A surprisingly sweet episode this week is capped with a fitting conclusion for a beloved character. Lest it get too subtle and classy, the episode also introduces Reverend Gimp.
Let’s break it down…
Before anything else, let’s all take a moment of silence to mourn the passing of Colleen Donaghy (Elaine Stritch). Her one-liners were killer (ex: the assumption that the Grim Reaper is black because he always wears a hoodie) and behind every dig on Jack (Alec Baldwin) was an undercurrent of love. It’s why I was slightly nervous when I first realized that she had died, since it seemed that it might be played off as a joke. But Alec Baldwin, the consummate professional (at least when he’s acting), plays the scenes after she dies sincerely, and the writers craft a eulogy montage that is fitting for the character and fun to watch (though it would be interesting to get to hear how Kermit would explain the afterlife).
Jenna’s (Jane Krakowski) wedding is also unexpected, not because of how ridiculous it is, but rather because it’s hardly ridiculous at all. Yes, Reverend Gimp does marry Jenna and Paul (Will Forte) at Colleen’s funeral as Paul is dressed as a statue of an angel and Jenna promises to pour antibiotics over his penis before he staples it to anything. But the heart of the wedding is that Jenna is hurt that Liz (Tina Fey) didn’t invite Jenna to her wedding, and she wants to make sure that the people she cares about are there to share it with her. It fits Jenna’s character that she stages her wedding at someone else’s funeral, thus luring the attention back on her, but she doesn’t go the way that many, including myself, expect (namely that she’d turn into a psychotic bridezilla).
Unfortunately, Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) is still plugging away as a janitor, which is more than a little frustrating this late in the series. And this week, the character continue treading water as Tracy (Tracy Morgan) tries to fulfill Kenneth’s dream about living like a TV character, before Kenneth ultimately decides that he likes living in the real world. There are some funny beats, like Tracy trapping Kenneth and Florence Henderson in the elevator (I suppose she’s here because she’s available?). In general, though, the plot mostly feels like filler, especially when you think about the fact that there are only five episodes left and the time could be spent setting up a final arc for Kenneth’s character.
- Tech nerds finally get their episode, as Liz stops Jenna from stealing her moment at the Women in Media 80 under 80 award ceremony with bad lighting: “Fire up the lekos and the klieg!”
- Liz Lemon and I can’t be the only people who have overturned a bag of Sour Patch Kids to get the sugar out from the bottom of the bag. Right? Right?
- Hazel is officially out! She’s been recast, and her replacement tested through the roof (at an STD clinic)!
Your turn, nerds. Would you keep a grenade with the pin pulled out in your coffin to stop grave robbers? And do you think Liz’s ears prevent her from pulling off a ponytail? Sound off below!
30 Rock has finished airing its fall episodes and returns Thursday, Jan 10 on NBC