Fall is a knuckle-biting thriller about two SP daredevils who decide to climb a 2,000 foot radio tower and wind up stranded with no way down.
Becky, the main protagonist, is an ISFP struggling to overcome the loss of her husband from a fatal fall a year earlier. Unable to process her feelings any way but “alone,” she has become a recluse who drowns her sorrows in a bottle rather than faces the world around her, and also refuses to talk about what happened. IFPs can’t bring themselves to talk about their pain until they have processed it on their own terms, in their own time—and she cannot move on, open up about it, or deal with it. Becky used to share her SP-dom husband’s desire to live life to the fullest, but now she over-indulges in momentary distractions as a way to numb herself to her pain. She also shuts out her father and anyone else who tries to help her, door-slamming him (something IFPs users are prone to do when in pain) and ignoring his phone calls. ISFPs can get caught up in thinking that the pain of right now is going to last forever, because all they can think about is how they feel right now. Addictions are a way to escape their pain, without thinking about the long-term consequences of their behavior (how being a drunk or a pill-popper will effect them down the road; all that matters is here and now and avoiding my feelings any way I can). Being sensing types, they also focus on what sensory distractions they can give themselves to escape their pain (alcohol ,pills, thrills, even casual hookups, which differs from the intuitive’s attempt to escape reality by over-indulging in their fantasy life, as Sarah Crewe does by telling stories in The Little Princess).
Becky is also able to, once she overcomes her fears of climbing, embrace the moment and embody it—she loves the view, being up on top of the world, is willing to “hang off the side” for an amazing picture, and later on, climbs another fifteen or so feet to hot-wire the phone into the blinking light on the top of the tower to recharge the battery. She is forced to improvise and push aside her feelings to do what’s necessary to survive (“survival of the fittest,” she remembers, as she kills a vulture and eats its raw meat to gather her strength). She also makes her own descent to the dish beneath them, to make one last attempt to reach civilization.
Her thrill-seeking ESTP friend Hunter convinces her that the best way to break out of her funk, embrace the fearlessness she knew before her husband’s fall, and spread his ashes, is to climb a 2,000 foot radio tower in the desert. She is a typical daredevil willing to risk her life for more YouTube views, and she shows her incredible capacity to live fully in the moment, embody every physical experience, and take risks as the story unfolds. She is the instigator of this adventure—she talks Becky into doing it, she convinces her to climb even when Becky has second thoughts, she goes up first, and she takes many of the risks in attempting to contact the outside world when everything goes wrong. But she is also being false—she says she wishes she didn’t have to embody the persona that has gotten her 60,000 followers, and yet, she does it anyway. Hunter plays up whatever will get her more views, from wearing a low-cut push-up bra on a climb to hanging one-handed off the tower just to get “the shot of a lifetime.” This kind of devil-may-care attitude is typical of real-life ESTP risk-takers, who live for the thrill of an incredible physical experience, especially if it’s “once in a lifetime.” ESPs are all about embracing the opportunities of the moment and seeing nothing beyond it, and that is both what she does extremely well, and is what gets them stranded on top of the radio tower for days, because she never thought about any of the potential consequences of doing so (like whether her cell phone would work at the top, and whether someone should go there with them to make sure they are okay, or even whether anyone knew where they were going and why and would think to call the police if neither of them turned up within twenty-for hours). This is inferior intuition to the extreme, so caught up in having an amazing experience, she neglected all safety protocols (it’s also unrealistic, but that’s beside the point).
While you could make an argument for ESFP, in the end, I think she’s an ESTP. She is very good at calming her friend down and knowing just the right thing to say to her, to encourage her, help her process her pain, and to move forward “through her fear.” These things are more typical of ESTP than ESFP, since ESTPs can cater their message to their audience. And her willingness to play to her fans and sexualize her body just for more hits is something an ESTP would consider doing for the attention. She’s also an innovator who figures out clever “hacks,” such as charging up her phone using the light on a diner table, how to cushion her phone for a safe landing (she hopes), and who seems fairly detached. She got sucked into an affair with Dan, Becky’s fiance, but felt guilty and broke it off when Becky asked her to be her maid of honor, which was the emotional guilt trip she needed to walk away from a man she loved. ESTPs are so eager for attention and connection, sometimes they fall into amoral behaviors but get pulled out of them when they witness the direct consequences of their actions, in this case, her concern for her best friend’s feelings. (An ESFP might have an affair but break it off for personal reasons, such as not being able to live with themselves.) Being an extrovert, Hunter also cannot understand why Becky is refusing to live her life to the fullest and avoiding the outside world. She says she would rather be remembered for her life than her death, and so she tries to give all of it meaning.
Their Enneagram Types
Hunter is an extremely obvious 7w8. She pushes past her pain and gets back to living quickly, unlike Becky. She doesn’t want to waste a moment of her life in over-thinking, and cautions her friend to stop analyzing things and just climb! She thinks an adventure can cure her friend of her sadness and be a way to “let go of Dan,” and then is surprised when her own emotions catch up to her on top of the tower when Becky spreads her husband’s ashes. She admits that she didn’t think it would affect her, because it didn’t feel real until that moment. From the moment they reach the tower and start their ascent, to where they are stuck at the top, she is constantly optimistic, positive, and keeping her friend’s spirits up, while refusing to fully admit to the seriousness of their situation. She is “sure” that “help is coming,” that someone will notice their absence, that they can totally survive this. She remains cheerful throughout, the true sign of a 7 who wants to avoid any kind of fear or pain by embracing positivity. 7s are also known for running away from things, and she admits that she does that all the time. I chose an 8 wing because of how confident and assertive she is; she also shows no apprehension or healthy fear when first seeing the tower, unlike Becky. She’s just excited to conquer this thing and she is rather intolerant of her friend’s fears, as if she thinks she should not have them. 7w8s are so fully ‘embodied’ and devoted to enjoyment out of life, they have a great deal less fear than 7w6s. I also think she’s a self-preservation first subtype, despite her reckless behavior. The self-preservation instinct can be as much about knowing that life is short and wanting to make the most of it, as it is about ensuring that you live as long as possible and have all your needs met. SP7s in particular are crazy about intense experiences. Lastly, the evidence for 7 comes from her being an obvious part of the assertive triad. She’s self-confident, motivated, goal-oriented, and persuades others to come along with her on adventures.
Becky is a harder character to type, because when we first encounter her, she’s in the depths of despair and appears to be withdrawn. Withdrawn types pull away from people to deal with things on their own, and the way she is dealing with this is very 4ish—she’s refusing to move past her pain and allowing it to impede her from moving on and regaining her sense of self. She’s choosing to idealize and hold onto a dead husband whom her father warns her was not worth loving. He asks her if she thinks Dan would have continued to mope and drink over her, or if he would have moved on—and she angrily pushes her father away and refuses to take his phone calls. All the numbers in the withdrawn triad (4, 5, and 9) struggle to move past painful events, since their time orientation is toward “the past.” They all resist moving forward in the world in favor of thinking back on past relationships with longing, and that’s what she’s doing. She also has a strong sense of fear, but that mainly is coming from PTSD, in my opinion. She saw the man she loved plummet to a horrible death and now she can’t climb. Hunter encourages her to face her fears and ‘get on with things,’ and so she does—but as they are climbing, Hunter also comments that Becky seems to be over-thinking things, which indicates the presence of a strong fear influence (a number from the fear triad, 5, 6, or 7). If we run with the 4 theory, that means a 4w5. And yet, her healthy self doesn’t resist outside experiences. She used to go rock climbing and take risks, which is not like the 5’s tendency to stand on the sidelines and observe rather than participate. And she also doesn’t resist her friend in any way; she’s highly accommodating and allows herself to be persuaded into things, which is more like a malleable attachment center. Attachment types meet other people halfway and can get talked into things.
She is much more actively nervous when things go wrong than Hunter, struggles to calm down and stop freaking out, and seems to rely on Hunter to “do” most things, which is 6ish. On the tower, she acts like a 6—being analytical and fearful, cautious, seeking security, but also caving in to peer pressure. So where does that leave us? I think with a 9 core, falling into 6 behaviors under stress. 9s also struggle to move on and with inertia in their life. 9s can numb themselves from pain and refuse to deal with it through self-medicating behaviors like drinking. A 6 would have been far more apprehensive about the climb; she was just scared to climb it, because of what happened to her husband—a 6 would be thinking strategically about all the things that could go wrong, would turn up prepared with other people knowing where they were, and would be proactively thinking about contingencies. She didn’t want to do it, but passively allowed Hunter to talk her into it, which is typical of a 9 going along with an agenda to avoid conflict. She also started mirroring her friend’s enthusiasm on the tower and was exhilarated by it. Regarding her wing, I suspect 9w8. The way she shut down her father with aggression is far more typical of 8 wing behaviors than 1. 9w8s are more unapologetic about their behaviors and self-soothing methods. And when she needed to be aggressive and take risks, she did it. I think she is also a self-preservation dominant, for the same reason as Hunter—her normal, healthy self wanted to squeeze the most out of life, and when she lapsed into depressive behaviors, she also started over-indulging her physical appetites.
I don’t have strong opinions about their secondary instincts, but Hunter cannot be social blind. Much of what she does is to gain a following and appeal to her “fans.” Becky could be sp/sx or sp/so.
So there you have it. My conclusions.
Becky: ISFP 9w8 sp/s?
Hunter: ESTP 7w8 sp/so