'30 Rock' finale: Was it all a dream?

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From left, Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, Tina

From left, Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, Tina Fey as Liz Lemon and Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan on "30 Rock." Photo Credit: AP, 2006

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Verne Gay Verne Gay

Gay is the television critic.

And so, "30 Rock" was but a dream -- or a flashback, or a series of recollections, or even more provocatively, played out inside a snowglobe. Let the interpretations begin!

The final scene of last night's finale was a nod to another lightly viewed but critically praised NBC classic -- "St. Elsewhere," which ended its run in 1988 by suggesting that the whole series may have taken place inside an autistic child's snowglobe.

Here, the new NBC president, former page Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer), was seen holding a snowglobe that contained a miniature Rockefeller Plaza.

Meanwhile, a young woman named Liz Lemon (not Tina Fey) explained that the whole series she has just pitched to him was based on stories her "great-grandmother told her."

"And I love it," said a grinning Parcell, as spaceships floated by outside.

In other words... well, you figure it out. Meanwhile, one of the most rewarded (60 Emmy nominations; 10 wins) underachievers (3.5 million viewers this season) in TV history ended with Liz (Fey) as the mother of two adopted children, and Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) as the frustrated chief executive of Kabletown, who chucked it all to "find himself" on a yacht trip around the world.

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But before he had gone fifty feet, he exclaimed: "Clear dishwashers! You can see what's going on inside! It's the best idea I've ever had. Thank God I took that boat trip."

But best of all, after seven seasons, fans finally got to hear Liz's warm, heartfelt declaration of affection -- "I love you, too, Jack" -- toward Donaghy.


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