MBTI Type: ESTJ
Marla has the ultimate scam going—and it’s all legal, so no one can even touch her. For profit, she finds old people with no one to look after them, pays off a doctor to tell a judge they are incompetent, and becomes their legal guardian. She then has them committed into senior homes (where she monitors and controls their access to phones and visitors), and then flips their houses and sells them, gains access to their assets, and ‘lives off them’ to the tune of millions. Even when this plan goes slightly wrong because she happens to pick up the mother of a Russian mobster, her bottom line is still financial: give me ten million dollars and you can have your mother back. She tells him if he wants to beat her, do it “in the courts.” Do it legally. Because everything she does, she has covered her back. She even manages to outfox him and become his legal guardian, just to teach him a lesson and prevent him from killing her. Then, when he offers her a massive business proposition, they agree to forget the entire thing and help each other earn money. “When we earn each other millions,” he says of their planned, enormous corporation (where they will control everything, the homes, the hospitals, the doctors, the staff), “trust will follow.” Marla has gone into an existing system and uses it efficiently by finding the weak spots and exploiting them—and she plays the same scam, over and over again, focusing on the immediate financial benefits. When something starts to go ‘slightly wrong,’ rather than see the warning signs, Marla insists to her partner that she has seen this happen hundreds of times—and most of the time, there’s no real threat. She operates off that comparative assumption (no one has ever taken me down) and continues to do what she is doing, vastly underestimating the danger to herself and her loved ones until it results in an actual murder—they find the doctor helping her run her scams dead. Then, she starts to take it seriously. When assessing a new potential ‘client,’ she demands to know about all the details and even when outsmarting her opponent (an ENTJ), she still goes back to her exact same scam pattern—to levy to become his official guardian. Marla doesn’t even think about globalizing her company or expanding into an enormous scam, but when he presents the idea to her (seeing immediately the huge potential / big picture), she latches onto it. Inevitably, her poor ability to judge whether people are genuine threats or not winds up getting her killed, because she ignores the threat right in front of her face, and an unhinged relative shoots her. None of it is personal, either, it’s all about profit. Marla doesn’t really care about any of these people whose lives she has destroyed by stealing everything they possess and locking them up, but she will do almost anything for her girlfriend. She even offers to walk away and change identities, if that’s what Fran wants.
Enneagram: 8w7 so/sp
Marla is completely confident that she is untouchable, because she has ironclad methods of dealing with people—calmly and competently, and unconcerned with their protests. She just powers through or around them, defeating them in court, removing their privileges if they cause trouble, and assuming she is the “lion rather than the lamb.” Rather than take a rival lawyer’s implication that if she doesn’t release her latest mark seriously, she will wind up dead, Marla scoffs at him, challenges him to give her the best he’s got, and assumes she can outmaneuver him. She takes it as a challenge and wants him to play fair (in the court, rather than on the streets), where she knows she can crush him. She knows she has to display power to get Roman to leave her alone, so she gains control over his assets as leverage, but then when he calls a truce and offers her a deal, she agrees to take it in their mutual desire to earn billions. She uses threats and intimidation against uncooperative patients in an attempt to bully them into submission or exhaustion (drugging them, increasing their exercise regimen, and decreasing their food). Her 7 wing is also resistant to reality; she laughs off threats and dismisses them, insisting everything is going to turn out well, and refusing to take threats seriously, in her optimistic assumption that she’s always going to win.