Episode PremiereMarch 29, 2012
Show Period2006 - 2013
Production CompanyBroadway Video, Little Stranger, NBC Universal
Cast and Crew
DirectorStephen Lee Davis
- Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
- Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
- Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan
- Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney / Dusty Springfield
- Jack McBrayer as Kenneth Parcell
- Judah Friedlander as Frank Rossitano
- Keith Powell as Toofer
- Katrina Bowden as Cerie
- Scott Adsit as Pete Hornberger
- Lonny Ross as Josh Girard
- Maulik Pancholy as Jonathan
It's tax season again, but Liz's accountant Howard doesn't need to see the year's receipts. Liz's life is predictable, never changing from one year to the next. A series of flashbacks proves Howard's point: Liz's life is static. "This year's going to be different!" Liz and Howard say in unison.
Disturbed by her own lack of progress, Liz complains to Jack, but his office golf game is clearly more important. Jack is working off the "Shower Principle," a theory that promotes a distracted brain for moments of inspiration. He reasons that practicing his putting in the office will free his mind so he can generate a brilliant plan that will save the company. Hank Hooper intends to waste the company's latest profits by issuing a shareholder dividend. Jack needs to think of an inspired project that will vault the company back into being a worldwide leader. Realizing she had a similar conversation with Jack at this time last year, Liz stumbles out of Jack's office, barreling right into a trash can.
Scantily clad Cerie reaches for the office's healthy food, which mysteriously has been moved to the kitchen's top shelf. The horny males clamber for a peek at her midriff. Even Hazel gets into the summer spirit and shows off her page jacket with only a hot pink bra underneath. Liz breaks up the gawking party, knowing Jenna will become self-conscious and take her frustration out on TGS. Liz realizes that this happens every year during the summer - every year? Liz recognizes that Howard is right. Flipping through last year's journal pages, Liz begins to grasp how cyclical her life really is: everything that's happened today happened today last year, exactly the way the journal describes it! Give or take a few minor details, her life really hasn't changed. The light dawns on Liz - the answers to all her current problems are in her journal.
Right on schedule, Jenna flips out on Liz because the McDonald's Macbeth sketch they're rehearsing will obviously cause a terrible curse to befall her. Without hesitating, Liz searches her journal for the answer. Make Cerie perform the scene, of course. With everyone satisfied except for Liz, Hazel offers her a romantic Groupon couples massage. Disgusted, Liz rejects the offer, but makes Hazel promise she'll keep Jenna from doing anything crazy.
Cerie's performance is a huge hit with the men, something Jenna can't allow. Stealing the spotlight, Jenna announces the show must go on! Excepting Frank, all the men disappear - seeing Cerie walking off in a small yellow rubber dress is significantly more exciting than watching Jenna. As Jenna takes her rightful place, Hazel pushes her out of the way of a falling light. Finishing the scene, Jenna struts confidently offstage, only to twist her ankle on the steps. Hazel helps her to the director's chair, but Jenna is on the ground within seconds. The curse was an excuse for Jenna to act out, but now it's real!
Limping into her room, Jenna reaches into the fridge, but the curse reaches even there. Her hand is cruelly pinched by a rat's trap. Smugly, Hazel confesses there's no curse because she's the one trying to ruin Jenna's life. Liz can't have two best friends, and Hazel intends to be that one. The curse is a scare tactic to keep Jenna preoccupied. Jenna sneers, "You didn't kill me when you had the chance!"
Jack realizes that the 10-minute meeting with Hank tonight may be his only chance to save the company. Jack is so desperate for inspiration, he's showered at The Racquet Club. Meanwhile, Liz is taking great strides toward changing her monotonous future. She's bought a meditation stool and discovered a mantra to cultivate a new meditative life. She's keeping her mantra a secret though, even from Jack. Stepping off the elevator, Tracy informs Liz he's leaving for Alaska to star in "Five-Now-Dog-Five," the fifth installment of Snow Dogs. The movie is only to pay for his taxes, which he can't afford since freezing his money in his pool. Instead of stressing, Liz runs to her office to meditate.
Deep in meditation, Liz achieves "enlightenment" by pushing the problems of Pete, Jenna and Tracy out of her mind. An apparition of Jack, robed in white, congratulates Liz on finally reaching a place where pants come with built-in underwear. Meditation is a waste of her time though, according to Enlightenment Jack. Confused, Liz re-enters reality to find Jack crouching in front of her. Reflecting on his career, Jack realizes Liz and her array of issues are the true spark of inspiration for him - golfing and showering, be damned! "Only you can stimulate my anterior superior temporal gyrus," says Jack.Jack's office clock taunts him with its constant ticking. He's almost out of time before his meeting with Hank Hooper. Quickly, he lies on the couch for instant meditation. Enlightenment Jack, wearing a full white suit, offers him the inspiration he's needed. The answer is behind him, behind him, behind him, Enlightenment Jack echoes. Snapping out of the meditation, the answer is revealed!
The big moment arrives and Jack faces Hank Hooper to pitch his new brilliant idea: couches. He tells his boss that with the profits this quarter, Kabletown should brand their own couches for viewers to sit on, thereby fulfilling America's biggest need. The couches will be American-made instead of Vietnamese, Hooper's biggest enemies. Ecstatic, Hooper agrees to take the risk for the good of America.Liz's life is officially stagnant, as the makeup artist quits on schedule; Tracy threatens the Treasury Department with a bomb; Jenna accuses Hazel of attempting to destroy her; and Kenneth wants a recommendation for the NBC Page Program. Yes, her life is a monotonous hell. Stomping out of 30 Rock, Liz follows Jack's directions to his new rat-infested couch factory. Kabletown won't change overnight, but the factory is a productive baby step. Liz is the reason for the change; he needs Liz in his life. "You're admitting you need me. The last time you did that was..." Liz ponders, "Never." The cycle is broken! Change is happening.