30 Rock – It’s Never Too Late For Now – Episode review

While each episode of 30 Rock seems to stand up pretty well on its own, there’s usually a nice link between episodes. Like we’re getting an ongoing story.

Last week’s Double-Edged Sword ended with Liz Lemon and Carol splitting up while Jack became a father for the first time. And in the demented 30 Rock universe, the natural progression for those storylines is to:

  1. Have Liz throw in the towel and declare herself a spinster, and
  2. Have Jack fail in wage negotiations with his nanny and end up losing a fortune.

Liz’s situation is typically melodramatic – she walks into the office in sweatpants carrying a cat she’s named Emily Dickinson (much to everyone’s horror). She’s gone through the checklist of tacky spinster attire: Chip Clip? Check. Fanny pack? Check. She’s even bought herself a nice cemetary plot.

Unknown to Liz, the entire NBC crew band together to drag her out of her sullen state. In a complex, Murder On The Orient Express-themed operation, they set up a series of events designed to get Liz to a bar, meet a man and get laid. They drug an editing room assistant, Jenna insists on taking her to a bar for a night out and a deft theft of Liz’s license means a high-class male Swiss prostitute hired by Jack can suavely hand it back to her. And when a ruckus starts in the bar, that seals the deal for Liz to get some good rebound lovin’ with a complete stranger.

Of course, the next morning she deduces that it’s all a set-up. She assembles everyone and tells them what happened last night was either serendipity or a very complex plot on the part of her friends. It’s so typical of Liz Lemon that she ‘chose’ to believe it was the first when all the evidence pointed to the contrary!

In Jack’s storyline, we saw him getting royally conned by his babysitter, whose cool Trinidadian stare bested all the negotiation techniques he learned in business school! It was lots of fun to see Jack losing his cool trying to play hardball with the woman, then cracking and offering to put all of her children through college if she just looked after the baby.

Of course, there was a silver lining – his experiences with the nanny gave Jack all the ammunition he needed for a complex negotiation with Kabletown. Right down to the “peeling an orange” strategy. Logic would have suggested that he could easily have replaced the nanny – but we’ll overlook that since the story was just great fun.

Less impressive was Pete and Frank’s Sound Mound band and their It’s Never Too Late For Now anthem. Not to be sniffy, 30 Rock, but [[Chuck (TV Series)|Chuck]] has the monopoly on sitcom bands with Jeffster. So this didn’t feel like a particularly fresh development, especially considering the song itself could well have been written by an 80’s rock band.

Asides

  • Liz: “I took the money I was saving for my honeymoon and I bought a cemetery plot. I also joined a book club at the senior center near my home.”
  • The Greeks – since inventing democracy, those guys have been coasting…
  • Liz: “My fanny pack is in my office. In my mini-fridge. I like my tampons to be cold.”
  • Liz: “Julia Roberts in a movie about eating? Give me Kirstie Alley, somebody who knows what she’s doing!”
  • Liz: “My heart’s pounding like I’m watching Oprah’s farewell season.”
  • Sound Mound’s Marshall amp stack had the logos blacked out. Why?

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