Safe Spaces: Jim’s Room and Lord Stafford

I recently watched Season 2, Episode 9 (“Email Surveillance”) of The Office for a second time. Basically, Michael installs software that allows him to see everyone’s email, and he’s hurt when he realizes he’s the only one Jim didn’t invite to his barbecue.

So, obviously, part of the episode takes place at Jim’s house. And it affected me in a way I didn’t expect. When Jim and Pam went into Jim’s room, a sense of safety came over me. If I was in the room with them – and in that moment, I wished I was – I’d feel completely comfortable there. And if I ever were to actually meet John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, I’d probably feel safe with them as well.

Part 2, Episode 7 of The Spanish Princess affected me similarly. Warning: spoilers ahead. There’s a scene where Catherine is “walking off a cramp” in the middle of the night. Lord Edward Stafford just happens to be walking by when the pain is too much for Catherine. She pleads for him to help her. He replies that it would be improper, that she should call for her ladies. But he also sees her desperation, so he picks her up and carries her back to her room anyway. Once Catherine is back in bed, she begins to bleed; she’s lost another child. And Stafford is there to comfort her.

In that moment, Stafford is Catherine’s safe space, where she is allowed to let her guard down and cry. That’s why his death a few scenes later is so upsetting for me. Catherine has few allies left at court, and she just lost an unlikely one. Even though he was a jerk face in Part 1, Stafford clearly cares for the queen, and she trusts him enough to let him see her vulnerability.

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