Thursday night, "30 Rock" fans got what they may have spent the last seven seasons waiting for: Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) and boss/mentor Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) in bed.
Just not like that.
After heading to Florida to put in order his late mother's affairs -- and bringing his favourite subordinate with him -- Jack found himself forced to share a bed with Liz, resulting in a brief "will they or won't they?" moment that finally gave us an answer to the question: No, they won't. Ever.
And thank goodness for that! Like Jack says in the scene, what he and Liz share is something beyond a brief tryst. They've become like family, proven by Lemon's involvement in Jack's grieving process. Platonic friendships like that are both rare and important, and had he and Liz actually gotten together so late into the series, fans would be left disappointed and unfulfilled -- probably like the characters themselves would have been.
Instead, they answered the question in the simplest way: nothing happened between Liz and Jack because neither of them wanted it to. And because of that, audiences were rewarded -- not only in the most recent episode, but throughout the series. The relationship talks, the successor plans, and the entire Liz/Jack dynamic was possible because they were friends and only that. And believe it or not, Liz and Jack aren't the first romance-free man and woman to share a long-running narrative on the small screen.
- Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson ("Parks and Recreation") -- Leslie (Amy Poehler) may have brought the bacon, her endless kind words, or her drinking game to save Ron (Nick Offerman) from his first wife (Patricia Clarkson), but it was Ron to which Leslie ran -- literally, to his cabin -- when she needed relationship advice in season four. Friendship at its best.NBC
- Peggy Olson and Don Draper ("Mad Men") -- The "I give you money, you give me ideas!" fight aside, the Season 4 episode "The Suitcase" saw Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) prove herself to be the only person who understands Don (Jon Hamm) after his best friend dies. Cut to: Season 5, when Peggy quits and leaves Don in tears, proving she's gone from his subordinate to a professional and personal equal.AMC
- Mary Richards and Lou Grant ("Mary Tyler Moore") -- From Mary's (Mary Tyler Moore) first day at work, boss Lou (Ed Asner) takes her under his wing. Throughout the series, it balances out: mutual relationship talks, business advice, divorce counselling, and even Mary's rise up the corporate ladder lead to father-daughter dynamic, and they don't entertain any other relationship ideas for one minute.CBS
See? You don't necessarily need the "will they or won't they?" component to drive a series, or to cement the importance of two people's relationship. As proven by Jack and Liz, friendship can take you just as far -- or to Florida, where you will be forced to share your dead mother's bed.