Difficult economic times have forced budget cuts onto TGS, which was going to be in a festive mood as the gang prepares to celebrate their 50th show.
Jack had to let Jonathan go, and Liz's wild Coke (as in soda) parties are officially a thing of the past.
While he's firing Matthew from the boom box division and his counterparts in microwaves and everywhere else in the company, Liz has to justify TGS' budget to an outside consultant.
Which she does, as only she can.
And it totally doesn't work.
She has to cut 25 percent of her budget, but refuses to cut staff, perks like food and straws, or, as she tells Jack, the ability to "keep making free long-distance prank calls."
Since she can't make the cuts, she comes in the next day to find the food gone, announcer Sid fired, and Peter and Frank in a panic.
Liz decides to take one for the team, as it were, and goes out on a date with the consultant in a desperate bid to save her budget.
Soon enough, it all comes down to the bargain. But he protests, saying he needs to know it's worth it. Finally, she offers "front top quadrant," and it's on.
Except that it's not.
Furious, Liz turns on the consultant, demanding to know where her pro quo is, since she gave up the quid.
But it didn't occur to him that last night was about business - he just saw it as the first time he'd been with a woman since his wife died - and promptly bursts into tears.
And then files a sexual harassment complaint with HR.
Jack comes to her defense, contending that her "sexual outburst" was brought on by menopause. After a two-week suspension without pay, Liz will return to find the TGS budget process overseen by Jack.
Meanwhile, after Jack has to fire Jonathan in the cutbacks, he makes Kenneth assume Jonathan's duties in addition to his page responsibilities.
But because Kenneth is so swamped by the corporate intrigue of his new job, he doesn't have time to feed his bird, Sonny Crockett.
Tracy gets sucked into going over to Kenneth's to take care of Sonny, and he has been warned not to go into Kenneth's bedroom.
At Kenneth's, Tracy finds a rolled-up towel at the base of the bedroom door, and begins to suspect Kenneth is a serial killer.
He convinces Jenna of his theory. In the bedroom they find a bug bomb and promptly run from the place, leaving poor Sonny Crocket to die.
Kenneth is devastated, but they make it up to him with a whole spate of birds. It's cute.
We go upstairs, 20 minutes, open mouth, I will work your ears.Liz
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It's a massacre! I can't go back to teaching high school math. Those girls pretend they're not women, but they are.Pete
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