30 Rock season finale recap: Knocked Up and Down
Liz Lemon tests positive for pregnancy (no, not Dennis!), Jack goes to Washington, and Kenneth qualifies for the Olympics
How to begin? A gorgasm of hilarity? More bizarre than an orgy chamber full of snake elves, Tom Arnold, and Dick Cheney? As tangy as evaporated bull semen? What I’m trying to express, folks, is that last night’s season finale of 30 Rock tickled in all the right places — even Pete Hornberger, circa 1980, was funny! — and though we’ve been teased by events that will happen in the next three months, next season suddenly seems a long, long way off. Blurg.
Jack followed through on his threat to leave GE, trading his lame-duck status on the 12th floor for an appointment in the lame-eagle Bush administration. When Jack mocked the administration as a sinking ship last week, he had no idea the metaphor would prove so literal. His Washington office ceiling is actually leaking, a disgusting symptom of trickle-down economics that denies the demoralized Extreme Weather Preparedness and War on the Poor programs in Homeland Security such basic necessities as pens. ”We’re not in a recession,” said his feeble new boss, Cooter Burger (Matthew Broderick), who denied that the ceiling was dripping — ”It’s not. I’ll show you the study” — but was quickly drawn to Jack’s proactive leadership. The actor best known as Ferris Bueller is more Cameron Frye these days, perfecting the role of impotent bureaucrats in films like Election and You Can Count on Me. When his real-life Beltway equivalents see this damning portrayal, they’ll cry in their baths and/or ink angry letters to NBC, written in ketchup or dirty rock.
Like Liz Lemon herself — ”I’m 37, please don’t make me go to Brooklyn” — 30 Rock rarely ventures beyond Manhattan, but detours to Cleveland and a Pennsylvania OTB have inspired some of this show’s silliest episodes. Though Jack quickly regretted his move to Washington, there’s no denying he’s built to operate in the corridors of power. He hadn’t been there five minutes, and already he was calling in chits to get things done. There’s no need to bribe a public official when you can simply say, as Jack does to the lovely C.C. Cunningham, ”We’ll keep this professional. I did certain things for you in bed that you were going to reciprocate, but then we broke up before my birthday. So you owe me.” We know the Jacker will be in Washington for at least three more months, but what’s the rush? His forceful speech to the Republican dam-haters — ”Dam is a swear word. I’d support it if, instead of dam, we called it a God finger” — could put him on the short list of John McCain’s running mates. Do not misunderestimate the influence of the Committee to Reinvade Vietnam.
NEXT: Wizard nipples
Back at 30 Rock, Liz Lemon might be carrying the most undesirable spawn since Rosemary’s baby: the Beeper Prince. A few weeks back, after a few too many margaritas — but before he tried to shove her onto the subway track — Liz Lemon invited Dennis Duffy (a.k.a. the Beeper King, a.k.a. the Subway Hero) upstairs because ”I need a couple lightbulbs changed.” Faster than you can say, ”We bring good things to life,” Liz Lemon flunked a pregnancy test. Turns out it was a false alarm, caused by her unhealthy addiction to those tangy Sabor de Soledad snacks, which apparently slow the onset of periodic ”woman times” while enhancing the thickness and shine of one’s mane. Surprising herself, Liz Lemon discovered that the possibility of motherhood didn’t frighten her, and that she looked forward to a future as a ”kick-ass single mom, like Erin Brockovich or Sarah Connor.” Her disappointment that she wasn’t pregnant was surpassed only by my own. True, new babies can be a death knell to sitcoms, but I would risk that in exchange for more Dennis Duffy. Sure, he’s a class-A moron, but he wants to name his kid Morpheus, from The Matrix, or Judy, to honor some chick he used to boff! As it is, let’s hope that his guest appearances, like technology, are cyclical.
While Kenneth was battling his nemesis for an NBC gig at the beautiful, breezy Beijing Olympics, Tracy and Frank were fixulating their Icarian attempts to merge the porn and videogame experiences — Gorgasm. Colon. The Legend of Dong-Slayer promises it all: wizard nipples, feet-on-knee action, When Harry Met Sally-caliber sex sounds. Tracy has never been so inspired. When he’s not correcting drawings of nipple lightning bolts, he’s criticizing Dame Judi Dench’s voice-over. Frank played the finished product in his office and didn’t emerge for three months. Will the game’s imminent success encourage Tracy to leave 30 Rock, or might some dam-hating Republican congressman crack down on indecency?
I’ll refrain from discussing the love that dare not speak its name in this TV Watch. No, no, I’m not referring to the ”gay bomb,” which made Jack, Cooter, Dick Cheney, and the Joint Chiefs totally gay-bones for each other. No, I’m referring to the continued tension between two of the show’s characters. You know what I mean. To be continued. Liz Lemon, out.
What do you think? Where does crazy Cooter rank among your favorite 30 Rock guests? Can you imagine Jack in Washington when the next season begins? And do you think the show will dare give Liz Lemon a baby?
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.