30 Rock, NBC, Airs Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c
Episode: “The Ones” (Season 3, Episode 19)
Synopsis: Elisa (Salma Hayek) returns to 30 Rock with a dark secret that she doesn’t want Jack to know out of fear he won’t love her anymore and Jenna goes to desperate measures to try and re-connect with a cute EMT that actually enjoys her show.
Review: I know I’m not the only one who was delighted to see Salma Hayek’s return to the show and I know I’m not the only one who is upset now that she’s gone for good. Obviously, Hayek is easy on the eyes, but it was also somewhat touching to see Jack Donaghy dabble with the idea of settling down. If there’s one flaw with 30 Rock though, it’s that it just doesn’t do drama and the climax of Jack and Elisa’s relationship is a primary example.
But more on that later. The episode starts off on a high note when Jack takes Liz with him to search for an engagement ring. The condescending looks the clerk gives in Liz’s direction when he assumes she’s the lucky woman are hilarious as is the half-assed compliment he delivers to Jack: “She’s very….spirited. Like a show horse.” The pre-opening credits highjinks continue when Frank and Toofer play a joke on Lutz involving a mouse in a donut box. In general, Lutz’s character should probably generate sympathy from an audience, but when he runs head first into a wall out of fright and has a flat screen monitor topple onto his head, it’s just a straight up good time.
This prank is a catalyst for two somewhat flat threads that run throughout the episode: Jenna’s falling for the EMT that responds to Lutz’s injury and the introduction of “The Pranksters” – Frank, Toofer and Pete. In a sociopathic attempt to find the EMT again, Jenna continuously exploits Kenneth’s strawberry allergy, though a different EMT responds each time. Jenna doesn’t have many funny lines throughout the episode (“I even called 911. They wouldn’t put me through to their celebrity line”) but there’s something comforting in receiving confirmation that she is literally a sociopath, which is evidenced in her correctly answering the question of how would a girl go about meeting an attractive man she met at her mother’s funeral. (Answer: she kills her own mother in hopes the man shows up again). While it’s nice to see more of Pete, this could’ve been a perfect opportunity for a visit from Chris Parnell’s Dr. Spaceman. In the end, The Pranksters teach Jenna a valuable lesson when they and Kenneth fake an extreme allergic reaction, but to be honest, Kenneth probably could’ve been the voice of reason on his own and we would’ve been spared the ridiculous fedoras with feathers.
But I said “more on that later” and now it’s later. Elisa is back. That’s important. Not only is it important because her and Jack’s relationship comes to an end, but it’s important because of girl-on-girl action. That’s right – Elisa and Liz kiss. Alright, so it’s not erotic, romantic or hot in any way, shape, or form (in fact, it’s actually rather awkward and forced), but it’s funny. The secret Elisa doesn’t want Jack finding out, is that she once killed a man – literally. Her ex-husband cheated on her and, in a crime of passion, she straight up murdered him. Surprisingly, this doesn’t change the way Jack feels about her and after a startling revelation from Tracy Jordan (despite all the partying, he’s never once cheated on his wife), Jack realizes Elisa, with her broken English (“I haven’t spoken English in two mences”) is “the one,” just like Angie is “the one” for Tracy and the EMT is “the one” for Jenna (except he’s not because he has sole custody of his 5-year old). But as I said, Elisa and Jack break up and the reason why is disappointing. In the end, Elisa decides she’s just too passionate after Jack is freaked out that she followed him back to Liz’s apartment. We all knew Hayek and her magnificent breasts wouldn’t last, but give us a better reason than because she’s “too passionate.”
So who’s “the one” for Liz? In the grand scheme of things, we don’t know (even though I continue to insist it’ll be Jack). In this episode though, it appeared to be the Slanket, a rip-off of those awful Snuggies adverised on TV, which Liz wears literally everywhere in a hilarious running gag.
Favorite Quote: [Elisa] – “Lemon, isn’t there a Slanket somewhere you should be filling with your farts?”
Grade: B – We’ll miss you Salma Hayek and your tremendous rack.
Read More: 30 Rock Recaps
Did anyone else see this week’s episode? Your thoughts?