In tonight’s episode, Jack and Liz find that shooting the peacock that is NBC may force them to make political, business and menstrual sacrifices. What I enjoyed most was the continued development of this arc about destroying NBC, but with the added curveball of Governor Dunston, Romney’s new vice-presidential candidate (Paul Ryan had to drop out of the race because it was discovered he was actually born in Kenya), who bears an uncanny resemblance to Tracy. While Liz desperately wants Tracy to imitate the governor on the air, Jack initially tells her not to write a thing about Dunston, presumably to protect his Republican interests.
Caught between her ovulation schedule which is turning sex with Little Elf Prince (Criss) into a “chore” and the newly introduced five-day TGS show schedule in lieu of the popularity of the Dunston sketches, Liz discovers a way to accommodate both her baby-making and show-running duties in the sexiest way possible: organizing! Perhaps the most hilarious moment of the episode involves Liz getting hot and bothered just by describing her color-coding to Peter (or should I say “Mr. Clean’s gay uncle”). “This whole thing could be a spreadsheet! If we printed out in landscape, the page would take it all. The page would take it all!”
However, her accomplishment is instantly overshadowed by Jack’s potential political gains from the continuation of the Dunston sketches. One of the night’s many guest stars, Matthew Broderick, appears as Hooter Burger, the lobbyist (lobby loiterer) turned deputy chief of media for the Romeny-Dunston 2012 campaign. He offers Jack a supposed win-win situation: by airing the Dunston sketches, the vice presidential candidate appears like a lovable buffoon (despite the fact he’s really mean in real life), and TGS will boost NBC’s ratings. This puts him in a dilemma that brings us back to the two traits that define Jack Donaghy – business and politics – and explores uncharted territory in which he will have to trade one or the other.
In the B-storyline of the episode, Jenna attempts to sell her new record “Ballz,” but becomes entangled in the Parcell family drama. Catherine O’Hara guest stars as Darlene Parcell, and Bryan Cranston stars as the infamous Ron. Star struck by Jenna, Ron reveals that he and Darlene got married (seven years ago), much to Kenneth’s horror. Cranston is hilarious as Kenneth’s stepfather, comforting Kenneth that “I’m just trying to replace your dad!” Unfortunately, the conflict is resolved just as quickly as it began, with Kenneth accepting Ron as his family. Jenna, having witnessed their heart-to-heart, is then inspired to write a song entitled Rum-Soaked Tampon. Jenna’s usual self-centeredness worked well, but I was a tad disappointed by the lack of overt weirdness of the Stone Mountain residents apart from their view that “times are tough now that Obamacare has extended our life.”
So far this season has been all about developing characters by revisiting them. Liz’s German and addiction to terrible television shows like Honey Boo Boo make reappearances, as does the ominous hint that Kenneth is secretly the “vessel of the immortal.” Jack and Liz go head-to-head and over one another’s heads in a way that is reminiscent of earlier seasons of 30 Rock. I enjoy seeing them in opposition to one another instead of just their mentor-mentee relationship that has dominated the more recent seasons.
Combing the old with the new, the end of the episode was unusual in that it actually established a cliffhanger – what happens now that Liz allows the Dunston sketches to continue? Will she conceive a baby in OfficeMax or will Jack have to endure “four more years of socialism”?
- Line of the week goes to Jenna when telling Ron to sing a song for her to steal: “I’m not going to steal it, but don’t even think about lawyering up because I’ll have my Jews on you so fast you’ll think you’re an Asian girl.”
- Did anyone else find it ironic that Bryan Cranston played Ron, when Kenneth’s alias at one point was Cranston? Also Heisenberg must’ve invaded Stone Mountain and made their mayor a meth addict.
- Criss and Liz frolicking in an office supplies store, with Criss seductively pouring paperclips on Liz while she pours white out on his chest and forces him to suck a highlighter. And of course, their re-creation of Ghost with a stack of CDs.
- When Liz tells Tracy to “break a leg,” he replies very matter-of-factly, “That shouldn’t be hard. I have a severe calcium deficiency.”
- Liz’s sex life never ceases to make me crack up – her unintentional use of vaginal euphemisms like “Aunt Flo is coming to town” and her utter distaste for John Mayer by interrupting Criss’s rendition “Your Body is My Garden of Eden.”
- “Mitt Romney is a mermaid. I know he does not live in the city. Mormon? Now, that’s crazy.”