30 Rock returns for its seventh and final season and the results are quite a strong start for the beginning of 30 Rock’s end.
The title of the episode is not just a reference to the show’s impending finale, but also to Jack’s plan to tank NBC. Jack wants his Cabletown boss to sell the network and the only way he can assist in that is to make the channel as bad as possible. Green lighting trash at every turn, Jack seems to be even more successful then the real NBC has been at destroying their brand over recent years and Jack is well on his way to his goal of intentionally hitting bottom. Jack doesn’t have a lot to do outside expository scenes explaining his scheme, but the fake shows they cook up are quite entertaining. Baldwin is great as usual here and I am really looking forward to some of Jack’s upcoming hi-jinks as he tries to destroy NBC.
Kenneth and Tracy have a particularly weird adventure this week as Kenneth comes calling for some dating advice. Tracy is feeling rather responsible as of late and he is happy to take up Ken’s cause. Kenneth is still with Hazel, who is as wonderfully weird as ever, but Kenneth is curious how he can further his relationship past second base. Things don’t go as planned. Kristen Schaal was always an inspired casting choice since she popped up last season, but I never really felt they utilized her full potential. That changed tonight as Schaal gave us her best turn yet as Hazel as she was able to out weird both Tracy Morgan and Jack McBrayer.
Hazel makes a pass at Tracy and seems to have been using her relationship with Kenneth as a way to get into one of Tracy’s movies. The news of Hazel’s indiscretions doesn’t end their relationship and instead oddly seemed to be setting up a battle over Kenneth between Hazel and Tracy in the coming weeks. I am very excited that we will continue to get more of this weird threesome, even if I am not sure how we got here, and the trio might have been the funniest group of the night.
Lastly, Liz and Jenna go back and forth as Jenna gets a new kind of crazy; wedding crazy. Jenna and Paul are having a secret, surprise wedding and Liz has gotten picked to be her Maid of Honor. Jenna has high demands, as one could imagine and Liz is having a hard time servicing her needs as well as avoiding Jack’s attempts to get her to help him tank NBC. The plot is rather familiar, Liz having to reign in Jenna and avoiding Jack being right are old hat for the series, but it still had my favorite bits from the whole episode.
Liz’s one-two punch of a “witch’s undertones” and that creepy cake voice was weird and hilarious, but it might have actually been topped by Jenna sporadically flying in rage across Liz’s apartment. I mean, where the hell did that come from? Liz is able to convince Jenna to be her own Maid of Honor, after making herself look like the worst Maid of Honor ever, and she simultaneously realizes that Jack’s plan might actually work and signs on for the take down of NBC. I think Jack’s reasoning of Liz finally being able to flourish under a proper managerial structure is a bit of a weak argument to convince her to get on board with his plan and hopefully she gets more plausible motivators in upcoming episodes.
While the week’s plots were fairly straightforward and familiar, 30 Rock was able to lay some big ground work for the final season; destroy NBC. I am sure we will be setting up Liz’s romantic plot line next week and I am fairly grateful they didn’t try and cram all that into this week’s episode as well. The focus was narrow, but they filled it with a ton of great laughs and one-liners from start to finish. I couldn’t write down all of the great lines they were flying out so fast and they did a great job spreading it around to everyone in the cast. Only 13 episodes this season, so we should cherish every one, and the final season got off to a pretty good start.
-"So much white."
-"I prefer soul sucking monster."
-"Start looking for Indian now. It's a tough booking."
-"You mean a threesome with Robinson Cano?"
-An Avengers reference! Tesseract.
-Steve Higgins! Homonyms seems like a hard game.
-"I'm sort of a black Tyler Perry."
-"I wasn't scheduled to be on that episode."
-"Or what good friend, Bane, tried to do to Gotham."
-"Welcome to our condemned site of the Candyman murders."
-"Look at slavery; that was bananas."
-Kristin Schall has no shame on this show and it is great.
-"He's hairless because of his insanity medication.
-Dharma ice cream?
-Wtf, she's flying?
-"Why are they blue?"
-"Kenmore Washers & Dryers."
-"It's a blessing and a purse."
-"Let's take this mother down."