EE: Sharon: 'You're not Grant......'
I wanted to make a thread on Phil, and his characterisation.....
I've recently caught up with EastEnders; Tuesday's and Wednesday's episodes were are marked improvement on the dire Monday edition. But the subtle highlight of Wednesday had to be Sharon's remark to Phil as the title references. Arguably, his entire characterisation over the past fifteen years post-Grant has been an evolvement into the more violent, bullying element of Grant; with flashes of the vulnerability and easy-going temperament old Phil used have.
Phil particularly in the last couple of years has not been as multi-faceted as he once was; especially during the early 2000 era - when actually, his transition in personality made sense. These days, Phil is no longer the villain you can love to hate but rather the villain you just hate. Phil was a more sympathetic character even last year covering up murder than he is this year; because at least a the audience could understand why he did it. He was a papering over the cracks for a mess up in which he felt culpable.
This, however is just Phil feeding into his own desires. Whatever arguments their are regarding Lola's mothering skills are irrelevant to Phil because they aren't apart of his decision making process. What Phil cannot stand, is to live his worse fear; arguably the fear he deserves to face because of his many sins. The fear of loneliness. The fear he will have nothing and no one rule and impose his sense of self, his sense of importance on. Money is nice, but that is not what gives Phil his sensation of authority. It is the idea and concept of 'family' and being a head of it; much like Peggy, and even Archie.
Phil is less sadistic than Archie but has a far more twisted, clouded view of family than Peggy. Phil considers family as something to own, to possess; to mend his own insecurities. Lexi serves to be there because she apart of Ben; Phil can feel close to Ben via Lexi. To Phil, he can rehabilitate his massive mess-up with Ben via Lexi. All of this comes down to Phil; it's not about Lexi's safety; arguably being in a family like the Mitchells, Lexi was doomed from the start.
I can't say I had a massive out-pouring of grief for Lola; but I understood why she would be driven to breaking point and not think logically. Arguably Phil drives people to edge; it's something he does all he considers 'enemies' or mere inconveniences. In the mind of some, it is the mark of a master tactician and manipulator; the sign of an intelligent person. Maybe ten years ago. Right now, it's the sign of sad, old man, running away from the reality of life and how he has destroyed his life. If Ben came to Phil messed up already, Phil just slammed the nail in the coffin. Which is just as bad.