Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Episode 8 of NBC's "30 Rock," titled "My Whole Life is Thunder."
MRS. DONAGHY! NOOO! I'm sorry, the recap is cancelled, I have to mourn. I was terrified for the entire episode that that was where they were going with her storyline, but refused to accept it. Sob. RIP, you sassy old broad.
Then again, besides that terrible, no good, very bad misstep, the episode was really fantastic, and Florence Henderson was spectacular. So, recap un-cancelled!
Jenna, furious that Liz's spur-of-the-moment wedding inadvertently interfered with her surprise wedding, was determined to get back at Liz in true vindictive and generally sociopath Jenna fashion. An opportunity presented itself at a banquet, where Liz was being honored as one of the 80 Under 80 Women in Entertainment Who Aren't Betty White. After becoming wise to Jenna's plan to crash the event with another surprise wedding attempt, Liz conspired with the lights person to make the lighting like a grocery store milk aisle, which is so universally unflattering that Jenna would never be willing to go up on stage. Jenna and Liz went back and forth, with Liz (correctly) accusing Jenna of being a self-absorbed crazy person, and Jenna less correctly accusing Liz of ruining her big day. Jenna got caught in the lights and fled. They made up later, thanks to a pill that lets Jenna feel emotion and because Jenna admitted that she was acting out because she was a bit jealous of how well things are working out for Liz.
Jack was desperately avoiding his mother again, as is his tradition, but she refused to let him, as is her tradition. Colleen Donaghy (guest star Elaine Stritch) has certainly been known to fake a heart attack or two before, so Jack didn't believe it when she told him she wasn't feeling well. While out and about, Jack ran into
Charlotte from "Lost" a nymphomaniac widow virgin who just completed her year of mourning and has a hotel room and latex allergy, so naturally at that exact moment, Mrs. Donaghy called again because she was still feeling ill and asked Jack to come to her. Jack was baffled that she didn't just call an ambulance, but her father didn't kill thousands of Germans just so that his daughter could die in a van ("But he wasn't even in the war!"). Instead, they take a horse-drawn carriage ride to the hospital at her request, at which point Mrs. Donaghy told Jack that all she wants is for him to be happy. "One of these days, Jack, you're going to turn around and I'm going to be gone...just like that!" And just like that...she was.
Jack took that as a final sign of her disappointment in him ("I just want you to be happy" is what you tell someone when you've totally given up), and got the last laugh by delivering the greatest eulogy in the history of mankind -- with Kermit the Frog! Jenna took advantage of all the people at the funeral to do her surprise wedding after all.
Kenneth was frustrated because Liz fired Hazel and then Hazel apparently broke up with him; the reason he loves TV so much is because everything stays the same. Tracy tried to help by bringing in Florence Henderson from "The Brady Bunch," but she turns out to be totally different ("Are you the perverts who want to go to town on each other while I make a pie?"/"Is this alcohol based?!"), which upset Kenneth further. Tracy had DotCom and Grizz stop the elevator so that he, Kenneth and Florence will be forced to talk about and remember stuff, just like on TV. It failed, but Kenneth realized he didn't actually want his life to be like TV because his real life, where Tracy spent two days trying to cheer him up, is better.
Random highlights and thoughts:
- Jenna's wedding was ... odd. Could it have been any more last minute? Answer: No, because it literally happened in the last 10 seconds of the episode. The Jenna Maroney I know would never have settled for a wedding during the credits. Maybe they'll pick up where they left off when "30 Rock" returns in January ...?
- Mrs. Donaghy flies on Pearl Harbor Day to show the emperor we're not afraid, wants to rig her coffin with a bomb so it blows up if anyone tries to rob it, and didn't trust a scoutmaster because he wore shorts all the time. I guess if it had to be her last episode, at least she went out in a blaze of glorious lines.
- Jenna's definition of stuffing her face is eating ice cubes.
- Jenna had a ton of great lines: "First you got married, now you're winning awards?! Next you'll tell me Mickey Rourke catapulted you into the Hollywood sign."
- "God I miss Gary so much, I put a sweater on a body pillow (ahhh!) and I took it for a canoe ride."
- Gayle King's fearful "She can hear us..."
We've hit the mid-season mark for "30 Rock" now--what do you think of the season so far?