Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
30 Rock opens this week with Liz anticipating her yearly tropical vacation (to St. Bartlebees, a mythical island where she can enjoy private beaches, free flowing ice-cream treats and can wear black socks and sandals while sunbathing). It is a mere 4 days away and she has already been experimenting with spray-on tanning products and has even purchased some new swimwear. I will use the word swimsuit here because when she takes it out to show her assistant Cerie, it appears as though it would cover roughly 75% of her body. During the conversation, Cerie tells Liz that her vacation has been cancelled due to the hotel being overbooked. A disheartened Liz becomes even more concerned when she realizes that Kenneth is coming down with the flu. She doesn't want to become sick during her vacation time, wherever she ends up.
Jack continues to see Elisa, the Puerto Rican nurse that he hired to look after his mother. She comes to visit him at work and he invites her for lunch to celebrate their first official date, but she tells him that she has another job on her off days looking after Mr. Templeton, an aged man suffering from severe dementia. Jack is determined to put the effort into their relationship so he brings dinner and Monopoly, but she sends him away because she tells him that she is working and that it would be inappropriate to mix the two. Jack doesn't give up however, and convinces her to come on a night out with him and to bring Templeton along so she can keep her job.
The flu bug hits the crew of TGS hard, and Jack brings in Dr. Spaceman (guest star Chris Parnell) to dole out flu shots to selected people on staff. He wants Liz to get one, but she refuses on principle because there aren't enough shots for everyone. When Cerie tells her that her vacation is back on, however, she breaks down and gets one to ensure she wont get sick. She doesn't want to lose the respect of the crew that her show of solidarity has won her so she hides the rash from the needle and insists that it remains a secret.
Jenna and Tracy, meanwhile, decide to do their part to ease the flu outbreak amongst the crew. They eventually agree that soup would be the thing needed most, and after initially trying to get Kenneth to go get it for them, they head out to get some delicious hot soup for everyone. They immediately get sidetracked and go shopping for clothes instead, so they then dress up as clowns instead and put on a variety show in an apparent effort to entertain the crew back to health. Liz steps in to break up their ineffectual shenanigans and the crew cheers their new champion on, until she takes off her jacket revealing her flu shot rash. She is then forced to admit that she got the shot so she could go on her island vacation where she plans to take one of the natives on as her "Island lover". Needless to say, this grosses out the crew and destroys all the goodwill they had for her.
Jack and Elisa's night out on the town nearly comes back to haunt them as Mr. Templeton's son arrives from London and Templeton suddenly snaps out of his vegetative state and recounts to his son all the previous nights happenings with unexpected clarity. Elisa manages to convince Templeton's son that his father was simply confusing television with reality, allowing Jack to slip out unseen, but not before he is forced to agree to take Templeton to Washington square and to a "Negro bar" on their next evening out in exchange for his silence.