Retreat to Move Forward
Time to recap the best comedy on television: 30 Rock. I laughed, I cried, I prayed… nah, I just laughed. In this episode Jack convinces Lemon to go to an upscale retreat for businessmen, Tracy thinks he has diabetes and doesn’t care at all, and Jenna and Frank have sex. That’s right--the typically disgusting writer and the typically babe-ish actor hook up.
To start this episode off, Jack bursts into Lemon’s office to ask her which of his headshots she likes better. Jack explains he is giving a keynote address at an upper level corporate retreat for businessmen. He describes the retreat as a sleep-away camp for the crème- de la crème of the nation’s businessman. Lemon flashes back to her time at sleepaway camp, in which she did a pitiful imitation of Slingblade for the talent show. Jack explains that he is nervous to be surrounded by upper crust businessman and convinces Lemon to go along as his moral support.
Jenna announces to the group of writers that she will be starring in a film about Janis Joplin. In order to prepare for her role she’s going to utilize ‘method acting’, where she essentially will become Janis Joplin, in effect--acting like her 24/7. It’s the same acting strategy that Daniel Day Lewis uses. Frank suggests that she should look on Wikipedia to get information about Janis Joplin and what she did in her daily life. As soon as Jenna leaves, Frank and the writers hit the computer and start fabricating information for Joplin’s Wikipedia page.
Dr. Spaceman tells Tracie he has diabetes. Neither Dr. Spaceman or Tracy are quite sure what diabetes is, but they both know Tracy could eventually loose a limb if the disease progresses. Tracy is stoked on this idea, and wants to get a wheel as a substitute leg if he looses his foot.
Jack is caught psyching himself up in front of a mirror before he enters the corporate retreat. He is just a little nervous. Lemon says that she does the same thing. Jack enters the conference and sees the people that scare him: the 6 Sigma businessmen. They are the most powerful businessmen in the world. Jack wins them over with a quick joke and they all ignore Lemon on their way lunch. Lemon tries to hang with some nerds, but they are too nerdy, even for Lemon’s standards.
Kenneth inquires about why Tracy is wearing a wheel and Tracy explains that it is his ‘practice wheel’ because he has diabetes. Kenneth explains to Tracy that he shouldn’t be eating sugar all the time because it makes his diabetes worse. Tracy and his black posse laugh off Kenneth’s suggestion. Jenna strolls by in her Janis Joplin attire, obviously confused by Joplin’s fake Wikipedia entries.
Jack reluctantly asks Lemon to L.U.N.C.H with his corporate Sigma buddies. She goes, but L.U.N.C.H is just an acronym that stands for an intensive team building activity. Because of Lemon, Jack’s team wins the team building exercise. The elite members of Sigma are disgusted how Lemon acts toward Jack. They explain that Lemon is Jack’s subordinate, and she should act like one.
Kenneth tries to give Tracy a plate of healthy food instead of his usual candy, but he won’t accept it. Kenneth tries to scare him into eating healthy. He describes a horrible witch that will attack Tracy and that will feast on his brain if he doesn’t start eating better. Tracy doesn’t believe a word of it.
Frank walks into Jenna’s dressing room where she is about to eat a cat. According to Wikipedia, that’s what Janis Joplin did. Frank confesses to Jenna that he made most of Joplin’s Wikipedia article up; only to mess with Jenna. Jenna screams at Frank, calling him a dork-loser with no life. Frank says Jenna is acting destructive and irritable, just like the real Janis Joplin. Jenna wants to take her destructive nature to the next level, so she starts sucking face with Frank. Only a horribly destructive person would ever want to make out with Frank the writer.
The next day, Jenna asks Frank if he told anyone that they hooked up. Frank said he hadn’t and that he is embarrassed and they should keep their hook up a secret. Jenna is appalled at this idea. Why would anyone want to lie about hooking up with her? It should be Jenna who is ashamed about making out with Frank, not the other way around.
Jack tells Lemon that she needs to treat him as more of a boss. Lemon is pissed, saying that Jack only needed her to make friends at the conference. Jack brushes her off as she leaves the room.
Jenna overhears Frank saying, “guess what I did last night” to his buddies. “I found the secret skatepark on GTA 4,” he finishes. Jenna rushes over and can’t believe he was talking about a videogame instead of her. She announces to the whole crowd that her and Frank had sex.
Jack tries to make peace with Lemon at the business retreat luncheon, but Lemon refuses. An intern puts a portable microphone on Jack for his keynote speech.
Jenna is getting her hair done in the studio and yapping about her hook up with Frank to the hair stylist. The hair stylist starts rubbing Jenna’s head vigorously and says, “you shouldn’t have slept with my man”. Jenna bolts up, terrified at what the hair stylist did to her hair. Meanwhile, Kenneth is trying to scare Tracy one last time. He isn’t buying the story about the witch and refuses to eat his vegetables. Jenna shoots into Tracy’s dressing room with a bloodcurdling scream. Her hair is frazzled and she looks exactly like a witch. Tracy rams vegetables down his throat.
Jack is psyching himself up to give his keynote speech but, unbeknownst to him, his microphone is on. While the whole crowd is laughing Lemon runs back and tells Jack about his microphone. Jack collapses in Fear and Lemon knows she has to do something. She runs up to the front of the stage and pretends to be doing impressions. No one is fooled; they all know it was Jack who said the stuff over the microphone. Lemon knows she must do something crazy so the businessmen don’t remember what Jack did at this conference. She rips off her shirt and starts dancing and signing “Everybody Dance Now” in order to make the businessmen forget about Jack. At the end, Jack and Lemon make peace. “That’s just what friends do,” says Lemon. Jack tells Lemon she is never allowed back to another retreat.
My Two Cents
Some of the best 30 Roc episodes happen when Jack and Lemon go off together. Like that episode where Steve Martin falls in love with Lemon --> genius. The idea of Jack being scared to rub elbows with high level businessman isn’t new, and it’s funny every time. It’s good to see Jack, who is usually a confident ass, to shake in his boots. Lately, I’ve really been appreciating how Jack’s life revolves around striving for power. His love of power definitely makes his character one of the best.
Does anyone else think Jenna is hotter than Tina Fey? I feel like I’m alone in thinking this. All I hear these days is “Tina Fey is freaking hotttttt”. Yeah dudes, she’s a babe. But I think it’s her attitude that makes her a babe. Without that awesome, flagrant ‘tude, the actor who plays Jennna (Jane Krakowski) is much hotter and mor devil may care. Am I right?
Recap by Mitch Cumstein