’30 Rock’ Recap: When It Rains, It Pours

S5: E2 We’ve all been there, ladies. You’re walking down the street, minding your own business and some halfwit thinks it’s cool (or some what effective) to cat call you. You shrug it off and go on with your daily business, but we all secretly want to pull a Liz Lemon and get in the dude’s face like in last night’s episode. After she gets a slew of what we can assume are dirty street calls (thankfully obscured by the sound of a jackhammer) from a construction worker, she fires back with I’m not sure what, but it ended with “INFECTED PENIS!” Pretty sure there’s no comeback for that.

Of course, Lemon doesn’t understand why she’s getting attention from men, so Jenna explains the idea of “When it rains, it pours.” Liz is dating Carol, so she’s more attractive to dudes. The scene starts getting a little too Sex and The City for me, when a bum approaches Liz and Jenna and professes his desire to put Liz’s feet in his mouth. Yup that killed it. Liz and Jenna skip along, smiling and practically singing, “When it rains, it pours!” Suck on that, Carrie Bradshaw.

Once in the office, Liz learns that Javery (the Brangelina of NBC) is having a little boy. Liz tells Jack how awesome it was having an old dad growing up (she could steal his whiskey…to use for her rock collection). Jack shrugs it off – after all 50 is the new 40 – responding with the most awkward pronunciation of “whatevs” ever.

Suddenly, everything in the office is going rather smoothly even with Kenneth gone, and no one seems to know why. But then, a skinny little dude in a red blazer runs around in the background with a cape thrown over his face answering phone calls and picking up messes. Really Kenneth? Really?

Tracy has decided he’s going to be under self-induced house arrest so that he doesn’t miss the birth of his daughter later that day, so Grizz and Dotcom take all of his distracting items like cell phones and laptops, mood rings – you know, the usual. But then, even Tracy’s taken under by Liz’s “when it rains…” spell; he wants to put her feet in his mouth too. What is with the feet thing? That’s some Jersey Shore level stuff, right there.

Pete asks Liz to use her newfound charm to convince the power tripping editing team to push the TGS scenes to the top of the editing pile. She turns on her “Julia Roberts laugh” and throws her head back and Pete asks her what’s in her teeth. Without skipping a beat she continues to laugh and haughtily replies, “Corn.” Liz Lemon, I love you.

Meanwhile, Lemon’s Tony Randall quip is getting to Jack. He realizes that he’ll be 70 when his son graduates and fears that he won’t even be around to run into his son at his first “mass orgy in a castle.” (Is anyone else getting a little tired of all this rich-people-have-crazy-awesome-sex talk from Jack?) Just then, an emergency fire drill is announced and once again Lemon notes that Kenneth used to take care of these things. As she flees, Kenneth appears wielding a black cape like Dracula. Just bring him back to NBC already, this shit is getting weird – and not in the awesome, funny way.

Grizz and Dotcom hold Tracy’s hand like a small child and take him to the evacuation zone for the fire drill, but just like a toddler, Tracy gets distracted and ends up on a bus that takes him far away from Rockefeller Center and Dr. Spaceman’s office (because what other doctor could possibly help them?) where Angie has just arrived to give birth to the newest Jordan family member.

Liz goes down to see the head editor, Richie (guest star Paul Giamatti) and turns on the charm – where the hell has that been hiding? Richie is a war reenactment enthusiast and a balding man with a creepy ponytail (ew), and responds to Liz’s charm with a very Giamatti spastic one-man civil war scene before saying he’ll push Liz’s TGS tapes to the front of the line. While she’s celebrating her victory, Pete and Frank inform her that Richie’s been spreading the word that they’re sleeping together. (Frank’s pissed. “If you want to cheat on Carol with an Italian guy that smells like cigarettes, I’ve made it very clear I’d flip my futon over for you!” Now that’s a “love” triangle I’d actually like to see.) Pete and Jenna convince Liz not to confront Richie for the sake of getting all the TGS editing done on time. It doesn’t take long before Brian Williams teases her in the hall, even calling in fellow journalist Andrea Mitchell as backup as she comes out of the elevator yelling “Slut!” Who can’t Tina Fey get on this show? And is there anything she can’t convince them to do?

Somewhere in Manhattan, Tracy is left without a phone or wallet due to his previous demands and hails a cab even though he has no money. The cab happens to be the Cash Cab, so the driver lets him in for free and somehow Tracy has to answer an onslaught of trivia questions to earn his ride to the hospital. But just when it’s pretty clear that he’s going to lose, he turns into some sort of Tracy Morganized Rain Man, working his way to a string of correct answers and buying him a longer cab ride.

This whole time, Jack has been recording hours of video messages to his unborn son, imparting his plethora of useless rich-guy knowledge. As he discusses his secret to silky smooth hair (dove’s blood, of course) he discovers Kenneth hiding behind a curtain. Kenneth apologizes, he was trapped when Jack came in “like the time my mom and her friend came in to take one of their grunting naps on the bed.” Somehow Kenneth’s childish explanations actually make everything sound dirtier. Jack sends him away and tells him to move on and Kenneth goes home to pack away all his memories of TGS and NBC. Before he can finish cleansing, Angie calls him from the hospital growling about finding Tracy and of course Kenneth comes to the rescue.

Tracy makes it to the hospital just a little too late, but Kenneth’s got it covered, fooling Angie by wearing a picture of Tracy’s face over his (Dr. Spaceman gave her some killer drugs). Tracy bursts in, takes Kenneth’s place and professes his love for Angie but ends by directing the message at Kenneth. Aww.

Liz confronts Richie about the sex rumors and it turns out Richie was just using Liz to make his co-editor (and future cat lady) jealous and we finally get a real Giamatti freak out when he can’t contain his love for Donna any longer and shouts “DONNNNNAAAAAA!” in the editing room. Liz and Richie stage a very public, very fake breakup over their date for a “music-concert.” (Thanks for the specificity, Liz.) All the talk of future water beds and his pimped out Toyata Tercel seems to work and Donna is suddenly aboard the Richie train. (Yuck.)

Kenneth interrupts Jack’s final video to tell him he wants to come back – thank God. I don’t know how much more I can take of this will he, won’t he crap. Jack agrees and rushes out to visit Tracy at the hospital and gets some surprisingly insightful advice from the TGS star to live in the moment because he can’t control the future. (He must have hit his head or something, because that was almost insightful.) Just then, Avery calls and it turns out they’re having a little girl. Jack’s so excited he immediately forgets what Tracy said. “I’ve got to make new tapes!” Oh well.

The good thing is, this time, he lets Lemon give the future little Donaghy some Lemon style advice a.k.a. the ugly truth about body hair. Liz Lemon, you are my hero.