30 Rock

Episode Report Card
Michael Neal: B | Grade It Now!

Down at the base of the Rockefeller tree, beautifully green-screened by television special effects people, Tracy gives his Christmas speech that ends with the words, "in order to stay sane, you have to go crazy." His ankle bracelet starts beeping. He's been drinking out of a flask shaped as the letters TJ adorned around his neck. Somewhere in Denver, the ankle bracelet security headquarters misses Tracy's alcohol violation, too busy with their own DMXmas.

In the other plot line, it's Christmas in Jack's office as Lemon pops in to wish him a merry one before leaving for the break. He offers a gift: the company's new handheld photo scanner/paper shredder. Lemon questions the design. "Won't people just end up shredding their photos?" Jack reassures her by pointing out the switch that flips from PS: photo scan to PS: photo shred. "So you see...oh."

Digressing, Lemon has big plans for the holidays. Her parents and brother are coming to visit. Jack expresses sympathy but Lemon is truly excited. Unlike Jack's Irish obstacle course of a family, Lemon's parents almost never fight. Jack, on the other hand, is counting his blessings; Mother Donaghy won't be making it up for Christmas on account of the Floridian hurricane she now lives dangerously in the eye of. Instead he plans on riding that tropical heavy pressure system all the way up to Vermont and visit his new girlfriend C.C. (hooray continuity!). Just then, Jonathan rushes in -- he's always rushing in -- carrying bags and a warning: "Jack, your mother is here. She got Jet Blue to take an Amtrak ticket." In walks Mother Donaghy singing Jingle Bells followed by that other timeless tune, Freudian mothering. She can't believe her son is still stuck in the same office and wonders what happened to his much talked about promotion. She turns her back to him and waits for him to take her coat. How sweet the comfort of a mother's love...

In the kitchen, Jack is putting together a precinct-sized tray of donuts for his mother's hotel room. Lemon joins him. "Permission to land?" says an off camera voice -- a sexy off-camera voice. "Permission granted!" shouts back Lemon. It's her family! Meet the Lemons: her brother Mitch, mother Margaret, and...hold on a minute, sailor. What piece of the hot train flipped the tracks when it saw you, Dick Lemon, played by Buck Henry? I want Buck Henry on the cover of Teen Viceland he's so smoking. His glasses make my glasses steam up. It's business time. Buck "Dick" Henry "Lemon" compliments Jack by telling him that he looks like an Arrow Shirt model. Mother Lemon is equally full of compliments, hugging her daughter and asking Jack if beautiful genius Lemon isn't the best employee he's ever had? A long beat. "No," answers Jack. The whole family cracks up with laughter. Buck Dick Lemon walks with Lemon, calling her "Wilma Shakespeare" and embarrassing her with his pride. Margaret grabs Jack by the cheeks, says something to him in baby, and then kisses him maternally on the lips.

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30 Rock




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