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30 Rock 3.06 – Christmas Special Monday, December 15, 2008

Posted by The Bad One in 30 rock, nbc, The Bad One.
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Liz is trying to convince the rest of the TGS staff to participate in the “Letters to Santa” campaign in order to bury her feelings over the rest of her family heading to Arizona for the holidays. Frank protests that they’ve already done their charity work by pitching in to get Sue a bra, which she shows off. Kenneth offers to take one of the letters, since he enjoys helping the less fortunate. Toofer, incredulously: “Where do find them?” Kenneth: “There are these Nigerians on the internet that help me.” Liz begins reading one of the letters. It’s from a little girl who dreams of becoming a doctor, but needs shoes so she can walk to school. Tracy breaks down over this. “That kid’s never gonna be a doctor. Better buy it a Jet-Ski.” Faced with a guilting this severe, the staff dive in.

Liz ducks into her office to take a call from Jack, who’s brimming with cheer. He apparently did make it to Florida, showing up early at his mother’s place and showering Colleen with gifts. “She called them all adequate. It’s a Christmas miracle.” He’s getting ready to fly down to Rio for a Christmas full of tanning and monkey wrestling. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include checking behind him as he backs out into – and over – his mother.


Jack has cancelled Rio to come back to New York. He breathlessly confesses the accident to Liz, but reassures her that Colleen is going to be OK. “They’re giving her a titanium hip, like the Terminator. It’s only gonna make her more powerful!” On some quack doctor’s recommendation that she be around family, she’s staying at Jack’s place. And with that, Jack gets a call from her. Apparently she’s warm. Jack advises her to remove one of her many blankets and begins making the universal sign for “crazy”, which she can see through the phone. She hangs up on him. Jack is desperate; nothing’s happening at work and everyone is gone, so he’s left with her. Jack: “Lemon, one of her suitcases was. just. wigs.” Liz volunteers to come by, since she doesn’t have any plans, and Jack seizes on it.

Liz and Jenna are shopping for the Letters to Santa kids. Liz tells Jenna about how her mom called her up on December 22 to let her know that she didn’t feel up to hosting Christmas. Apparently they believed that, by age 38, Liz would have her own family and that her parents were taking off for a couples retreat in Arizona themed “Sexy at 70.”

Colleen is sitting on the couch, reading Kevin Grisham’s classic sequel, Urban Fervor. She rings the bell Jack has provided her, demanding her other bell. Liz follows Jack into the room. Colleen tells her unconvincingly that she’s sure Jack didn’t run her over on purpose. She then tells Liz that the real tragedy is her broken Cartier watch, which Jack exhaustedly reminds her is, in fact, a Chopard. Colleen: “Yes, of course. Chopard. Not the Cartier watch. That I wanted.

Jack hustles Liz out in the hall. He doesn’t think he can do this. Liz tries to say reassuring things, but Jack drops the bombshell that he waited 8 minutes before he called an ambulance. Colleen then calls from the other room, demanding to know what the girls in the hall are whispering about.

The next day, Liz comes in to find the whole staff still at the writers’ table. Apparently Lutz figured out that if they stay until noon, it counts as a full week and NBC has to pay for their cabs to the airport. Liz points out that Tracy made $300,000,000 in 2008. Tracy: “And I’m not going anywhere for Christmas.” Anyway, Liz is getting ready to personally deliver her gifts. When Tracey and Dot Com hear she has to take her loot up to 245th St and Lawrence Taylor Boulevard they aren’t about to let her make that trip alone.

Meanwhile, the rest of the staff are counting down to noon when Jack jumps into the room and informs them they’ll be writing and performing a live Christmas Eve special all in the span of the next 36 hours. Jenna protests on behalf of the staff, but a gentle reminder of her contractual obligation to appear renders her meek and submissive.

Liz follows Jack out into the hall, asking him not to take out his mommy issues on her staff. Jack: “I’m sorry, Lemon. I’m just trying to get through Christmas.” Liz: “And then what?” Jack: “I’ve found a nursing home off the coast of Maine run by the same French company that oversaw Napoleon’s exile. She will be treated humanely, and there will be no escape.” Oh, so we’re talking about the second group of overseers. Then she will take up gardening and die of arsenic poisoning stomach cancer.

Liz, Grizz, Dot Com, and Tracey arrive at the apartment. Liz wants Tracey to take a picture of the happy moment. Instead, two young black men wordlessly drag the wagon holding the presents inside and close the apartment door. Tracey: “What’s the past tense of ‘scammed’? Is it ‘skrumpt’? Liz Lemon, I think you just got skrumpt.”

On the set, everyone’s gettign ready for Donaghy’s Christmas Eve spectacular. Pete points out that they’re going into quadruple overtime, but Jack doesn’t care. Oh, thanks. Tell that to the other GE minions about to get laid off. Jack’s trying to give people a perfect Christmas, something he never got. His mother always used to bring her friend Mr. Schwarz over, and it was just a matter of time before he got handsy with Colleen.

Liz goes to the Post Office, looking to complain about the Letters to Santa screening process. Yeah. No. But Tracey gets a chance to catch up with his old friend Irene.

Line of the episode coming up. Backstage. Liz: “Hey, do you know the Postmaster General?” Jack: “I did, but we had a falling out over the Jerry Garcia stamp. I mean, if I want to lick a hippie I’ll just return Joan Baez’s phone calls.” Liz notices that Jack is wearing the same clothes as yesterday. He can’t go home. There was an(other) incident. Colleen wanted another blanket removed, even though she was lying on it. Jack’s attempt at the magician’s flourish ended with her flying off the couch and into the ER to have her other hip replaced. He thinks his body is subconsciously trying to rid itself of her.

In the office, Kenneth inquires about Liz’s uptown trip, and she informs him that a report was filed with the Better Business Bureau. Liz: “I’m not gonna rest until the Letters to Santa program is shut down.” Kenneth is floored by this, and can’t believe that Liz was being skrumpt. He knows in his heart that children got those presents. Liz organizes another expedition to the far north. Tracey: “All right. I’ll call Grizz and Dot Com. I’m sure they’re not doing anything.” Cut to the pair lacing up skates at the Rockefeller Center rink. Grizz’s phone is ringing and he picks it up. Dot Com: “No. Dr. Williams said ‘Boundaries.‘”

Colleen is wheeled up to Jack in the 30 Rock hallway. He apologizes that work has kept him from spending more time with her. Colleen: “What kind of time, Jackie? Eight minutes, maybe?” Dun dun dun. She chews him out and presents her evidence. Exhibit A: His cell phone records. Call to 911 at 8:16 AM. Exhibit B: The watch. Stopped at 8:08. Exhibit C: A flashcard reading “16-8=8”. But Jack’s not about to take her guilting anymore. Jack: “What kind of mother tells her son that John Kennedy died because he talked in church? What kind of mother tells her son when he was voted captain of the diving team, quote, ‘What a great way to meet guys’? Who invites strange men over on Christmas Eve?!” He walks onto the set, demanding more snow machines.

Kenneth, Tracey, and Liz are in the uptown building. Liz: “See, Kenneth? These drawings are a clue that children live here.” Tracey: “Or Baquiat.” Liz: “This bare door is a scam door.” She knocks on the door, but this time two kids answer and confirm that they have presents under the tree. She tells them that she was the one who got the presents for them, who made Christmas happen. Scarred for life, one kid calls for Daddy, wanting to know what the strange lady means by saying there’s no Santa Claus. Oops. Chalk up another one for Kenneth.

Jack is going progressively nuttier, accosting a couple of PA’s because Mrs. Claus is not in the script. Liz informs him that she cut that part. Jack: “You can’t cut Mrs. Claus! Everyone knows that, on Christmas Eve, Mrs. Claus hangs your stockings and puts out food for Santa. Then you sing songs around the piano until she tucks you in.” He asks, incredulously, “Did your mother not do that?” Liz informs Jack that this was something Colleen came up with, probably to make up for his dad not being around. And that Frederick August Otto Schwarz was…FAO Schwarz. Meaning that Colleen probably put out for presents. Liz: “You guys were pretty poor. Did you have a lot of presents?” Jack: “You couldn’t see the tree.”

Jenna descends a staircase singing “The Christmas Song.” Tracey comes up to Liz at one of the monitors and lets her know that she can spend her Christmas with the Jordans. She accepts. Tracey: “Good. We’ll be over at 2. My kids have a peanut allergy, but my dogs only eat steak.”

Jack finds his mother backstage. Colleen: “What’s wrong with you?” Jack: “I love you, Mother, and I don’t want you to die.” Colleen, warily: “I’m never going to, Jackie.” We end with Elaine Stritch and Alec Baldwin at the piano, finishing the song. It’s so heartwarming and wholesome, it’s freaking me out. Colleen: “You’re flat, Jack.” There we go.



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