30 Rock: Do-Over

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Well, after an extremely long hiatus the third season of 30 Rock has finally started. I mean, who has ever heard of a TV show premiere as late as the day before Halloween? It's a nasty trick to make us wait this long, but for a treat as tasty as this hilarious show it's well worth the wait. Not that we mere TV watchers had any choice in the matter of course... but...

As the season starts, we see Liz Lemon walking the streets of New York on her way to 30 Rockefeller Plaza. She is dressed in a very snappy outfit that soon elicits a cat-call from a passerby in a limo. We soon discover that the passerby is no nameless creep, but rather Jack Donaghy, determined to try and get his old job back at NBC after getting out of his government job in some "classified" manner that he is not at liberty to discuss until after an apparently mostly metallic Dick Chaney dies. We also find out that LL is dressed up in her floral print skirt and purple sweater to impress upon her adoption advisor, who will be doing a home assessment later to see if she is indeed fit to be a parent. An upbeat Lemon says, "There is no chance that I am blowing this!" as the shows' opening theme music plays. Oh Liz... will you never learn?

Meanwhile, Jack confronts Devon and tells him that he owes him a job because Devon knows that Kathy's father (Don Geiss) was set to promote Jack before he slipped in to his coma last season, leaving the witless Kathy as the acting CEO of GE with Devon as her puppetmaster. After a creepy face to face moment rife with homo-erotic sexual tension, Devon agrees to hire Jack back -- but in a menial position in the mail room. Devon tells Jack that he needs to keep his enemies close to him and that's why he's hired him, but of course he really HAS to hire him so that Jack is back on the show. I mean, what would 30 Rock be without Alec Baldwin??

As the episode progresses we see Tracy Morgan bragging about the royalties he is raking in from his pornographic video game, and see Jack rocketing up the mail room chain of command with 2 promotions before lunch the first day! Liz gets a visit from her adoption advisor (played by Megan Mullaly) who expresses concern over Liz's long working hours and lifestyle choices (along with the length of her vertical blind cords and the sluggish response of her apartment's smoke alarm). She decides that she should visit Liz at her workplace to see exactly how it would affect her ability to look after a child.

Liz tries to get the writers and stars of TGS to be on their best behavior for her visit, but between the writers' questionable clothing choices and materials adorning their walls, Jenna threatening to sue Tracy for her lost royalties for her voice work on his video game, and Devon spiralling rapidly into a total meltdown (he evidently sold the E in GE to Samsung, making them Samesung now), her visit turns out to be every bit the disaster that Liz had feared it would be. The chaos reaches its peak when a jealous Kathy (who Jack has decided he is going to have to "doink" to speed his advancement up the corporate ladder), attacks the adoption advisor after seeing Jack talking to her, and knocks her senseless. Liz tries to use her resulting dementia to her advantage and re-does the interview over again 'til they all get it right (Groundhog Day-style), but eventually and reluctantly realizes that she needs medical attention.

The episode ends with Devon figuratively running from his responsibilities as proxy CEO as well as literally running away from 30 Rockefeller (down a busy street looking for promising-looking cars to allow to hit him so he can then sue the drivers), and with Liz's adoption plans presumably still up in the air for now. Liz IS happy to see that Jack has completed his meteoric rise and is back in the big chair at GE, however, where he belongs.

Tags: 30 Rock, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Liz Lemon

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