Jack has to stop collecting cookie jars to get ahead; Tracy has to stop collecting strippers to keep his wife

By Jeff Labrecque
October 21, 2007 at 01:29 PM EDT
S2 E3
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Who knew? That question drove the entire episode last night, which began with a scuzzy private investigator (Steve Buscemi) digging for dirt on Jack and then skimmed into the humiliating histories of the rest of the 30 Rockcrew. Jack Donaghy is a champion cookie-jar collector who goes by the pseudonym of Victor Nightingale. Who knew? As an insecure younger woman, Liz Lemon responded to a Jackie Mason insult with a clumsy backstage sexual advance. Oy, who knew? Jenna Maroney once dated David Blaine. Actually…that sounds believable.

Jack kicked things off after he discovered GE was conducting background checks on all the potential chairman candidates. (Corporate even interviewed Lemon and asked what animal best describes her boss. Answer: an eagle with the head of a bear. (Personally, I was just relieved she didn’t wink at the camera and say the head of a bumblebee, as in Jerry Seinfeld’s overhypedBee Movie, coming to theaters everywhere Nov. 2). To cover his arse, Jack preemptively vetted himself by hiring the PI. I’m normally a huge admirer of Buscemi, who’s perfectly cast, but the writers gave him next to nothing to do. Maybe Will Arnett has ruined it for everyone else here, but I kept waiting for something more from Buscemi. It almost felt like this consummate character actor was working in a different show. At least his encounter with Jack divulged these juicy nuggets: Jack was arrested in 1976 for beating hippies at the Democratic national convention; he plays golf with ”Johnny” Carlos, the king of Spain; and he has a disgraced cousin named Tim who fixes NBA games.

As part of their marital reconciliation, Angie shadowed Tracy at work in order to keep him under control — in his way of thinking, essentially asking a tiger not to turn back into a Chinese dude at midnight. As Tracy knows, that’s impossible, but Angie did manage to dampen his behavior. Lighten up, Ange. Let Tracy’s inner Chinese dude run wild. Or is it the tiger? Tracy’s logic made perfect sense when he said it, but now I’m confused. Lemon did what she had to do for the good of her show (and 30 Rock as well) by barring Angie from the set. She doesn’t need to be exiled to the status of Norm’s wife on Cheers, but Angie’s much more effective in the background. And yes, I did love her fingernails.

Jenna, fortunately, is as phat as ever. Her attention-grabbing girth has made her a star. She now has her own plus-size perfume, Enormé. (”Make him chase the chunk.”) Plus, she’s been offered the role of Ms. Pac-Man in a live-action Atari movie. Brilliant. But her diminishing appetite threatened it all, including her suddenly warm relationship with Jack. Panic stricken, she went all Jackie Mason on cruel-to-be-kind Kenneth, and well…take it away, Kenneth: ”It turns out she’s the wrong kind of crazy — and I guess we have to get married now.” Did Jenna and Kenneth really have sex? Is it safe to say he was a virgin? And if so, is it possible he’s so clueless that he only thinks they had sex? How will the show deal with this next time?

What do you think?

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.
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