In this week’s episode of “30 Rock,” titled “The Shower Principle,” Liz (Tina Fey) and Jack (Alec Baldwin) try to solve their persistent problems.
Liz heads to her accountant’s office to have her taxes done. Her accountant points out that Liz says the same thing to him every year. She’s predictable and so are her tax returns. Back in Jack’s office Liz tells him she thinks she’s in a rut. Jack is playing golf, which he says is actually working thanks to something called the “Shower Principle.” The Shower Principle is when you find moments of inspiration in an activity that is distracting you from the problem you have, such as when you are showering. Jack’s problem is his boss Hank Hooper (Ken Howard), who has been publicly saying Kabletown has made a profit. Jack wants to find the right idea to convince Hank to put money into it. Liz thinks all sounds familiar – weren’t they having this conversation last year?
Back in the writer’s room, Liz finds the guys once again staring at Cerie (Katrina Bowden) as shorts season starts. Liz realizes this is all too familiar as well. She looks in her journal and finds that everything that’s happening now happened last year and all her answers are in the journal. Jenna (Jane Krakowski) meanwhile refuses to do a play about Macbeth, thinking it’s cursed to do in a theater. Instead she asks Cerie to do it. Hazel (guest star Kristin Schall) keeps trying to lure Liz to hang out. Liz turns her down and asks her to watch Jenna instead.
Liz, referencing her journal, tells Tracy (Tracy Morgan) to stop doing his own taxes. She also gives him a warning about the 15th since he forgot last year. Tracy freaks out and starts his taxes. Jack tells Liz he has ten minutes with Hank that night and he’s going to convince Hank to do whatever idea he comes up with. Liz tells Jack that she’s started meditating to deal with her problems. One of those is Tracy, who turns out, has excess money from playing the lotto this year and needs to go to Alaska to literally liquefy some of that extra money that he froze in a lake.
Jenna is miffed when she sees the “TGS” men love Cerie in the Macbeth sketch. Jenna, sensing competition, decides to do the sketch despite the curse. However, the second she does something on stage, a light falls down narrowly missing her. Jenna’s convinced even more that the curse is real. Back in her office, Liz meditates, but is distracted by the problems she’s dealing with at work. She finally pushes them aside to reveal Guru Jack, an Indian-accented version of her boss who tells her she’s achieved enlightenment. Turns out it’s real Jack messing with her and Liz snaps out of her trance to find him whispering into her ear – doesn’t he have some big idea he needs to come up with? Jack tells Liz that she’s the best distraction for him and over the years she’s constantly provided inspiration for him. She’s his shower principle.
Back in the “TGS” studio, everything seems to go wrong for Jenna, convincing Jenna the curse is definitely real. In Jack’s office, Jack is trying desperately to figure out his problem. He decides to meditate, using Liz’s distracting problems, but it doesn’t work. He clears his mind and comes face to face with his own guru Jack, who tells him to look “behind him.” Jack wakes up. He figured out the idea. Jenna is freaking out in her office about the curse. Hazel tells Jenna that there is no curse, that she’s the one who’s been messing with Jenna. Hazel wants to be Liz’s best friend now and will stop if Jenna let’s her. Jenna refuses.
In his office, Jack meets with Hank. He tells Hank his idea – to make Kabletown couches in America. Hank, a Vietnam War veteran, agrees whole heartedly. Downstairs, Liz hits her breaking point. Tracy’s still getting distracted on his taxes, Jenna’s trying to convince Liz that Hazel’s crazy and Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) wants a recommendation from Liz for the page program. Liz already did this last year and she’s tired that they all keep driving her nuts. Later that day, Liz meets with Jack at the empty warehouse where he wants to make the couches. Jack admits to Liz that he needs to around to be successful. He needs her help. It’s the first time he’s ever admitted that.
“30 Rock” airs Thursdays on NBC at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT and 7:30 p.m. CT