'30 Rock': Whoa! Too soon

Jonhamm_30rock It became pretty clear on tonight's 30 Rock why someone so cartoon-pilot handsome Jon Hamm's Drew would find himself so attracted to Liz Lemon. And it had nothing to do with Jack's hilarious list of possibilities.

These spoilers use cheddar cheese instead of water.

Liz has already gotten off on the wrong foot with Drew by lying to him all through last week's episode, and tonight she really steps in it by making their first real date for Valentine's Day. (Liz and time, not so good together: She still has a rotting jack-o-lantern in the hallway outside her apartment.) Her exchange with Jack about the level of handsomeness involved was fantastic, and reprinted here in its entirety:

"Oh, come on Lemon, what is this? A green card thing?" "No." "Closet case?" "I don't think so." "Slump buster?" "No, he's not a ballplayer." "Bundy-esque serial killer?" "That was my first thought, but no. This is actually happening, and I'm blowing it."

It is actually happening, and she is blowing it -- because things only get worse when Drew opens a window to let out the smoke from some burning brownies in her kitchen and the draft results in the bathroom door flying open to reveal Liz on the throne (a moment I really wish NBC hadn't promo'd to death this week, because it lost a little bit of its impact).

But it's OK, because we soon learn that in his own way, Drew is just as much of a mess as he is. He has an apparently demonic ex-wife, a pyromaniac, wine-swilling daughter and a dying mother who tells Liz right before she passes away that she's actually his grandmother and the woman he thought was his sister is really his mother and could Liz pass that on so she can get into heaven?

Wow. Even for a guy that good-looking, that's a lot of baggage to carry. But it's a nice little twist on Liz's usual romantic misadventures. The question now becomes, Will all this stuff make her shy away, or are his pluses (I will note again the handsomeness, plus the baking and the doctoring) enough?

Alecbaldwin_30rock_s2_240 Jack and Elisa, meanwhile, appear to be having no such issues as they bond over their shared love of the McFlurry, which she postulates might be the world's greatest dessert. Not so, Jack says -- that would be the thousand-dollar Lovers Delight at Plunder (which, save for the clear truffles, sounds an awful lot like this actual, real menu item), which Jack will treat Elisa to on Valentine's Day.

Except. Elisa has to go to church that night to honor the martyrdom of St. Valentine, and she's pretty clear that she wants Jack to go to: "Please don't tell me you're one of those convenient Catholics who only goes to church every Sunday."

Because he likes Elisa very much, and because he's really hoping to get some later, Jack accompanies her to church, and Alec Baldwin proceeds to deliver a comedy tour de force, adapting the Lord's Prayer ("Hallowed be my reservation. If you are able to hold my table ... Have them delay our heavenly dessert, and forgive us our lateness, as we forgive those who cause us to be late") and unleashing a confession that causes the priest to call for backup.

There's a lot of great stuff in the confession, from callbacks to Sheinhardt's facility turning kids orange to the effects of the gay bomb from "Cooter," but I'm going to have to go with "I claimed I am God" as my favorite, if only because it gives me an excuse to link to Baldwin claiming he is God.

This does not go over well with Elisa, and his unrepentant attitude afterward earns him a slap: "How dare you say such things so close to the statue of Santa Lucia, patron saint of judgmental statues!" (Salma Hayek, by the way, is great in this scene, and in two languages -- she also tells him off in Spanish "like Ricky Ricardo.")

But once again, the McFlurry brings them together when Elisa finds a coupon in the collection plate. This subplot was brought to you by McDonald's.

As for tonight's C story, Tracy's initial Cyrano-like efforts on Kenneth's behalf with the blind woman were pretty funny, mostly for his approximation of Kenneth's folksy speech -- "Yes indeedy corncobs!" and "It's a Valentine's date-ly-doo!" But the joke wore a little bit thin after a while, and not even Jenna's Michael McDonald impression could bring it all the way back. That was pretty much the only letdown, though, in an otherwise very strong episode.

More from this week's episode:

  • Jack describes the Lovers Delight to Liz and asks if she could imagine anything better. "I don't know -- you ever put a donut in the microwave?"
  • Tracy: "I know love at first sight when I see it. I saw it when I met Angie, and I saw it the first time Dotcom laid eyes on Grizz's fiancee."
  • Liz's reaction to her breast popping out -- "I guess we jumped ahead to date four" -- was pretty good, but what she muttered under her breath was even better: "It's not the good one, either."
  • Anyone know what the second failed McDonald's product Jack mentioned was? The McLean Deluxe I remember, but was there ever such a thing as the Mickey Moo?
  • The Plunder waiter to Jack, who's sitting alone with his sundae: "Is this like a Sixth Sense thing? Would you like a place setting for your friend?"

So, Drew: Worth it despite all the issues? And what would you say is the world's greatest dessert?

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