Function Order: Se-Fi-Te-Ni
Merrill has a reputation among baseball fans of both having hit the ball the hardest and farthest it’s ever been struck, and for striking out repeatedly, since “it felt wrong not to swing.” Since cut from the team, he has since not known what to do with his life and been somewhat aimless. But his first thought when he thinks they are under threat is to join the military, to have a purpose and work against them; he takes a brochure home to read, even though he won’t need it. Merrill becomes glued to the television, soaking up everything the media tells him, all its theories and beliefs, rather than coming up with them himself. He’s quite physical in how he takes charge, telling his brother they need to scare the neighbors so bad, they’ll “crap their pants, and never come back,” by being loud and abusive, boarding up the house, being proactive in covering the coal chute in the basement, etc. In the end, he becomes a hero for smashing glasses full of water at the alien, to kill him with the toxic substance. Merrill is emotional, and doesn’t like to see his brother’s transformation from a man of faith into someone full of anger and doubt. After a life and death situation in the basement, he tell him flat out he never wants to see him like that again; a boundary has been crossed. When he thinks they are under threat, Merrill switches into high gear and starts thinking logically and strategically. He suggests they waste no time in preparing to defend themselves, and doesn’t want to take the time to cook a bunch of different things for dinner (“we should eat fast”). Merrill at first is skeptical of the alien theories and dismisses Morgan’s thoughts about them, but the more he’s around them, the more suspicious he becomes, based on the evidence of his own eyes (the ships that appear above them, the bird that collides with nothing and drops dead to the ground, etc).
Enneagram: 7w6 so/sp
When Graham asks him which kind of person he is, someone who believes in miracles and that things have a grand design, or someone who sees the futility of life, Merrill says he is “definitely a miracle man,” and comes up with an absurd, rather crude story about how there must be a God, because he was prevented in high school, at a party, from kissing a girl who might have thrown up in his mouth. (His brother gives him a look.) He remains optimistic and hopeful that somehow they can survive, and he’s right. He doesn’t like his brother being negative, scaring the kids, or bringing down the mood, and isn’t afraid to challenge him on it. Merrill is somewhat aggressive, in how he challenges people who belittle his reputation, but also fearful, aware of how dangerous this situation is, and prone to accepting conspiracy theories. Graham comes home one day to find him and the kids camped out on the couch, wearing tin foil hats so “the aliens can’t read our minds.”