Season: 5, Episodes: 10, Faction: DHARMA Initiative
Phil was a member of the DHARMA Initiative who worked in security under the authority of James “Sawyer” Ford, who was using the alias of “Mister” LaFleur. He was killed during the Incident by getting impaled by a magnetically-drawn pole, at the construction site for The Swan.
5×08 – LaFleur
In 1974, when Richard Alpert arrived at the Barracks, Phil escorted Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, Miles and Daniel to a house which Heather was guarding, telling them to stay inside. (“LaFleur”)
5×08 – LaFleur
Three years later, Phil was the DHARMA security guard who broke up the date between Jerry and Rosie, as they all observed a drunken Horace Goodspeed via video camera monitor as he blew up trees with dynamite near the Flame. Along with Jerry, he nervously informed the head of security, Jim LaFleur. (“LaFleur”)
5×09 – Namaste
When a new group of recruits arrived via submarine, Phil helped escort them through the recruitment center. He grew suspicious of Kate when he couldn’t find her name on the list of recruits until Juliet delivered him a falsified list. He later led the group to their photo-taking. That night, Jack approached Phil and asked where “James LaFleur” lived. Phil pointed out the house and cautioned that LaFleur didn’t like being called “James.” (“Namaste”)
5×10 – He’s Our You
Phil remained on guard duty at the security station while a young Ben Linus delivered sandwiches to a captured Sayid. Later he helped escort Sayid to Oldham’s tent for interrogation. When Sawyer offered to let Sayid escape, he told him that Phil was “a dimwit,” and that it would be easy to take his gun before he noticed. Ultimately though, Phil ran outside to help fight a fire before Ben helped Sayid escape. (“He’s Our You”)
5×11 – Whatever Happened, Happened
Later, Phil was heard but not seen, waking Jin by informing him that The Hostile had escaped. Jin told him that he was heading North, and that the Hostile had attacked him. He then accompanied LaFleur and Horace when they examined the empty security holding cell. (“Whatever Happened, Happened”)
5×13 – Some Like It Hoth
Phil later discovered LaFleur’s involvement in the disappearance of Ben by viewing the security tape that Miles was instructed to destroy. He didn’t immediately tell Horace, but went to confront LaFleur about it at his house out of loyalty, as he wanted to give his boss a chance to explain his actions. Once inside, however, he was knocked out and tied up by LaFleur. (“Some Like It Hoth”)
5×14 – The Variable
Sawyer later revealed to Jack that he had Phil bound and gagged in his closet. When Radzinsky and his two men showed up at Sawyer’s house, Phil frantically banged on the door of the closet, which made Radzinsky find him and realize that Sawyer and Juliet had put him there. (“The Variable”)
5×15 – Follow the Leader
Phil watched Sawyer’s interrogation, and when Sawyer wouldn’t talk, Phil punched Juliet in the face. Sawyer vowed to kill him. Later, Phil caught Kate re-entering the Barracks and brought her to the submarine to be deported along with Sawyer and Juliet. (“Follow the Leader”)
5×16 – The Incident, Part 1
Phil remained at the Barracks, and was present during the shootout between Jack, Sayid, and several DHARMA members, including Roger Linus. In the immediate aftermath, Phil radioed Radzinsky to inform him of the situation. Radzinsky, realizing that Jack and Sayid’s target was the Swan construction site, ordered Phil to bring some men and head to the site in order to defend it from whom they believed to be the Hostiles. (“The Incident, Part 1”)
5×17 – The Incident, Part 2
Upon his arrival at the site, Phil ordered several men to search the parameter, though it was he who eventually spotted Jack and opened fire. Sawyer, Juliet, Kate, and Miles soon joined in the firefight. Sawyer managed to apprehend Phil, holding him at gunpoint and forcing the other DHARMA members to drop their weapons, allowing Jack time to drop the Jughead into the hole that was being drilled at the site. While at first nothing appeared to happen, suddenly every metallic object was drawn toward the hole. Having been let go by Sawyer moments before, Phil seized his opportunity during the chaos. Picking up a rifle, Phil prepared to shoot his former boss, but was stopped by a barrage of magnetically-drawn poles, one of which impaled him through the chest, killing him. (“The Incident, Part 2”)
In the casting call, Phil was described as “any ethnicity, mid-20s to mid-40s. Thin, serious, and in usually in a bad mood. (sic) Works in corporate security, a task master, runs his teams by the rules.”
Associated DHARMA Stations
Decoded Season 1 & 2 Characters
Decoded Season 3 & 4 Characters
Decoded Season 5 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
Heracles, born Alcaeus or Alcides, was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson (and half-brother) of Perseus. He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the later Roman Emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, often identified themselves. The Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works essentially unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well.
Extraordinary strength, courage, ingenuity, and sexual prowess with both males and females were among his characteristic attributes. Although he was not as clever as the likes of Odysseus or Nestor, Heracles used his wits on several occasions when his strength did not suffice, such as when laboring for the king Augeas of Elis, wrestling the giant Antaeus, or tricking Atlas into taking the sky back onto his shoulders. Together with Hermes he was the patron and protector of gymnasia and palaestrae. His iconographic attributes are the lion skin and the club. These qualities did not prevent him from being regarded as a playful figure who used games to relax from his labors and played a great deal with children. By conquering dangerous archaic forces he is said to have “made the world safe for mankind” and to be its benefactor. Heracles was an extremely passionate and emotional individual, capable of doing both great deeds for his friends (such as wrestling with Thanatos on behalf of Prince Admetus, who had regaled Heracles with his hospitality, or restoring his friend Tyndareus to the throne of Sparta after he was overthrown) and being a terrible enemy who would wreak horrible vengeance on those who crossed him, as Augeas, Neleus and Laomedon all found out to their cost.
Birth and Childhood
A major factor in the well-known tragedies surrounding Heracles is the hatred that the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, had for him. A full account of Heracles must render it clear why Heracles was so tormented by Hera, when there were many illegitimate offspring sired by Zeus. Heracles was the son of the affair Zeus had with the mortal woman Alcmene. Zeus made love to her after disguising himself as her husband, Amphitryon, home early from war (Amphitryon did return later the same night, and Alcmene became pregnant with his son at the same time, a case of heteropaternal superfecundation, where a woman carries twins sired by different fathers). Thus, Heracles’ very existence proved at least one of Zeus’ many illicit affairs, and Hera often conspired against Zeus’ mortal offspring as revenge for her husband’s infidelities. His twin mortal brother, son of Amphitryon, was Iphicles, father of Heracles’ charioteer Iolaus.
On the night the twins Heracles and Iphicles were to be born, Hera, knowing of her husband Zeus’ adultery, persuaded Zeus to swear an oath that the child born that night to a member of the House of Perseus would become High King. Hera did this knowing that while Heracles was to be born a descendant of Perseus, so too was Eurystheus. Once the oath was sworn, Hera hurried to Alcmene’s dwelling and slowed the birth of the twins Heracles and Iphicles by forcing Ilithyia, goddess of childbirth, to sit crosslegged with her clothing tied in knots, thereby causing the twins to be trapped in the womb. Meanwhile, Hera caused Eurystheus to be born prematurely, making him High King in place of Heracles. She would have permanently delayed Heracles’ birth had she not been fooled by Galanthis, Alcmene’s servant, who lied to Ilithyia, saying that Alcmene had already delivered the baby. Upon hearing this, she jumped in surprise, loosing the knots and inadvertently allowing Alcmene to give birth to Heracles and Iphicles.
Fear of Hera’s revenge led Alcmene to expose the infant Heracles, but he was taken up and brought to Hera by his half-sister Athena, who played an important role as protectress of heroes. Hera did not recognize Heracles and nursed him out of pity. Heracles suckled so strongly that he caused Hera pain, and she pushed him away. Her milk sprayed across the heavens and there formed the Milky Way. But with divine milk, Heracles had acquired supernatural powers. Athena brought the infant back to his mother, and he was subsequently raised by his parents.
The child was originally given the name Alcides by his parents; it was only later that he became known as Heracles. He was renamed Heracles in an unsuccessful attempt to mollify Hera. He and his twin were just eight months old when Hera sent two giant snakes into the children’s chamber. Iphicles cried from fear, but his brother grabbed a snake in each hand and strangled them. He was found by his nurse playing with them on his cot as if they were toys. Astonished, Amphitryon sent for the seer Tiresias, who prophesied an unusual future for the boy, saying he would vanquish numerous monsters.
After killing his music tutor Linus with a lyre, he was sent to tend cattle on a mountain by his foster father Amphitryon. Here, according to an allegorical parable, “The Choice of Heracles”, invented by the sophist Prodicus (c. 400 BC) and reported in Xenophon’s Memorabilia 2.1.21-34, he was visited by two nymphs—Pleasure and Virtue—who offered him a choice between a pleasant and easy life or a severe but glorious life: he chose the latter. This was part of a pattern of “ethicizing” Heracles over the fifth century BC.
Later in Thebes, Heracles married King Creon’s daughter, Megara. In a fit of madness, induced by Hera, Heracles killed his children by Megara. After his madness had been cured with hellebore by Antikyreus, the founder of Antikyra, he realized what he had done and fled to the Oracle of Delphi. Unbeknownst to him, the Oracle was guided by Hera. He was directed to serve King Eurystheus for ten years and perform any task Eurystheus required of him. Eurystheus decided to give Heracles ten labours, but after completing them, Heracles was cheated by Eurystheus when he added two more, resulting in the Twelve Labors of Heracles.
Labours of Heracles
Driven mad by Hera, Heracles slew his own children. To expiate the crime, Heracles was required to carry out ten labors set by his archenemy, Eurystheus, who had become king in Heracles’ place. If he succeeded, he would be purified of his sin and, as myth says, he would be granted immortality. Heracles accomplished these tasks, but Eurystheus did not accept the cleansing of the Augean stables because Heracles was going to accept pay for the labor. Neither did he accept the killing of the Lernaean Hydra as Heracles’ cousin, Ioloas, had helped him burn the stumps of the heads. Eurysteus set two more tasks (fetching the Golden Apples of Hesperides and capturing Cerberus), which Heracles performed successfully, bringing the total number of tasks up to twelve.
Not all writers gave the labors in the same order. Apollodorus (2.5.1-2.5.12) gives the following order:
- To kill the Nemean lion
- To destroy the Lernaean Hydra
- To capture the Ceryneian Hind
- To capture the Erymanthian Boar
- To clean the Augean Stables
- To kill the Stymphalian Birds
- To capture the Cretan Bull
- To round up the Mares of Diomedes
- To steal the Girdle of Hippolyte
- To herd the Cattle of Geryon
- To fetch the Apples of Hesperides
- To capture Cerberus
This is described in Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book IX. Having wrestled and defeated Achelous, god of the Acheloos river, Heracles takes Deianira as his wife. Travelling to Tiryns, a centaur, Nessus, offers to help Deianira across a fast flowing river while Heracles swims it. However, Nessus is true to the archetype of the mischievous centaur and tries to steal Deianira away while Heracles is still in the water. Angry, Heracles shoots him with his arrows dipped in the poisonous blood of the Lernaean Hydra. Thinking of revenge, Nessus gives Deianira his blood-soaked tunic before he dies, telling her it will “excite the love of her husband”.
Several years later, rumor tells Deianira that she has a rival for the love of Heracles. Deianira, remembering Nessus’ words, gives Heracles the bloodstained shirt. Lichas, the herald, delivers the shirt to Heracles. However, it is still covered in the Hydra’s blood from Heracles’ arrows, and this poisons him, tearing his skin and exposing his bones. Before he dies, Heracles throws Lichas into the sea, thinking he was the one who poisoned him (according to several versions, Lichas turns to stone, becoming a rock standing in the sea, named for him). Heracles then uproots several trees and builds a funeral pyre, which Poeas, father of Philoctetes, lights. As his body burns, only his immortal side is left. Through Zeus’ apotheosis, Heracles rises to Olympus as he dies.
No one but Heracles’ friend Philoctetes (Poeas in some versions) would light his funeral pyre (in an alternate version, it is Iolaus who lights the pyre). For this action, Philoctetes or Poeas received Heracles’ bow and arrows, which were later needed by the Greeks to defeat Troy in the Trojan War. Philoctetes confronted Paris and shot a poisoned arrow at him. The Hydra poison would subsequently lead to the death of Paris. The Trojan War, however, would continue until the Trojan Horse was used to defeat Troy.