There are no less than three references to The Pelican Brief this week. Just because.
As Lemon & Co. celebrate the 50th episode of TGS, Jack spoils the party by telling her that cutbacks are afoot. He informs her she must make a presentation to their parent company, who will be going over the show's annual budget with a fine-tooth comb. High off her 50th show, Lemon's all, "I got this." Then the budget guy (OMG Roger Bart squee!), unimpressed by her Steve Jobs-meets-Off-Broadway presentation, demands she cut 25% of her budget. Lemon confers with Jack to no avail. However, while waiting, she encounters a desperate department head who plants the seed in Lemon's head to sex her way out of this financial bind. She books a date with the number cruncher, during which she impersonates a low-rent streetwalker on Hollywood & Vine -- or a Real Housewife of New Jersey. The unspoken exchange for budgetary freedom goes awry because of its fundamental unspoken-ness. Lemon gets a slap on the wrist for sexually harassing a company consultant. Frankly, it's a much better deal than he got, though, since he is left weeping and alone after cashing in his widower V-card to Lemon. I suspect Benny Ninja would deem this tête-à-tête "Sow-wuh!"
Kenneth the downtrodden also suffers from the cutbacks when Jack fires Jonathan and taps him to be his new assistant. Run ragged, Kenneth asks Tracy to visit his apartment and feed his bird, Sonny Crockett, though he warns him direly not to go into his bedroom. Tracy arrives, only to receive a double-dog-Don't-Go-In-There from the bird. In Tracy world, that's all it takes to jump to the conclusion that Kenneth must be a serial killer. Tracy runs said theory by Jenna -- who has extensive knowledge on the subject thanks to her role in a Lifetime miniseries I am dying to see -- and she backs him up. They light their torches and start marching toward Castle Kenneth. Turns out, Kenneth was just fumigating his room. Jenna and Tracy, who have snuck in to collect the dead bodies, flee and leave the bug bomb to spread its noxious fumes and asphyxiate poor Sonny Crockett. Tracy and Jenna ultimately apologize for their misjudgment and make it right by giving Kenneth the gift of many, many birds. None of them appear to be pelicans.
Lemon and the TGS crew return jubilantly from their 50th show to find Jack's generous gift of empty wine bottles, or, as he calls, them, "decorative air holders." He asks for a word with Lemon. They head into her office, where he tells her that the whole company is undergoing cutbacks. Even he has suffered. He had to let Jonathan go earlier. Cue clip of Jonathan singing "I can't liiiiiiiiive, if livin' is without youuuuuu." It's no Bridget Jones at the company Christmas party, but it'll do. Jack warns Lemon that the parent company is hiring consultants to come in and trim the fat. As such, she'll have to whip up a presentation justifying her budget. He wonders if she can handle is. She is confident she'll be fine -- cocky, really. Jack heads upstairs to make more cuts, while Lemon addresses the Trix up her sleeve. Credits.
The next day, Kenneth reports for duty as Jack's new assistant. Jack instructs him on the "Three D's": Discretion, Docility and Don't Use My Bathroom. The phone rings, and Kenneth takes his first call. Jack pulls the old "I'm not here" maneuver, much to Kenneth's consternation. This is not going well at all. Kenneth, impressed with the corporate intrigue, says he feels like he's in The Pelican Brief, then shiftily looks around, whispering, "Do I already know too much?"
Downstairs, corporate consultant Brad Halster (a.k.a. psychotic pharmacist George Williams, a.k.a. Dr. Frederick Frahnk-in-steen, a.k.a. Roger Bart) marches up to meet Lemon for the presentation. He starts for the conference room, and she's all, "Not so fast there, y'old stuffed shirt!" Cue Steve Jobs-esque presentation of the three fundamental components of TGS: comedy, musical, live. So far so good. She actively foregoes mentioning any numbers and instead lists just a few of the accolades and exclusives the show has accrued (see quotes at end), then unleashes a shit storm of TGS's greatest hits. These include fat, vomiting Tracy in drag, roller dancing fat Jenna, fart science, Flavor Obama, The Bear and Robot Talk Show, rapping Suri Cruise, more fart scientists, and Tracy as a Martian. The presentation reaches its thrilling denouement with the entire cast running out on stage buoyantly. And, oh yes, there is raining confetti. A home run, right? Budgetary Brad: "So where's that conference room?" Guess there should have been more confetti? And maybe a cow costume?