Jim’s face while watching Mac follow Will into his office in the pilot kills me every time. He forces himself to take a breath, to watch her but not go with her. This is the face of a man who’s watched Mac get hurt, repeatedly, the man who has done everything Mac’s ever asked him to do and several things she’d never ask anyone to do. He wants to go in there and protect her, but Mac is strong and Mac is his boss and it’s not his place. So he sits outside, takes a seat at a desk, and watches for iNews alerts. Because that’s what she’d ask him to do: his job, which is the best damn news anyone ever’s done. Jim does what Mac has taught him to do: click on the yellow news alert.
But Jim does get to defend Mac while she’s in there putting herself before Will. Stressed and smiling, he reminds Don that Mac has two Peabodies and knife wound from covering a religious protest in Islamabad. Jim isn’t at ACN for the job. He doesn’t care about Will, or News Night. Jim packed up, quit his job at CNN, and followed Mac to Manhattan without any inclination of what was coming.
And he has no problem standing by it.