I haven't watched a series finale as closely as 30 Rock's since Lost went off the air, but I really never expected to have to watch the end of a sitcom as closely as I watched that massive drama. And yet, with its patented rapid-fire jokes and references, 30 Rock crammed a ton of information into its final two episodes last night, and managed to send off nearly all of its characters with a moment of triumph or hilarity for themselves.
This list doesn't even come close to covering all the highlights of the episode-- check out our full recap for that-- but these are 5 little tidbits of genuinely shocking or hilarious information that were doled out last night, along with the final episode of TGS and Jenna's fantastic "Rural Juror" musical number. Get out your NBC xylophone, dry your tears, and read along with us.
1. One of Jack's biggest rivals is Alec Baldwin. When his new salary as Kabletown CEO is leaked, Jack crows that he's pissed off his enemies: "Pelosi, Maddow, Baldwin…" It seems fair to assume this is a reference to Alec Baldwin himself, a famous liberal like Rachel Maddow and Nancy Pelosi, but who knows? Maybe Baldwin wanted to leave room for one of his less-famous brothers to take the credit.
2. Kenneth's TV no-no list includes immortal characters, "urban," and Justin Bartha. 30 Rock has been crammed with moments over the years that require you to pause the TV and catch all the little hidden jokes-- thank God it came around in the era of DVRs and gifs to watch the next day. I paused Kenneth's list three or four times to catch everything on there, and then of course the joke got even more meta with the episode's closer… but we'll get to that later. (But, question: why Justin Bartha?)
3. Clear dishwashers! Yes, Jack! We really should have clear dishwashers by now! That's the kind of innovation we expect from the former Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming. It's even better than the Funcooker.
4. Jack loves Liz… and everybody loves everybody. The final ten minutes of the episode get emotional a surprising amount of times for a show this weird, but the best of all has to be Jack, sailing away on the boat nobody knew he had, and setting up all the caveats to what he was about to say to Liz… only for her to cut him off with "I love you too, Jack." And that was just after Liz had to hunt Tracy down at the very strip club where they met in the pilot, to explain that she loved him "because the human heart is not connected correctly to the human brain." And then in the show's tag, we see the entire gang keeping in touch because they actually want to. Well, maybe not Jenna. She's probably still incapable of loving anyone other than herself.
5. Kenneth is immortal? It all happened so fast that we almost didn't catch it-- again, a classic 30 Rock gambit-- but it seems that 100 years from now, Liz Lemon's great-granddaughter will pitch a show about her stories to NBC, and Kenneth will still be its President. Oh, and we'll have flying cars. The snow globe containing Rockefeller Center's Prometheus statue is a clear St. Elsewhere reference, but a red herring that makes great-granddaughter Liz especially unexpected. They never did resolve Kenneth's ongoing conversations with Jacob-- pretty appropriate for a Lost reference, I guess-- but that does follow through on what Kenneth's mother says he told her the day he was born: "Momma, I am not a person. My body is just a flesh vessel, for an immortal being whose name, if you heard it, would make you lose your mind." Even though immortal characters are on the no-no list.