Paul Billings And Robert Sims In ‘Silo’, Explained: The Two Sides Of Law


We first got to know about Paul Billings after the untimely demise of Holston Becker, as, together with Juliette, Billings was also a contender to become the next sheriff of Silo. Even before we got to know him as a person, we had a negative perception of the man since Robert Sims and Bernard were vouching for him. Up until then, we had no clue if Sims and Bernard were actually involved in some unscrupulous activity, but their demeanor was not very likable. It felt like they were authoritative in their approach, and they wanted things to be done only according to their whims and fancies. But Holston’s recommendation had an impact on Mayor Ruth Jahns, who respected the man, and she told both Sims and Bernard that Juliette was her first preference for the post. Both Sims and Bernard didn’t like it, but they had no option but to agree with what the mayor was saying.

After Mayor Ruth was murdered, Robert tried his best to influence deputy Marnes into supporting him in his vendetta and making Billings the next sheriff of the Silo. Though even Marnes was a bit surprised in the beginning by Holston’s decision, he vouched for Juliette since he had had a conversation with her before and that had made him realize that she was a sincere, hardworking, and honest woman. Two of his closest people, Ruth and Holston, had wanted Juliette to become the sheriff, and after their deaths, he wanted to honor their decision. Marnes was a strong-headed man, and he was respected by the people of the Silo, which is why both Sims and Bernard perceived him as a threat. Moreover, they didn’t want Juliette to have any allies, as she was clearly developing a relationship of trust with Marnes. Additionally, Sims didn’t want Marnes to find out anything about what he and Bernard were upto and that is why he thought that it was better if he got him killed. Now, amidst all this, it was pretty obvious for Juliette and for the audience to have a preconceived notion about Paul Billings. Sims gave Billings the position of deputy, as he wanted him to be around Juliette and keep a check on her activities.

Juliette, even before she met him, believed that he was not a trustworthy person and that he was only being sent so that he could keep an eye on her and report everything back to Sims. But Juliette was wrong in believing so. There was a lot of difference when it came to Sims and Paul. Where one wanted to have leverage at all times, the other kept the rules and regulations of the Pact in very high regard. So let’s find out the key ideological differences between the characters of Paul Billings and Robert Sims, and also how Billings could be of help to Juliette in season 2.

What Were The Key Differences Between Paul’s And Sims’ Personalities?

All the misconceptions that were formed by us and by Juliette about Paul started breaking the moment he joined as the deputy. The man knew the Pact by heart (which was a rarity in itself in silo), and more than that, he was an idealist who wanted everything to be done according to the law. Paul never wanted to backstab Juliette, and as long as she was doing things that were not prohibited by law, Paul had no problems with it. Sims, on the other hand, was disappointed in Paul Billings, as he had expected that he would take his side in the event of a conflict even if he was on the wrong side. It took Paul some time to understand the politics and the corruption inside the Silo, and that is why he started supporting Juliette, because even when there was a lot of enmity and lack of trust between them, Paul knew that she was the only one who was actually trying to find the truth.

People like Paul are often victimized by the system because there is no place for idealism in politics and bureaucracy. Paul was the kind of man who was unbiased towards everybody, and though Sims had started feeling that he was favoring Juliette, in reality, he wouldn’t have minded coming in her way too if he felt that she was doing something legally wrong. Sims, on the other hand, was the kind of man who didn’t mind bending the rules in his favor. We saw how he and Bernard accused Juliette of asking to go outside, and not even once did his conscience weigh on him by sending her to the jaws of death. Paul was responsible, honest, and dutiful, and had he been present when Sims and Bernard falsely accused Juliette, he would have definitely raised an objection.

In the end, Paul felt that he had failed Sims, as Juliette was able to escape when he was taking her to the prison, and he felt the need to prove his worth, not knowing that the entire charade was orchestrated by Sims for his own vested interests. Sims wanted to become the shadow of Bernard, and he was ready to do anything for that. Sims had gotten Marnes and Mayor Ruth killed and had Bernard asked him to kill a couple of more people, he would have done that without an ounce of guilt. If Paul had been in this situation, he would have either rebelled against Bernard or left his job, but he surely wouldn’t have followed his orders just because he was benefiting from them.

What Role Would Paul Play In Season 2?

Till the end of season 1 of Silo, there were a lot of things that Paul had no clue about. He didn’t know what was on the hard disk that Juliette had, and he also didn’t have any clue about how Bernard had deprived the people of their basic rights. He was a bit relieved that even after knowing that he had the syndrome, Sims was neither firing him from his position nor sending him away from his family. But there was a reason why Sims was doing that, and Paul was too naive to see through it. Sims knew that because Paul felt indebted to him, he would do as he was told and not question his authority.

We believe that with time, Paul would realize the real intentions of Sims and Bernard and at that moment, he would have to shed his idealism and get practical about things. There are times when you have to break laws in order to achieve the greater good, and Paul was in a position where he could really help Juliette’s cause. Billings will have to realize that he is not indebted to anybody, and we believe that he would have to get a bit more pragmatic in his approach if he really wanted the best for the people and to protect their interests. We might see an alliance of rebels forming inside the Silo, and that union would benefit manifold if they had the sheriff by their side.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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