30 Rock

Season 6 Episode 14

The Shower Principle

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 29, 2012 on NBC

Episode Recap

Accountant's Office – Liz files her annual taxes with her accountant who says he doesn't need her receipts because she files the same thing every year. Liz insists that this year is different – she bought a meditation stool! He reminds her about the year before and the year before that: cutaway to Liz yammering about the new changes in her life and her current relationship – exactly what she's claiming this year. He shoves papers toward her and Liz begrudgingly signs.

Jack's Office – he swings a golf club. Liz enters and asks him if she's in a rut. He doesn't have time for her nonsense, he's currently executing The Shower Principle: "moments of inspiration that occur when the brain is distracted from the problem at hand, for example, when you're showering." What's Jack current problem at hand? His boss, Hank Hooper, wants to pay a shareholder dividend, while Jack wants to use that money to transform the company. He doesn't know how to convince Hank, but he needs to think of the right idea. Liz pauses, and then asks Jack if he thinks they were both having the same conversation a year ago? "Probably. And knowing you, as you were leaving you did something comically undignified." Liz shakes her head, "not this time friend!" She turns to leave and trips. Jack runs to her and bites his tongue as Liz rises, a wastebasket over her head. She removes it, places it on the floor and sheepishly leaves the room.


Writer's Room – the male writers are gathered in the kitchenette, ogling Cerie as she stands on her toes, reaching for food. She wears short shorts and a barely there top. "Why is all the healthy food on the top shelf today?" she asks. Liz strides in and tells the guys to cut it out. She knows it's the first warm day of the year and women are starting to take off their winter clothes – she's cut off by Hazel's appearance: hot pink bra and a NBC page jacket. Liz orders Hazel to cover up and Cerie to wear one of her suit ponchos. Liz tells them that every year Jenna feels threatened and old and takes it out on Liz and the show. Liz realizes this happens every year. Every year. She heads to her office.

Liz's Office – Liz rummages in her drawer, finds her old journal and starts reading. Pete enters and reminds her that at 11:00 they have their --"annual budget meeting," she finishes his sentence. She reads him her entry from exactly a year ago: meet with accountant, talk to Jack, tell Cerie to cover up. Liz is convinced her journal from the past can predict the future. She knows today, Jenna will believe that Liz is trying to destroy her. Well then, Pete counters, "if the problems are in the book, then aren't the solutions in there too?" Liz reads further. Why yes, the answers are all there! "This is how I break the cycle! Today, I prove the Universe – and my accountant – wrong!"

TGS Sound Stage – Jenna stares at fake lightning on the stage, frightened. Liz strides in and informs Jenna that she knows she'll freak out today. "You're trying to destroy me! I refuse to be in that sketch," Jenna exclaims. Jenna believes in the superstition of the Macbeth play – don't utter the name in the theatre – it's cursed and she won't do a sketch about it. Jenna says she doesn't need any more bad luck: "do you know how many mirrors I've smashed just thinking it was a blond woman mocking me?!" Liz consults her book and tells Jenna that, like last year, she'll just ask Cerie to be in the MacBurger sketch. Cerie, nearby (in one of Liz's suit ponchos!), says sure. Jenna, is not happy with this decision, nods and walks away. Liz is satisfied that her plan is working when Hazel approaches from behind and hugs her. She tells Liz that Jenna is a handful and she's willing to help any way she can. A little creeped out, Liz tells Hazel to just keep an eye on Jenna and makes sure she doesn't do anything crazy.

Tracy's Dressing Room – He's playing a 'video game'. The TV reveals a news anchor. Dot Com and Grizz shush Liz, informing her that it's the only way they can watch the news. Tracy celebrates advancing 'another level.' Liz consults her book and tells him that last year on the same day he didn't know it was April 14 – time to do his taxes. Tracy is shocked that it's now April. He pulls out random receipts and begins to do his taxes. Liz is pleased. Another crisis averted.

Liz bumps into Jack at the elevators. He informs her he has 10 minutes with Hank tonight to "convince him to change his company forever." In the elevator, Liz boasts about how she's "crushing it today," averting every crisis before it even begins. She's ready to call it a day and do some meditation! "Meditation is a waste of time, like learning French or kissing after sex," Jack informs her. The elevator door opens to reveal Tracy and Kenneth. Jack orders Tracy to "distract her with her craziness." Tracy doesn't have time for that – he has to go to Alaska! Jack gives him the thumbs up as the elevator doors close. Liz asks Tracy why he has to go to Alaska. Apparently, Tracy agreed to do "Snowdogs 5" in order to pay his tax bill. Liz refuses to deal with this, telling him this isn't last year's cycle – she's going to go get her meditation on. She storms off.

TGS Sound Stage – Cerie 'acts' onstage with her co-star, a large man dressed as a burger. The writers and crew are laughing and enjoying the show. Jenna, with Hazel right behind her, watches unhappily. Jenna strides onstage, to a roar of boos, and exclaims that the show must go on – she'll do the sketch. She begins rehearsing her lines when a light fixture falls onstage. Hazel pushes Jenna out of the way as it crashes in an explosion of sparks. "It's the curse!" Jenna exclaims.

Liz's Office – Liz sits on her meditation stool, eyes closed, attempting to meditate. Her office suddenly turns into a musty prop room with Jenna, Tracy and Pete all yelling crazy things into her e ear. Suddenly, 'Guru Jack' appears and banishes the distractions. He informs her that she has finally attained inner peace and transcendence, "where all pants have built-in underwear." He tells her that this meditation has been a waste of time – so why doesn't she "just shut up and tell me your mantra? Is it, 'Time to make the donuts?'" Liz opens her eyes to see Jack hovering over her. Annoyed, Liz asks why he's bothering her, doesn't he have some big idea he's supposed to be coming up with? Jack informs her that showering and golf don't work for him. "Only you can stimulate my anterior superior temporal gyrus." "Buy me a drink first!" Liz gives herself a high five. Jack tells her that for the past 6 years, nothing has been a better distraction than saving Liz from her various wrong turns in life. She is his shower principle. So he asks Liz to shower him in distractions. Liz tells him to try meditating. He snickers. Jack doesn't meditate.

TGS Sound Stage – Jenna steps off the stage and her heel breaks. Hazel runs to her. Jenna tells her that she was only using the curse of the Scottish play as a means to act out for attention, but it looks like it's becoming real. Freaked out, Jenna sits in a chair and it collapses to pieces.

Jack's Office - Jack stares at a ticking clock. Desperate, he lies down on his sofa and gives himself an order, "meditate perfectly." Jack's office turns into a stark white room and suddenly dozens of Liz Lemons start shouting random issues at him. He banishes them away. A 'Guru Jack' (in a dapper white suit) appears: "Congratulations Jack, you have attained --" "Shut up and give me my inspiration!" Jack demands. 'Guru Jack' informs him that the solution to his problem has been there all along. "It's right behind you." Jack snaps out of his meditative trance and looks around. "Behind me?" He glances at the couch he's sitting on. "I've got it!"

Jenna's Dressing Room – Jenna hobbles inside with Hazel in tow. Hazel compliments Jenna's upskirt goodies and Jenna, creeped out, reaches in her fridge for a drink. Her hand snaps back in pain as a giant mouse trap hangs from her fingers. She's hysterical. "This curse is ruining my life!" Hazel closes the door and turns to Jenna. "No it's not. I am." She informs Jenna that she set up all the traps to get rid of Jenna. Hazel wants to be Liz Lemon's best friend. And she agrees to not hurt Jenna if she agrees to never speak to Liz again. Jenna gets in Hazel's face, "Nice try, Hazel. But you made the same mistake that Mickey Rourke made on the catamaran. You didn't kill me when you had the chance."

Jack's Office – A meeting with Hank. Jack pitches his idea: couches. Kabletown controls nearly every aspect of the TV watching business, but they still don't have control of the couch. Jack suggests that this quarter, they invest money in creating home-grown American couches. Kabletown couches. Hank is on board.

TGS Hallway – Tracy runs up to an exasperated Liz and tries to update her on his situation. She rubs her head; she doesn't want to hear it. Tracy continues, "I called the Treasury Department and told them I won't pay my taxes until I see your president's birth certificate! They told me if I did that, they'd arrest me. Things got heated, so I told them I had a bomb!" Jenna strides up (with Hazel in tow) and informs Liz that Hazel is trying to destroy her. Hazel says Jenna sounds crazy. A frustrated Liz exclaims, "it doesn't matter what I do. Nothing ever changes." Kenneth runs up and asks Liz for a recommendation letter because he's re-applying to the NBC Page Program. "We've already done that Kenneth! We've done all of this!" Liz screams. She just wants a shred of knowledge to let her know that her life is moving forward. Hazel says she's new. "Are you, Hazel? You're just another weird Page and I already have one of those." Liz points at Kenneth. He beams. "You people! You are the reason my life is a stagnant, monotonous hell!" Liz yells, and storms off.

An abandoned warehouse – Liz enters, meditation stool under her arm, and yells for Jack; why did he invite her here? "You're gonna murder me, aren't you?" Jack stands on an upper level and calls Liz up. She joins him and asks about this place. "This is where I re-make Kabletown," Jack states. Where Americans (and for cost purposes, some foreign Americans) will make couches to watch TV on. Liz gets it (yay, vertical integration!), and is glad that at least one of them is out of their rut. She tosses her meditation stool into a dumpster below. Jack tells her that he couldn't do this – or any of it – without her. He needs her nonsense. Liz grins; Jack has never admitted that. "New beginnings!" Liz exclaims and runs down to retrieve her meditation stool. "The cycle is broken!" She reaches for the stool and falls into the dumpster.