30 Rock Episodes

2006, TV Show

30 Rock Episode: "The Moms"

Season 4, Episode 20
Episode Synopsis: Mother's Day equals mommy issues at "TGS": Jack's mother (Elaine Stritch) gets mixed up in his messy love life; Liz's mom (Anita Gillette) reconnects with a former flame; Jenna's oddball parent (Jan Hooks) arrives; and Tracy's "mom" (Novella Nelson) teaches him a valuable lesson. Appearing: Buzz Aldrin; Elizabeth Banks; Cheyenne Jackson; and Patti LuPone.
Original Air Date: May 6, 2010
Guest Cast Novella Nelson Anita Gillette: Margaret Lemmon Buzz Aldrin Patti LuPone Jan Hooks: Verna Cheyenne Jackson: Danny Baker Elizabeth Banks: Avery Jessup
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Season 4, Episode 20
Free | NBC

Aired: 5/6/2010
Also available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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30 Rock Episode Recap: "The Moms" Season 4, Episode 20

America, big changes are happening. I'm back living in Orange County, Calif., after my year at NYU, Aaron Kelly was finally voted off Idol, and 30 Rock wasn't actually that funny this week. As I sat down with 10 of my closet hometown friends to watch Liz and the gang, I expected to be laughing all the way home. Instead, I was amused, a bit confused, and left wanting more. In any event, I shall recap, and you, my commenting audience, can decide whether I'm right, or whether the OC air is getting to my head.

The episode begins with Liz bringing Jack a budget for approval, and reminding him that Mother's Day is just around the corner. Jack freaks out, and as he is running out to make Jonathan order flowers, his mother, Colleen, is waiting at his office door. First and foremost, Elaine Stritch (as Colleen) is the best 30 Rock guest of all time. She manages to make me laugh harder than any actress on television.

Frank plus his Mom (played by Patti LuPone) get off to an awkward start with Liz as she shows a picture of her son "taking a bath before the Senior Prom." After the awkward exchange, Liz finds her Mom, Margaret, complaining about the cost of the "free" food at TGS. They walk over to meet Verna, Jenna's mom. Even though Margaret feels like the two woman met in Chicago prior, Verna says that is false because she "sexually assaulted Scottie Pippen in 1997."

Pete is trying to track down Tracy's Mom, but the only thing they know is that she wore a red shirt in 1984. He decides to hire an actress to play his mother, but Tracy wants to make sure she is cool. Meanwhile, Jack finds out that the reason Colleen is in town is because her friend from water aerobics class heard that Nancy Donovan, one of Jack's women, is running around with her son who "pours scotch like a girl."

As Liz is trying desperately to pull her tiny bridesmaid's dress over her head, Frank's mom grills her about being single. Verna joins in because she is shocked that Liz doesn't get married just for a mattress discount, and Lutz's mom (brilliantly played by Lutz) tries to set Liz up with her son. Colleen walks in, and tries to tell Liz, who is still waiting for astronaut Mike Dexter, that feminism is the reason girls like her are waiting for fairytales, and that Liz has most likely already met her soul mate.

Verna goes to see Jack, in hopes of getting the rest of the payment he promised. He explains that he gave her a down payment, and once she makes Jenna feel wanted on Mother's Day, he will pay the rest. Problem is she already spent all the money on one breast implant and her chest now feels like "a cantaloupe and a zip-lock bag of mushroom soup." Pete fins Novella Nelson, a commercial actress that looks just like Tracy, and the perfect woman to play the part. Even though the actor wants Serena Williams, he will have to settle with the Pajamaralls spokeswoman.

As Jack and Colleen have dinner, she spills that she knows Avery is in the picture because of her "mother instinct." She urges her son to end his "game" and pick one, and as they order, Colleen makes a joke to "bring my son one of everything, so he doesn't have to choose." Ouch. In the meantime, Verna complains about the TGS wardrobe to Jenna, and wants her daughter to wear the romper that she made by hand. They get into a bit of a tiff, and Verna storms out, making Jenna feel very guilty.

Liz walks in on her mother tidying up her office, even throwing out her computer, but instead wants to talk about her high standards for men. Margaret assures her daughter that the right man is still out there, and also reveals that her true love was Ed, a teenage fling. She even lost her virginity to him as "the town perv watching from the bushes." Liz figures out that this Ed, an astronaut, is actually Buzz Aldrin, and is convinced that Mike Dexter still may be out there for her.

Verna quits, and Jack is sarcastic in telling the vile woman to find other money in order to avoid "driving with one headlight out." Meanwhile, Tracy and Novella are not getting off to a good start, as he reprimands his "mother" for talking badly to a "Guinness Book of World Records holder for most car accidents." Tracy says that he would rather be on stage alone than with someone that has been "black judge over nine times."

In an effort to get her son to choose one woman, Colleen confronts Avery in hopes of convincing the CNBC anchor to pull Jack in and act flirty. Back at the office, Liz tells Jack that she is confused why her mother would not have chosen Buzz. It is her destiny to someday marry a great man, or an astronaut, and it makes her consider why she is waiting for this dream instead of just settling.

Jenna and Tracy get into a very deep conversation (for once) over motherhood. Tracy feels guilty for being harsh towards Novella, and they realize that nobody can chose their mother, but everyone must learn how to live and love the one they have. Upstairs, Avery confronts Jack as to whether they are indeed exclusive, and she tells the boss that he better figure out soon, or she is out.

In the end, Liz hangs with Buzz, and they discuss that reality is always brighter than dreams. They yell at the moon, and our TGS head realizes that she will never have Sir Mike Dexter. Verna and Jenna make up and wear each other's clothes on the broadcast. Tracy learns to love his newly-casted mother, and Colleen tells Jack that after she is "floating around Earth in her coffin rocket," she wants someone to watch over her boy, and he needs to choose Avery or Nancy soon.

Actually, I take it back. It is that California air, because the episode did have laughs, and Jack finally had a moment with his mother. So, I'm now leaving to go hang with my mom. Cheers America. Go give your mom a hug.

 

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America, big changes are happening. I'm back living in Orange County, Calif., after my year at NYU, Aaron Kelly was finally voted off Idol, and 30 Rock wasn't actually that funny this week. As I sat down with 10 of my closet hometown friends to watch Liz and the gang, I expected to be laughing all the way home. Instead, I was amused, a bit confused, and left wanting more. In any event, I shall recap, and you, my commenting audience, can decide whether I'm right, or whether the OC air is getting to my head.

The episode begins with Liz bringing Jack a budget for approval, and reminding him that Mother's Day is just around the corner. Jack freaks out, and as he is running out to make Jonathan order flowers, his mother, Colleen, is waiting at his office door. First and foremost, Elaine Stritch (as Colleen) is the best 30 Rock guest of all time. She manages to make me laugh harder than any actress on television.

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