30 Rock Season Finale Recap: Hiatus - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 Rock Season Finale Recap: Hiatus

April 27, 2007 by  

Well before we get into Brian’s recap of the season finale of 30 Rock, I just wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU to Brian for bringing us these recaps week in and week out. 30 Rock is back because of fans like YOU who encourage others (myself included) to give the show a shot. So thanks for a great recapping season. I’m so grateful.

Big round of applause for Brian (and my applause I mean comments)

Title: Hiatus
Original Airdate: April 26, 2007
GMMR Recapper: Brian

When last we left the folks on the set of TGS, Fliz was on the rocks, Tracy was on the lam and Alec Baldwin was experiencing a sudden and unexpected career meltdown. What a difference a week doesn’t necessarily make.

The aptly titled season finale of what I’ve taken to calling The Funniest Show on Television snuck up on me. I blame NBC’s schedule shuffling, which resulted when the network gave up on Andy Barker, P.I. almost as soon as it hit the airwaves. The original plan was for 30 Rock to wrap up in the more finale-appropriate month of May. Well, consider sweeps under way.

Reinforcing the show’s recent trend toward continuing storylines, we open with a montage of “last week on 30 Rock” scenes before cutting to Jack and Liz’s (Baldwin and Tina Fey) respective medical checkups with Dr. Spaceman (Chris Parnell) and a kinda cute Rachael Dratch as Fey’s doc. Both scenarios evolve into advice for the lovelorn sessions.

Back on set, Tracy’s still missing. Despite their growing rift, Jack tells Liz they need to work together to find him. Seems someone has a clue to his whereabouts, though.

Jack: Oh Lemon, I cannot endure another failure
Liz: Jack trust me, no one wants to do the show without Tracy.
Jenna: We used to do it every week without him…I’m just saying.
Pete: I hope he’s OK.
Liz: I hope he’s taking his medication.
Kenneth: And I hope he took a jacket because it can get real chilly there.

But Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) holds up under stiff interrogation, name-calling (mouth-breathing Appalachian!) and a bitch-slap from Fey. In Needmore, Pa., Tracy connects with Kenneth’s cousin, Jesse (Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes), a goober who happens to be a big fan. He laughed so hard at Tracy’s movies it riled up the wolves outside.

Liz tells Jack that Tracy’s wife thought he was in Bucharest shooting a vampire movie since February. Just as Jack thinks he can’t take any more stress in his life, his mom Colleen (Elaine Stritch) walks in. She likes Liz’s baby bucket, but she doesn’t like Phoebe (Emily Mortimer).

Jack checks in on Tracy, who seems to be settling into a Kathy Bates-in-Misery kind of situation where spring cleaning amounts to clearing dead birds from the chimney and his new alter ego holds no sway with the local groupies.

Meanwhile, Liz calls Floyd in Cleveland, and the conversation is painful.

Liz: So what are you doing?
Floyd: I’m uh, I’m waiting for the bus, so uh, I should probably focus…focus on that.

She hangs up to find out her presence is requested at dinner with Phoebe, Jack and Colleen, who is giving Phoebe a hard time about her prissy, condescending demeanor. Liz assesses Jack’s fiancé as a white geisha who makes Jack happy. Colleen lays it on the line, telling her son he’s making the same mistake he made with his ex-wife Bianca. The tirade nearly gives Jack a heart attack.

Tracy calls Kenneth pleading with him to rescue him. He can’t live like this, carrying plastic bags, sitting on benches, brushing his own teeth. Jesse overhears the conversation and menacingly wields a metal rod over Tracy’s head.

In an even scarier scene, Jack and Phoebe are in bed and he’s climbing on top.

Phoebe: Careful, my bones. Are you alright?
Jack: Well with your condition (avian bone syndrome), wouldn’t you ordinarily just be on top?
Phoebe: I can’t. I have vertigo.
Colleen (from the next room): It’s a bloody shame no one waits for their wedding night anymore.
Jack: Go to bed mother!

Her ranting gives him a second cardiac episode.

Up in Liz’s office, she’s video-conferencing with Floyd. The signal breaks up, which they manage to interpret as they’re breaking up, when Liz gets the call that Jack’s in the hospital. Phoebe can’t get in to see him – she’s not family – but Liz is his emergency contact.

Dr. Spaceman, covered in the blood of the dog that attacked him at a costume party (uhhh, anyway), says Jack’ll be fine. “Tell him his mother’s here,” Colleen tells Liz, delivering the line of the night, “and she loves him…but not in a queer way.”

Looking every bit the cardiac ICU patient, Jack lies in his hospital bed and tells Liz he saw his life flash before his eyes (Coining the phrase, “What’s the upside?”, taking part in Hands Across America.). He concludes one thing: he should have worked more. He’s obsessed with the Tracy dilemma. If he and Liz don’t solve it, they’re screwed, he says.

In Needmore, Kenneth leads Grizz and Dot Com (Grizz Chapman and Kevin Brown) to his cousin’s place to pick up Tracy. “Oh they got a door,” he says. “That’s new.” Jesse says Tracy left that morning, but we get a glimpse of a hog-tied Tracy behind him. Jesse’s got other plans. “You must rest my chimney bird,” he says. “Tonight we’re reading my screenplay.”

Panic is engulfing the TGS set with mere hours until show time and no sign of Tracy. Liz shoots down Josh’s (Lonny Ross) RoboCop impression. Cerie (Katrina Bowden) won’t dance for 10 minutes in front of the house band. And Jenna is psyched about the big finale show, pretty much because Tracy’s not around. (Remember, he basically replaced her as the show’s star.)

In the midst of it all, Liz admits she was relieved when she thought Floyd wanted to break up. Just then her cell phone rings. She sees it’s him and ignores the call.

Kenneth, Dot Com and Grizz help Tracy escape Jesse’s creepy hick lair, but not before Jesse shoots out their back window. Luckily he doesn’t own a vehicle.

In the hospital, Phoebe is upset that she wasn’t listed as Jack’s emergency contact. As he digs in to a plate of Jell-O, Colleen notices his heart monitor speeds up and slows down according to his mood. So she quizzes him. Does he dye his hair? What’s his middle name? Does he love her? It’s a perfect lie detector. Picking up on this, Phoebe asks if he loves her. Without answering the machine goes crazy.

Stuck in downtown traffic because the President’s in town, there’s a Dominican Independence Day Parade, a transit strike and a guy in suspenders doing chalk paintings down on Canal Street, Tracy might miss the show after all. Leave it to Kenneth to throw himself down a flight of stairs just so they can ride an ambulance uptown. (This doesn’t really make sense. Like there are no hospitals below Times Square? Am I really questioning this?)

Kenneth: If I die, will you take care of my birds.
Tracy: I’ve got a lot on my plate now, Ken.

As Liz gives the cast a last-minute pep talk, Tracy bounds through the door. Thank God, she says, because they were so screwed.

Tracy: Ms Lemon, I would like to recommend Kenneth the page for the NBC Medal of Excellence.
Liz: OK, that doesn’t exist, but you can write a letter for his file.
Tracy: I’ve got a lot on my plate!

He’s in costume in seconds, but unsure what the sketch is about. Liz tells him to just read the cards and act super-gay. “Take this Black Crusaders,” he shouts, as Liz spots what looks like a bow-tie-wearing spy for that very same cabal of African American celebrities from which Tracy had been hiding.

Jack watched the show from his hospital room. Liz walks in just as it ends and asks about being his emergency contact. She was the only one he could count on to pull the plug. She sits next to him, and he tells her the wedding is off. He also tells her he’s proud of the job she’s doing, exactly the approval she’d sought from him from the start of the show. “Can I pull the plug now,” she says, as the screen fades to black, thankfully with a joke rather than a cliffhanger.

I can’t believe we now go from “Hiatus” to hiatus. When this show launched it was a gamble, an eagerly anticipated experiment that looked like it didn’t stand half the chance of survival that its hour-long cousin Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip stood. Well Sorkin & Co. didn’t make it past February sweeps while Fey’s baby will be back for a sophomore season.

I’m probably in the minority in thinking that with a little reinvention 30 Rock could survive Baldwin’s departure if it had to. But Fey won’t have to find out. Ireland-gate will blow over, and The Funniest Show on Television will keep making us laugh for a while longer.

Unless the Black Crusaders get to Tracy.

Brian is currently a stay-at-home dad and a writer who obsesses on The Office and the New York Mets. Check out http://remote.lohudblogs.com/author/bhoward/ to catch his daily musings on his favorite sit-coms.

Filed under 30 Rock


10 Responses to “30 Rock Season Finale Recap: Hiatus”

  1. Jo on April 27th, 2007 10:08 pm

    30 Rock has grown so much on me that I consider it as must see as The Office. I can’t wait for season 2!

  2. Carly on April 27th, 2007 10:21 pm

    Imma miss you 30rock!

  3. Phyllis Vance on April 27th, 2007 10:24 pm

    If I were Michael I would give you the best reviewer dundie 🙂
    I think it was the combination of these reviews and the free episodes iTunes gave me that drew me in, so thanks!

  4. Brian on April 27th, 2007 11:54 pm

    My heart is very full right now. I feel God in this blog.

  5. CasualViewer on April 28th, 2007 7:43 am

    My favorite line of the episode: “I think he may have scurvy. He keeps asking for Lemon.”

  6. Billiam on April 28th, 2007 11:44 am

    So, Dr. Spaceman was pretty much the highlight of the whole show, with hilarious lines, like the aforementioned one about stabbing the dog (funniest line of the episode), and his sex book that guarantees a MALE orgasm.
    It was nice to see Cerie and Josh, if briefly. I love that Kenneth is getting a larger role, though. Honestly, 30 Rock has alot of great minor characters (the aforementioned ones, along with Frank and Pete), and it could possibly do a little better job of juggling them, and giving us some more. Actually, they all are more interesting than Jane Krawoski
    Anyway, this ended up being a great first season, and I hope that we get The Office, Scrubs, and 30 Rock all in a row again next season.

  7. Post-it Thief on April 28th, 2007 12:07 pm

    Brian, great job with these recaps-really. It will be a long summer.

    I liked this episode, but I didn’t love it. Probably that was just because I was sad that my favorite new show was ending until next fall.

    The (potentially) best line of the night goes to Dr. Spaceman with “There are preztels downstairs!”

  8. Angelica on April 28th, 2007 12:41 pm

    I, too, am very sad that the season ended so early for 30 Rock. What the crap, NBC?

  9. JennyBenny on April 30th, 2007 10:27 am

    Brian – your recaps are what made me first tune in to 30 Rock. Now I’m worried that secretly, deep in my heart of hearts, I love it more than The Office. (This is way self-reflection is overrated.)

    Am I the only one convinced the tuxedo-ed spy is Toofer?

  10. Brian on May 1st, 2007 12:41 pm

    Thanks Jenny. That’s really nice to hear. I’ve had lots of fun doing this, and it really got me into the show more than I might have otherwise. It also kept me on my toes, because if I missed something, some sharp-eyed GMMR reader would be sure to point it out. And I share your inner conflict, which is why I’ve concluded The Office is the best show on TV, but 30 Rock is the funniest. It’s just a matter of The Office trying to do more than just make you laugh.