30 Rock Recap: Black Tie - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 Rock Recap: Black Tie

February 4, 2007 by  

30 Rock

Title: Black Tie
Original Airdate: Feb. 1, 2007
GMMR Recapper: Brian

We open with momma jokes. Can’t go wrong there, and Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) shows right off she can hang with the big boys. Of course the big boys don’t do black tie galas.

Liz: What’s the difference between your momma and a washing machine? When I drop a load in the washing machine, it doesn’t follow me around for a week.
Jack: Lemon, can I speak with you alone for a minute?
Liz: That’s what your sister asked me last night. Booyah!

Seems Jack (Alec Baldwin) wants Liz to escort him to a fete for his friend, Prince Gerhard, last in the Hapsburg line – or something like that. Anyway, Liz doesn’t do formal, but Jack convinces her.

Pete (Scott Asdit) does a mean Elmo impression, but before you watch his peepee coaching by phone, make sure to go peepee yourself to avoid any accidents. Tracey tries to give him a pep talk, telling him his wife is a Delilah, the kind of woman who saps a man’s strength. His own wife gives him the strength – strength enough for eight trips to the strip club a week.

Jenna (Jane Krakowski) can’t believe Liz is going to the Hapsburg ball. It’s always been her Cinderella dream to meet a prince. In begging to tag along, she hints that Jack has date intentions in mind tonight. It’s far-fetched, but it’s enough to plant the seed of doubt. She starts questioning Jack as soon as they arrive, but he laughs off the idea pointing out the caliber of women he’s used to (which includes half the ballroom).

Back at 30 Rock, Tracey is trying to induce Pete to loosen up with some good old-fashioned debauchery, aka loose women.

Liz finds that Jenna has crashed the ball in hopes of meeting Prince Gerhard.

Liz: You were dead wrong about this being a date by the way. I just made a complete ass out of myself in front of Jack.
Jenna: I’m sorry. When I’m the queen of Australia, I’ll have him executed.
Liz: Austria.
Jenna: Yeah, that’s what I said.

Now I was no big fan of Pee Wee Herman back in the day, but his turn as a pasty, invalid Prince Gerhard, complete with dummy limbs, steals the show the way Alec Baldwin stole Steve Carell’s Golden Globe and SAG awards last month (Bitter much?).

Jack: That Gerhard is amazing, isn’t he? Most people in his situation would be angry with their families for the centuries of inbreeding, but not Gerhard. He’s too busy trying to stave off infection

Enter the second most impressive guest star of the episode: Isabella Rossellini as Jack’s ex-wife Bianca. Jack introduces Liz as his live-in girlfriend. Seems his ex-wife issues rival his mommy issues. Over at the dais, Jenna has caught Gerhard’s eye, according to his assistant (played by SNL’s Will Forte), and she decides to go for it. After all, she’s always reminded herself of Grace Kelly, and it’s not like she has other skills to fall back on.

Pete, meanwhile, faces temptation in the form of one of Tracey’s groupies. Luckily, Kenneth is an angel on his shoulder, chiding him for forgetting he’s a family man. Too bad Tracey is the devil on Pete’s other shoulder.

The plot kind of takes off high speed from here. Jack admits Bianca resides under his skin, so Liz tries to take his mind off her. Gehard woos Jenna, who compliantly rattles off every dance form known to the modern world. And back at the studio, Kenneth and Tracey are vying for Pete’s soul. But Pete’s just trying to have a little fun.

At the ball, everyone sings Happy Birthday to Gerhard, for some reason in German. And for some reason, Liz sings along, in German.

As the groupie seduces Pete in the men’s room, Kenneth pokes his head out of a vent cover in the wall and warns him not to make a mistake. Tracey pokes his head out of an adjacent vent cover, but he was just looking for the lobby. Pete realizes he has too much to lose to risk it on a groupie in the men’s room.

Meanwhile, Liz meets up with Bianca at the bar, where Bianca flips out.

Bianca: I can take the models, the Rockettes, the Shakira, because ultimately I know they are going to leave him, but you? You can actually make him happy, and that makes me want to sit on a knife. I hate seeing Johnny happy!
Liz: Oh boy.

Liz relays Bianca’s state to Jack, who’s skeptical. To prove it, Liz tells Bianca Jack proposed to her, just to see how angry Bianca will get. Unfortunately, Liz gets bitch-slapped, choked and half-stripped. Jack is impressed.

After Gerhard professes his love to Jenna, he loses an eyebrow, chugs some champagne and promptly croaks. Turns out his body, besides being unable to produce joint fluid, cannot metabolize grapes. Where is Dr. Spaceman when you need him? The Hapsburg line has ended.

Back at Liz’s apartment, Jack lets himself in. He’s savoring the jealous rage on his ex-wife’s face, and he has Liz to thank for it. In a tender moment he reaches to put his arms around her. She tenses up. And he takes back the fancy jewels he loaned her for the evening. What did she think was going to happen?

After all, he’s had “lunch” with Martha Stewart and “dinner” with her daughter Alexis.

Brian is a new dad who writes for a living and used to spend his free time obsessing on The Office and the New York Mets, watching 30 Rock and Heroes and walking his oversized mutt Riley. Now instead of free time, he has a 9-lb. future Mets fan to watch The Office with.

Filed under 30 Rock


4 Responses to “30 Rock Recap: Black Tie”

  1. Bill on February 4th, 2007 2:46 pm

    Yeah, that was a very funny episode. I especially loved the whole “demon angel” thing with Kenneth and Tracy (especially the “I was just looking for the restroom” line). Paul Reuben was great too. Hope we see more of Jack’s ex.
    And Dr. Spacemen references are always enjoyable.

    Was Raquel Dretch in this episode?

  2. David Chen on February 5th, 2007 2:23 am

    I thought Isabella Rosselini was luminous in this episode. Refined, elegant, yet more than willing to rip up a napkin in anger (and Lemon’s top, roughly, for that matter).

  3. Michelle on February 5th, 2007 10:43 am

    Every time I saw Paul Reubens’ character on this episode, I gagged a little, seriously. SO disgusting, which was the point, so it was obviously well-done. I’ll say it again: I LOVE this show, and I hope it’s finding an audience. It’s worth it.

  4. Dephress on January 11th, 2011 5:08 pm

    Of course they sing to him in German, he’s Austrian. Makes sense.