30 Rock: Believe in the Stars

Posted by: Jeff Anseeuw  //  November 7, 2008 @ 11:24pm

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

Last week we saw Jack Donaghy return to his perch atop the GE corporate empire. This week he faces his first real crisis when a disgruntled Olympic tetherball bronze medalist threatens to expose the fact that several Olympic sports (including the aforementioned tetherball along with synchronized running etc.) were actually forged for the purpose of artificially inflating the U.S. Medal count and therefore pumping up American morale. When Kenneth walks in at the end of the meeting and finds out that some of his Olympic hero's are tarnished and that Jack is involved, his moral code forces him to lose the respect that he has for Jack.

Meanwhile, Liz boards the plane to head back to NY (after successfully avoiding jury duty in Chicago by channelling her inner Princess Leia) and pops a powerful sedative (which Jack had given her) to relax. She starts to feel the effects of the pill and then, suddenly, Oprah Winfrey appears and takes the seat next to her. Understandably star-struck, Liz swoons and begins to babble uncontrollably. Before she knows it she has confessed all her hidden secrets and laid her soul bare at Oprah's feet. One cant help but feel for Oprah at this point because you realize that she must get that A LOT, and because she is trapped on an airplane and really has no choice but to indulge Liz. Oprah, however, lives up to her image as the ultimate self-help icon as she listens patiently to Liz's wild ramblings, offers up explanations for her behaviour and gives reasons for why she feels the way she does. Her main conclusion is that Liz wants to adopt but can never fully make the commitment to that path because she is allowing Jenna and Tracy to fill role of "children" in her life. Oprah tells Liz that while she wont announce her name to the entire plane as if she was a famous guest on her talk-show, she WILL sit down with Tracy and Jenna to fix Liz's problems with both of them once and for all.

Back at work, Liz is not bothered by the fact that Jenna and Tracy continue to bicker about Jenna's lawsuit against Tracy (for lost royalties) or even that they argue about who has it worse in society, a black man or a white woman, each claiming that their own particular plight is the more arduous. Their idea to solve this argument is for Tracy to dress up as a white woman, complete with pancake make-up and for Jenna to walk around the set in full black-face and dressed as a 30-something black man. Liz is without a care in the world, however, knowing that Oprah will soon arrive to eliminate all her problems and set her life on the right path. The Writers room is soon awash with Oprah's favourite things- including calypso music, sweater capes and Chinese checkers. The excitement builds until SHE finally arrives to visit the set and straiten things out, except for one small problem. SHE is not actually Oprah. Not even a little bit Oprah. In fact, SHE turns out to be a young girl named Pam whom Liz Mistakenly saw as Oprah in her needy and drug-induced state. As humiliating and embarrassing as this is for Liz, It doesn't turn out to be as disastrous as it could have been because the young visitor DOES actually get Jenna and Tracy to see past their differences....at least for the moment.

Later, after a staged incident in the elevator where Kenneth again demonstrates his moral fibre by volunteering to kill himself (in 2 separate ways, no less) so that others would live in the event of a catastrophic air shortage, Jack declares that Kenneth is his hero and shakes his hand. Later that night when he arrives home, Kenneth finds that Jack has gifted him with the brand new flat screen TV system of his dreams. We then find that even Kenneth cant resist plugging it in and experiencing all the joys of stolen cable, proving that everyone has their moral breaking point, and of course that Jack is the master manipulator.

Tags: 30 Rock, Liz Lemon, Tina Fey, Oprah, Tracy Morgan

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