30 ROCK: Retreat to Move Forward - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 ROCK: Retreat to Move Forward

January 25, 2009 by  

First of all, who wouldn’t want Liz Lemon as a camp buddy at a corporate retreat? What with the natural sunshine of her personality and her ability to make great first impressions in professional settings and everything. So thumbs up on the forced funtivities and cutthroat team building of Jack’s Six Sigma Retreat to Move Forward, which is just dumb enough, corporately speaking, to be a real name somewhere.

I always enjoy these little side trips into Jack’s simmering executive insecurities, especially when they’re played out before a party of his peers, which in this case is the vaunted Six Sigmas themselves: Teamwork, Insight, Brutality, Male Enhancement, Handshakefulness, and Play Hard. (Brutality in particular really seems to have it in for him.) Likewise the fact that Liz’s inherent bossiness will rise to the surface in any kind of group setting, right along with her meanness, and no more so than when Legos are involved: “Don’t stop talking, Jack! Always be talking!” (Nice take on one of Alec Baldwin’s signature roles there.) Try as she might to deny it, Liz Lemon (“from the entertainment division”) is just as much of a shark as he is, only less willing—or able—to button it up.

Of course it’s her inability to keep it buttoned up that is both Jack’s great source of shame and ultimate savior, as Liz demonstrates once again that sometimes the creative solution (i.e., a desperate “Slingblade”/C+C Music Factory improv/striptease) is the best solution. Or only solution, I guess. But my favorite bit was watching her try to make a graceful exit from his hotel room while refusing to release her grip on two plates of omelets, which shows just how committed to success she really is. And him telling her to do it like a waitress shows just how committed he is, as well.

The diabetes story fell flat, although I liked the idea of Tracy’s foot wheel and will gladly welcome Dr. “Dee-ay-buh-tees” Spaceman back at any time and under any circumstances. I also liked an unusually cognizant Tracy poking all sorts of holes into Kenneth’s Hill Witch legend (Kenneth: “One look turns you to stone, and then she gorges on your living brain.” Tracy: “Through the stone?”).

And while we’re seeing way more of Jenna’s Janis Joplin than I care about, when it leads to anybody—much less Jenna—hooking up with Frank under the pretext of uncorked anger, what’s not to love? Also the idea that anybody—much less Frank—validating Jenna’s Oscar delusions is enough to turn her on? To FRANK? Who turns out to be both a workplace boy toy and a surprising morning-after gentleman? Moving forward indeed.


  • Liz to Jack: “You’ve got camp jitters. You haven’t seen your little business camp friends in a year and now you’re afraid everybody’s gonna think you got weird.”
  • The flashback to Jack’s Washington times, from last season’s “Cooter,” where we see that the gay bomb had exactly the impact we feared it might, which was Jack tearing the mancoat right off that Dick Cheney lookalike in the midst of a frenzied man clutch.
  • Liz’s homemade version of a psych-up speech: “Stop sweating, you idiot! What is wrong with you, you stupid bitch?”
  • Best workshop on the workshop schedule: “Strategizing Processes Integratuitively” (and a footnote that seems to say something about menstruating women, although that line was tough to read).
  • Grizz: “My dad had diabetes and he ate whatever he wanted, till he died on the day I was born.”
  • Frank to Jenna: “You’re Joplined out on tequila.”
  • Jenna on Frank: “I slutted it up on this dirtbag.”
  • Prashant apologizing to Liz (“My wrongness”) and then finally showing his true Six Sigma colors: “When a big one falls, four little ones move up.”
  • Yum! Cherry juice, buttermilk, and tequila: moving the Frankschlong to the top of the cocktail menu.
  • Liz turning Jack’s professional scolding into a personal camp buddy attack: “You brought me here in case you needed me, but now that you have your cool Six Sigma friends, I can go back to the lake with all the fat kids and make bracelets.”
  • Crazy Bra Lady trying to raise the roof before Jack’s keynote speech: “Let’s maximize our fun quadrant tonight!”
  • The actual subject of Jack’s keynote speech: “Evolving User-centric Deliverables: ROI Informations Schemas and You.” (Yes, the sign says “Informations.”)
  • So tell me: what did you love? (Or hate.) We’ll take anything.

Kari is a 30 ROCK fanatic and will be taking it out on you, her new imaginary friends.


11 Responses to “30 ROCK: Retreat to Move Forward”

  1. Angela on January 26th, 2009 12:27 am

    Not a big fan of the diabetes plot either. Still a little shocked 30 Rock won the SAG ensemble. They are trying to develop their secondary characters a little, but it definitely doesn’t work as well as The Office. Favorite part: Liz Lemon’s “Sorry I dropped it when I was pretending it was my penis. Robot penis!”

  2. gatinha on January 26th, 2009 1:18 am

    One of my favorite eps so far this season. As always, I loved Liz’s bossy, take-charge attitude (who’s really in charge in that relationship?). Did you love how Liz immediately gravitated toward the geekiest people in the room and then was rejected by them?

    The moment when Jenna entered Tracy’s dressing room and both Kenneth and Tracy screamed was priceless also.

    Also, Jack’s face when he opens his hotel room door and thinks for just a second that Liz brought him an omelet and then realizes that both plates are for her was really funny.

    Those were my favorite moments!

  3. kari on January 26th, 2009 9:29 am

    Yes! Joan & Prashant were awesome — Liz doesn’t make friends very well, does she? Even with nerds.

    And my favorite thing about Jenna bursting into the room as the Real Hill Witch was Tracy screaming “Cover your brain!” to Kenneth.

    Omelet moment — good call. I love that she’s an eater.

  4. R.A. Porter on January 26th, 2009 1:35 pm

    All I know, is I can’t wait to go to C.L.A.S.S.

  5. kari on January 26th, 2009 2:38 pm

    Or have L.U.N.C.H.

  6. RivB on January 27th, 2009 4:20 pm

    Having just spent most of my day today at a very Six Sigma-esque meeting, this episode resonates strongly with me.


    I laughed a lot. But maybe it was the three glasses of wine I drank while watching.

  7. kari on January 27th, 2009 5:24 pm

    Three glasses in one half hour? That’s commitment, sweetheart. BRAVO. You’re doin’ it Lemon style.

  8. Brent on January 27th, 2009 10:43 pm

    Great episode, and especially welcome after the previous episode.

  9. The wee small hours of the morning on February 22nd, 2009 3:13 pm

    […] I was like Liz Lemon in last week’s re-run where her version of the psych-up speech (”Stop sweating, you idiot! What is wrong with you, you stupid bitch?“) is really verbal abuse. That tends to be how my mind runs at night, too. Lots of worries […]

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