30 Rock, no stranger to pointing out NBC's flaws, finally addressed the motivations, indecision and hypocrisy surrounding the network's recent late night wars. In this episode, Jack must chose between two janitors vying for the same 11:30 night shift.
Khonani, a janitor who has always dreamed of "hosing the tonight shift" comes to Jack with a contract, arbitrarily signed by Jack five years previously in a drunken, Nixon eulogizing haze, promising him the more prestigious 11:30 spot. There's only one problem. Subhar, a janitor who has been at 30 Rock for years, must step down from the position.
While Liz seems to think this is an unfair decision, a strangely Leno sympathetic stance by the show's writers, Khonani assures Jack that "Subhas will want to leave, spend time on his hobbies. He collects classic cars *cough* cardboard. Classic cardboard." Surely Conan wasn't that insensitive when negotiating his promotion.
Despite these assurances, Jack has a difficult time getting rid of Subhas. He decides to "innovent" the way people think about their nightly trash removal by moving Subhas to 10pm. This way everyone's happy and Khonani's contract is honored. Unfortunately, it seems there's not enough trash to go around...
Once the change is implemented, Subhas takes all the trash at 10pm, leaving nothing for poor Khonani. Jack, ignorant of the ins and outs of custodial duties doesn't know what to do and suggests the two janitors share the 11:30 shift. Khonani will not stand for this, forcing Jack to make a decision, realizing "one person's heart is going to be broken." Jack chooses Subhars.
The episode ends under the stale assumption that Conan would sign with Fox, having Khonani mention that he has a job lined up at "Foxwoods." While this was overall a pretty accurate take on the late night wars, Leno's proxy, Subhar, was shown to be largely without fault. Should we consider this the stance of 30 Rock's writers or perhaps heavy handed damage control by NBC defending their current late night host? Discuss in the comments.