30 Rock

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Michael Neal: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Cougars

Tracy and the kids from Knuckle Beach are out practicing in a run-down baseball field with a tagged statue of Jefferson Davis out front when Jack rides up in his limo smoking a fat cigar. He's brought new uniforms, compliments of the Sheinhardt Wig Company. Jack wants them dressed for success, not unlike his charity that gives tuxedos to homeless people. Flash to a clearly homeless guy, in an ill-fitted tux, scooping about 30 shrimp into his hand while congratulating the bride. Tracy warns Jack that he doesn't understand these kids and what they want out of life, which is sunlight.

Jacks calls Tracy in for an impromptu meeting. He wants to motivate the players by giving each one a book, but he can't decide which Churchill biography to give Rasheed in order to improve his bunting. Tracy ain't having it. He insists Jack is too out of his element. Knuckle Beach is a totally different world. "A world where orange soda is an acceptable substitute for breast milk." That's sort of a riff on a Chappelle joke by the way: Sunny D vs. purple stuff. Look it up. Jack disagrees by making a grand comparison between his relationship with the kids of Knuckle Beach and Bush's relationship with the war in Iraq. "Bush?" protests Tracy. "Now I don't want to go off on a rant here..." Then silence.

Back on the field in Knuckle Beach, the kids tear down the Jefferson Davis statue and cheer. I do the robot and pour myself another Jameson's in my night robe. Kenneth and Jack arrive -- Kenneth wearing a uniform for baseball and Jack wearing one from McHale's Navy. Actually, I feel like he's going for a very specific look here -- half-burnt cigar, admiral's cap, binoculars -- but I can't think of the reference. Anyone have an idea? A banner hung above the batting cage reads 'Fun Times Accomplished' and then the scrappy kids knuckle down to an 11-0 defeat against their opponent. Jack berates their execution and its lack of anything Churchillian. He fires Tracy on the spot for not believing in the cause.

With Tracy gone, Kenneth can't handle the kids in practice. He warns Jack of the impending rebellion, but Jack will have none of that coward's babble. "Stay the course," he intones. But at an actual practice, the kids only practice fighting each other and hitting Kenneth with his own shoes. They chase Jack and him away with baseball bats.

Jack returns, groveling, to Tracy by having Kenneth grovel for him. Then he offers him two options: cut and run or form a coalition. This has something to do with Iraq right? They agree finally to join forces in the name of the kids, and in the following game Tracy hatches an ingenious plan to use Grizz and DotCom as players in the game by giving them Dominican birth certificates. Knuckle Beach wins its first game of the season.

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30 Rock

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