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30 Rock 3.05 – Reunion Monday, December 8, 2008

Posted by The Bad One in 30 rock, nbc, The Bad One, Things too long to read.
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Kenneth gives Liz her messages as she comes into work: The bike tour company in South Carolina says “No singles”, her credit card company wants to make sure she’s the one buying cream soda in bulk, her landlord says that the toilet isn’t faulty, and Gene from her high school reunion comittee wants to know if she’ll be coming. Kenneth urges her to go, and we get a flashback to his reunion featuring a comely lass named Taniqua. Tracey wants her to go, since you can get back at anyone who ever messed with you. Cut to Tracey yelling at some nuns from a school for deaf girls. Jenna would have gone to hers, but that boat sank.

Jack is up in his office for Kathy Geiss’s cover shoot for the quarterly report. Her Magna-Doodle proclaims “Kathy = CEO”. Maulik Pancholy does fantastic things with his screentime for the week when Jonathan tries to get Jack to open up to the idea of offing Geiss’s daughter. “Then we would have a secret that bound us together!” Kathy steps to the window and peers out, which Jack realizes means…Don Geiss is out of his coma!


Tracey harangues the elevator, wondering why there aren’t any Puerto Ricans on Star Trek. He’s looking for a laugh, but gets an eye-roll. But after a woman gets off and Kenneth asks, “What is this, the local?”, the car cracks up. Tracey looks concerned.

Jack gleefully bounds into Liz’s office. He tells Liz the news and gives her a kiss on the forehead. Jack: “What’s that flavor?” Liz: “It’s Dove Age-Fighting Acne Cream.” Jack was the first person Geiss called…after his French-Canadian mistress…and Jack has a meeting with him in an hour.

Jack inquires about Liz’s reunion, wishing he had a Princeton one to go to right now., “Wipe that smug smile right off Michelle Obama’s face.” But Liz doesn’t want to revisit her high school hell, including one Kelsey Winthrop. Cut to a blonde girl mockingly asking Liz about her telescope. High School Liz answers something unintelligible and Kelsey’s pack cracks up at her expense. Jack argues that Liz is part of the elite now, what with her hit TV show, impressive friends, and a hairstyle that works for her as long as it’s not too humid. Jack: “And you’re telling me you don’t have the confidence to face a bunch of whittling, jug-bowing IHOP monkeys?” He even offers her the corporate jet to fly her there.

At his meeting with Geiss, Jack learns that Don has no intention of relinquishing the GE reins. A beam of energy came to him in his coma to tell him his work isn’t yet done. Jack’s still at the head of the succession list, but he won’t take over until Geiss really kicks the bucket.

Meanwhile, Tracey is sulking. He demands to know why Grizz and Dot Com weren’t there to protect him. Dot Com protests that Grizz had to go to the optometrist, but Tracey isn’t having that. “Making up words won’t save you!” There going to get on the elevator with Kenneth so they can laugh at his jokes.

Jack is a ball of suppressed frustration as he lets Liz know Geiss’s new plan. Now he’s going back to his old job, where he’ll be fighting for Liz’s right to say “cat anus” on-air the allotted three times. Liz: “Geez, Jack. Tough year. First William F. Buckley dies, now this. Next stop, impotence, right?” He laughs like he’s imagining Geiss taking a header off the GE Building. He informs her that the reunion is still on, as he’s rented a jet and he can drop her off on his way to Miami to blow off some steam.

Cut to a snowed-in Donaghy checking into the inn where Liz’s reunion is being held. He’s feeling defeated, wondering why he bothered trying so hard for the CEO’s job. She tells Jack he can blow off some steam right there in White Haven, at the NC Wyeth museum (burnt by meth addicts), the Cabot Street restaurants (turned into Little Hanoi). There aren’t even any bars (Dry county. But they do have lovely Methodist churches full of Vietnamese).

Grizz, Dot Com, and Tracey enter Kenneth’s elevator. Tracey: “Elevator? What’s this? [Lifts his t-shirt, slaps his stomach] A ghetto mating call!” Grizz and Dot Com laugh, but they’re the only ones. An older black lady looks disgusted and disappointed. The elevator stops and in come a pair of guys in matching green shirts and ties. Kenneth: “Wow. I didn’t get the memo.” The elevator chuckles. A woman accidentally elbows Kenneth. Kenneth: “Geez, buy a guy a drink first!” This gets more of a laugh. Kenneth: “This place is bigger than my apartment!” Big laugh, including Grizz and Dot Com, but not Tracey.

Liz enters her reunion to stares. She walks up to the bar and orders a Manhattan. When asked what kind of bourbon she wants, she downgrades to a white wine spritzer. She spots the infamous Kelsey Winthrop.

Jack is getting directions from the hotel clerk. He shouldn’t take the detour off [Vietnamese Name] Boulevard. It’s a trap. But it’s only 30 miles down Route 9 to the next county.

Liz walks up to Kelsey, giving her a metaphor about turning into a butterfly, then going on about her exciting Manhattan lifestyle in the world of television. But Kelsey doesn’t really care. Kelsey: “You made life a living hell for everyone here. You would have to come to the reunion to make us go through it all again. You know, I tried to befriend you just so you’d leave me alone.” Cut to our scene from earlier, only this time Kelsey and friends are tentative and we hear Liz’s retort, “I don’t know Kelsey, how’s your mom’s pill addiction?” Liz protests that she was a nerd, but Kelsey corrects her that she was the bully they nicknamed “the White Haven Witch.” She leaves when her facial tic relapses.

At the bar, “Matt Burditt” is talking about his mulch business. It’s hard work, but he doesn’t have to answer to anyone. Jack looks on wistfully, asking Matt if he’s happy. Matt: “Well, I got a boat, good friends, and a trampoline. You tell me.”

Liz spots Jack and approaches him to disgustedly reveal her newfound bully status. In turn, she’s approached by one Rob Sussman. “Still think I’m ‘gayer than the volleyball scene in Top Gun?” Liz protests that she said those things to make it OK for him to come out. Sussman: “Come out of what?! I’d like you to meet my wife, with whom I’ve raised three beautiful dogs. I can’t deal right now. I’m so mad, all I can do is dance!” He prances away.

Liz is upset to learn that even the first gay guy she ever kissed hated her. Jack, meanwhile, finds them to be good Americans. Jack: “Hey, Lemon. Check this out, I just made it up. The three B’s: Beers, boats and buds. Doesn’t that sound great?” Liz: “Are you having a stroke?” But Jack’s just re-evaluating his choices; he envy’s the happiness these people have found and wishes he were one of them. His chance comes when a reunion-goer mistakes him for one Larry Braverman. He seizes the opportunity to recast himself.

After the break, we learn that Braverman blew town after the reunion in his Camaro. Jack informs his new pals that the old ride broke down “from havin’ too much sex in it.” High fives! They retire to the parking lot to do doughnuts. Liz wants to know how he’s pulling this off, but Jack informs her that rich 50 is middle class 38. He wants to know when she’s going to leave, since she’s harshing everyone’s buzz, but Liz vows to stay and turn people’s opinion around on her.

Tracey walks into Jenna’s dressing room, looking for her concurrence that they’re the most important people in the building and that no one should take attention away from them. She agrees on both counts. He tells her he’s worried about Kenneth. Jenna: “Kenneth? Are you crazy? He knows his place and he worships us…Hey, let’s go throw a tantrum about the air conditioning.” Tracy, emotionally: “That sounds really nice…”

Jack is leaning against the bar when a blonde woman (Janel Moloney!!!) approaches him. Janel and Alec play the scene like it’s on a soap opera, but Alec can’t see the cue cards.

Larry? It’s me, Jessica. I can’t believe you’re here. You never answered my letters.

Well, I…I didn’t know what to say, because of…you know. The things.

I hate the way we ended, Larry. I’m so, so sorry for what happened.

…I forgive you, Jessica.

Really? Even for the–

Especially for that.

Say what you said to me that night at the lake.

[He reaches out and strokes the side of her face with the back of his hand.] “No.”

[She melts.]

Jessica: Jack: Jessica: Jack: Jessica: Jack: Jessica: Jack: Jessica:

Liz goes up to Kelsey, Erin, and Larry’s Friend to apologize, but they brush her off as too little, too late. Erin: “Whyntcha please leave us alone, ’cause we’re trynna have fun tonight?” But Liz is trying to point out that New Liz is fun and doesn’t kill parties. She implores them to “do the Diane!” and tries to imitate the dancing of a woman on her left, but ends up looking a lot like any other dance she does. Even this backfires, as Diane has a prosthetic leg and stomps off in a huff.

Elevator. Jenna walks in with an older lady. Kenneth hits the button and quips, “Next stop, Kansas City!” The elevator cracks up and the lady opines that they should put Kenneth on the show. Now Jenna sees the threat. She begins singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” at top volume. Kenneth builds on this by launching into “99 Bottles of Beer” and the rest of the riders join him. She bursts into Tracey’s dressing room. “KENNETH IS A MONSTER!!!” Tracey: “We have to stop him!”

Reunion. Jessica, Jack, and the rest of the gang are hanging out by the bar, talking about how it’s just like back in high school. Jessica brings up the old favorite Seven Minutes in Heaven. Jessica challenges “Larry,” “You always got the bottle to land on me. Think you still have the touch?” Jack puts the bottle down and spins…only to have Liz jump in at the last second where Jessica had been. Awkward.

Liz and Jack’s frustrations explode all over each other in the Storage Room of Disappointment. Liz writes off her classmates and their rapidly-yellowing teeth, prompting Jack to observe that she hasn’t really changed since high school. He refers to her impotence joke when she found out Geiss had yanked his promotion, hiding behind humor instead of engaging. Liz: “I’m the one that’s hiding, Larry Braverman?” He points out that she’s again attacking when she feels threatened. So she goes for the jugular, the windpipe – really, all that’s left is a spine with the head lolling around on top. She found the 2000 business cards he’d had professionally printed with his title as CEO. He weepily heads for the door, asking the gang, “Why is she so mean?

Jenna sarcastically delivers up a brown-bagged lunch to Kenneth. Tracey is also doing his best Kenneth imitation, giving a group of visitors a tour of the studio. Tracey: “It doesn’t feel good when someone does your job, does it?” He tells Kenneth he doesn’t like him doing jokes in the elevator; that’s his job. He and Kenneth tearfully reconcile. Kenneth: “I’m so sorry, Miss Maroney.” Jenna, icily: “No, keep crying. I want you to feel this so you never make this mistake again.”

Reunion. It’s awards time. Kelsey, Rob, and the short bald guy have come up with a plan to “Carrie” Liz and they want to know if Jack’s in. From the stage, Erin announces Liz as the recipient of the award for the best school spirit. She’s reluctant to appear until she learns a $50 gift card to Outback Steakhouse comes with it. Diane is in the wings holding the rope attached to the bucket suspended over the stage when Jack has an attack of conscience. He goes up to the stage to give a speech defending Liz, which wins the approval of the masses. Jessica tells him how pleased they are to have him back among them, and introduces him to Larry’s son. Jack immediately reveals who he really is and hastily departs. Liz grabs the mic to give one more apology, but then the goop nearly hits her. “You know, what? Suck it, you whittling IHOP monkeys!” Lemon out!

Alec Baldwin was excellent in this episode. Wonderful work from him. I liked seeing Jack thinking about the road not taken. And I was so excited to see Janel Moloney back on NBC. I was a huge West Wing fan and I think she did really well here in the straight role. Jane Krakowski also did a lot in ways that don’t come through on the page.



1. Jason - Thursday, January 15, 2009

Great show

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