1

JenT

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Posted Feb 15, 2013 @ 3:38 PM

My love for Philip and Matthew Rhys grows stronger every episode. I hope we get some backstory on the woman in the picture that he tore up in the pilot.
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#2

IgnaMom

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Posted Feb 15, 2013 @ 4:02 PM

Yeah seriously! Stay out of his blind spot. I don't like people standing in my blind either and I'm not a spy. I really love this character and the actor is great in the
role.
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#3

BasilBee

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Posted Feb 15, 2013 @ 9:18 PM

Although I am enthralled with him, I can never remember his name. So conversations with MrBee go like this: "And then, ah, Mr. Tummnus cracked him over the head with his briefcase! It was awesome!"
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#4

quentin312002

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Posted Feb 15, 2013 @ 11:19 PM

I don't get the reference BasilBee, unless you're thinking of James McAvoy, who played Mr. Tumnus in 'The Chronicles of Narnia'.
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#5

BasilBee

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Posted Feb 15, 2013 @ 11:57 PM

I am - I know it's not him but he (in my opinion) bears a striking resemblance to McAvoy. In the same way that there was a guy on Battlestar who looked a lot like Jevin Spacey - but not.
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#6

mariofish

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Posted Feb 16, 2013 @ 1:34 AM

Phillip is growing on me. I think he looked hot in his watch cap and round glasses!
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#7

IgnaMom

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Posted Feb 16, 2013 @ 2:52 AM

Phillip is growing on me. I think he looked hot in his watch cap and round glasses!


He did look hot. Upon second showing I noticed he completed the look with an earring on one ear.
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#8

ScienceGirl12

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Posted Feb 16, 2013 @ 10:04 AM

Great thread title, JenT! For me, Matthew Rhys makes this show. I've been really impressed with his ability to shift from goofy dad to badass spy to angsty husband in a matter of minutes.

I got the impression at the table scene at the end of the last episode that Philip did feel he was passionate about Elizabeth from the beginning. I know the flashback scenes have been controversial in that the actors don't really look younger, but I do want to see a little more of their earlier dynamic.
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#9

stebbish

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Posted Feb 16, 2013 @ 1:47 PM

I'm not sure Philip was really passionate about Elizabeth in the beginning or if he transferred his passion from the woman in the picture in the pilot (if she was a girlfriend) to Elizabeth. If he did transfer his feelings from one woman to another, maybe Elizabeth sensed that his passion for her was fake and therefore could not connect with him. He would come across to Elizabeth as an actor playing a role (in this case the role of husband) and she would feel that she was nothing more than an assignment to him. By 1981 he had developed real feelings for Elizabeth but he is such a good actor she couldn't tell.

I think Philip is a really interesting character. He has the ability to kill but doesn't really want to. He is charming, warm and funny, calculating, manipulative and menacing. I don't know if naive is a good word to describe him but he is not hard like Elizabeth. He can be hard if he needs to but the hardness would not penetrate his soul the way it seems to have penetrated Elizabeth's.

I also thought he was hot in the skull cap and glasses.
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#10

quentin312002

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Posted Feb 17, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

I am - I know it's not him but he (in my opinion) bears a striking resemblance to McAvoy.


I never thought about it before but now that you mention it... Holy crap, how did I miss it!
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#11

Mary Jane Fields

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Posted Feb 17, 2013 @ 7:31 PM

Phillip is growing on me. I think he looked hot in his watch cap and round glasses!

He did look hot. Upon second showing I noticed he completed the look with an earring on one ear.


I never watched Brothers & Sisters so The Americans is my introduction to Matthew Rhys. I thought he was kind of good looking but I just hate Phillip's hair. However, he had me at, "And I'm all yours," as he thrust himself into Annaliese at the beginning of Episode 2.

GodDAMN this man is sexy...and an acting force of nature.
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#12

cmm226

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Posted Feb 17, 2013 @ 8:37 PM

His hair is really bad but I love him anyway. I saw him in B&S and he was my favorite character (it didn't hurt that he was basically the only one I liked as well). I've seen him in a couple other things, and he's the main reason why I tuned in to The Americans because while I saw almost every episode of Felicity, I was never really that big of a fan of KR.

But yes, his hair is really, REALLy bad. I say this out loud a few times an episode.

It wasn't so awful in the first episode, but it just keeps growing. Like a chia pet, but not as cute.

Still love him though.

Enough to look past the bad hair.
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#13

quentin312002

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Posted Feb 17, 2013 @ 10:43 PM

Elizabeth said she was recruited at 17 and came to the States at 22. How in the world did she lose all traces of her Russian accent?


I was going to comment on this quote from Ep. 3s thread right there but I realize that my comment was going be about Philip. My own backstory for Philip in my own head is that while Elizabeth is acknowledged to be the true die hard patriot Philip brought greater linguistic skills to the pairing. Just my own thoughts on it.

ETA; funny thing about his hair is that the first time I saw Matthew Rhys was in the film Titus. His hair was bleached blonde. And strangely, he was kind of hot like that. I am not kidding.

Edited by quentin312002, Feb 17, 2013 @ 10:46 PM.

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#14

cmm226

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 11:30 AM

ETA; funny thing about his hair is that the first time I saw Matthew Rhys was in the film Titus. His hair was bleached blonde. And strangely, he was kind of hot like that. I am not kidding.


Ok, I had to look that one up.


I just need Phillip to get a haircut. Or, he and Elizabeth can get one together. Or, give each other haircuts.

Just a trim would be nice because it's getting longer with each episode and I'm wondering why.
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#15

quentin312002

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 12:20 PM

I'm not sure a picture does him justice. I remember being absolutely besotted with him at the time I saw the film. Which was weird because if you think Philip is dark Demetrius was absolutely evil in Titus. There is a scene of him interacting with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, his brother in the film, that people tend to take away with them, seeing as they go from fighting over a girl to acting almost incestuous with each other and then to being casually talked into raping the girl they both fought over.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=cHcTWtfaBPI

ETA: I realized at the end of that video when they show other related ones that I had forgotten that Keri Russell was in Augush Rush with JRM. Hmm, kind of a funny 6 degrees of moment happened when I realized that.

Edited by quentin312002, Feb 18, 2013 @ 12:29 PM.

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#16

Gabrielle Tracy

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 1:06 PM

It's weird but sometimes he's really hot looking and other times he isn't. There's something sexy about him, though. Maybe it's the way he can snap someone's neck and take his daughter to the mall all in one episode?

PS I think he looks like Julian McMahon.
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#17

Irlandesa

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 3:48 PM

I actually find something adorable about his hair. Maybe it's because it reminds me of the perm culture of the 80s with all its curly glory but I kind of dig it.

It's weird but sometimes he's really hot looking and other times he isn't. There's something sexy about him, though.


I think he's hot overall because he has great cheek bones and is really talented but he does have the unique ability to look average when he needs to.

There is a scene of him interacting with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, his brother in the film, that people tend to take away with them, seeing as they go from fighting over a girl to acting almost incestuous with each other and then to being casually talked into raping the girl they both fought over.


Thank you for that. Just thank you. Hilarious.

I'm not sure Philip was really passionate about Elizabeth in the beginning or if he transferred his passion from the woman in the picture in the pilot (if she was a girlfriend) to Elizabeth.


I don't know if he transferred his passion from his alleged ex to Elizabeth. They met in '62 and he was touching her pony tail in '65. There were quite a few years there for him to develop feelings for Elizabeth herself. I really would like some more insight into the early years of their marriage.

Speaking of the girl in the photo, I doubt it's the same person but Nina kind of reminds me of her.
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#18

quentin312002

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Posted Feb 18, 2013 @ 6:53 PM

Thank you for that. Just thank you. Hilarious.


And that description only scrapped the surface of WTF going on in that scene. Did you see that bed? The clothes? I with Matthew would do something else with Julie Taymor.
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#19

Solea

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Posted Feb 19, 2013 @ 12:14 AM

I am fully on board the Matthew Rhys train. I'd never seen him before this and he is blowing my mind.

His casting is genius because, like the character he plays, he acts and looks like Average Suburban Dad. But he totally sells the ruthless KGB operative persona. And is ridiculously hot doing it.

In "Gregory" when Phillip is getting patted down before the meet, he tells them he also has a knife strapped to his ankle. You know why? Because HE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' WEAPONS! He is a weapon. I'm just going to fanwank that he and Elizabeth practice their jujitsu-fu in the office with the blinds drawn.

While I'm surprised at how good Keri Russell's performance is, and even though we've gotten more of her backstory at this point, I feel that Phillip is the more complex, layered character, and this is entirely due to Rhys' nuanced, subtle performance. You know, when he's not beating the snot out of KGB defectors, boxers and armed thugs.

When he and Elizabeth are sitting at the kitchen table and she's explaining her relationship with Gregory, a single tear is running down Phillip's face. Killed me.

And the hair? Very much of the time. If he didn't already have curly hair they'd have to give him a perm, so it works. Elizabeth's hair style is too contemporary, Phillip's is spot on.
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#20

Texas Sweet

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Posted Feb 21, 2013 @ 6:55 PM

Ya know, for me I thought Philip fell in love with Elizabeth at first sight. That moment in the General's office. She had her back to him, when he entered the room. As she turns around and he sees her for the first time. To me he was Smitten. . . from the very start. I think he loved her from the very beginning. I know there was another woman. . .the woman in the photo. But I still think it was Love at First Sight for Philip. Plus, that scene in the hotel when they first arrived in the US. He tried to get her to warm up to him but she rebuffed his advances. Telling him she is not ready. And then he mentions sumpin' about her not finding him attractive. And how in time THEY the USSR will expect them to start a family. Got the feeling all that was Okay with Philip. Now we know Elizabeth was terrified about starting a family with Philip via Gregory. But then Philip proves himself to her by defying KGB orders and kills the man who raped her. Because he wanted to protect her or give her some sort of justice or peace of mind. Whatever it was. . it was for her, And she knew it. You could see that on her face while standing in the garage she was stunned at what Philip had done.
After that, her whole thinking about Philip changes. For the first time ever she wants him. When they get back to car she jumps on him like some oversexed teenaged girl. It's like Elizabeth is seeing Philip for the first time as a Man , a Husband, a Lover not just her cover or the kids father's. But her man. And that's just what Philip wants to be her Man.
Oh, sumpin else I liked in the last episode is when she tells him " just because he Looked Good in an American suit and he and the kids all talked American didn't make him one." I thought. . hmmm. . she thinks he's Good Looking. He seemed to have same reaction to statement.
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#21

JustaPerson

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Posted Feb 21, 2013 @ 9:33 PM

Matthew's welsh accent.
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#22

ClairdeLune

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Posted Feb 21, 2013 @ 11:18 PM

Four episodes into the show and Philip is my favorite character. I've never heard of Rhys before, but he is superb as the thoughtful, conflicted antihero.

That being said, I hope the show will start dropping hints about Philip's past really soon. Was his childhood as poor as Elizabeth's? That caviar scene at the end of episode 2 seems to indicate that his background might be more bourgeois. Then what made him join the KGB, and agreeing to such a deep-cover assignment no less? Coming into the partnership, he was the one with - presumably - a prior relationship, if the torn photograph was that of a girlfriend, then how come he has evolved into the more devoted partner?

Part of Philip's allure, for me at least, is his ability to think critically. This is why he understands the American psyche better than Elizabeth does, or how he can view his mission statement as beyond merely defending the motherland. However, critical thinking is not a characteristic typical of communist upbringing; in fact, it is something deliberately stumped out under all communist regimes. Without some glimpse into Philip's past, it may become increasingly difficult for audience to understand why he is the way he is, thus rendering the characterization less believable.
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#23

humoresques

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Posted Feb 22, 2013 @ 1:34 AM

Don't post speculation based on spoilers in the episode thread. There is thread for that, keep it there please.--Lockley

Edited by TWoP Lockley, Feb 23, 2013 @ 1:07 AM.
off topic

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#24

TRofLV

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Posted Feb 24, 2013 @ 10:26 PM

Matthew's welsh accent.


Matthew Rhys Speaking Welsh If you go to 1:00 in the vid, you will hear Matthew speaking his native language. The other person in the video is his childhood friend and former roommate, Ioan Gruffudd (Ringer).
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#25

Baby Fish Mouth

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Posted Feb 24, 2013 @ 11:05 PM

Y'know, as a written language Welsh looks like a vowel-free nightmare, but hearing it spoken is actually quite poetic. Of course hearing it from two hot guys doesn't hurt either.

Topic - Rhys looked much better with shorter hair in the pilot, but he's still got a very alluring sex appeal. I look forward to learning more about Phillip's past, and hopefully more insight into why he's held onto these feelings for Elizabeth for so long.

Edited by Baby Fish Mouth, Feb 24, 2013 @ 11:09 PM.

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#26

IgnaMom

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 12:49 PM

Some of my favorite YouTube videos with Matthew Rhys speaking Welsh.

http://youtu.be/tNNm_et27v0

http://youtu.be/RBYugIGVttQ

And I'm pretty sure that the video below is the same thing but in English. So we know what he's saying above.

http://youtu.be/2SPpcPjM7XQ

Matthew Rhys in amusing commercial - with Ioan and Gethin (whoever he is).

http://youtu.be/2Cs68OPwFac


It is quite an interesting sounding language.

I really like Philip and I can't wait to learn something of his background as well. He can be so soft and caring with his kids in one scene and so brutal in the next. This show is my introduction to Matthew Rhys and I've got to say his acting blows me away.

Edited by IgnaMom, Feb 25, 2013 @ 12:51 PM.

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#27

Sister Magpie

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 5:25 PM

Ya know, for me I thought Philip fell in love with Elizabeth at first sight. That moment in the General's office. She had her back to him, when he entered the room. As she turns around and he sees her for the first time. To me he was Smitten. . . from the very start.


I just watched the pilot again because I'd read that interpretation a lot and it doesn't seem that way to me. I think it's something more subtle (and probably interesting!) with Phillip. Clearly by the time they get to the motel he's hoping to start a relationship and is a little hurt (or something) when she's not ready, but I don't think he's pining away for her. He's right in that they would be expected to start their "marriage" right away--and his respecting that is pretty meaningful given her past. She could easily have been paired with a male version of herself who would pressure her more but that's not the way Phillip deals with people in general.

I think the way he relates to Elizabeth from the start is probably more connected to Phillip's general pattern of relating to things, like the same way he relates to America. When Elizabeth sees him she sees a partner that she'll talk to as if he's her husband when they must. He's open to the person this woman is and whatever real relationship they might have. We're seeing his memory of that meeting so there's more close-ups on his expressions and we see him anxiously look at her for some response. In the first scene it seemed more of an open, hopeful search for information on his side. But I could also imagine that he's always been hoping for a new life that he'll like and that includes a close relationship with this woman, like they're in it together so he isn't alone.

If Elizabeth looked to the cause to give her life purpose and give her an escape, Phillip may have been looking for a new life where the cause was just the excuse for it. So where she gave herself fully over to the cause he just left himself fully open to his new life and all that it brought. Which makes him a pretty good partner for Elizabeth in ways she wouldn't have expected. Gregory was a relationship that made more sense to her, felt more familiar and safer because they bonded over the cause.

And I think it's also no coincidence that Phillip, who's so much more open about understanding others, is the one who's so far completely unknown. Elizabeth's now told him something about herself, but apparently he didn't respond in kind. So that wasn't about the two of them sharing. He laid out his position in Gregory: he hasn't lied to her. He just hasn't told her anything either.
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#28

Baby Fish Mouth

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 6:36 PM

I don't think we really know what he's told her yet. In the caviar scene Elizabeth noted that their families were both poor (and really, who wasn't poor in the USSR save a precious few), so at least she knows that. I doubt that Phillip's shared anything about the woman in the photo, however. I agree Phillip was motivated by something other than passion for the cause, whether it was a better life or running from something in his past. And while I don't think it was love at first sight, he was clearly attracted to Elizabeth from the very beginning.

Edited by Baby Fish Mouth, Feb 25, 2013 @ 6:36 PM.

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#29

ClairdeLune

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 9:06 PM

Sister Magpie, that's an excellent analysis of the P/E dynamic and the evolution of their relationship thus far.
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#30

GenevieveRedux

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Posted Feb 25, 2013 @ 10:29 PM

Found this short film on Reddit.

Think Tank

So much Matthew Rhys!
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