“Dark times are these.” You’re right, Liz Lemon. Dark times, indeed. We’ve finally come to the end of this seven-season journey. Liz Lemon & Co. have said their final goodbyes. 30 Rock will live on in syndication, our hearts, and frequent night cheese tributes. So let’s recap how it all went down:
In “Hogcock,” part 1 of the finale, Liz was trying to acclimate to her new role as a stay-at-home mom. Jack tried to convince Lemon that she would go crazy without an outlet, but she was sure she could make it work. Further complicating matters, Liz started an all-out message board war with an anonymous Internet nemesis on the website, GothamMoms.com. As it turned out, her nemesis was her own husband, Criss, who was equally struggling in his new role as a working dad. So they decide to switch: Criss would stay at home, and Liz would pitch a new show to Kenneth. “John Hardly. He loves his family, but he hates the rat race. He’s: Hardly Working.” Kenneth turned her down, and instead gave her one last chance for TGS to make America say, ‘What? Why?’” A stipulation in Tracy’s contract required that he appear in at least 150 episodes of TGS, or the network would owe him $30 million. They’d only done 149, so Kenneth insisted that Liz come back and do one more show.
Meanwhile, after nabbing his dream job, I assumed Jack would be pretty pleased. Unfortunately, he wasn’t. Jack used his Six Sigma business principles — Analyze, Strategize, Succeed, or ASS — to ensure his own personal happiness. “I’m going to crush this problem…with my ASS.” And his resolve seemed to work. Jack succeeded in all areas of his life: work, hobbies, family, philanthropy, faith, and even his relationships — which included bringing Nancy Donovan (Julianne Moore) and Elisa Padriera (Salma Hayek) back for an open group relationship. In his short time as CEO, Jack had achieved so much, and even pissed off many of his enemies: “Pelosi, Maddow, Baldwin.” (Nancy Pelosi appeared as herself on a fake MSNBC bulletin talking about how terrible Jack Donaghy was.) Yet he still couldn’t reach true happiness. So Jack resigned as CEO. What the what?! He and Lemon got into a huge fight about the importance of work and their employee/boss relationship. Liz felt like he was bailing on her, and it seemed like it was the kind of fight they might not get over.
Over in Tracy land, Mr. Jordan couldn’t accept the fact that Kenneth was no longer available to him 24/7. But TWIST! Tracy made Kenneth take back his promise that he’d always be there for Mr. Jordan. So like the snakes in his dressing room, Tracy released Kenneth from his duties. The other half of the Problem Solvers, Jenna, searched for a new place to jump-start her career since she was no longer a star of TGS. But after unsuccessful turns at dramatic roles — sorry, Law & Order: Mind Beauty — the cinema, and a trip to L.A., she decided to give one last shot to her first love, Broadway. (Special shout out to Richard Belzer and Ice-T who showed up as Munch and Fin, respectively.)
The top lines and moments from “Hogcock!”
++ “This is a Six Sigma wheel of domination. It’s a motivational tool I used back at GE, and it will be replacing Kabletown’s kitten in spaghetti.” —Jack
++ “Criss has gone back to work. He has a degree in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan, so he’s a receptionist at a dental office.” —Liz
++ “Hogcock! Which is a combination of hogwash and poppycock.” —Jack
++ Kenneth’s list of TV no-no words: “Conflict, Urban, Woman, Divorce, Shows about Shows, Writer, Justin Bartha, Dramedy, New York, Politics, High concept, Complex, Niche, Quality, Edgy, Blog, Immortal Character*, Foreign”
*”Immortal character” was my favorite, obviously a nod to Kenneth
++ “Maybe I shouldn’t bring my ideas to NBC. I’ll go to cable where you can swear, and really take time to let moments land.” —Liz, right as the scene swiftly shifts to another
++ “Where are all the baby pigeons?” —Kenneth, a.k.a. Ken Tucky Derby
++ “That’s Tracy. T as in the drink. R as in the pirate noise. A as in the Fonzie noise. C as in sea monster. Y as in why even make friends if they’re going to let you down when you need them the most? Last name Jordan. J as in the birds I’m afraid of…” —Tracy spelling his name for Kenneth’s secretary, and reminding me of this great Friends moment
++ “For example the rapper T.I. who wrote, ‘Better get on yo job, tell em, haters get on yo job, nougats.’ At least I think he was saying nougats.” —Lemon arguing with a mom on GothamMoms.com
++ Criss: “You’re the dad.”
Liz: “I do like ignoring your questions while I try to watch TV.”
++ “I’m looking for six figures, eight if you’re counting cents, which I fell for once before. Not cool, The Gap.” —Liz, asking Jack for a job
++ “When I met you, I was perfectly happy with what I had—eating night cheese, and transitioning my pajamas into day wear.” —Liz, to Jack
NEXT PAGE: The epic part 2 conclusion!