Nothing says season finales like a vow renewals and baby plans! Except in the 30 Rock universe, that really means divorce and finding a nice Chinese girl to be a surrogate plant mother.
Let’s hand out this week’s 30 Rock-Does-Things awards…
Most Surprising Relationship Twists (Although Not Necessarily the Best): Of the two couples left in supposedly nebulous situations by the season finale, only Liz (Tina Fey) and Criss (James Marsden) seemed like the only pair possibly headed for splitsville. I admit that I honestly bought that the drama between Jack (Alec Baldwin) and Avery (Elizabeth Banks) was primarily resolved, simply given the fact that it is Jack and Avery that we’re dealing with. If any of Jack’s relationships have ever had a chance at surviving over the long term, it’s this one. But apparently Jack and Avery learned from their affairs over this past year (Jack with Diana (Mary Steenburgen), and as Jack has just discovered, Avery’s finger-tapping coded affair with Scott Scottsman) that the only reason they married in the first place was because Avery was pregnant. Thus, their vow renewal, presided over by the venerable Liz Lemon (who became an ordained minister to marrying a lesbian couple last year) turns into a lovely little divorce ceremony.
Ultimately, it’s Liz and Criss who commit to each other at the end of the episode – just as Liz hasn’t bailed on Smash yet, she’s decided she’s not going to bail on Criss. Criss has finally stepped up as a potential baby plant-daddy, and sold the hot dog van (the lovingly named Van Der Beek) in order to help Liz pay for the renovations to her apartment for a baby’s room. Criss may not have started out as much more than another Dennis Duffy – his name is Criss, after all – but over the past few weeks, he’s really grown and up and become the perfect guy for Liz to start the final season with when 30 Rock returns in the fall. Even more exciting is her determination that she will be raising a child somehow, especially given her waffling over the issue over the past few episodes. It also leads to Liz’s daydream about raising a plant, that plant coming out of the closet, and getting to hold her grand-plant-baby, which is simultaneously the most ridiculous and the sweetest moment of the episode.
Creepiest. “Good Morning.” Ever: Liz discovers that an unknown bald stranger climbs into Liz’s apartment every morning to whisper in her ear, “Sweetie, wake up! It’s morning!” and give her a peck on the cheek.
Cruelest End to a Particularly Cruel Season: Not only is Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) stuck with Hazel (Kristen Schaal) as a new roommate, but he’s also rejected as a re-applicant to the page program by the Hazel’s evil scheming. And if that’s not enough suffering to put him through, Kenneth and Hazel wind up in the most horrifying lip lock of the season (and keep in mind, this season brought us Jack and Diana, and the return of Frank’s former teacher/lover Lynn Onkman). This season has been particularly unfair towards Kenneth, by not only snatching a promotion away before it can gain any traction but also by demoting him to below a page, and it really paid off in any particularly memorable, let alone funny, scenes involving him. Even a turn around next season seems at this point like it would be too little too late.
Most Intriguing Title to Add to My Summer Reading List: Commodore’s Lust in Bill O’Reilly’s Patriots After Dark series. Sounds like the perfect balance of sexy shenanigans and racist jingoistic courageous moments of American history that would be a great beach read.
This is it, Rockers – your last chance to dish on season 6. So bitch excuse me, meany-pants it out in the comment section below!
30 Rock will return for its seventh and final season this September on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.