As I said yesterday, about the only reason that makes sense in strip for Phil and Georgia not enlisting the services of the Pattersons to help them make their big move to Montréal is that for some reason or other, there had been an off-camera falling out between the two of them that made what was a distant, fractious relationship at the best of times so unpleasant that Elly simply couldn’t talk to Phil and vice versa. One thing that I couldn’t help but notice is that while this was taking place, Jim and Marian were moving out of the house in which Elly and Phil were raised and pretty much enjoying what years were left to them. The first hint that Elly and Phil’s worrying about who got to look after them might result in a huge-ass argument was their passive-aggressive sniping about the family pump organ; Phil thought it should go to him because he could use it and Elly thought it was hers because she was older and she needed to be paid back for all of the times that he got treated better than she was. Jim and Marian’s attempt to buy peace by selling the blasted thing didn’t really succeed because it was simply a symbol of the deeper problem.
That problem, I should think, is that Elly desperately needed to win her childhood after all by being the one who got to decide who took care of her parents; if Phil did so, that would mean that all her suffering was in vain and her life would be worthless. Simply put, Phil’s blank-witted inability to see that the older sister he regards as wasting her life screaming about accidents, bad luck and a cultural norm that was evil whenever it got in the way of her doing what she wanted needed a victory in a contest he didn’t know he was entered into poisoned her relationship with her so much, it took the death of their mother to start to heal the breach.