In this week’s 30 Rock, Jack Donaghey struggles with the problems regarding his secret relationship with Democratic congresswoman, Celeste Cunningham (Edie Falco) as Liz Lemon tries frantically to keep cast members Tracy and Jenna under control. Even the writer can’t really seem to get along. Fortunately for everyone, Political Consultant and “Ragin’ Cajun” James Carville happens to be guest starring and is more than willing to offer everyone his expert advice.

The show opens as Liz inadvertently walks in on Jack and C.C. during an intimate moment in Jack’s office. Jack first tries to cover, but soon confesses his secret affair along with all of its complications while down in her office. Jack then invites Liz to a dinner party with her under the condition that she keeps it discreet.

Back in the writer’s room, Toofer and Frank start getting into a heated argument when Frank shows up wearing a “Harvard” sweatshirt, greatly upsetting Toofer, the Harvard grad. Frank then proceeds to mock Harvard and its students as the rest of the staff joins in.

Soon after, Jenna comes in, announcing that she has won an award for her role in the movie based in the pizza-based musical she starred in earlier in the year. After briefly talking about it, Tracy gets upset that he has never won an award. Liz chases after him to console him, but he turns her down, pondering whether or not to try this “crystalmeth ” he keeps hearing about. In a last-ditch effort to make him feel better, Liz lies and tells Tracy that he’s won the “Lifetime Achievement Award in the Pacific Rim Emmy’s.” Further, even though Liz claims that the award ceremony is the next day, Tracy demands to be on a live satellite feed to accept the award and wants all of his co-stars there on stage with him. Further still, the “live feed” must take place at 4:00am to compensate for the time change. Though the fake award seems to work on Tracy, Jenna expresses her distaste that Liz spend so much time coddling to Tracy’s needs, but never for her.

Later that night, Liz shows up in a dinner dress to Jack’s dinner party. Unfortunately, since their affair is such a closely guarded secret, the only other guest aside from Liz is NBC page, Kenneth. The four sit down for a long, awkward dinner.

That night the cast and crew meet back at the studio for Tracy’s mock award acceptance speech where, following his closing, he pulls down Jenna’s top in front of the cameras. Afterwards in her dressing room, Jenna is furious. Not because her top was pulled down, however, but because Tracy had not thanked her during his speech. Jenna then tells Liz that since, apparently, the only way to get any respect around the studio is to act like Tracy, she will begin to act like Tracy as well.

The next morning, C.C. talks to Liz about her and Jack’s relationship, since she has no one else to talk to about it. Though Liz initially tries to get out of the girl-talk by discrediting herself (“I ate a 3 Musketeers bar for breakfast and this bra is held together by tape”) she eventually offers that if C.C. and Jack really care about each other, then maybe they should be willing to give up a little bit of their personal goals for each other.

Meanwhile, Toofer has retaliated Frank’s mocking Harvard getup by dressing up like Frank. Their confrontation escalates until they don’t know what to do anymore and talk to Liz. Liz, however, claims to be too busy to deal with their problems.

Back in Jack’s office, C.C. explains that she has settled with her legal battle against the Sheinhardt Wig Company. Though Jack at first is uncomfortable with C.C.’s decision, the CEO soon changes his mind after a chance run-in with JamesCarville in the elevator. Carville explains that it is better to deal with things on your own terms rather then just waiting for others to find out. He then goes on to settle the dispute betweenToofer and Frank as well, by suggesting that they should direct their scorn towards Josh, who had recently gotten a new haircut.

Liz, in the meantime, is fed up with Jenna’s new diva personality and confronts her, saying that her jealousy over Tracy’s special treatment is baseless, since she actually requires more special treatment than him anyways, it’s just that Liz never told her what she did. Jenna then hugs Liz, claiming that that was all she ever wanted to hear.

Later, Jack takes Carville’s advice and announces his relationship with C.C. to all of his peers. This leads to several of the wealthy Republicans in attendance to stand up and admit some of their own “liberal” tendencies such as donating to PBS or being black.

I am happy that Josh and writing staff are back. Despite being sort of background characters, all of their personalities were so well defined during their brief appearances in the first season that it was a shame to not see them around as much this one. And I’m really enjoying the extra spotlight Frank has been getting the last few weeks. And, as always, the show had far too many terrific quotes for me to choose my favorites so I won’t even try, though I will say that I”ll probably be saying “Cajun style!” and “Lemon out!” for the next few days.

What was your favorite quote of the night?

-George Freitag, Buddy TV Staff Columnist

(Image courtesy of NBC)

George Freitag

Staff Columnist, BuddyTV