30 Rock: Retreat to Move Forward

Posted by: Jeff Anseeuw  //  January 26, 2009 @ 2:19am

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

Jack has to go to a Six Sigma corporate retreat for GE executives and is concerned that some of the other exec's will give him a hard time due to his being passed over as CEO of GE (and his subsequent short-lived political career) since last years retreat. He asks Liz to come with him as a personal favour and she agrees after being assured that the resort they are staying at has a spa (that allows eating in the sauna). Jenna continues to ready herself for her upcoming movie role as Janice Joplin (or something similar, depending on some pending legal matters over naming rights). She tells the staff writers that she will only respond to them as Janice for the foreseeable future so she can get fully into character. Tracy is warned by Dr. Spaceman that he is at risk of developing diabetes unless he changes his lifestyle drastically.

Jack and Liz arrive at the retreat and Jack psyches himself up in the mirror before meeting his old pals, telling himself that he is a lion and to take what is his. Liz sees him and tells him that she does the same sort of thing sometimes, although, as becomes clear from the flashback we are shown, in her case its much more like she verbally assaults herself as opposed to offering any actual encouragement. Jack meets with the other execs, and finds that all the last years' problems are forgotten. They hit it off immediately and Liz is quickly abandoned and Jack works the room. Later Jack, Liz, and 2 other junior execs are paired up in a team building exercise involving Lego. Liz throws herself into the task and challenges Jack to be more helpful. This draws the ire of a senior exec who pulls Jack aside to chastise him for allowing a subordinate to speak to him in a familiar way (and for engaging in a wanton display of nicknamery, to boot!). Jack tells Liz later that she needs to back off and treat him with a more respectful attitude while they are at the retreat. She gets mad and storms out, rightfully feeling that Jack only invited her as a security blanket and that she was being cut loose now since he no longer needed her.

Back at 30 Rock, Kenneth has caught wind of Tracy's diabetes risk and has taken it upon himself to try and prevent him from becoming diabetic despite vehement reluctance from Tracy himself to changing his ways in the slightest. Kenneth is undeterred, however, and he does whatever he can to be helpful including customizing Tracy's meal plan and warning him of the 1000 year-old "hill witch", who supposedly eats the flesh of diabetics. Frank convinces Jenna to do all her research for her movie role on wikipedia, and then immediately begins to update the Joplin page with increasingly ridiculous entries in order to mess with her. He eventually has to put a stop to it by telling her what he has been doing to prevent her from eating a live cat while in a tequila fuelled haze. She is enraged at first hearing about his treachery, but he tells her that if she channels her anger and puts it towards the role, she could actually win the Oscar that she covets. Its an emotionally charged moment, and the two of them end up hooking up in Jenna's dressing room.

The next morning, Frank meets Jenna as they both arrive for work and asks her to not tell anyone about their carnal activities. She agrees vigorously because she wants to keep it quiet, also, but then questions why HE would want to keep it a secret instead of bragging about it. He tells her to think whatever she wants, as long as she keeps the secret. Later that day, she catches him bragging to people about his video game skills and she cant help but to interject and spills their secret in the process. It soon becomes clear why Frank wanted things kept quiet however, when Jenna gets her hair done and the stylist (and the maid) both object to her advances on what they see as their man Frank. The stylist sabotages Jenna's hair and she runs out of the salon with a burning scalp. She runs into Tracy's dressing room with her black salon cloak on and carrying a broom just as Kenneth is doing a horribly ineffective hill witch impression. One look at Jenna in this ghastly getup is enough to convince both Kenneth and Tracy that the hill witch is VERY much real, and causes a thoroughly terrified Tracy to shove every vegetable in sight into his mouth to ward her off.

Back at the retreat, Jack is about to give his big speech and heads to the nearest mirror he can find to psyche himself up. Unknown to him though, his mic is already turned on for the speech, so his pep talk is overheard by everyone in the audience. Liz shrugs off her earlier snub and rushes to tell Jack that he is being overheard, and then goes even farther to attempt to save his reputation by taking the stage and trying to convince everyone that it was actually her that they had all just heard doing an impersonation of Jack. When it becomes obvious that she is convincing no one and that Jack is still going to be the laughing stock of the night, she strips down to her bra and does a song and dance number to attempt to take everyone's mind completely off Jack. Predictably and, perhaps,inevitably Liz gets banned from any and all future retreats, but Jack appreciates her for her efforts and realizes that she is a true friend.

Tags: 30 rock, tina fey, alec baldwin, tracy morgan

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