Recap

'30 Rock' Recap: Double-Edged Sword

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Feb 11, 2011 | 8:19am EST

S5E14: Love is in the air, but naturally no one at 30 Rock seems to be able to tell through all that thick New York City air and their romantic radar is pointing in another direction. This is a good thing, because there’s only so much romance we can handle after a while. Besides, it wouldn’t be very Liz Lemon-like to have all her romantic dreams work out all the time, now would it?

“I never sleep on planes. I don’t want to be incepted.” –Jack

Nice Christopher Nolan shout out, 30 Rock. We find that Jack and Liz are off to romantic getaways in Nagshead? and Toronto? for Valentine’s Day. Oh yeah, the romantic views of the Toronto skyline just whip me into a complete frenzy. Right. The best part about this open is the little exchange of predictive notes between Jack and Liz – they may be undermining each other but it’s in a way that they both appreciate and adore. The notes are almost like little, friendly valentines to each other, and after all, isn’t this the only relationship on the show that seems to stick? Say it with me, “Aw.”

“We say ‘half an hour’ to control the herds of walking mozzarella sticks who think that 300 dollars and a photo I.D. gives them the right to fly through the air like one of the guardian owls of legend.” -Carol

Liz sets off on her romantic getaway with Jack’s taunting notion in her head – she and Carol are too similar and that only spells trouble. When the ridiculous flight delay sets in and Liz confronts Carol about his untruthful techniques for dealing with the crisis, their mutual stubbornness comes to a head, pitting Carol and the crew against Liz and the passengers. Things got ugly and uncomfortable and sweaty (not in the fun way, but the gross stuck on a plane sort of way), but may I just say it was the best, most epic breakup EVER.

While it was uncomfortable watching the passengers cooped up in the tiny plane while being forced to watch Legend of the Guardians and rejected NBC sitcoms, I did enjoy the little intro to “Gals on the Town” with the theme sung by none other than Tina Fey. And she’s sticking it to Sex and the City…again. Win. Carol finally gives Liz an ultimatum, she can apologize for humiliating him in front of his crew and admit he was right or he won’t take the plane to the gate. Clearly all that long-distance relationshipping hasn’t taught him that Liz would never cave to that. This escalates and gets to the point where Carol grabs the pistol off the air marshal and Liz shields herself from his aim with an old man while they scream at each other. If you’re going down, go down in total craziness, LL. Though it was by all accounts a breakup, they’re both so crazy and they looked at each other with such understanding that I almost thought they were appreciating each other’s insanity and that they would get back together. Who was I kidding? Even if that was true, there is no way Lemon would ever let any of that go. She doesn’t let anything go, ever. Farewell, Carol, you were a babe.

“Oh my God. Where are my manners? Would you like some meth?” –Canadian Methhead

When Jack and Avery get to Toronto, she starts having contractions and of course this starts a panic because they are in CANADA and the baby will be born CANADIAN which is the WORST THING EVER. When there are no flights and no rental cars or trains available, the overly patriotic duo make a run for it – that’s right, Jack and Avery hitchhike. Of course, they manage to take a second to make a jab at President Obama - “If we were in Kenya right now this would all be fine.” Yeah, they’re not winning any conservative viewers when they make fun of that kind of obtuse mentality, but who cares; that notion is crazy anyway.

When they finally catch a break, guest star John Cho and friends give them a ride but it turns out their big van is a roving meth lab. Once again, Jack and Avery’s patriotism and values are tested; meth lab or Canadian baby? Clearly the Canadian baby option is worse. Clearly. Unfortunately, they don’t make it to the border in time and after hearing how pressured Cho’s meth head character was to become the next Canadian Prime Minister and how that turned him into a druggie, they give up their hopes that their daughter will be the next American president and head to the nearest Canadian hospital. It’s cool; they’ll love her just as much as they love “a human baby.” This is of course a problem because they don’t want to participate in “socialist medicine” and in Canada, the healthcare is free, so they panic and set out to find someone who will take their money for medical services.

This whole plot was so great because while these two have become completely over-the-top with their uber conservative nuttiness, it all has a hilarious purpose in this episode. All those strict values are put to the test and they get blown to smithereens.

“Cornell commencement address? Sorry, but Tracy Jordan doesn’t do safety schools.” –Tracy

Meanwhile, Tracy has finally done it. He’s EGOT-ted. Jenna isn’t dealing so well – holy crap, she was BURNING HER HAND to help her deal with the pain of congratulating him. She plays psycho so well.

With his new honor comes responsibility. He’s invited and expected to speak at all kinds of charity events and benefits, but he doesn’t want to deal with it. He’s risen above his ability to handle seriousness and he wants out. We all knew he’d have to crack at some point. He spends most of the episode trying to avoid his new duties, but finally comes around (because the real Tracy Morgan needs to miss a few episodes for a surgery he’s having) and he decides to go to Africa to help the children. Of course, because he’s Tracy, he’s actually in a sound stage that looks like Africa (if Africa was Gilligan’s Island) and he’s doing exactly what Pete suggested he do. I’d act disappointed, but it’s Tracy. Come on.

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