And she's right. Nicki interrupts them almost immediately, rattling off D&C scripture them without a thought, and I notice that the blonde one on the left, Jacob, is this great HITG from The Joe Schmoe Show, a show and a character that I adored. He played this ministry youth type who sang songs to his virgin girlfriend about "making good choices together." He's awesome. Here, there's a weirdness, because he and his partner (yeah, my middle name's Aaron, did you know that?) are very, very aggressive, and robotic, and angry, and creepy, and that's at least three things no LDS missionaries could be if they tried, no matter how young and insecure they were. I don't know, though, because Heather is such a true depiction, in my experience, so how could they get her so right but these guys so wrong? And they're not so wrong, but the show seems so warmly disposed toward the Church that it seems out of character just for the story itself. (Although I'm sure Barb would disagree, come to think of it.) Anyway, she tells the guys that her kids are sleeping, and they missionary it up about the Celestial Kingdom, and Aaron, on the right, is doing some kind of Rainn Wilson impression about how they'd "love to share" with her the "one true church" and asks when it would be convenient for them to return. She tells them flat out it wouldn't, and some kid (Wayne?) comes out and she complains that they've woken him up. He cutely explains, "I wasn't sleeping, mother." Jacob offers him a coloring book, to which he is amenable, and Nicki answers loudly in the negative, then rushes him back inside. The missionaries look at each other, kind of irritated, kind of spooky. I wonder if this isn't just sacrificing one thing for another, like, amping up the paranoia through this characterization so that we forget that the possibility of breaking this screwed-up family into its constituent parts is...not actually all that scary. Sad, but not awful.
Bill visits with Don and Peg, asking how they can do the marketing plan, and they talk about how the agency quote was $250,000. That is a scary number for old Don, but Bill's caught up in the "vision" still. Don tries to explain how the entire point of advertising sales reps is to sell you on "the vision," but Bill, as usual, has no concept of what being "in over your head" is actually about, so of course he knows he hasn't been snowed by that. Peg (I love Peg!) tells Bill straight up that these figures fly in the face of accepted conventional wisdom, in terms of advertising budget-as-percentage of sales. She tells him they'd have to dip into all kinds of places to front it up, and even then it would just be startup. "But it's a huge hit to absorb," she says. "It ought to make you very queasy." Bill stands up as Don tries to synthesize the arguments, suggesting that they halve the TV spots and double the radio ones, or take their advertising off peak times, but Bill says there would be no point doing it, then. "This isn't a business expense, it's a down payment on the future." Bill should get a diary and write in it. What lovely language he commands. He tries to explain to silly old Don and Peg, his trusted advisors who know more than him, that the best people to ask about how much money it takes to "brand a new identity" would be the people doing it -- the agency.