30 Rock Episodes

2006, TV Show

30 Rock Episode: "The Natural Order"

Season 3, Episode 20
Episode Synopsis: Liz chides Tracy in front of the staffers, which compels Tracy to become more professional and mature. He forfeits all special treatment---but he feels that Liz should do the same. Meanwhile, Jack's tormenting mother (Elaine Stritch) arrives, only to dig up nasty memories about Jack's father. And Jenna adopts a monkey. Steve Buscemi guest stars.
Original Air Date: Apr 30, 2009
Guest Cast Steve Buscemi: Lenny Wosniak
Full Episode
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Season 3, Episode 20
Free | NBC

Aired: 4/30/2009
Also available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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30 Rock Episode Recap: "The Natural Order" Season 3, Episode 20

This week on NBC's 30 Rock, Liz and Tracy experimented with equality in the workplace, Jack's investigation of his mother's boyfriend led to a startling revelation and Jenna became a grandmother. Sort of. On with the recap!

Wow, between cable TV snafus, vacations and covering the Grey's-yard shift last week, it feels like the last time I recapped the Rock, Rachel Dratch was playing a cat lady! My brother from another mother, Mickey, did a bang-up job handling some great episodes, though. This week's was a good time, as well.

TRACY LEARNS WHAT TIME IT IS
The "TGS" staff's best efforts to get Tracy to work on time implode when the aggregated clock and schedule tampering play havoc with his life. "I took my son to his cello recital at what turned out to be midnight yesterday!" When push comes to shove, Tracy emerges as a buttoned-up professional, reporting to work on time, knowing his lines, mastering dance moves and even minding the union's breaks.

Ah, but the New Tracy comes with a price. In the spirit of equality, he insists that Liz forego any favoritism as well — a class shake-up that first manifests itself in a battle 'tween Liz and a watercooler bottle. Next, Liz is urged to "be one of the boys" and tolerate the writing staff's heretofore unbridled gas-passing, as well as attend Lutz's fake bachelor party.

But just before braving the strip club to cheer on the "hot mothers and daughters," Liz gives Tracy a "twist" — he must stay behind to revise scripts. One late night with a cleaning man and one bare-chested Lutz later, Tracy and Liz cry uncle and agree to return to the "natural order."

FATHER DAZE
Jack's mother is in town — swapping hotels willy-nilly, if only for fear of being raped by a bearded concierge — and her visit happens to coincide with the anniversary of when Jack's dad, Jimmy Donaghy, went out for a pack of cigarettes only to ... return home, smoke one, then leave his mother forever.

When Jack goes to visit Colleen, he discovers that she came to town with a gentleman friend named Paul. Fearing that his mom has been targeted by a swindler, Jack recruits P.I. Steve Buscemi to dig up some dirt. Jack's snoop comes up absolutely empty though — er, save for the fact that Paul is married. Jack begins to confront Paul — going so far as to liken him to a big bully communist and/or Simon Cowell — when Colleen shows up to reveal that she knows her gent is married. "A guy like Paul, who can drive at night? You just don't say no to that," she explains of the free-wheeling, 1970s-style Florida seniors dating scene.

When Colleen surmises that what really has Jack upset is the anniversary of his father's leaving, she urges him to drop the sorrow because Jimmy left her countless times, including a stretch from the spring of 1957 until 1959.

But ... Jack was conceived in 1958, he realizes later in talking with Lemon. "Jimmy Donaghy is not my father." And let the future guest-star casting speculation begin!

GIBBON ALL SHE'S GOT
In this week's C-story, Jenna "adopts" the gibbon that briefly filled in for delinquent Tracy, christening the creature "Little Jenna" — a girl's name despite the fact that he is prone to happy erections. Jenna dresses her "baby" in matching costumes and what not, ultimately announcing to Kenneth and a tour group that she is now a grandmother — and an unnaturally good-looking one at that. Yes, Little Jenna had her own baby, in the form of a toy doll. When Jenna later knocks off the baby's head, Kenneth's warnings about trying to domesticate a wild animal come to fruition, as Little Jenna unleashes holy terror on his "Mom" — or at least tries to mate with her face (a visual best not entertained too long).

The bullets:
* Frustrated Tracy barking, "What the hell time is it?!"
* Liz, up for a dinner with Mama Donaghy: "There's a restaurant hostess in midtown I'd like to see cry."
* "It was the biggest regret of my life, Lemon — and I once made love to Kathy Hilton."
* Liz, when Tracy trumpets our black President: "What do you care? You voted for Nader."
* Liz laying down the equality ground rules: "You are no longer to point at women in the cafeteria and say, 'I want to get that pregnant.'"
* Liz alluding to her and Grizz's ill-advised year-ago hook-up. Think that was a nod to Kenneth's wild party?
* Jack dubbing criminal-infested Florida "America's Australia."
* Cerie telling Liz, "This food area is always the first place I go to look for you."
* "I'm gonna do a Valentino cross, camera right, then dump the laugh. So stay on your fours, guys!"
* "... not whatever this guy is..."
* "Everybody's got something to hide. For instance, I'm wearing a children's Halloween costume under this."
* "She bit off my nut sack ... that I kept tied around my belt to feed squirrels."
* "It's like orange-flavored egg!"
* "That's the Quantum Leap intro."
* "Now you're standing on the very spot where Gracie Allen took Jack Parr's virginity."
* "That gland thing is no joke!"
* Jenna grappling with Little Jenna: "Your foot fingers are so strong!"

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This week on NBC's 30 Rock, Liz and Tracy experimented with equality in the workplace, Jack's investigation of his mother's boyfriend led to a startling revelation and Jenna became a grandmother. Sort of. On with the recap!

Wow, between cable TV snafus, vacations and covering the Grey's-yard shift last week, it feels like the last time I recapped the Rock, Rachel Dratch was ... read more

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Premiered: October 11, 2006, on NBC
Rating: TV-14
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