Rising Up?

medium_30rock.2Episode commentary: Into the Crevasse

Sometimes, in order to come out on top, you have to sink to the bottom.

“Into the Crevasse” starts with a characteristically approval-seeking Liz Lemon watching her new book being stocked in a window display. Gleaming with pride, she points it out to the stockboy. Failing miserably in her attempt to give herself a pat on the back, the stockboy proceeds to beat the hell out of the cardboard standup depicting Ms. Lemon.

Based off last season’s much-too-close-to-home nit-picking exposition of the catchphrase “That’s A Dealbreaker!” Liz’s success begins to ruin all the lives of the men Lemon works with, knows or even just throws out her trash. Seemingly, all their wives and girlfriends have not only read the book, but also realized they’re with lemons (no pun intended). Some hit a little too close to home, such is the case of Tracy and Frank; they’re downright rip-offs of exact qualities they possess.

As Liz tries to deal with the peasant uprising, Jack’s corporate economic woes find him taking a bus and placing cheap brand name logo over his designer tie, traveling to Washington to defend his company’s spending habits.

Returning as Devon Banks (Will Arnett), and out of the entertainment industry, Banks has spent his absences befriending the president’s daughter. Pandering for a position of power, he ends up being the one force that could ruin Jack’s plot to save the company.

Jack is asked to answer for the spending trends, which he tries to articulate — but Banks is relentless. Continuing his quest to destroy Jack, Banks backs Jack into a corner.

Back at 30 Rock, Tracy has moved in with Liz because it is her fault his wife has flipped out. He begins exacting his revenge by ordering pornographic movies and adopting all of Kenneth’s dogs (who had adopted all of the pups to be executed while volunteering at the pound).

Meanwhile, Jenna has flocked to Iceland, to be in a werewolf based student film, “filling in last-minute for Victoria Beckham.” Claiming she’s taking advantage of the whole “True Blood” “Twilight” success, it is just a rouse to aggravate Liz whom she informs she can allow the “new cast member” to fulfill her TGS role. Unbeknownst to her and Liz (who Jenna points out is not a “moonologist”), there’s only a minute of daylight daily, forcing production to take a painfully long amount of time.

Finally reuniting in the swirling mass of chaos, Liz and Jack make their usual sarcastic, didactic exchange and Jack shares a nugget of a tale that brings the chaotic episode together (finally). Noting a time when he fell into a crevasse, he found the only way to escape was not to try and climb up– but rather deep down and out.

Not suddenly, but like a delayed flash of satori, Liz and Jack find the resolutions to her problem.

Jack finds the only way to financially save NBC is to accept bailout money, thereby making Banks his boss. Between having to admit the need for fiscal dependency and having to report to Banks, the move is something that would kill Jack. However, he sacrifices himself for the good of the company.

And poor Liz Lemon… in a desperate and brilliant attempt to placate Tracy and get him — and his little dogs, too — out of her apartment, she proposes that Tracy direct a porno based on her life. The ultimate revenge. Why? Because she will write it.

Both descending into the “crevasse” in order to fix the grand muck they’ve managed to wade into, Jack saves NBC and Liz satisfies everyone’s anger. Jenna is pleased with having the better looking porno actress. Tracy is thrilled in general to get to direct a porno. Frank and the rest of the writer’s room seem to simply enjoy the chance to see an actual naked woman up close.

As the season continues, despite matters getting worse for the characters, the laughter cannot help but increase.

About Samantha LoSapio 2 Articles
Samantha LoSapio is an adjunct lecturer of English, contributer to ReviewFix.com as well as SheepsheadBites.com, and the sole possessor of the Triforce. A proud nerd, much of her expertise takes the form of references to Battlestar Galactica, obscure 13th century literature, basic geology and other skills best reserved for Jeopardy contestants. She has made Sheepshead Bay her home since 1994.

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