'30 Rock': How Long Until Tina Fey and Matt Damon Break Up?

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In the words of Liz Lemon: "OK, Season Five, here we go."

Last season's finale of 30 Rock introduced us both to Matt Damon's Carol and to a Liz who is, just maybe, ready for a relationship. As knowledgeable TV viewers, we unfortunately know that Matt Damon, who commands more than $20 million per movie, won't stick around for long, leaving Liz Lemon Carol-less and in for another round of the entertaining self-loathing that we've all been coming back for for four seasons.

The episode itself reinforced this reality of TV-guest-stardom and reintroduced the familiar cycle: Liz likes guy, guy likes Liz, Liz and guy have a lot of things in common, Liz and guy have stilted, stagnant relationship, Jack tells Liz she needs to grow up. We haven't seen the end of this relationship yet, but I imagine the final steps—Liz and guy's relationship ends and Liz is free to indulge in the aforementioned self-loathing—are coming soon.

But that doesn't mean this cycle can't be entertaining. As long as Liz is separating her stuff from "dude stuff," wearing, and accidentally activating, a Life Alert pendant, and hating the sound of the word "relationship" almost as much as "climax," she's still the character we love.

But also in this episode, we watch other characters grow up and wonder if Liz is getting left behind. Jack and Avery are happily employing the Fabian Strategy on each other, Kenneth has a new gig at CBS, and Jenna gives up her new producer role for the good of TGS's budget. Just how long can Liz go feeling awkward about being the outer spoon and petting her crying boyfriend while trying to console him?

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Caitlan Smith is a senior recruiter for Atlantic Media Company, having previously worked for The Atlantic as an editorial assistant and researcher. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia.

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