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'30 Rock' Recap: 'Retreat To Move Forward'

Danielle Turchiano Danielle Turchiano
January 23rd, 2009 10:00am EST
30 RockJack pokes his head into Liz' office with nearly identical headshots (ala Ten Things I Hate About You), asking her which one she prefers. She picks the one where he's in a blue tie (typical liberal!) which he calls "wacky,"

Then she gets talked into going with him to a Six Signa corporate retreat at which he's giving the keynote speech because he's nervous since he hasn't seen any of those guys since his time in the Bush administration. Though he still won't quite say "what went on there," we are privy to a quick flashback of him about to kiss another man. Is this just a little taste of the big reveal about to come in the second half of this third season of 30 Rock? I can only hope so!

Watch highlights from the episode here:


Still at the TGS offices during "Retreat to Move Forward," Jenna is going far method to prepare for her upcoming Janis Joplin sort-of-biopic. Frank convinces her to do research on Wikipedia, where anyone can update anyone else's page. Of course, the first thing he does when she leaves the room is put up a crazy line about Janis being an avid speed-walker and afraid of toilets just to see what kind of crazy antics he can get her into.

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Oddly, though, Frank ends up feeling badly about what he does to her, and he stops her from eating a cat by admitting he was the one that put all of that stuff online. She is incredulous and whips her wig off, yelling at him, which "kinda works for him" because he "has a thing for damaged goods." He tells her if she can channel that rawness for the movie, she'll win an Oscar, and that works for her, so they start making out.

Tracy, meanwhile, has diabetes, which is an almost cruel twist of fate considering he made up a daughter suffering with the same ailment at a benefit Jack brought him to seasons earlier. So he decides to strap a "practice wheel" to his leg as practice for when he loses his foot... as he shovels candy into his mouth. Kenneth tries to convince him he has to change his diet, and it involves a very complicated urban legend about a "hill witch" who will send signs she's coming and should be taken seriously by way of crop circles and his page desk being turned sideways. Kenneth goes all out, even dressing like the witch, to try to scare Tracy, but he doesn't buy into any of it... not until Jenna shows up with her hair completely bleached and her mascara running, and both he and Kenneth scream that she must be the hill witch.


Now Jenna's hair was only so unfortunate because the morning after she and Frank hooked up, he begs her not to tell anyone about it, and considering she feels she should be the one embarrassed by him and not the other way around, she of course spills to everyone. And it turns out that everyone from the TGS hair stylist to the craft services lady all think they are Frank's girlfriend, and they attack her.

It turns out the Six Signas are actually just six white dudes who each embody one of the principles of the group. They embrace Jack quickly, leaving Liz to try to make small talk with the rest of the members of what increasingly appears to be a Scientology-esque cult. When she approaches two in particular, they address her with a cryptic: "We're M-7s; what level are you? G? H? J?" She admits she's not part of them; she's just here with a friend, and they stare blankly. Afraid of being ostracized, she takes to one of their exercises, in which she has to construct a model out of an image that one of the other members only sees in his mind. Jack cheers her on, and one of Six Signas, not sure if it's "work hard" or whoever, points out that Jack is too familiar with his subordinate (thank you; that's what I've been saying for weeks now! This "new" Jack that returned from D.C. is too willing to be chummy with the likes of Lemon... and it would explain his relationship with Elisa!). So Jack sets Liz straight, and she storms off in a huff, refusing to eat at his table. Of course, though, the guy who mics him up before his keynote speech doesn't know he turns the microphone on prematurely, and Jack's psych-up speech is broadcast for the entire ballroom. It's an exciting moment because "when the big one falls, four little ones move up," but Liz feels bad that everyone is laughing at him, and rushes into the men's room to warn him that they have heard everything. He collapses on the floor, claiming he's ruined, but Liz grabs the microphone and runs out on stage claiming that was just her impression of the "crazy things Jack Donaghy would never say." She makes a sufficient fool of herself with real, weak impressions and an impromptu bra dance. Yeah, she gets banned from any future retreats, but she isn't sorry because "that's what friends do."

Best lines of the night:

Liz: "Were you psyching yourself up in the mirror? Because I do that sometimes before I go to a party where I don't know a lot of people."

Jack: (trying to get the balance of power back): "You can't say "ah, doy" to me in mixed company."

Jenna: (embarrassed over the turn of events with her and Frank): "Now Dog the Bounty Hunter is the second grossest guy I've been with."




30 Rock Cast: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Scott Adsit, Jack McBrayer, Judah Friedlander, Chris Parnell, Maulik Pancholy, Lonny Ross, Keith Powell, Katrina Bowden, more



Danielle Turchiano
Story by Danielle Turchiano

Starpulse contributing writer


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