For fans of The Americans, it’s tough to pick between the Jennings parents. Both Philip and Elizabeth are so essential, so scary, so Russian. Yet we must choose only one to be the show’s best character, because, well, who doesn’t love a good game of spy-vs.-spy? And as great as both are, I’d say Matthew Rhys’ Philip has the edge over Keri Russell’s Elizabeth. Even if just by a (wig) hair.
Like his wife, Philip contains murderous multitudes: He’s a walking, running, snarling one-man show with own dense cast of characters. There’s Clark Westerfeld, the square C.I.A. bureaucrat who sometimes treats his wife—yes, a second wife—to wildly passionate romps in the hay. There’s Scott Birkeland, a Swedish intelligence officer who also plays the long con with women (all in the name of intel, natch). Those are just a few of his best undercover personae—only the most diligent KGB desk jockey could keep count of the countless wigs, mustaches, and turtlenecks Philip has sported to fool his marks.
But that’s not why he’s the best character on the show. READ FULL STORY