Shona the Needy
Billy: “Where’s your social conscience? Your heart?” Todd: “At the bottom of David Platt’s wallet.” (The wallet that Shona stole.)
She is bringing out all Billy’s instincts to HELP people. This despite her not actually asking for help. She is also bringing out all Todd’s instincts to be on guard and safeguard the silverware. I think Todd’s approach is the better choice and probably of more use to Shona in the long run.
Billy means well but, aside from the risk of getting ripped off by her, he maybe is objectifying her. He sees not Shona, but ‘person in need’ – vulnerable and at risk. All very nice, but it translates as seeing her as helpless, and him as having the strength of morality and love that can save her.
Shona does not strike me as helpless. Nor does Todd look at her that way. He doesn’t trust her, like her or want her around. Not the milk of human kindness, for sure, but it does respect her. Todd sees an individual, not a social category. He considers Shona to have a mind of her own and the ability to look after herself.
Billy has gone through a crisis of faith in his church lately, not in his deity but in the earthly representation of it that he chose for his belief system and his vocation. His options, other than cleric, were in the social work line. A suicide hotline counselor I think was the job he had an interview for.
He decided to return to the church. But maybe the “social worker” mindset is still predominant in his head. A lost waif crosses his path and he’s all over it, wanting to save her.
He even spends the night sleeping in a bus shelter with Shona so that she will come to no harm. Sorry, Billy, but I think if something bad had happened that night, more likely Shona would be saving Billy.
Shona, I think, is tough as nails. Todd knows that. Billy, overcome with Christian mercy and charity, doesn’t want to see it. He just wants to save someone. Even to the point of bulldozing over the fact that it is not his house to offer as shelter. Todd rightly points out to him that it is Eileen’s house, and therefore Eileen’s decision on who stays there. And it’s Eileen’s silverware in the drawers.