Written by Nadia Lyakhnovich
America’s favorite nerdy-black-framed-glasses-wearing-food-lover is back and looking comically unflattering as always in the opening scene of 30 Rock’s new season.
Sleeping with messy hair, Liz Lemon is awakened by a phone call from Jack who eagerly tells her of his blissful and sexually active vacation with Avery. He asks Lemon how her summer was, “My gynecologist committed suicide,” she says before Jack hangs up just in time for her pilot boyfriend Carol (Matt Damon) to call and tell her that they’ll see each other soon. A call from Tracy Jordan follows, as he states his dedication to improving his life before he realizes he accidently called Lemon instead of his nutritionist and immediately hangs up. Lemon then says to herself, “Ok season five [of the Tracey Jordan Show], here we go.”
A producers meeting consisting of Lemon, Pete and Jack take place in Jack’s office about how they can outshine their rivalry TV network Kabletown while overlooking the seasons contract. In it they discover Jenna’s demand for a pay increase, a promotion as a producer and her requirement of eye contact from everyone in the workspace. She gets all her requests in an attempt to avoid drama.
Tracy is in the studio’s hallway and mistakes the new guy for Kenneth, who reminds him that Kenneth was fired. Jack tells Lemon that she’s not in a real relationship, “Meeting someone in a hotel room for 2 days a month is not a relationship,” and proceeds to complain about Avery wanting to redecorate a room in his apartment. Later Carol appears in the studio to see Lemon and asks if he could stay at her apartment since all the rooms of a specific hotel have been unavailable after Jack secretly booked them in an attempt to make Lemon experience the essence of a real relationship.
Lemon and Carol watch TV in her place and bond over their favorite shows before Carol breaks down about his uncertainty over their union. “I want grown up love,” he confesses after telling her he’s tired of going from woman to woman in different cities despite dating only six women. Lemon calls Jack to complain about the meltdown but all he does besides welcome her to adulthood is further ramble about his interior design problem with Avery.
Jenna turns out to be well a suited producer. She eagerly fires unnecessary employees to save the studio money and makes Pete’s job easy enough for him to not only go to the gym before work but have sex with his wife before she wakes up. Lemon doesn’t hesitate to declare how disturbing that act is.
Tracy see’s Kenneth in the street as a CBS employee but refuses to believe it’s him, insisting it’s only a hallucination deriving from his feeling of loss. Kenneth who tries to reassure Tracy that it’s really him throws himself up against a car, almost getting run over, to make Tracy realize that it’s actual reality he’s seeing. Tracy believes him but accepts that he no longer works for NBC or as his personal assistant. Kenneth then starts to miss his old job. Meanwhile Jack decides to hire a gay male interior designer, insisting to Avery that he’ll do a marvelous job while knowing that the designer will create a room based on Jack’ interests instead of Avery’.
After overlooking the shows poor budget, Jenna concludes that firing a producer would be the best alternative to saving money. She tells Pete to fire her but he begs her to stay, knowing that his job will once again become hectic with her gone. She sentimentally refuses.
Carol also cries at breakfast, Lemon contemplates where the relationship is going but when asked if she’d rather sleep with a person she loves but while having to wear a pube-shirt or being able to wear whatever you want for the rest of your life, she chooses the pube-shirt, with Carol behind her in lustful agreement. Lemon then remembers the connection that she had with him and attempts to give their relationship a try. Meanwhile Jack tells Lemon of his designing scheme before realizing that Avery was in on the plan and specifically had a designer of her choice decorate the space as she liked. Jack then realizes he’s in a fantastic relationship with a woman just like him.