In the season finale of 30 Rock
, we pick up last week's kidney cliffhanger with Jack feeling some sort of obligation to help the man he admits he does not even know for sure is his dad. He goes to Liz to ask her opinion, stating that the kind of hopes he's not even a match. Well, if anyone can fudge results of a compatability test, it should be Dr. Leo Spaceman, who mixed up the forms and documented that Jack would be giving his professor dad the kidney. Hell, he probably won't even need to fudge anything; I'm sure he makes lab mistakes all the time.
Thanks to the success of the Time Out cover (also referenced in last week's episode), Jenna has been booked on a Tyra Banks
-esque talk show. It is on that show that she was previously blindsided by the emergence of a half-sister who lunged at her from across the stage, so the fact that Liz has also been invited to be a guest actually excites Jenna for once. At least this time, she won't be alone in the humiliation. But Fake Tyra really wants nothing to do with Liz and instead gets the audience to grill Jenna on her relationship advice. She freezes and turns to Liz, who offers some sound advice-- and still manages to work in the "dealbreaker" catchphrase. She continues on, much to everyone's surprise, and comes off as a much more worldly woman than usual, even coining a new catchphrase: "fruit blindness" (see below for explanation). Something tells me there is a tee-shirt with her face and a word bubble on it in the TGS future!
Tracy's high school invites him to come speak at graduation, but he refuses because he claims drug dealers ran the school back when he attended, and they wanted him to cut open a baby. He claims he had to drop out to escape them, but as it turns out, those "drug dealers" were really just science professors who still believe in frog dissection. Tracy cried in front of the whole class, and his humiliation is what caused him to forgo his further education. Kenneth gets him to admit the truth, though, and he explains that where he comes from, street cred is all there is, and he vowed never to cry again. Kenneth remembers the times he has already broken that vow-- and we are treated to a montage that reads like Tracy's greatest sad one-liners. Kenneth convinces Tracy to go back and show he really is a just a sensitive guy, which could probably heard his street cred even more, but Tracy's speech is surprisingly thoughtful and low-key. He advises the kids to just be themselves ("especially you, gay kid." "Who told?") and never give into fear. Then he guarantees each one of them will become President of the United States someday. He is still given an honorary diploma, and he promptly bursts into tears. So much for saving face in his old high school.
Jack's dad stops by his office to tell him he doesn't really want a kidney, just a chance to make up for lost time (especially if he doesn't have much time left). Jack invites him to a Yankees game, and his dad is glad they have baseball in common because he just so happens to have one (a ball) in his bag right now. He wants Jack to have it, but he says he can't accept, and they toss it back and forth in an odd game of father-son catch about forty years too late. It gets him thinking that he really does want to help this guy, and when Dr. Spaceman announces he's not a batch to be a donor, that works out even better. Now he can come up with a way to manipulate someone else to help. Jenna suggests a star-studded concert, like when she needed to help "old gays." And so "Kidney Now" is born.
Jack asks Elvis Costello
, Mary J. Blige
, and Clay Aiken
to help him plan the event because they all have a charity background. Mary, for instance, is celebrating her tenth year with the Mary J. Blige Foundation to Find the Loch Ness Monster. He also makes the point that it's a lot easier to see results when you only need to help one person. No one asks why Jack doesn't just pay for a transplant himself, considering how well he is doing back on top as an executive, because apparently they all owe him. He got Mary out of a contract singing for Sea World; Elvis is really an international art thief; and Clay's cousin already promised he would do it. Oh yeah, his cousin is Kenneth. Cute but who didn't see that one coming?
Jack gets some more talent to sign up, including Cyndi Lauper
, Adam Levine
and Sheryl Crow
, who comments she played a kidney in a school play once...but he lies to Jenna about it so she won't want to do a song, too. And so starts a musical collaboration like no other: "Just give a kidney/to a father or a dad/just give a kidney/we hear it doesn't really hurt that bad." Jenna squeezes in, too, of course, just in time for the "spoken word" portion, where they admit "only" three of them are drunk. Funniest telethon ever! And if they sold the song as a music video on iTunes, I'd donate the $1.99 toward the kidney foundation! Jack's dad's or otherwise!
Image © NBC
Liz has been asked to appear back on the Fake Tyra show as a sort-of relationship guru, which is funny and sad all at the same time, but Jack tells her to go for it because life is short, and really TGS only has about two more years left in it. I hope that's not true for the show outside of the show: 30 Rock! I want to see this baby hit double digits! But as Jack mentions, it's not Wings. Pete and Tracy's wives (yes, Sherri Shepherd returns!) come to Liz for advice, too, and at first she resists because she knows both them and their husbands and finds it might be a breach of-- oh but the gossip is too juicy, and her hesitation from the saucy "S.I.D.D (Shut. It Down. Dealbreaker)" is short-lived. Even Jenna and Cerie get in on the action, and soon Liz' office is full of women cheering for her like they would normally only do for Oprah.
Liz is off to meet a publisher about a "Dealbreaker" book when Pete and Tracy confront her for ruining their relationships with their wives. Pete doesn't want to go on the family vacation because it's to a working farm, where he would have to guide the bull during mating season. And Tracy only got that hotel room so he can go to the bathroom in peace and quiet. They both tell her she doesn't know what she's talking about and can't go around telling people how to run their relationships, but she's a woman on a mission and can't believe what a year it's been. "What are you talking about? It's only May," Jack points out.
Best lines of the night:
"Since Guiliani left it's gotten really hard to harvest hobo organs."
"You're fiance's gay. Look at him; look at you: classic case of fruit-blindness."
"There's no such thing as bi-sexual; that's just something they invented in the nineties to sell hair products."
The Donaughys do not talk: we let things fester until they erupt in inappropriate anger until they erupt at a wedding or an elementary school graduation.
"Get yours. I like that. Can I use that as one of my new catchphrases?"
"Sorry, Leo Spaceman is using that as the title for his new sex book for couples."
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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
Story by Danielle Turchiano
Starpulse contributing writer