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30_rock_1_111_3 Perhaps many series thought to cobble together a wholly unexpected episode ending that would also serve as an apt metaphor for the labor strife that has consumed the entire television industry, but as far as I know, only Thursday’s “30 Rock” succeeded.

TinaThe last remaining original episode of the series until the Writers Guild strike is settled offered the usual craziness — a little of it redundant, as when Kenneth sank deeper and deeper into a coffee-induced haze (will he be the next guest on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew?), but most of it brilliant. For years, I’ve been pretty impressed with myself for asking out a girl during a history final in college, but I have to say that Jack (Alec Baldwin) topped that by arranging a date with C.C. (Edie Falco), while testifying on C-SPAN, to see “Fred Claus.”

The Jack-C.C. denouement, combined with Tina Fey’s dual Liz stories of trying to buy an apartment and a German television station, kept the episode sailing along. (The latter was a savvy follow-up to the 10 seconds in the first season of “30 Rock” that showed Liz speaking German without a second thought.) But nothing quite prepared us for the finale, a seamless transition into a full-blown, completely plot-approriate rendition of “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

It’s funny: I still think “The Office” is the deeper, more rewarding comedy. But “30 Rock” goes wit-to-wit with it, and certainly has provided the most memorable comedic moments of the cut-down 2007-08 season.

— Jon Weisman