30 Rock Recap: "Jack Meets Denis" - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

30 Rock Recap: “Jack Meets Denis”

December 2, 2006 by  

Title: “Jack Meets Dennis”
Original Airdate: Nov. 30, 2006

Maybe its Must-See-TV jitters or Tracey Morgan’s recent legal troubles but my third favorite show opted for character development over big laughs this week. It’s hard to complain, though, when it’s Tina Fey’s character that gets developed.

Liz (Fey) is back with her old boyfriend Dennis (Dean Winters). Actually, it’s the new and improved Dennis. Losing Liz last year changed him, made him more mature. Nothing says mature like goodbye noogies and a headlock.

A true friend, Jenna (Jane Krakowski) does not approve of the Beeper King. (What’s a beeper, anyway?) Then again, she sent a letter to Scott Peterson. But she knows Dennis is no good for Liz. Dennis, we learn, remembered Liz’s birthday when everyone else forgot. That seems to say more about Liz and her choice of friends than anything else.

Meanwhile, Tracey (Morgan) is up in arms over not-so-bad press. This is not to be confused with Morgan’s bad press, by the way. Normal’s bad for the career. Besides, no one who steals dogs or does the robot backward into doorways could be normal, right? Jenna, meanwhile, fears her age may hurt her job security, and Jack (Alec Baldwin) only exacerbates her fears.

In a weird, minor, story line, Liz Taylor wants to send Josh a package. Josh loves loves loves Liz Taylor. No further explanation is provided, but this will be important later.

GRATUITOUS JENNA SLAM ALERT: Katie Bowden, who plays Cerie, is funnier and prettier than Krakowski. Two jokes in two minutes support the point. Back to the recap…

Jack finds Liz working late and inquires why she champions mediocrity like a boxcar hobo. Former GE boss Jack Welch’s genius, he explains, was his involvement in his employees’ lives.

Jack: He held our hands in our triumphs and in our Senate hearings. I want to hold your hand, Lemon.
Liz: Yikes.
Jack: This is a perfect example. You have a million dollar view, yet you refuse to acknowledge that there’s a whole world out there. Oh my. There appears to be a man making passionate, angry love to himself.
Liz: I know. That’s why I closed the blinds in the first place.

Jack wants to be Liz’s mentor, an offer she readily refuses.

At the restaurant, Jack spots Liz and Dennis, a sighting Liz would have preferred to avoid. Dennis makes his usual bad first impression. The banter quickly turns to rats, despite Liz’s plea for no rat talk. (Haven’t we all been there?) Dennis informs us we eat a pound of rat poop a year without even knowing it.

Jack: I think I read about that in the New Yorker. Anyway, we’ll leave you to your meal. I hope you’ll enjoy the choices that you’ve made.

A tourist on a studio tour spots Tracey and says he seems like a nice, normal young man. This drives Tracey to do something crazy. We’ll see soon what.

On the elevator, Liz talks a lot, justifying to Jack why she’s with Dennis. She’s busy. She has no time for the singles scene. She continues her monologue into the hallway, where she admits Dennis is her boyfriend by default. Then she realizes she’s talking to herself. Jack doesn’t say a word the entire time.

Imagine an Olsen twin after a barroom brawl. That’s what Jenna looked like after Botox and collagen treatments, a chemical peel and something with shark DNA.

Jenna: Admit it. I look 10 years younger.
Liz: No, younger even. You look like a fetus.

So much for any friendly advice about Dennis, who shows up in the writers’ room and starts pitching beepers. She doesn’t need his gift salamander, and nobody here needs beepers, she says. They need cell phones. He says beepers are making a comeback. After all, technology’s cyclical, right?

When Jack walks in, rat talk ensues. Dennis says he saw a rat king – a multi-headed creature formed by many rats whose tails have become entangled – outside the restaurant the other night. Again, Jack’s impressed. Just as Liz tells Dennis they need to talk, Tracey enters, his face tattooed with a biblical dragon from outer space. Who’s normal?

With Tracey and Josh looking like they do, it should be Josh’s biggest show ever. Cut to Josh backstage, approached by the object of his desire, Liz Taylor (a creepy, freaky, funny Rachel Dratch in one of her cameos). Liz saw his impression of her and has a gift for him: a fire extinguisher upside the head.

In Liz’s office, Jack introduces Howard Jorgensen, VP for locomotives. Liz says she’s not interested in a setup. But Jack was just showing her someone he once mentored.

Howard: I was a lot like you, dressed poorly, had bad posture, walked around with lettuce in my hair.
Liz: Son of a bitch.
Howard: And I cursed like a sailor. But Jack saw potential in me. He changed my life.
Jack: He’s earning seven figures, and he’s married to a swell Filipino gal.
Howard: Thanks Jack.

After Liz snaps at Pete (Scott Asdit) for questioning why she’s eating at that crappy sandwich place again. It’s fine, she protests. It’s convenient and consistent and she knows what she’s getting. Still talking about the sandwich place, Liz?

At the realization she consents to let Jack mentor her. His first tip: dump Dennis. He makes her realize that Dennis is the rat king and she is the exterminator.

Tracey, meanwhile, is in his dressing room reapplying with a Sharpie the portion of his tattoo that rubbed off on his pillow while he napped.

Liz: You know this is very, very bad for me, right?
Tracey: I need to protect my reputation. Take away my street cred, and I am Wayne Brady.
Liz: Nuh uh. Wayne Brady has three Emmys. You have a People’s Choice Award that you stole from Wayne Brady.

A white woman from White-ville just can’t understand.

At rehearsals scarred Jenna, tattooed Tracey and battered Josh clearly cannot go on the air. Jack inquires about Liz’s contingency plan for a crap storm of this magnitude. But she has no plan B. That’s her problem in life, he says.

Who or what could possibly save the day? I’d say the writers painted themselves into a corner on this one. Their magic pill? A blackout. Whatever. It was quick, and it worked.

Liz goes home and finds Dennis sleeping on her couch under a newspaper with a candle on his belly. He’s distraught. The Islanders lost tonight. She’s ready to dump him.

Cut to the following morning and Jack holding the elevator for Liz.

Jack: So how did it go?
Liz: He moved in with me.
Jack: Well of course he did.

Poor Liz.

When he’s not recapping “30 Rock” or obsessing over “The Office”, Brian holds down a newspaper reporting job in NY that is only slightly more lucrative than his GMMR gig. And he is still mourning the defeat of his beloved New York Mets.

Filed under 30 Rock, TV News


8 Responses to “30 Rock Recap: “Jack Meets Denis””

  1. samsmom on December 2nd, 2006 6:11 pm

    Hi GMMR…where is the fourm link? Am I missing it on the home page?

  2. GMMR on December 2nd, 2006 6:14 pm

    It’s back. I’m having some MAJOR issues with the forums. I get about at least 30 registrations a day from spammers and it’s driving me crazy.

    The link is back, but I can’t say for sure how long the forums will remain. People don’t seem to be using them like they once were.

  3. Michelle on December 2nd, 2006 8:20 pm

    Best episode to date, I think. I laughed out loud so many times (“Did he know you’re the Beeper King?” “No, I don’t think so.”). I’m so glad this show moved to Thursdays so hopefully more people can discover it. I am still amazed by how much funnier Alec Baldwin gets each week.

  4. Post-it Thief on December 2nd, 2006 8:49 pm

    Totally agree with you about Cerie, Brian. Good recap.

  5. Brian on December 3rd, 2006 4:44 pm

    Thanks, P-iT.

    I’ve got good news if you’re liking this show as much as I am. Variety.com is reporting that NBC has picked it up for a full season. It was on the bubble, but apparently it impressed the suits with its performance in the new Thursday lineup (up 25% in the 18-49 demo from the week before).

    And you’re right Michelle, the whole Beeperk King gag was hilarious. I’m appreciating this whole episode more in retrospect. I think my cold numbed my funny bone.

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