30 Rock – Recap & Review – Game Over

photo: nbc

photo: nbc

30 Rock
Game Over

Original Air Date: Jan 10, 2013

Valentina D. – Senior Reviewer

Well, this is it: the beginning of the end of 30 Rock. With only a few episodes left, I think it’s fair to say we’ll be seeing some huge changes for our TGS gang, especially Liz and Jack. Liz is still set on making her dreams of having a baby come true, so she’s begun fertility treatments which alter her moods at the drop of a hat. Will they work, or will she resort to her second option?

In Jack’s dog-eat-dog world, he finally gets some good news. Hank Hooper plans to retire from Kabletown, but the bad news is he plans to keep the business in the family and pass it on to his granddaughter Kaylie, Jack’s teenage nemesis. In order to stop this, Jack enlists the help of his ex-enemy, Devin Banks. Can Jack finally trust his once-sworn enemy? Or is he pulling off the greatest pseudo-alliance plan ever concocted?

Jack wishes Hank a Happy Birthday, but Hank points out it’s not quite his birthday yet and, well, according to his very strict birthday rules, it only counts on the actual day. In fact, he’s here to drop a bombshell: once he retires, Kabletown belongs to Kaylie while Jack is stuck acting as her assistant CEO. Hank compares it to a Conan/Jay situation, so in other words, he’ll be keeping her chair warm. This is probably the worst news Jack could ever receive, so he goes to Liz for advice.

Liz’s hormone treatments have her moods all over the place (loved Jack’s “there, there” card), but Jack announces his “secret weapon” anyway – his mother’s death. She never gave him the approval he wanted when she was alive, so her “anti-love” keeps him going. The wheels are spinning and, as he says, this plan will either be his masterpiece or he’ll resign in disgrace.

Surprisingly enough, Tracy’s having actor problems of his own this week as production begins on his Harriet Tubman biopic. He’s managed to bag Octavia Spencer for the role, but her crazy antics and unprofessionalism is driving him nuts. Gee, sound familiar, Tracy? I loved this B-plot for Tracy this week, as his descent into Liz Lemon-hood was great to watch, black framed glasses and all.

While Jack has Len (the always-fantastic Steve Buscemi) on Kaylie’s tail as an undercover female drama teacher, he learns that Devin Banks has been meeting with Kaylie after school. Immediately, he knows it’s crucial to get Banks on his side and finds him teaching a spin class. Jack explains the situation to Banks and proposes an alliance to bring her down, but Kaylie’s paid Banks to keep a lid on some sensitive information. Apparently, her father is gay and isn’t really her father at all, therefore making Kaylie not really a Hooper. If Jack is able to prove it, Kabletown is as good as his. Now, how to get the DNA?

In a fit of hormones, Liz calls Bev (Megan Mullally) at the adoption agency and updates her marital status. Even then, it’s a looooong wait for a newborn though an older child could be adopted immediately. Liz has never considered this option and asks Jack for his opinion. He’s not much help, as he decides to get Kaylie’s DNA from her phone but needs another accomplice who’s like a teenage girl: immature and vicious. Did someone say Jenna Maroney?

Despite such a rock-solid plan, it backfires as Kaylie goes to see him in his office and lets him know she’s onto him. Jenna’s been following her like a puppy dog and blurted out the whole plan. She leaves her tumbler, and Jack receives results in no time, giving them to Banks to send to Hank. Just as he suspected, Kaylie is not Hank’s granddaughter. He gathers all the players in his office and reveals the operation.

Once Jack is finished, Banks bursts out laughing and says it was too easy. Turns out, Kaylie stole a tumbler from Jenna’s dressing room and made the switch with her back turned, so obviously the DNA was not a match. Just as it seems like Jack’s dreams are crashing down for the last time, he throws out a bunch of hypotheticals and says, “what if I did nothing at all?” In a brilliant twist, Jack reveals the envelope he gave Banks to contain a birthday card and nothing else. He kept Kaylie so busy and on edge all week on purpose, causing her to miss her grandfather’s birthday. To sum it up, we see Hank in bed as the clock strikes midnight, signifying the end of his birthday and using Jack’s card to cover the picture of his granddaughter. Game over, Kaylie.

In the final moments of the episode, Liz calls the adoption agency and says she wants to do it. She wants to adopt an older child.

What did you think of this episode? Jack’s plan was indeed a masterpiece, and it was wonderful to see so many recurring characters show up a final time. Makes it kind of hard to believe it’ll all be over soon. Tick, tock !

Next Week: Florida

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