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'30 Rock' Season 5 Episode Guide

Episode Guide to the 2010-2011 Season of '30 Rock' on NBC


30 Rock

Tina Fey as Liz and Matt Damon as Carol in the '30 Rock' Season 5 episode "The Fabian Strategy"

Photo courtesy of NBC
The fourth season of 30 Rock ended with a number of big developments, including Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) finding out that his girlfriend Avery (Elizabeth Banks) was pregnant; Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) potentially meeting the love of her life in an airline pilot played by Matt Damon; and Kenneth the page accidentally getting himself fired. In the fifth season, Jack had his first child; Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) hid out in "Africa"; Liz continued to struggle through relationships; and both 30 Rock and the show within the show, TGS, reached their 100th episodes. Read on for the complete 30 Rock Season 5 episode guide.

Episode 1
“The Fabian Strategy”
Original Airdate: September 23, 2010

Liz is happy that she and Carol see each other only a few days at a time, but he decides he wants a real relationship. Liz is reluctant, but she agrees to take some steps forward. Jenna’s contract stipulates that she becomes a producer at the beginning of the fifth season, and she embraces her newfound power, only to then give it up. Tracy is so distraught that Kenneth is gone that he starts seeing visions of Kenneth everywhere. Kenneth, who now works at CBS, refuses to return.

Episode 2
“When It Rains, It Pours”
Original Airdate: September 30, 2010

Thanks to her newfound confidence from being in a relationship, Liz agrees to deal with a troublesome editor (Paul Giamatti) for Pete. The editor spreads a rumor that he and Liz are sleeping together, but it’s just so he can attract the romantic attention of his assistant. Jack is worried that he won’t be around for his child’s entire life, so he makes videos to impart his knowledge. Tracy is determined to be at the birth of his daughter, but he keeps hitting obstacles along the way. Kenneth announces his intention to return to NBC.

Episode 3
“Let’s Stay Together”
Original Airdate: October 7, 2010

An African-American congresswoman (played by Queen Latifah) promises to block the merger of NBC and Kabletown if the network doesn’t increase its diversity, so Jack enlists Tracy to come up with new minority programming and has Liz promote Toofer to co-head writer of TGS. Kenneth is determined to get rehired by the NBC page program, but the process has become very competitive. Jenna helps him come up with an impressive song-and-dance routine, but then Jack just orders human resources to hire Kenneth back.

Episode 4
“Live Show”
Original Airdate: October 14, 2010

In an episode shot in multi-camera style with a studio audience and aired live, it’s Liz’s 40th birthday and she’s worried that no one will remember. Jack decides to stop drinking because Avery can’t drink while she’s pregnant, and it’s driving him crazy. Tracy wants to crack up during the show because he thinks audiences will love it, and Liz keeps trying to stop him. Jack scrambles to do something at the last minute for Liz’s birthday, but he just repurposes the birthday celebration for the cleaning lady.

Episode 5
Original Airdate: October 21, 2010

Jack has gone nearly 24 hours without doing anything wrong, so he decides to help Liz with her relationship with Carol and solve her sexual anxiety issues. Tracy volunteers to do a commercial for the Boys and Girls Clubs and keeps screwing it up. Jack manages to get Tracy’s line recorded by overdubbing it himself, and he figures out that Tom Jones triggers Liz’s sexual trauma. Jenna and Kenneth run a con game on the Carvel ice cream company and get Kelsey Grammer to help them.

Episode 6
“Gentleman’s Intermission”
Original Airdate: November 4, 2010

Avery is uneasy about how close Jack and Liz’s relationship is, and she asks Jack to find someone new to mentor. Without Jack’s help, Liz has trouble dealing with her father (Buck Henry), who decides to take a break from his marriage and comes to New York to pick up women. Finally, Avery relents and allows Jack to continue being Liz’s mentor when she realizes how important their relationship is. Tracy tries to improve his image after seeing his shameful prerecorded NBC News obituary, while Jenna tries to do something significant enough to warrant her own prerecorded obituary.

Episode 7
“Brooklyn Without Limits”
Original Airdate: November 11, 2010

Liz gets an amazing new pair of jeans and feels conflicted when she learns they come from a store owned by Halliburton. Jack decides to support the businessman who’s running for election against the congresswoman opposing the NBC merger with Kabletown, even though the guy is crazy. Jenna tries to sabotage Tracy’s chances at winning an Oscar for his acclaimed movie Hard to Watch, but relents when she sees how powerful his performance is, and that inspires both Liz and Jack to do the right thing.

Episode 8
Original Airdate: November 18, 2010

The writers discover that Jack’s voice is the pronunciation guide on a dictionary website and use it to play pranks on Pete. Jack is dismayed that the microwave division made its most money ever without his supervision and is determined to prove that their product is inferior, but has to eventually acknowledge that he is no longer needed there. Liz is suddenly popular after buying drinks for the crew and is determined to hold onto it at all costs. She fails and ends up reverting to her place as the rules-obsessed boss.

Episode 9
“Chain Reaction of Mental Anguish”
Original Airdate: December 2, 2010

Liz starts telling her problems to Kenneth, which makes her feel better but stirs up his own issues, which he in turn talks about to Jack. Tracy’s fake son Donald keeps asking for money to support his failed business ventures, and Jack urges Tracy to cut him off. Jack changes his mind after Kenneth’s stories of childhood trauma stir up his own issues with his father, and he tells Tracy to support Donald. Jenna breaks up with her drag-queen boyfriend Paul when he indicates that he wants to settle down.

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