30 Rock 3.13 “Goodbye, My Friend”

335_nup_133362_0098It’s the end of another episode of TGS and the cast is waving goodbye as Liz and Pete look on. Frank walks over to invite them to join him, Toofer, Lutz and Josh at the new restaurant where the servers dress like ninjas. I had a server like that once (without the costume) and it was fantastic – she anticipated my every need and would silently appear at my elbow with more water or blue cheese dressing. Mm, hot wings. Anyway, Liz and Pete beg off, and Pete asks Liz why she’s so down. It’s the endless adoption process working her nerves. Jenna runs up, angry that “Diaper Chicken” was cut from the show. Pete wonders how she’s going to act out this time, and Jenna promptly fakes an ankle injury. “I would have guessed death of a voice coach,” he observes, mildly surprised. As they leave the set, Pete observes that maybe Jenna’s big birthday party on Tuesday will shower her with enough attention to satisfy her. They run into Jack, who’s still hanging around work late on a Friday night. He’s doing it out of his devotion to Elisa. “I just need something to do where women aren’t an issue,” he explains. He sees Josh high fiveing Lutz and Toofer. “Hey now!” Jack Donaghey knows when opportunity is knockin’!

Liz and Pete are at a 24 hour donut shop. Behind the counter is a young girl well along her pregnancy, and since we don’t get her name until far into the episode, let’s just call her Junot. Junot is leaving a voice mail for her baby’s daddy and she knows he’s getting them because she knows how to check his messages. She hangs up and gets Pete his dozen assorted to go, and is working on Liz’s dozen assorted to go, but Liz has a quick change of plans when she sees the “Adoption?” pamphlets Junot has left on the counter. “Should you be working alone on the night shift like this?” Liz caringly asks. “It’s fine, they gave me a gun,” is Junot’s spunky reply. Liz opts to stay with her dozen, adding a carton of skim milk, while Pete dashes away from the encroaching hijinks.

Jack and the writers are at the ninja place. It looks a little too TGI Fridays – where’s the gongs and throwing stars? Jack compliments them on making the world laugh, but then immediately undermines his praise by asking what their father’s say they do. Toofer: “Surgeon.” Josh: “Optometrist.” Lutz: “Died.” Frank didn’t really know his dad, so he lies for himself: “Space Assassin.” Frank’s dad bailed while getting his birthday candles for his fourth birthday. He wanted to restore the dignity to the Rossitano name, so he studied really hard at SUNY and got into Fordham law. After his first semester, his mom got sick so he had to drop out and take care of her. Jack mutters, “Mothers” under his breath and thinks about running over Frank’s mom. Just kidding! He only does that with his own. Jack says they’re not wrapping the night up so soon, are they? Of course not! It’s time to head to Lutz’s and watch Harry and the Hendersons. Jack suggests his place instead since Lutz’s contract is up and he doesn’t want to feel sorry for him.

Junot and Liz are at the donut shop, and Junot is whining about Tim, her baby daddy. He texted her after she told him about the pregnancy, but his MySpace status still reads “Horny.” He could at least Skype her face to face! Liz laments all the new ways guys have not to contact you. In the old days, you could just say he tried to call and got a busy signal! I remember those days, Tina Fey! Liz asks her plans for when the baby comes, and Junot shares she’s been talking to the adoption people but all the couples are so old and weird. They don’t even know who Ne-Yo is! And here I didn’t think I got labeled old and weird until my birthday next week. Liz is cooler than me and sings something, impressing Junot. “Finally, someone cool for once!”

Jack’s place. Harry and the Hendersons is playing. Jack and Frank bond over how John Lithgow as George Henderson had to push Harry away for his own good. Jack and Frank didn’t have any fathers to speak of, but they’re doing alright. Frank looks around as Lutz sleep eats a sandwich and looks doubtful.

Kenneth stops by Tracy’s dressing room. He’s updating his birthday list and needs Tracy’s. Tracy doesn’t have a birthday because he was born in Yankee Stadium and bounced around so many foster homes that no one ever gave him a party. Kenneth is appalled – even prisoners have parties! He saw one on Oz. It was. . . interesting. I’m surprised Kenneth didn’t need some meds after seeing that. Tracy doesn’t mind not having a birthday because he’s so rich he can buy himself all the presents he wants, and because of his drinking, they’re often a surprise. Kenneth says that birthdays aren’t just about presents and gets a little twinkle in his eye as he leaves.

Jack stops by Frank’s office. Jack pulled some strings and Frank can resume his law studies at Columbia with a full ride. Frank says he has a whole different life now, but Jack says they both know he shouldn’t be working at a desk with fake vomit on it. “Right – fake,” Frank replies.

Jack runs into Junot on his way back to his own office and prays she’s not some daughter he didn’t know about. Liz shows up with Pete just in time and says “Hi!” to Becca. I’m still calling her Junot, so get used to it. Pete asks Liz what she’s up to, and she explains she’s hired Junot as a “Youth Consultant”. “It’s a thing! The CW has them!” That’s extra funny to some of my friends. Junot is impressed Liz is in charge of all this, and Liz says she has even more to give. Pete welcomes Junot and run for his life yet again.

Jenna runs into Kenneth by his page desk, and gives him a picture of the dress she’ll be wearing to her party on Tuesday. He’s tasked with making sure no one wears the same thing. He’s happy to oblige, and asks a favor of Jenna in return. Poor Tracy has never had a birthday party, and they’re throwing her this great, big party – wouldn’t she like to share it with Tracy? Everyone is starting at her and Jenna bares her teeth in a rictus of a smile and agrees. “That’s so great!” she lyingly squeaks. Heh.

Liz’s office. Liz and Junot share tea and sympathy and bash Tim. Junot says she can either go home and try to patch things up with Tim and raise the baby, or she could focus on her music career. She asks to play something for Liz, who pretends to be amazed.

Liz and Pete walk and talk. Pete says Junot won’t succeed with her songs, and Liz counters you don’t need talent to be successful in the music business. Point to Liz. Pete says that before he and the Mrs. were happily married with five kids, they were Junot and Tim. Liz should give them a chance. Liz heads into her office where she finds Junot eating baby food out of a jar. She corrects Junot’s thinking on how babies get their nutrition, and Junot is impressed again. She can’t believe Liz isn’t already a mom – she even dresses like one! She wonders if that’s something Liz wants, to which Liz eagerly replies YES. Junot asks Liz to join her in song, and they duet about being “joined in a cobweb of rainbows.”

Kenneth and everyone at TGS are gathered on the soundstage. “He’s coming!” Kenneth cries with glee. Tracy is greeted with a big “Surprise!” and feels the love. And to think he was just calling them all racists! Jenna is behind the bleachers watching all of this, plotting her grand entrance. In her view, Tracy is just the warm up act and now she, the headliner, can appear. But before she can grace them with her presence, Frank rolls in, looking almost unrecognizable with his hair combed and pulled back, slick glasses and a nice suit. “Friends! I am leaving TGS to go to Columbia Law School to pursue my dream – of becoming a lawyer!” Everyone claps and cheers. A giant cake is wheeled out that says, “Happy Birthday, Jenna!” while “TRACY” burns in giant candles. Just as they’re about to sing “Happy Birthday”, Cerie runs out, wearing Jenna’s dress, and announces her dad got them all seats for opening day at the new Yankee Stadium. More cheering! Cerie is dancing around when Jenna tries to make her entrance, this time accessorized with a back brace. “No one ask me about my back brace!” Jenna fake orders. Tracy goes to blow out his candles, steals a glance at Jenna, then blows them out. Everyone is chanting, “Cerie, Frank and Tracy!” as Jenna shouts about her back brace before finally giving up and leaving.

Jack’s office. Frank swings by to thank him and tell him he’s going to Columbia. Jack is impressed – Frank even went to his tailor! “That’s the same cut Regan wore the day he got shot.” Frank’s mom wants to thank Jack and make him a home cooked Italian meal. Jack happily says yes.

Tracy is making a cheese man in the coffee area. Kenneth asks him what’s wrong, and Tracy says Kenneth was right – birthdays are special, but now his is over, and who knows when February 24th will come again? He’s got the post birthday blues, and scoops up his cheese man “Daniel” to comfort him. Cheese is a comfort to me too.

Frank’s mom’s house. Frank’s mom is Patti LuPone! She’s so proud of her boy – someday he’ll have an ad of the subway in English and Spanish! And all that Jack has done for her boy! She caresses Jack’s hand as she sends Frank to get more wine. As soon as Frank is out of the room, she’s up like a shot and smacks Jack twice across the face. “What do you think you’re doing to my boy?!” “I’m trying to help him! I see myself in him. We both had fathers who abandoned us,” is Jack’s startled reply. “What do you know about his father?” is Mrs. Rossitano’s quick response. Turns out Frank’s father was a lawyer, and his father’s father – all the Rossitano men are lawyers. For the mob. Oops. Frank’s father didn’t abandon him – he’s in hiding in Phoenix. “Every Rossitano man is either in hiding, or six feet under. You want me to paint you a picture? Cause I DID!” she cries, as the camera cuts to a painting of a dead lawyer in a courtroom. “It’s part of a therapy through painting thing.” “I had no idea!” Jack protests. “Well you shoulda guessed,” Mrs. Rossitano growls. “I don’t think I should have.” “Whatever!” Jack made this mess, he needs to clean it up. Frank cannot become a lawyer. Patti LuPone, you killed me dead in this scene! *bows down*

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Cerie actually answers the phone. Does Liz know a Tim? Liz freaks out that the baby’s daddy is here, and has Cerie send him to the 15th floor so she can head him off.

Liz runs down the hall, nearly crashing into Jenna in a wheelchair. “Don’t even ask about the wheelchair!” Jenna whimpers. “OK!” Liz replies, as she runs off. “Also my old vocal coach died!” Jenna cries after her. But Liz is already at the elevators, where she runs into Jack. “Lemon, are you OK?” Liz explains how she’s the one who’s been there for Junot for almost two days – not Tim! Jack schools Liz on the strength and dignity of George Henderson, who did the right thing – the hard thing – and sent the giant sasquatch back to the forest where he belonged. “What?! Is that Harry and the Hendersons?” “You’ve seen it?” “This is my life, Jack!” Liz retorts, as she heads up in the elevator.

Kenneth finally notices Jenna in her wheelchair, but only because he wishes she felt better so she could help figure out what Tracy’s birthday wish could have been. They have it narrowed down to (1) own a Robo Cop, (2) hunt that elephant that paints, or (3) breakfast in bed. If they figure it out, they can fulfill his wish and his birthday can go on and on! Jenna’s had enough, and gets up out of her wheelchair, ripping off her back brace. “I’m tired of trying to make you people care for me! You don’t care for me, clearly. Nobody does!” “My birthday wish came true!” Tracy shouts, coming around the corner. Turns out Tracy’s wish was for Jenna to get better. He was going to wish for breakfast in bed with Robo Cop while an elephant painted them, but then he saw Jenna in her back brace right before he blew out the candles. Jenna is touched by his caring and finally feels loved. “Now let’s make Ms. Maroney’s wish come true!” Kenneth says. “Aw, that’s so sweet! But who would I celebrate with if y’all were in a car accident!” she perks. They all pause just a beat, then laugh heartily. Heh – I think.

The 15th floor. Liz waylays Tim coming out of the elevator and tells him Junot doesn’t want to see him. Tim looks shell shocked, but says OK and gets back in the elevator, just as John Lithgow rounds the corner. “Excuse me, but what floor is the Sci-Fi Channel on?” “UGH! Fine, Lithgow, I’ll do the right thing!” Liz cries. “I guess someone has been watching The World According to Garp,” he replies as he moves on. Liz grabs the elevator door and tells Tim that Junot wants to see him more than anything. Tim says it was a relief when Liz said she didn’t want to see him, and the baby thing is “freaking him out.” “Do you know how many people want what just got dropped in your lap? “Oh, now’s not a good time, I want to go to Burning Man” – shut up, Tim!” Liz snaps. Liz tells him it’s time to man up and throws him against the wall.

Cut to Jack and Frank walking the halls. Frank wonders where they’re going, since he already cleaned out his office. “You’ve got to go back where you belong,” Jack says. “No, I’m going to be a lawyer, I’m going to be like you!” Frank protests. “Get out of here! Go to the writer’s room! There is no scholarship! Can’t you see we don’t want you anymore!” Jack yells, as Frank starts slinking off just like Harry, the woodland ape. Hee! Liz manhandles Tim out of the elevator just in time to witness Jack hitting Frank with a rolled up paper. “Jack, I don’t understand!” Frank cries. “Why don’t you go back where you came from!’ Jack shouts. “Leave me alone!” Frank cowers and hunches down the hallway. Jack turns and looks sad. “Goodbye, my friend,” he sighs as the music swells. “Those two – they both grew up without fathers,” Liz tells Tim. Something clicks in Tim’s mind.

Liz’s office. Liz and Tim walk in on Junot reading a pregnancy magazine. “Hey baby. My god, look at your boobs!” Tim smiles. Junot smiles happily and Liz tells them to kiss, or something. The kids oblige, the break into the cobwebs and rainbows song. “And stop!” Liz interjects. There are limits to what she can put up with.

Jack’s office. Jack pours Liz a glass of wine while he holds a Scotch. He says in a way they both lost children today. Liz protests hers was real while his was Frank, but Jack tells her not to worry, he’s sure someday she’ll have everything she wants. John Lithgow shows up at Jack’s door, looking rattled. “Can someone please tell me how to get out of this building? I keep walking past the same Sbarros!” Jack calmly walks to the door and shuts it in his face, while Liz smiles in approval. “I’m a celebrity!” we hear him cry from beyond the door, as the credits start to roll.


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