Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Home Career Television Series (2013) 30 Rock

(2013) 30 Rock

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Role: Eliza Lemon
Rating: TV-14
Genre: Comedy
Country: USA
Language: English
Network: NBC
Running Time: 22 min
Production Location: New York City
Production Company: Universal Television
Created by: Tina Fey
Produced by: Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey, Marci Klein, David Miner, Robert Carlock, Jeff Richmond
Episode Title: 7.13 Last Lunch
Directed by: Beth McCarthy-Miller
Written by: Tina Fey, Tracey Wigfield
Air Date: January 31, 2013 (USA)
Rating/Share (18-49): 1.9/5
Viewers: 4.88 millions
Total: 2.6/6.13 millions
Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) returns for the final episode of TGS and is thrown into a world of chaos: Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) has quit his job and appears to be on the verge of suicide, Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) is attempting to stop the episode going ahead, because he is due a payout from the network if the episode doesn't happen, and Lutz (John Lutz) is attempting to use his turn to pick lunch for the writers as an opportunity to exact revenge on them for constantly picking on him. Meanwhile, Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer) attempts to extract some genuine emotion from Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), as she readies her final song for the show.

Character

Barrett plays Eliza Lemon, Liz's African-American great-granddaughter, who appears in the last scene of the series. Growing up, Eliza hears the stories Liz would tell about her days at NBC. As an adult in the early 22nd century, she develops a sitcom based on those stories, which she pitches to NBC's receptive (and strangely immortal and ageless) president, Kenneth Parcell, while flying cars zoom through the sky past his office window. Kenneth only addresses her as "Ms. Lemon".

Quotes from this episode

Kenneth: So the whole show just takes place here at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Is that right, Mr. Lemon?
Eliza: Yes, sir. It's based on stories my great-grandmother told me.
Kenneth: I know. And I love it!

Photos from this episode

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Scenes

Reception

The hour-long broadcast of "Hogcock!" and "Last Lunch" was watched by 4.88 million viewers and earned a 1.9 rating/5 share in the 18–49 demographic. This means that it was seen by 1.9 percent of all 18- to 49-year-olds and 5 percent of all 18- to 49-year-olds watching television at the time of the broadcast. This represented a season high in total viewers and in the demographic, an increase of two million viewers over the previous season finale and the highest-rated episode of the series, in overall viewers, for two years. When data obtained from DVR viewers who watched the episode within seven days of broadcast was factored in, total viewership for the finale increased by 25 percent, to 6.13 million viewers, and viewership in the demographic increased by 37 percent, to a 2.6 rating.

The series finale received unanimous acclaim from critics and from fans of the series. Alan Sepinwall of HitFix opined that "the finale gave these ridiculous cartoon characters three dimensions for at least a few moments so they could say proper goodbyes to each other, and to us." He elaborated that "Liz and Tracy back at the strip club was a blunt but heartfelt summation of their whole relationship, and Jack on the boat giving a long preamble about the true nature of their friendship before saying that he loved Liz (which Liz spared him from actually having to do by saying it to him first) was a thing of beauty." In conclusion, he wrote that "[he would] miss this show, but this ending felt close to perfect." Roth Cornet of IGN gave the episode a "masterpiece" 10 out of 10 and commented "30 Rock had the rare ability to provide both comedy and earned sentiment. That has never been more true than in these final two episodes" and concluded that "Jack goes back to his roots, his true-love, after a gloriously short-lived soul searching sea adventure: housewares. Liz, once and for all, embraces the fact that, yes, you can have it all, but "having it all" ultimately means truly knowing and accepting yourself, and having the willingness to compromise. And with that, a series that could have been an ingenious bit of comedy, but not much more, became a show about people and relationships that will stay with us well past the final fade to black tonight."

Pilot Viruet of The A.V. Club awarded the episode an "A" and singled out two scenes in particular as "perfect": "The first is Liz meeting Tracy at the strip club they visited in the pilot and, while admitting that it’s possible they won’t be friends after this, admitting she still does sincerely love him. The second scene is, if [sic] course, Jack’s suicide fake-out, which he staged as a way to prove that Liz Lemon would miss him in the future." She summarized that "It’s a show whose impact will be seen in plenty of future sitcoms [...] and while it’s a shame to see it go, it’s great to see it go out on such a high note." Amy Amatangelo of Paste scored the episode a 9.3 out of 10 and opined that "It’s hard to create a series finale that will make every fan happy. But 30 Rock, which is going out still very close to the top of its game, came very close. There was so much to love about the episode: Liz’s frighteningly spot-on fights with the moms at Gothammoms.com. Jenna landing in LA, seeing the competition, and high-tailing it right back to New York. The show getting in a few last digs at NBC. Plenty of Grizz and Dot Com. What appeared to be the show’s real crew in the final TGS shot. The return of Jonathan. Tracy spelling out his name for Kenneth’s receptionist ("‘R’ as in the pirate noise, ‘A’ as in the Fonzie noise"). Jenna having actual feelings even when she can’t look in the mirror to confirm that she’s crying. Sure, I could have done without the Lutz demand for "Blimpies" as the last lunch, but I quibble."

James Poniewozik of Time commented that "In some ways, last week’s episode felt more like a finale, in that it put a period on several stories: Liz got her kids, TGS hit the end of its run, Jack got Kabletown and Kenneth became president of NBC. The last hour, on the other hand, was a goodbye–in a 30 Rock-ian meta sense, it was like the "one more episode" that TGS itself had to make, because we weren’t quite ready to stop" and added "And I’m glad we got that epilogue, because as neatly as the rest of this shortened final season wrapped up 30 Rock’s plotlines, this last hour captured its emotion." Tom Gliatto of People praised the episode as "one of the most delightful series wrap-ups [he could] remember" and added that "[the characters] were full of the sparkling, absurd liveliness that characterized the show at its best throughout seven seasons." He concluded that "With its endless supply of shiny, shapely little jokes, the show could feel like a wonderful salad served up without a bowl. You got tired of being showered with lovely microgreens. This time we got the bowl. It was a lovely burnished wood." Brian Lowry of Variety was slightly less favorable, commenting "The finale earns points for ambition and nostalgia. There are the obligatory celebrity cameos, some very clever lines, a nifty callback to the pilot, and a kicker that exhibits a real love for television a lot of the audience probably won't understand it. But the whole thing is a little too precious and yes, weird - frittering away too much time on the supporting players [...] before getting to the really good stuff."

Homages

Jack's speech to the crew comes almost word for word from Emily Webb's speech at the end of Our Town. The snow globe Kenneth holds in the final scene is a homage to the St. Elsewhere finale, in which it is suggested that the events of the entire series were a child's dream. In contrast, the ending of 30 Rock implies that the TV show pitched by Liz's great-granddaughter is 30 Rock itself. In a final Star Wars reference, the last of many throughout the series, the cars flying past Kenneth's window are from The Empire Strikes Back.