Function Order: Te-Si-Ne-Fi
“That went surprisingly well. You came off like a naïve idiot, and naïve idiots are not a threat.”
Scherbina clashes frequently with Legasov because whilst they are both dominant thinkers, they see things from a very different perspective; Scherbina is a “pure bureaucrat” who has climbed in the ranks because he can make tough and politically advantageous decisions that benefit him as well as the Soviet union. Scherbina’s style of communication is to be as brief and straightforward as possible and is annoyed by Legasov’s frivolous use of rambling specialist lingo and frequently orders him to “tell the truth in the simplest possible way”. He is at first highly skeptical of Legasov’s conclusion (Reactor 4 has exploded and is spewing molten nuclear fuel into the air!) and is not prepared to accept his “wild” theories as fact or even a remote possibility. His use of Si makes him – at first, anyway – trusting of the one truth he has been raised with his whole life: that the communist party has everyone’s best interest at heart and never provides their citizens with faulty equipment, so in his mind, the reactor could not haveexploded. Scherbina’s strong use of Si is incidentally what convinces him that Legasov is right; when the power plant director, Bryukhanov, lies to him about the “smooth black mineral” on site being concrete, Scherbina, a former construction worker, says “I may not know anything about nuclear reactors, but I know a lot about concrete”. Scherbina is a hard man shaped by hard times, and most people’s first impression of him is that of a gruff, intimidating man who will not hesitate to ruin you if you cross him. Scherbina’s use of his repressed Fi function manifests as occasional terrible, uncontrolled bouts of temper, but throughout the course of the series, he comes to discover and embrace his own personal values and integrate them into his worldview – even if it contradicts the narrative he was spoon-fed all his life. When he is dying with less than a year to live, he expresses regret over having “wasted his life” and not doing more things he actually wanted – a common, late-onset inferior Fi sentiment held by Te-dominant types.
Enneagram: 6w5 sp/so
Scherbina is loyal to the Soviet communist party out of a sense of duty, but also because as a 6, he needs a system to fall back on, and it was the only one available to those wanting a career in politics. He displays counter-phobic 6 behavior on various occasions, such as telling his helicopter pilot to fly them right over the melting core to prove that he is not afraid and to test his men’s willingness to obey a direct order. Scherbina is not the most intellectually curious man, but being around Legasov and his constant flow of ideas opens up his mind to more philosophical reasoning.