Such a good episode. Obviously, this is the episode when we finally get the details on Jenna’s amazing movie, “The Rural Juror,” based off a Kevin Grisham novel.1  Apparently, Tony Hawk plays a blind character.

But this episode is actually the most essential piece in the puzzle that is Jenna and Liz’s relationship. When Liz hates “The Rural Juror,” she compares it to other things she say Jenna in back in the day, things that were also awful, forcing Liz to come up with bland compliments. Liz remembers herself as supportive, while Jenna remembers her as mean.

In Liz’s defense, the three flashbacks are to Jenna’s performances in “The Jenna Chronicles,” “Con-Air: The Musical,” and at a freestyle rap contest. “Con-Air,” of course, is a Nicholas Cage movie about a prison riot on an airplane. This isn’t the last time we see Liz remember herself as nicer than she really was, and it’s a good reminder that our narrator is pretty flawed.

Also, past-Liz looks like Velma from Scooby Doo:



Eventually the writers verify that “The Rural Juror” is a decent movie, and that Jenna is pretty good in it. even gave it five out of five iPods!

Anyway, Liz finally admits that she is sort of jealous, because even though she’s happy with her job, because the dream was for her and Jenna to be famous together. Of course, Jenna pointed out the impracticality of that dream: “You couldn’t have been serious about acting. you have brown hair.”

But I actually think this is the height of Liz and Jenna’s friendship on the show. Last episode I noted how bizarre it was to see Jenna in Liz’s apartment; I’ll let you know if it does, in fact, happen again. In season one, their relationship is about friendship, even if work stuff gets in the way of that sometimes.2  But in later seasons, their relationship becomes increasingly boss-employee. Liz is constantly “handling” Jenna’s drama, which isn’t the right verb for friendship. As she becomes better friends with Jack, her friendship with Jenna loses its oomph.

Of course, Jenna is to blame too. As she points out at the episode’s beginning, “TGS” has two movie stars now, and Jenna will use that for every piece of diva behavior she can. This episode, then, is the turning point.

Speaking of Tracy, this episode he and Jack have a scheme to get him some money quickly: the Tracy Morgan meat machine, which uses meat instead of bread to make sandwiches. Did no one at KFC ever see this episode? Did they watch it and think “what a great idea?” Is Tina a psychic? We have no way of knowing.

The meat machine’s shoddy craftsmanship and propensity to cause severe burns reminded me of The Cornballer on “Arrested Development.” But this plot line is actually ridiculous and I almost want to quote the whole thing to you. Instead, three highlights.

Tracy asks Dr. Spaceman if bread rots your brain, to which he replies, “We have no way of knowing because the powerful bread lobby keeps stopping my research.” This is actually one of my favorite quotes and I continually reference it in real life, often to people’s confusion.

Tracy offers to repay Jack for his help by making him a mix CD.

Tracy: You like Phil Collins?

Jack: I’ve got two ears and a heart, don’t I?

The window shade behind Jack contains a flow chart of GE’s many subsidiaries:

Screenshot 2014-07-03 19.00.43

NBC, you’ll note, is classified as a domestic appliance, and, as is frequently mentioned on the show, controlled by Sheinhardt Wig Company.

And one more thing:

Rachel Dratch’s best cameo was as Barbara Walters on “The View” rambling total nonsense at Jenna in the vain of the now-iconic “Rural Juror” song. Did the finale make me obsessed with all “Rural Juror” mentions or did Tina just inherently know how much the world loves that plot line? We have no way of knowing.

Bits & Pieces

Most ridiculous sketch title: “MTV Darfur”

Tracy’s goatee is back. Of all the actors, I would say he seems to have aged the most since 2006.

Things we know about Josh: He let Tony, the creepy security guard, watch him pee so he could get the screener of “The Rural Juror” from Liz’s office.

Jack has moved from Condaleeza Rice to Maureen Dowd.

Best Pete one-liner: “For the first time in your life you’ll be in a room full of women and you’ll be the least crazy one,” about Jenna’s appearance on “The View”

Continuity: Liz is outraged that Jenna slept with her brother because he was “in a really bad skiing accident.”

Character I related to most:

Grizz invested all of Tracy’s money in Worldcom.

Hints that Kenneth is immortal/mystical/terrifying: He’s in an intense feud with one of the prop guys.

1. B.J. Novak’s book of short stories, “One More Thing,” also has a short story about John Grisham, which is very funny. Did B.J. just watch “30 Rock” until he got enough short story ideas? We have no way of knowing.
2. Liz uses her position to her advantage brilliantly, though, during her fight with Jenna. She gives her impressions she can’t do, like Bill Clinton. I think I read a Mike Schur quote once about how he writes impressions Amy Poehler can’t do into “Parks and Rec.”