Sunday, 13 February 2011

30 Rock - S5 E14 - Double-Edged Sword

Liz and Jack each take a break away from work with their respective partners but complications arise for both that could shake the very foundations of their relationships. Did I succeed in making a very silly show sound dramatic?

Recap after the jump.

Liz is going for a Valentine's holiday with her pilot boyfriend Carol (Matt Damon) to Nag's Head while Jack is attending the G8 summit in Toronto with a heavily pregnant Avery. Boarding the plane, Liz proudly boasts to her fellow passengers about knowing the pilot. After endless delays, they're looking to her as their leader. She confronts Carol about it, she complains about how she and the passengers are restless, hungry and overheated, but there are unnamed problems. Angered by her attitude towards him, Carol declares she will only help her if she apologises for berating him in front of the crew but they are each so stubborn they refuse to reach a compromise. Liz whips the passengers into a state of mutiny, Carol pulls a gun on her and Liz responds by grabbing some random old guy to use as a human shield. Yeah, this relationship is over.

Avery goes into labor while she and Jack are in Toronto, and desperate to avoid their child being born Canadian, they scramble to get back across the border. The only option available to them is flagging down a car. A dude named Lorne played by John Cho (!) stops his van for them, but makes them drive while he fiddles around in the back - turns out the van is a mobile meth lab. While refueling, Jack has an exasperating conversation with Lorne and hearing Avery's pained screams, he gives up and calls an ambulance. Their daughter is born Canadian but they're OK with it even though she won't get to be President.

In an odd subplot, Tracy has won the Oscar and ascended to "the next level" where he has to attend endless charity functions and act like a responsible adult. Unhappy with this turn of events, he fakes a trip to Africa to "do good" while actually hiding out on a jungle set. This episode had a big problem with beating its themes into the ground. They must've used the phrase double-edged sword about 36 times all told, and made sure everyone knew the reason they were using it because Carol/Liz and Jack/Avery were relationships between two very similar people. It was forced and very patronizing.

The episode had some good aspects - the performances by Matt Damon and Tina Fey as Liz were note perfect. It had a Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole reference. It  was still fundamentally a funny episode. But not really anything too memorable.

"30 Rock" airs Thursdays on NBC at 8:30 pm EST.

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