'30 Rock' Faces Life Without Tracy Jordan

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As the show-within-a-show goes on hiatus, the characters start formulating their Plan Bs

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NBC


After a strange detour last week into the world of the Queen of Jordan, we return to the world of TGS to find that Tracy's still not back and the show is going on "forced hiatus". With everyone scrambling to find alternate work, the episode was practically a morality play in keeping your employment options open, lest you end up with a notepad labeled "Plan B" like Liz Lemon.

Let's see what everyone's got lined up:
1. Frank is scheduling stand-up gigs at black women's colleges.
2. Pete is substitute teaching.
3. Jenna sells "Jenna Babies" on QVC.
4. Toofer is contemplating careers in either architecture or medical nanotechnology. (When asked what his major was that encompassed these divergent paths, he explained, "At Harvard, we call them concentrations." He was then pushed in the elevator.)
5. Kenneth is going to try to save TGS, and then switch to News.

Liz—who at one point exclaims, "I have a degree in Theater Tech with a minor in Movement. Why did my parents let me do that?"—tries a few different options. The first is a meeting with Nick Lachey, host of The Sing Off, where she encounters a nervous and unsettled Aaron Sorkin, in one of the most unexpected and excellent cameos this year.


She also considers prostitution ("$500 for kissing, $10,000 for snuggling, end of list") and is even approached on the street by a travel agent, auto worker, and rock band saxophone player, who "live under the subway with the CEO of Friendster". While Liz is stressed about her missing Plan B, the return of Devon Banks reminds us that sometimes a Plan B can be better than Plan A. Jack tracks him down in Brooklyn ("He's on LinkedIn, Lemon. He might as well be dead.") in order bring him on to run Twinks, the now-tanking channel he convinced Hank Hooper to buy. After putting "all his eggs in Obama's basket," Banks is now a househusband and doting father to triplets. He shows flashes of cunning, but ends up realizing that bringing down Jack isn't as good as caring for his "gaybies."


Best random quote that has nothing to do with the show's plot: "In the TV show, you bang me in a tulip field under credits." –Sue LaRoche-Van der Hout

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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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