30 Rock Episode 5.18 Recap

Tracy is off in “Africa” (a room in New York full of fake palm trees) and TGS is going on forced hiatus.

By Mae Rice

This week, because Tracy is off in “Africa” (a room in New York full of fake palm trees), TGS is going on forced hiatus. Liz thinks that, per its name, this is just a hiatus, but everyone else on the staff knows it is code for cancelled and starts switching over to Plan B. Pete’s Plan B is to be a (bad) substitute teacher; Frank’s is to do stand-up at black women’s colleges; Jenna’s is to sell talking dolls called “Jenna Babies.” Kenneth’s Plan B is to look in his idea notebook and then say “bird internet!” while looking into the middle distance.

Liz doesn’t have a Plan B, partially because in college, she majored in theater tech and minored in “movement.” There aren’t a lot of writing jobs—she tries to get a job writing for The Sing Off, but Nick Lachey hates her, and the job goes to Aaron Sorkin instead. Then Liz’s agent, whose body is shockingly large compared to his head, drops her to devote himself to his more important clients. His more important clients are all celebrity dogs.

It looks like Liz’s Plan B might be living under the subway with the CEO of Friendster (who is, to be fair, probably pretty nice), until Kenneth points out that when he Skypes with Tracy, Tracy is always eating pizza from a New York pizza place. Lightbulb moment! Tracy’s in New York!

Meanwhile, Jack bought a TV network for Kabletown called “Twinks.” It targets the coveted gay demographic, but it’s not making any money (yet) and Hank Hooper is pissed, although he tells Jack he is pissed in a very jovial way. The problem is that Jack is mystified by gay people. For example, here’s (mystified) Jack, on shopping with a gay guy: “He spent $4,000 on Chihuahua outfits… for himself!”

So Jack brings in his gay nemesis, Devon Banks, to help him with Twinks. Devon used to be a serious businessman but due to a series of professional missteps is now a stay at home dad to a whole bunch of babies (who he has ranked by sexiness). He brings one of the babies to his first business meeting with Jack and Frank; the next day, Frank promotes him because he is a “family man.” Frank briefly gloats, but then quits the same day because he misses his (sexy) kids.

Jack has a daughter too, but never sees her because he’s at work. She calls him the Trinidadian word for “stranger,” either because she has a Trinidadian nanny or because she is very intuitive about languages.