At the end of last season, Jack Donaghy was faced with a choice that made most male audience members hate him with every fiber of their being: To pursue Julianne Moore, or to pursue Elizabeth Banks? He opted for Banks, and is now madly in love with her character, Avery. In the meantime, Liz Lemon met her dream man, pilot Carol, played by Matt Damon. Will it work out?

Check it out below…

The Players

Episode Title: “The Fabiab Strategy”

Liz is happy to be dating Carol, whose career as a pilot prevents him from seeing her on a regular basis. She is comfortable with that, but he wants commitment, and Jack, who is smitten with Avery, wants Liz to have a taste of real love. Kenneth enjoys a new job at CBS studios, but Tracy is sensitive to his absence.

The Good

  • Matt Damon: Damon isn’t an actor known for his comedic roles. He’s talented, but he tends to pick parts that would get discussed on an episode of “Inside The Actors Studio.” As such, it’s easy enough for audiences to forget that, yes, he can do funny, and he can do it remarkably well. His work as Carol could have been a forgettable cameo, but when he breaks down crying like an emotional preteen, he steals the show.
  • Where’s Kenneth? Tracy spends much of the episode forgetting that Kenneth no longer works in the building, and as such, he hallucinates him wherever he goes. When he finally bumps into the real Kenneth on the street, he suspects that he’s merely a figment of his imagination, and insists that he get hit by a car to prove that he is a real human being.

The Weird

  • Where’s Avery? Avery gets discussed a lot in this episode, but never seen. Why not? Well, Elizabeth Banks probably wasn’t available. Jack’s constant references to her seem like a strange attempt on Tina Fey’s part to remind viewers that this character exists while the person who plays her is off shooting something else.

The Bad

  • Matt Damon: Yeah, he is hysterical in this episode. But the series constantly introduces love interests played by stars who clearly won’t be on the show for an extended period of time. Salma Hayek. Jon Hamm. Julianne Moore. Now it’s Matt Damon, and it’s unlikely that he needs the work. He’ll be in a few episodes, he’ll be really funny, but in the end, his character will disappear. We don’t need Liz or Jack to find a soul-mate. We just need the writers to acknowledge that the audience is smart enough to know that none of these guest stars will be that soul-mate. They attempt to get us invested in these relationships, when we are well aware that they won’t last.
  • Jenna as Producer: For this episode, Jenna briefly becomes a producer on “TGS With Tracy Jordan,” taking on much of Pete’s workload and firing kindly old ladies with no remorse. It’s a half-formed subplot that goes nowhere and gets few laughs. Every minute of screentime should count in a half-hour long comedy, and this was just filler.
  • Jack in Love: Jack Donaghy is in love. Good for him. But the Jack Donaghy we love is an ultra-conservative capitalist maniac, not someone who acts like everyday is Valentine’s Day. Alec Baldwin proved that he’s a genuinely funny actor. Give him something funny to do.


Not the best episode for this series, but not the worst, either. Some very clever jokes, some stretches of time without any noticeable jokes. We’ll still tune in next week.

Rating: 7/10

New episodes air every Thursday night!