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October 6, 2015

30 Rock: Kidney Now! (season finale)

by Bob Sassone, posted May 15th 2009 12:17AM
30 Rock(S03E22) "There's no such thing as bisexual. That's just something invented in the 90s so they could sell more hair products." - Liz

OK, so how long before "We Need A Kidney" is available for download from the NBC site or from iTunes? I suspect it will be up before you finish reading this review.

I was going to talk about how this episode was a little disappointing, but then I hit rewind on my DVR and watched it again and realized, wow, they actually hit all of the season finale notes rather perfectly. Not in a "we're having a baby!" or "he has amnesia!" way, but in a way that symbolized that "this is the end of the season but we're not going to go overboard" way. Some might think that having 20 big-name musical guest stars on a season finale actually is over the top, but it didn't turn out that way. This episode was quite funny.

They could have gone the cliffhanger route, by having Jack or someone else give Milton the kidney and then we don't know what happened until next season. Instead, they end with the benefit concert and we can just assume that Milton gets the kidney and lives on. Alan Alda won't be a regular, of course, so we really don't have to think about it. I'm sure that we'll have one or two lines in the season opener in the fall that explains what happened over the summer, the way they explained what happened a couple of seasons ago when Jack had his heart attack at the end of the season (and this episode's line from Jack about it being only May...awesome joke about how TV "years" end in the spring, not enough time to "learn" anything).

There was one thing I truly loved about this episode: the way Tina Fey and the other writers used real life to comment on what's going on with Liz Lemon and TGS. Fey gets a book deal from her "That's a Deal Breaker Ladies!" catch phrase and Jack tells her to go for it because TGS can't live forever. Fey signed a book deal herself several months ago, and the way network TV is nowadays, 30 Rock itself could very well be off the air in a couple of years. I love that they acknowledged that.

I could have done without Jenna going on the daytime talk show and fighting with her half-sister (eh, kinda lame), but it did pick up quite a bit when Liz went with her and answered relationship questions from the audience. Tracy's plot was fair, but I wish the writers were in this finale more. Let's talk about Josh for a second. I've mentioned this before, but really, what's up with that character? Remember how prominent he was in the first season? I think he had one or two lines this season, if that.

Update: After watching this episode for that second time I see that NBC mentioned that the song will be available on Friday.

And now, a bunch of quotes to get you through the long summer:

- "Professor Milton Green, who's working on a three volume biography of Jimmy Carter, and if I give him a kidney he might, just might, live long enough to finish it." - Jack

- "Since Giuliani left it's getting harder to harvest hobo organs." - Jack

- "No, I'll remember. Opposite, opposite, opposite!" - Dr. Spaceman, trying to remember it's actually Jack giving the kidney to his dad, not the other way around

- "Oh my, that's very urban!" - Kenneth, on Tracy's high school life

- "Science was my most favorite subject, especially the Old Testament." - Kenneth

- "Nope, your fiance's gay. Look at him. Pure case of fruit blindness." - Liz

- "We called him Mean Steve. But his real name was Steven Killer." - Tracy, about a kid he went to school with

- "I don't know. But I have the entire liberal media establishment at my disposal, the same manipulation machine that got Barack Obama elected and donate all of that money for Rainstorm Katrina." - Jack

- "I haven't seen this many riled up dirtbags since CVS started to put the cold medicine behind the counter." - Jack

- "What do you think this is, Wings?" - Jack, on TGS

- "My Mary J. Blige Foundation is celebrating its 10th year of searching for the Loch Ness Monster." - Mary J. Blige

- "They want you on the 7th hour of The Today Show." - Cerie, to Liz

- "Long distance is wrong distance." - Liz, on relationships

- "Just be yourself, and I promise that every single person in this room will be President of the United States!" - Tracy, speaking at his old high school's graduation

- "Do you know if there's a sit down Quizno's in midtown?" - Liz, about having lunch with a book agent

- "I've never seen anything like this, and I was in 'We Are The Pizza.' - Milton, about Weird Al's parody of We Are The World

- "What are you talking about? It's May." - Jack, to Liz, who said "we sure had quite a year"

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Great episode that tied up all the loose ends perfectly. Kidney Now has got to be one of the most genius things that 30 Rock has done this season, and that's saying a lot.

Great celebrity cast, good idea to include Cyndi Lauper (a We Are the World veteran) and I was also way happy to see Rhett Miller. Can't wait for his new album to come out.

FYI, I've posted a video clip of the song at : http://displacedbrett.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/the-return-of-rhett/

May 18 2009 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

can you really steal something from that

May 15 2009 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Yeah, I didn't catch that MASH reference at all. Though I did think it was odd to have Alda in that scene. It didn't seem that it was necessary for him to be there, but now we know why.

May 15 2009 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Isn't the phrase "that's a dealbreaker ladies" stolen from The Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo? How come they haven't given any credit to that?


May 15 2009 at 8:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frantic Monkey

I can't believe they had Cyndi Lauper on the show. If they had Pat Benatar too I think I might have died.

What a great week of finales we've had. Fringe, Lost, 30 Rock, The Office (which I haven't watched yet). It's such a shame I have to wait until Sept/Oct for them all to start again.


May 15 2009 at 5:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The bit with Alan Alda commenting on how chickens/babies/crying men isn't a good fit for comedy slayed me (hey kids: remember the MASH finale?)

May 15 2009 at 5:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
6 replies to matt's comment

There *is* at least one sit-down Quiznos in midtown. I've eaten there and it was delicious. That'd be my choice, too, Liz Lemon!

May 15 2009 at 4:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paul's comment

One of my favorite parts of the episode is that Tracy Jordan went to FRANK LUCAS HIGH SCHOOL...Frank Lucas is the drug dealer that the film "American Gangster" is about.

May 15 2009 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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