Guest starring Edie Falco of Sopranos fame, along with a handful of Saturday Night Live cast members, this week’s 30 Rock dealt with the paranoia caused by Homeland Security as Liz Lemon is haunted by the suspicious behavior of her neighbor. As Liz wrestles with her conscience, Jack explores some forbidden love when he falls for a Democratic Congresswoman from Vermont.

We open with Liz noticing the smell of maple syrup. After several phone calls confirming that the smell is going throughout the entire city, Jack mentions the possibility of the smell being due to “northrax,” a variation of anthrax created by the government but designed to smell exactly like maple syrup. Though the theory is soon discredited, Liz still is uneasy over the entire experience. She grows more nervous when she finds a suspicious package by her front door that was intended for her middle eastern neighbor, Raheem . She becomes more uncomfortable, still, after noticing several maps throughout her neighbor’s apartment, when she goes to give him the undelivered package. She expresses her concern with Pete, who assures her that Raheeem is an okay guy.

Back at the studio, Jack is preparing to attend a Republican party fundraiser, when Kenneth discovers that he has lost Jack’s pants on the way back from the dry cleaner. When he can’t locate them, he decides to buy a new pair, despite the fact that they cost well over $2000.

Jack goes to the party and happens to run into a beautiful woman named C.C. and they immediately hit it off. After showing off his skills on the piano, Jack and C.C. go home together. The next morning they talk about how much fun they had together the night before, both clearly excited about this possible relationship. Jack then turns on the news only to discover that C.C. is actually Celeste Cunningham, a recently elected Democrat who happens to be launching a campaign against one of his parent company’s subsidiaries. After discovering each others’ true identies, the two decide to never see each other again.

Back at the studio, Liz tells Jack about her suspicions about her neighbor. Jack gives her the number of one of his friends in Homeland Security for her to report him to. They are soon interrupted by an unfamiliar ring coming from Jack’s cell phone. It turns out that him and C.C. accidentally switched cell phones that morning. He leaves to go meet her again, commenting on how Verizon phones are so popular, it’s easy to get them mixed up. Liz then takes this opportunity to turn to the camera and further elaborate on the shameless plug.

Downstairs, Jack meets C.C. and she mentions that she’s working in Harlem at Clinton’s office. When Jack asks how she became so liberal, she comments on how when she was a child, she was shot in the face by a dog. This freak accident led her to reevaluate her life and enter politics. Her story was apparently so inspirational that they made a Lifetime movie about it. After some brief arguments over politics, the two are again overcome by desire and embrace one more time before C.C. runs off.

Tracy, who had witnessed the entire interaction, offers to help Jack, claiming to understand where Jack is coming from. Jack refuses, however, and heads home.

Back at her apartment complex, Liz is still bothered by Raheem’s behavior, as he appears to always glare at her and refuses to shake her hand. After much internal debate, she decides to call Homeland Security who immediately dispatches people to arrest him.

Meanwhile, Jack is still smitten with C.C. and is watching her Lifetime movie to learn more about her. After watching the movie he decides to go after her and he and Tracy head to Harlem.

That evening Liz finds another package on her doormat from her neighbor requesting that she deliver the contents to the media, since he knows she is a part of it.  Liz plays the tape enclosed inside only to discover that all of the suspicious behavior performed by Raheem was actually for an audition tape for he and his friend to be considered as contestants in The Amazing Race. Liz feels even more horrible after running into Raheem in the hallway, after just getting back from hours of interrogation and torture by Homeland Security.

In Harlem, Jack calls out to his new love. They meet inside Clinton’s office building and decide to pursue a secret affair.

What else is there to say?  This show is hilarious and has yet to disappoint. Best quote of night came from Tracy while sympathizing with Jack’s star-crossed love: “Oh, I get it: I’m black, she’s white; I’m black she’s light-skinned black; I’m black, she’s seventeen.”

-George Freitag, Buddy TV Staff Columnist

(Image courtesy of NBC)

George Freitag

Staff Columnist, BuddyTV