I first started crying when Liz, having chased Tracy to Dark Sensations (We’ve come full circle), thinking he’s trying to put the show in breach of contract and take the money, realizes he just doesn’t want to say goodbye to TGS. She tells him that even though Tracy made things difficult for her, and they probably won’t talk after the show ends, she loves him. Excuse me while I wipe away this tear.
The next set of sobs came when Jenna realizes her mirror is being taken away from her. It was such a ridiculous time to cry, but to see Jenna convey real emotion — albeit concerning her own reflection — was a nice moment for her character. When she — now mirrorless — shouts, “I have no way to see if I’m crying!” I fell to pieces, laughing hysterically but also sobbing from sadness.
And then came the Liz/Jack moment everyone anticipated. Thinking Jack has gone to kill himself because of her (just like her gynecologist), Liz rushes to stop him. In the process she blurts out that what I hope will be the real ending of Mad Men (that Don goes to work for Peggy). Jack reveals that he’s not killing himself, just taking a boat trip. (Who is he, Andy Bernard?!) Before he leaves, he goes into a long disclaimer implying he’s about to tell Liz that he loves her, explaining that it’s not romantic (once again referencing the argument over whether those two should end up together — THEY SHOULDN’T!), and Liz just says, “I love you too, Jack.” Can’t. See. Computer. Through. Tears.
Of course, immediately after setting sail Jack comes to his senses with an idea for clear dishwashers, so you can see what’s happening inside (best idea ever, if you ask me), and turns around.
It wouldn’t be a 30 Rock finale without Jenna singing. Here’s where I ended up bawling. While belting out a nonsensical song from the Rural Juror musical, Jenna cries and we see a quick montage of memorable moments from the show. I can’t believe I sobbed while watching Jane Krakowski perform a song with this lyric:
I suspected that 30 Rock, lover of mocking TV conventions, might do some kind of send-up of classic TV series finales. The last moment of the show was the perfect way to do just that. We see a snow globe, bringing to mind the infamous ending of St. Elsewhere, being held by Kenneth. Cut to a Lemony-looking girl who says the show she’s pitching is based on her great-grandma’s stories. Kenneth, who hasn’t aged a day, says he loves it. Cue spaceships flying by outside. Fin.
I haven’t even scratched the surface of Lutz’s insistence on ordering Blimpie’s for the writers’ last free lunch or Pete’s elaborate plan to fake his own death. That’s what was so great about this finale. It wrapped up everyone’s storyline in a satisfying, character-appropriate way, and there were simply too many great moments to give them all the attention they deserve. Sad there was no Dr. Spaceman or Rachel Dratch cameo, but we can’t get everything we want.
While I’m incredibly sad to see 30 Rock go, I believe it has left a mark on TV history not only as one of the funniest, most original shows ever, but also as a historic show for women in (and on) television, and that makes me happy. Thank you, Tina Fey. You are unmatched. And if NBC‘s gonna replace 30 Rock‘s time slot with something, it might as well be the new season of Community. Or are you going to take that away from me too, NBC?!
(Image: NBC, via TV Guide)