by Samantha Rullo
Finally, exactly a year after her abduction and a few months after the real-life death of her kidnapper, Avery Jessup (Elizabeth Banks) has been returned to America and “30 Rock,” for an episode that sets up some conflicts that can hopefully be resolved in next week’s season finale.
Avery’s return was welcome, as Elizabeth Banks has always given a great performance as Jack’s intelligent, conservative, and very manipulative wife, and their two characters always deliver great scenes together. Their reunion, filled with guilt-trip battles and mind games, was very fitting, and hopefully we will get to see more of Avery now that she is back. At the very least, her return should mean the end of the creepy, sexual-tension-filled relationship between Jack and Avery’s mother, which made for a funny plot, but now would just be uncomfortable to watch.
The other important still-unfolding storyline of Liz and Criss having or adopting a baby together made some developments this week too, but they seem to be moving backwards. It’s been six years of watching Liz try to “have it all,” from buying the apartment above hers to trying to adopt a baby on her own, and while the apartment finally seems to be making some progress, the hope for her personal life started to diminish this week.
From the character’s first appearance, part of Criss’ charm, and why Jack didn’t approve, was that he sells hot dogs for a living and doesn’t have much money. But after the exciting prospect of them having a baby together, Liz changed her opinion on that a few times in a single episode, leaving the future uncertain. She went from being concerned about her role as the main provider in their relationship, to embracing switched gender roles, and back to uncertainty after seeing Criss’ attempt at reclaiming his manhood—though in Liz’s defense, Criss stealing a popular corner from fake “Sesame Street” characters to sell more hot dogs may not be the most reassuring sight. Still, Liz should get the happiness she’s been looking for, and “30 Rock” does not have enough time left to delay it much further.
Somehow, Jenna is now closer to having it all than Liz, thanks to the recent proposal from boyfriend Paul, who is the absolute best match for her that the show ever could have created. But as close as she is to having her dream celebrity wedding, Jenna can’t quite get rid of the trashy lifestyle she comes from. Usually, Tracy is the one to talk about his absolutely crazy and hilarious upbringing, and while Jenna’s may not have been as funny, it was entertaining enough and brought out Kenneth’s perfectly ridiculous accent.
With only one episode left this season, NBC recently renewed “30 Rock” for a seventh and final, 13-epsiode season. It seems like next week’s finale will include Jack and Avery’s vow renewal, but there are no guarantees for Jenna’s wedding, or for the future of Liz and Criss’ relationship. Hopefully, some progress will be made and season 6 can end on a high-note.
Samantha Rullo is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.