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September 1, 2014

'30 Rock' Season 5, Episode 18 Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 25th 2011 5:55AM
30 Rock['30 Rock' - 'Plan B']

"Come, we live under the subways. With the CEO of Friendster." -- Homeless travel agent, to Liz


So we're just going to pretend that last week's episode didn't happen, right? I laughed more in the first four minutes of this episode than I did in all of 'Queen of Jordan.'

'Plan B' wasn't just a better episode of '30 Rock' -- let's face it, they could have shown a rerun of 'Veronica's Closet' and it would have been better -- but it was like an entirely different show, a cleanser for the mind palate.

I did some quick calculations and figured out that tonight's episode was approximately 37,000 times better than last week's. The secret? The episode was centered around a problem at NBC. That seems to be the way this show gets back on track: Bring it back to NBC and Kabletown and 'TGS.'

So, in this episode we had everything that makes a '30 Rock' episode great: Jack having to come up with a solution for the NBC problem, Liz accidentally messing something up with the cast and crew and having to fix it, an appearance by Will Arnett as Devon Banks, short but good scenes involving Kenneth and the writing staff, and about 20 fantastic one-liners.

I've been wondering how they were going to bring Tracy back to the show from Africa (really New York). When Jack said that the show was going on forced hiatus I thought that this would be the way the '30 Rock' season would end, with everyone unsure about whether or not 'TGS' was going to come back for another year. But then Liz figures out that Tracy has really been in NYC the whole time, talking to Kenneth over the web (really, Kenneth, not knowing a pizza place wouldn't deliver to another continent?) and now 'TGS' will be back good as new once Tracy is forced to come home.

I'm not even sure if I miss Tracy. I don't mean Tracy Morgan, who can be funny, but the Tracy Jordan character has been given the lame B or C plots in recent seasons, usually a scheme that involves Jenna. Sometimes those plots can be funny -- or at the very least, innocuous -- but I have to admit that I've enjoyed the breather.

Anyway, if last week's episode got an F, this one easily gets an A-.

More thoughts:

-- The Aaron Sorkin cameo gets my vote for Cameo of the Season. It's not just great that Sorkin actually did a good job in the scene and he and Liz even did a "walk and talk," it was great that Sorkin appeared at all after Tina Fey said some negative things about 'Studio 60' when both shows were on the NBC schedule. And how great was it that they even had Liz bring up 'Studio 60' after Sorkin left it off of his list of accomplishments and he told her to shut up?



-- Tina Fey must love 'The Mentalist' or is just having a little fun because '30 Rock' is on at the same time as the CBS show now. (Except for tonight -- damn March Madness.)

-- Side note: the 'Arthur' remake looks absolutely awful, doesn't it?

Quotes:

"'TGS with Tracy Jordan' without Tracy Jordan is an oxymoron. Like 'liberal government' or 'female scientist'." - Jack

"Is it TNT? Are Rizzoli and Isles friends in real life?" - Liz, about Jack's new network acquisition

"TWINKS is an acronym designed to project a positive gay image. TWINKS: Television With Individuals ... Naive Kinky Shaved. Okay." - Jack, to Liz

"Thanks Lemon. I'd like to help, but my hands are tied ... is the only show anyone is watching on TWINKS?" - Jack

"Last time I taught I was like Robin Williams in 'Dead Poets Society.' By which I mean I got fired." - Pete

"Excuse me G.I., do you miss your girlfriend? I'm good at math." - what Jenna's "Asian Jenna" doll says

"Hmmm ... this just says 'Bird Internet'." - what Kenneth has written in his idea journal

"Like how Fredward helps iCarly?" - Simon, about helping Liz

"Would you be willing to audition for an Alpo commercial? If you can get through it without pooping it's yours." - Simon, to Liz

"There's lots of things I like. Fishing, marches by John Philip Sousa, telephones that look like footballs. But there's one thing I don't like: Losing money." - Hank Hooper

"I'm remaking 'Knight Rider' with the Oscar Mayer weinermobile." - Jack's idea for the TWINKS network

"It's okay, Jack. You made a bad decision and bought something you didn't understand. Like when I bought tickets to 'Black Swan.' Remember when a movie was just a fella in a hat running away from a fella with no hair?" - Hank Hooper

"He's a gay shark. Like that actor who played 'Jaws'." - Jack, about Devon

"He's on LinkedIn Lemon. He might as well be dead!" - Jack, about Devon

"So I throw him a lifeline and he comes crawling back like a ... a, uh ... crab I guess. What else crawls, Lemon?" - Jack
"Babies, Jack. You have one." - Liz

"I like the end part." - Jack, about Liz's idea about a single TV writer, trying to make it in the big city, who is also a vampire

"Well, there have been a lot of 'Amazing Races' on since then and I had to watch them and then go online and write comments about them." - Liz, on why she didn't prepare for the end of 'TGS' sooner

"You must be desperate. TWINKS must be exploding. And not in a good way." - Devon, to Jack

"I'm a straight shooter, Jack. Except at the urinal, but that's just a side effect of shrapnel from Vietnam." - Hank Hooper

"I was in a world of wet wipes and rectal thermometers. And then the babies came and everything changed." - Devon

"You want to party? It's $500 for kissing, $10,000 for snuggling. End of list." - Liz

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

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Rob

Co-sign to Jeramy and brinthorne: As a parody of reality-show conventions disguised as a 30 Rock episode, last week's show was very good. The obvious swipes at the "Real Housewives" franchise were great, as was Jack's accidentally "outing" himself -- which had a clear callback this week in his interaction with Devon (consecutive weeks of slaps at Princeton football too!). No question that this week was an A, but I wouldn't give "Queen of Jordan" anything less than a B-minus.

March 25 2011 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brinthorne

Yes, the patholigcal and completely incorrect hatred of the "Queen of Jordan" episode is utterly ridiculous. However, I have to agree that this week was pure gold, especially the Aaron Sorkin scene.

March 25 2011 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DiMeo

Did anyone else notice that Tina Fey's husband directed this episode? and did an amazing job BTW loved the Sorkin Cameo

March 25 2011 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeramy

I understand why last week was divisive. But an "F", really? The only f-worthy episode of this show I can think of is "Verna". The satire wasn't as sharp as it could have been, but there were some fantastic moments, and a strong comedic performance from Sherri Shepard.

This week's episode, however, was gold.

March 25 2011 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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