It’s going to please a whole lot of people to know that tonight’s episode had no special guest star. (No offense, Chris Parnell.) It also lends itself to the argument that this is a better show when it focuses only on the core characters. Lemon and Jack have an adventure on their own, allowing for both Jenna and Tracy to have separate storylines that involved Frank and Kenneth, respectively. The three threads went as follows:
Jack is giving the keynote address at a Six Sigma “Retreat to Move Forward.” He asks Lemon to accompany him, because he’s nervous about meeting business colleagues he hasn’t seen since he rejoined GE. Lemon makes a few jokes about summer camp, but none, as far as I can tell, reference the movie Meatballs (one of the top 10 greatest movies of all time). Lemon catches Jack talking to himself in the mirror. He’s trying to psych himself up before meeting the Six Sigma’s. When Jack and Lemon go to meet the Six Sigma’s he is quickly escorted away to meet “a guy at War Machines.” It leaves Lemon all alone with two assistants.
When he returns, Jack awkwardly invites Lemon to join him for lunch. Only, what he really means is L.U.N.C.H.: Lego Utilization for Negating Crisis Hierarchy. It’s a team-building exercise that requires a leader to instruct his or her group members on how to construct a Lego model from a design plan only he or she can see. Lemon dominates the group by yelling at leader Jack, and nicknaming him “haircut” while they try to build a Lego locomotive. Donaghy’s group eventually wins the L.U.N.C.H. challenge and Lemon gloats at the other group’s failure. One of the Sigma’s Six pulls Jack aside and quickly scolds him for allowing a subordinate to behave out of line. It makes Jack puts his foot down. He tells Lemon to be more reserved in public, and to call him by his last name, instead of “haircut.” Lemon has flashbacks of being abandoned by kids at summer camp. She’s so angry she ignores Jack. She ignores him up until moments before his big keynote speech. Jack is unaware that his microphone is on while he is backstage, psyching himself up in the mirror. Everyone at the retreat hears him. They laugh at him, and Lemon runs backstage to warn him, but by the time she arrives it is too late. Jack is a laughing stock, and he lies down on the floor defeated. However, Lemon is not so easily dismayed. She runs out on stage alone to try and cover for him, utilizing her previously referenced skills as a improv comedian doing corporate retreats with Jenna. First she tells the crowd that the voice they heard was her doing a Jack impression, but no one buys it. Next, she tries doing her best impression of Slingblade and Marion Ross from Happy Days, but to no avail. Then it’s on to crowd participation. She asks a man seated near the front “what’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you this weekend?” His answer is hearing Jack Donaghy on that microphone. The room erupts in laughter. Lemon has to go big. If she wants to sell this, she has to go really big. She starts to sing “Everybody Dance Now,” while dancing. Then she rips her shirt open to reveal her bra. It’s like a woman’s soccer sudden death playoff celebration, minus any of the appropriate context. The room is audibly hushed. It works though, and Jack’s antics on the microphone are long forgotten. Jack and Lemon make up, and Jack thanks her for the support. Lemon answers, “That’s what friends do, Jack. Duh.”
The second storyline revolves around Jenna and Frank. Jenna walks into the writer’s room to announce that, in order to prepare for her upcoming role as Janis Joplin, she will be employing the “method” method of acting. At her request, the staff is to address her as Janet Jopler (for legal reasons). By the way, has Eugene Mirman always been a writer at TGS? The opportunity does not escape Frank. He tells Jenna she should do her Joplin research on Wikipedia, “because people are finding out new things about Janis Joplin everyday.” Jenna loves the suggestion, and as soon as she leaves Frank starts updating the Janis Joplin Wikipedia page with facts like “Janis Joplin speed-walked everywhere and was afraid of toilets.” Soon Jenna is walking around the hallways, dressed as Janis Joplin, and making her favorite drink, made out of cherry juice, buttermilk and tequila, called the Frank Schlong. The situation gets rather out of hand when Frank catches Jenna in her dressing room about to eat a cat. He admits to her that he made up facts on Joplin’s Wikipedia page, and Jenna is furious. She throws a leg brace (she also thought Janis was disabled) at him, but then that same anger begins to work as an aphrodisiac on Frank. He likes damaged goods. Jenna likes compliments. So when Frank tells her that if she displays this kind of emotion in her performance she will win an Oscar, Jenna jumps his bones. Frank and Jenna become the second ever 30 Rock workplace hookup. The other was Lemon and Grizz. The next day Frank tells Jenna to forget that it even happened. This confuses the hell out of Jenna. “It was my mistake, not yours. I’m the one who had to take the Silkwood shower this morning.” Frank is happy to agree, so long as she not mention a word to anyone about them hooking up. The contradiction in Jenna’s mind festers. She sees Frank, later in the hallway with a group of people, and announces that the two of them did it yesterday. It! Frank buries his face in his hand. “This is a mistake,” he tells her. Later, Jenna gets her hair scrubbed by a middle-aged female hair stylist. The woman tells Jenna that she heard about her and Frank. She doesn’t seem too pleased. “You shouldn’t have done that, Jenna.” She protests that Frank belongs to her, and then the shampoo in Jenna’s hair causes her scalp to burn. Frank sees the problem and rushes in. As Jenna grabs a broom for protection, the hairstylist yells at her to “Stay away from my Frank!” Jenna runs away, and then an even older immigrant cleaning lady walks into the room. “Who was with my Frank?” They both look at Frank, and then at each other. Frank interjects: “Katie. Nzebia. Let me explain.”
The C-plot is another Tracy and Kenneth escapade. Tracy is at the doctor’s office, and the doctor is Dr. Leo Spaceman. Spaceman is the only character clinically more insane than Tracy, so this should be interesting. The doc seems to have somber news for Tracy. “I don’t know how to say this... dee-ah–ba-tees?” Tracy has to make some serious lifestyle changes, or risk turning into a diabetic. Kenneth learns about Tracy’s risk of diabetes while standing in front of him at a table full of candy. Tracy thinks diabetes is a white myth, like Larry Bird or Colorado. So far, no one has made a Wilford Brimley joke. I welcome it. Kenneth wants to help Tracy improve his diet. He makes him a healthy meal, but it gets turned away. So Kenneth thinks on his feet. He warns that if Tracy refuses to eat his vegetables, the Hill Witch will eat him. Tracy doesn’t buy it. Even when Kenneth dresses up like a witch and surprises him in his dressing room, he shrugs him off. Then Jenna, holding a broom and bemoaning her rapidly shedding hair, runs into Tracy’s dressing room immediately after the hairdresser attack. “I’m a monster!” she screams, and both Kenneth and Tracy begin stuffing carrots in their mouth to ward the Hill Witch away.
Jack walks into Lemon's office with two almost identical pictures of himself. "Which one do you like?" he asks. Lemon is bewildered but picks the left one. "So the wacky one?" says Jack. The picture is needed because Jack is giving the keynote address at the "Six Sigma Retreat to Move Forward," and is very nervous. He hasn't seen his fellow higher-ups since he left the company and went to work for the Bush administration. Lemon reminds him that he never told her what happened to him in Washington. Cut to: a flashback of Jack in a war room. The site where the gay bomb exploded. He grabs the man next to him, who looks like Dick Cheney, whispers "Please be gentle," and starts to draw him near. Back to present day. Lemon tells Jack he has camp jitters. Jack agrees, and then persuades Lemon to tag along and help calm his anxious nerves.
Jenna walks into the writer's room to announce that, in order to prepare for her upcoming role as Janis Joplin, she will be employing the "method" method of acting. At her request, the staff is to address her as Janet Jopler, or Jaime Jimplan (for legal reasons). By the way, has Eugene Mirman always been a writer at TGS? The opportunity does not escape Frank. He tells Jenna she should do her Joplin research on Wikipedia, "because people are finding out new things about Janis Joplin everyday." Jenna loves the suggestion, but as soon as she leaves, Frank starts updating the Janis Joplin Wikipedia page with factual inaccuracies, like "Janis Joplin speed walked everywhere and was afraid of toilets."
Tracy is in Dr. Leo Spaceman's office. He's just had a checkup and asks the doctor about his health. "I don't know how to say this..." Tracy's face drops. "Dee-ah-bah-tees?" half-asks the doctor. Spaceman tells Tracy that, unless he makes lifestyle changes, he will become diabetic. Spaceman warns Tracy that he could possibly lose a foot from the disease. "Could I replace it with a wheel like Rosie from The Jetsons?" Spaceman's answer is yes, but then he'd have to register at the DMV. Who wants that?
Jack is at the hotel of the company retreat, talking to himself in the mirror. He's psyching himself up before he has to meet the Sigma Six. "It's winning time, you magnificent son of a bitch," is what he tells himself. "Make mommy proud of her big boy because he's the best." Lemon overhears it, and offers her own words of encouragement. She does the same thing in the mirror before going to a party. At the lobby of the hotel, Jack and Lemon first lay eyes on the Six Sigma: Six older, balding white men. They are the corporate titans of the largest electric appliance/artificial adornment manufacturer on the planet. Larger even than the Kenmore Eye Patch conglomerate. If that existed. Jack walks over to greet them in the way of a successful man: "Men. If I had known your wives were alone, I would have stayed in New York." They all turn around, but say nothing. Just before it starts to get really uncomfortable, though, they all let out a laugh, from the gut so that you know it's for real. Jack is quickly whisked away by the six titans and leaves Lemon alone with two nerdy assistants named Prashant and Joan. They ask what her level is. They're both M7's. Lemon explains she isn't any level, and is here for support. "J?" asks Prashant.