"30 Rock" Believe in the Stars (TV Episode 2008) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Liz sits next to Oprah on her flight from Chicago to New York, Tracy and Jenna conduct a "social experiment" to settle a dispute, and Kenneth is disillusioned when he learns that some Olympic events were actually staged.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • "30 Rock" - "Believe in the Stars" - Nov. 6, 2008

    Jack is on the phone when Liz enters and Jonathan tells her that he's on an important call so everything Jack says to her will have to work for both conversations. Liz is impressed by this just as Jack says "Lemon." She lets him know that she has to go to Chicago for jury duty- she never changed her residency because she wanted to vote in a swing state. He wonders to Liz and into the phone "how fast can you turn it around?" She promises to be back the next morning. She says she never gets picked because she wears her Princess Leia costume.

    Jack gets off the call and says he'll upgrade her to first class and wants to know what pills she needs to fly. He offers her Comanaprosil- it may cause dizziness, sexual nightmares, and sleep crime. Jonathan lets Jack know Tyler Brody- Olympic tetherball silver medalist - is on the phone. It turns out NBC faked a bunch of sports to goose the ratings and so Americans could win more medals. Tyler is threatening to go public since he didn't win the gold. With this mess on his hands Jack says he can't babysit Liz's show so to get her people under control before she leaves. He tells her to be a manager.

    Donwstairs Jenna informs Liz that Tracy is counter-suing Jenna for defamation of character. She doesn't know how it's possible to defame someone who's been arrested in three Chuck 'E Cheeses. (We get a quick shot of Tracy being hauled out of one of those rooms filled with balls by the cops and him asking "Do you know who I am? Seriously, please tell me who I am.") Liz says she won't take sides. Jenna says his porn video game wouldn't have been such a hit without her voice acting. Tracy arrives calling Jenna his nemesis and they try to do the talking to each other through Liz thing but don't do it quite right. Liz says she's setting up mediation for them. Jenna protests she doesn't drink that much at work. Tracy explains that mediation is a non-binding form of dispute resolution and confesses he watched "Boston Legal" 9 times before he realized it wasn't a new "Star Trek." Jenna complains it's unfair, she got nothing and Grizz and Dotcom bought a boat. We cut to a shot of the two of them in Captain's hats talking about how lovely Cape Hatteras is this time of year.

    Liz says of course Tracy takes care of his boys, he's treating Jenna poorly because she's a woman like men do. Jenna agrees and says it's like when Adrien Brody kissed Halle Berry at the Oscars. Liz says no one has it harder than women in this country: "we cant be president, network news anchors, Madonna's arms look crazy."

    Jack is telling Tyler he'll make it up to him by offering him the home version of "Deal or No Deal." Tyler says he's going to hold a press conference and blow the whistle that there's no such thing as Olympic tetherball, or synchronized running, or octuples tennis. Jack said those lies did a lot for the country's morale. Kenneth sees Tyler in Jack's office and gasps at meeting such a legend. Tyler confesses angrily. Kenneth is horrified. Jack offers Tyler "the voice of 'Knight Rider'... the film!" Tyler says he's listening.

    Jeffrey the mediator is trying to get to the bottom of the Tracy-Jenna kerfuffle. Jenna claims sexism. Tracy claims racism, saying white folks feel like they can take whatever they want, like when Adrien Brody kissed Halle Berry at the Oscars. He goes on to list other things white people have stolen: Will Smith, jazz, and heart disease.

    Liz sleeps on the plane, having sexual nightmares and slapping her seatmate.

    In a theatre Kenneth is lamenting over his Tyler Brody autograph. Jack enters and says he hopes he can trust Kenneth with the grown-up talk he heard today. Kenneth wonders if any of it was real: beer pong, jazzercise, women's soccer? Jack says in the real world everything's not always black and white. Kenneth says there's always a right and wrong thing to do, even if the right thing isn't easy. He says he lost another hero today, and points out that it was Jack.

    After mediation Tracy and Jenna argue more and get the harebrained idea to switch roles - "White Chicks"/"Soul Man"-style- to prove who has it harder. Grizz and Dotcom don't like it and wonder where Liz is.

    Cut to Liz dressed as Leia- complete with cinnabon wig- in court saying it's not fair for her to be on a jury since she can read thoughts. Cut again to her on a plane grabbing a drink to wash down her Comanaprosil. Jack calls and tells Liz that Tyler will be appearing on "TGS" as part of the make-good plan. He asks if Kenneth respects her. She says he looks up to everyone, even calling Tracy's lizards sir. So, Jack reasons, you'd have to be a real monster to lose his respect. Liz is already disoriented from the drugs and asks what they were talking about. Jack says a hillbilly who doesn't know anything.

    Liz's phone rings again and Jenna informs her of her and Tracys plan. The phone rings again and it's Tracy putting on a "white girl" voice as he's putting on a blond wig and whiteface. As Liz tries to talk sense into him she's coming more and more under the influence of the drugs. He says she can't understand because the problem is about race, money, and being on TV and no one understands that. Then Oprah sits down next to Liz. Liz hangs up with Tracy and looks at Oprah lovingly.

    Later she's trying to read a magazine and breezily mentions Portland as a way to start conversation. Oprah leans over and Liz smells her hair. Oprah sits up and asks if Liz minds if she closes the window shade. Liz immediately spills: Im trying to adopt a baby but my job is making it impossible because "my work self is suffocating my life me." She introduces herself and discloses she lost her virginity when she was 25. She saw Oprah's show on fear and it inspired her to wear shorts to work and it didn't go great. She starts to lose it and giggle and says she eats emotionally, and one time at summer camp she kissed a girl on a dare but then the girl drowned. Oprah goes to grab a drink from a stewardess and Liz thinks she's offering a hug. Oprah asks Liz to keep her hands outside her clothes.

    Jack is trying to win back Kenneth's respect and to get him to understand grey areas in life by giving him the "one too many people for the lifeboat" scenario. Who do you let die? Kenneth says he doesn't believe in hypothetical situations because it's like lying to your brain. Jack says since Kenneth has lived a sheltered life his virtue has never actually been tested. Kenneth disagrees and offers as proof his resistance to steal cable like his neighbors do even though there are only two things he loves "everybody and television." Oprah is explaining about emotional eating and how Jenna and Tracy are filling the role for children in her life. Maybe she's ready for the next step says Oprah who gives her a piece of saltwater taffy. Liz wonders if it's one of her "favorite things." It is and she says she has so many good things for this year: sweater capes, calypso music, paisley tops, high heeled flip-flops that lift up your butt and give you a workout. Oprah says she likes Liz and asks how she can help. Doing her best Oprah, Liz asks if she will say "please welcome Liz Lem-ON!" She says no, but she will help mediate the Jenna-Tracy dispute while she's in New York. Liz thanks her and falls asleep on her lap.

    White Tracy walks up to an inappropriately turned on Frank and a horrified Twofer and talks in a high voice.

    Down the hall Liz greets Jack as she's coming off the elevator and asks what's up. Jack says it's been a crazy day: GE is bidding on a wind farm in Turkey, he's trying to convince the board to sell the locomotive division and Kenneth's being a real stick in the mud. Liz tells him he has nothing to worry about in Studio 6H just as she encounters White Tracy. She turns him around before Jack sees him. Then Jack sees him and is horrified. Then Black Jenna- complete with Afro and blackface- comes easing on down the hallway shucking and jiving. Jack is horrified, but not more than Twofer. Jenna explains the "social experiment." Jack complains that it's actually white men who are worst off because they make hard decisions, go to war, and clean up messes like this and are still resented. Liz says Oprah is coming to fix everything.

    Kenneth and Jack are in an elevator with 7 other people when it stops. Jack claims they've tripped a wire and there's only enough oxygen for 8 people. In the panel where the phone usually is he's placed a gun with one bullet. What will Kenneth do? He grabs the gun and points at his own head and pulls the trigger. Jack says it's empty. Kenneth tells another passenger to choke him with his belt. The elevator door opens and Jack asks Kenneth "whats wrong with you?"

    Walking down the hall with a gaggle of women, including Jenna and Cerie, Liz is saying that Oprah smells like rose water and warm laundry and spills about her new favorite things. Jenna bows at Liz's Oprah-touched hand.

    Jack comes to Kenneth and says he is in fact better than all of the rest of the world and that Kenneth is his hero. (Not like the sandwich). Kenneth is impressed by this flattery.

    Cut to him going home where Jack has placed a widescreen TV with a bow on it, hooked up to nothing but with a cable coming out from the back of it that Kenneth could plug into the illegal splitter outside his window. "Oh no," he exclaims.

    Liz strolls through the writer's room eating saltwater taffy, wearing a sweater cape, and listening to calypso music and into a room where Tracy and Jenna wait for Oprah. A black woman walks in but it's just a young girl who looks like Oprah. Jenna wonders what Liz was on. Liz says this does explain some things "Oprah" said: cut to Liz's POV of Oprah on the plane saying things like: "I get to fly first class cuz my moms a flight attendant!"; "My boyfriends in 9th grade!"

    The spunky little tween, Pam, still wants to help solve the Tracy-Jenna problem.

    Kenneth goes to see Jack and admits that we all try to be perfect but "theres a whole channel on cable that just tells you whats on the other channels!" He also wants to know if Spongebob Squarepants is supposed to be terrifying. Jack assures him it is and is pleased his plan worked.

    Back at the mediation Pam announces that she and Liz decided that Liz is wearing the wrong bra size- and we flash back of Liz opening her shirt to "Oprah." She asks Tracy and Jenna to show her their "emotion drawings." Jack arrives thinking he's going to have to clean up Liz's mess but says it's okay since in-flight medication led to the hiring of Jonathan, who Jack thought was M. Night Shymalan. (The best day of Jonathan's life.) But it turns out Pam-not-Oprah fixed the problem. Tracy realizes he was hearing not listening and Jenna now knows she need to stop being a frienemy and be Tracy's real BFF. Pam leaves and Tracy and Jenna start singing "Lean on Me" much to Jack's chagrin.

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