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'30 Rock' Season 5, Episode 13 Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 4th 2011 6:10AM
30 Rock['30 Rock' - '¡Qué Sorpresa!']

"That's nice. Actors deserve gifts. Without us, who would present awards to actors?" - Tracy


So how long before the NBC store starts selling Kabletown sweatshirts? There's nothing online yet, but you know they have to sell them. They have poster magnets for Tracy's movies and Sheinhardt Wig t-shirts (which will probably be collector's items soon), so it will be a natural.

If they start selling Comcast sweatshirts they can sell them side by side.

Simply put, this was the best episode of '30 Rock' this season. It had everything that makes for a great episode of the show: Tons of great one-liners, good plots for each of characters, and something for all of the characters (well, except for Toofer) to do. And it was the most cohesive and rich episode so far this season, really getting into the Kabletown-takes-over-NBC plot and having Jack have a network problem he has to solve -- actually, two, his place in the company and hiding Avery's pregnancy from NBC -- with the help of Liz and (improbably) Kenneth.

It felt like a classic '30 Rock,' an episode set mostly at NBC and having to do with the network in general. And with the introduction of Kabletown head Hank Hooper (Ken Howard), it could also be the kickoff of a great story arc for the second half of the season. Jack has to get used to the more causal, folksy ways of this new regime, and it's going to be funny to see execs that think more like Kenneth than Jack.

I think Hank Hooper could be the new Jimmy James.

Even the Jenna and Tracy plot was pretty good. Sure, it was silly, but at least it was the type of silly that seemed logical for their characters -- they were both fighting over a gift from Kabletown -- and it referenced the battle they've been having ever since Tracy joined the show and took the star power away from Jenna.

This was one of those episodes where almost all of the many jokes worked and were carried on throughout the entire half hour. If you watched closely you saw the ad in the Bla-Bar on the TV screen was for the popcorn restaurant that Liz was talking about the entire episode, which turned out to have the name Kernal's Popcorn Palace.

This episode was just plain funny and entertaining. If I can point to one specific scene, it's the one below, where Jack shows Hooper his idea for a voice-controlled remote control -- which I guess works directly with your TV set. It works perfectly, and Hooper is impressed, until the unit starts taking orders from the dialogue said by what's on the TV, in this case Richard Belzer and Ice-T on 'Law and Order: SVU.' A really clever scene in a really good episode.




And kudos to Tina Fey for not only appearing in a bra but also doing crazy stomach slapstick that you'd expect from a male comic like Jim Carrey.

More thoughts:

• Doesn't Jack get involved with any of the other TV shows on NBC's lineup? When he talks to the employees it's always the crew and cast from 'TGS,' and when he had lunch with Hank Hooper in tonight's episode the cafeteria was filled with 'TGS' people, and Lutz even ate lunch with Jack and Hooper. They should have a scene where Jack visits Jimmy Fallon's studio and orders them around.

• Liz and Carol are still dating?

Quotes:

"Tracy, do not mention where you think dinosaurs come from ... Jenna, get all of your crazy yelling out of your system ... Frank, how is your armpit thing? Remember everyone, just don't be yourselves." - Jack, to the cast and crew

"Avery does have a sister but she's currently institutionalized for nerves ... (whispering) lesbian." - Jack

"Michael Kors is a friend. We own a gay racehorse together. And I asked him to make ladies wizard cloaks fashionable this winter." - Jack, on how Avery is keeping her pregnancy a secret

"Carmen's sneaky, and that's not racist because I don't know what she is." - Jack, on Carmen's mysterious nationality

"Man, we all live such complicated lives. Hey, you wanna go to that new popcorn place for lunch?" - Liz, to Jack

"It doesn't count as a hug unless it last 10 seconds!" - Kabletown head Hank Hooper

"This is where we used to hold retirement parties. The balcony below is probably still littered with stripper bones. Now there are people here wearing sandals. - Jack, about the new "everyone can eat" policy in the NBC executive dining room

"I just love babies. I love their creepy little hands and how they crawl really fast like a rat monster." - Carmen

"Fine, I'll go to the popcorn place alone. Even though all of their advertising suggests it's a place for a group of friends to have a good time." - Liz

"Is she doing an exposé on how feminism has led to a happiness crisis among educated women?" - Kenneth, about Carmen

"I've been telling everyone here there's no way I can be pregnant because I've had my period for the last 61 days." - Liz

"The everyone dining room, open office hours, memos with emoticons in them ... if this is how Kabletown does business I don't know if I have a future here." - Jack

"What if there was a black bar on the lower half of your screen that kept you from seeing bad things, like nudity. Or soccer." - Kenneth's idea

"Well, I guess two egg sandwiches ... times two is four." - Liz, asking Pete to get her some food because she was eating for two

"Now is not the time to discuss this, but I will have to eat your umbilical cord." - Jenna, to Liz

"Employee pitch day is time that could be spent drinking and looking out the window." - Jack

"Not what my uncle does when he gets a hitchhiker over a barrel, I'll tell you that." - Kenneth, to Jack, who said he had Jack over a barrel

"She's a blonde. Don't you know there's a war going on?" - Carmen, to Liz, about covering for Avery

Rufus T. Barleysheath - the name of Liz's doctor, and possibly her child

"Almost everything." - Liz, asked by Carmen "What's wrong with you?"

"Isn't that just Easter?" - Kenneth, to Jack, who said he could bring him to a restaurant where you play with a bunny and then eat the bunny

"Does he also solve mazes by starting from the end?" - Kenneth, about Hooper

"Jack, you have reputation as a shark. Kabletown, we're not sharks. We're more like ... whatever the friendliest fish is. I'm not a science guy." - Hooper

"Oh, Jack, that's so gayballs." - Liz, about Jack and Avery giving their child her middle name

'30 Rock' airs Thursdays, 10PM ET on NBC.

[Follow Bob on Twitter.]

Watch the full episode here:

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bgporter

You spoke too soon -- kabletown hoodies are available on the NBC store:

http://www.nbcuniversalstore.com/detail.php?p=293322&v=nbc_30-rock

February 04 2011 at 8:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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