Avery asks Jack to put up boundaries in his weirdo relationship with Lemon. What will become of the Donaghy Mentor Experience?

By Annie Barrett
November 05, 2010 at 05:20 AM EDT
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On last night’s 30 Rock, “Gentleman’s Intermission,” pregnant albino ninja Avery (Elizabeth Banks) asked Jack to take a pause in his ongoing mentoring of Liz Lemon. Obviously, this couldn’t last — the Donaghy Mentor Experience is the whole point of the show! Plus, as Jack quickly learned, no one could measure up to his standards for DIHC (drive, intelligence, humility, chaos) quite like Lemon. Jonathan clearly wasn’t driven enough because he refused to slice off his perfect boss’ pinky. Self-absorbed Tracy lacked humility and Jenna, “an unceasing onslaught of dysfunction,” failed the test of intelligence. Dr. Drew called her “unfixable”! Avery, a two-time closet case on the cover of Organized Living magazine and therefore not a candidate for chaos, coolly scoffed at the mere notion that she might need another person in any way. Does she ever…listen to herself? Why does everything smell like onions?!

Tracy Jordan, Googler of self, spent the episode trying to “change the headline” of his life’s work after footage of his NBC obituary suggested he was just another idiot millionaire, like Mark Cuban. Revelation of the night: Tracy owns the only giraffe basketball team…called the New York Necks!!! If I think about this too much, it’ll begin to sound stupid, but at the time it struck me as about the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. No, wait. It’s still hilarious! The New York Necks! Anyway, Tracy attempted to save a heroic cat and change his headline to DOUBLE HERO, but of course he was thwarted by his alter-ego, Jenna. Try to deny her an obit now, you jags! But she didn’t even have the last laugh — that sneaky Keyboard Cat Hero dialed 911 for Kenneth.

Liz’s father Dick Lemon (guest star Buck Henry) was in town for a gentleman’s intermission from his wife — who needs monogamy when New York has so many bars with the cool rainbow flags? Liz duped him for a few seconds in her belated Halloween costume (Tootsie‘s Dorothy Michaels) but couldn’t convince him to go back home. Not without her mentor! Once Avery gave him permission to resume their symbiotic relationship, Jack was able to put in a quick, fear-inspiring phone call to Dick that brilliantly corroborated Dick’s own argument for telephone etiquette earlier in the episode. “I’m a crooked cop; my brother’s a crooked firemen. We will find you, he will set you on fire, and I will NOT investigate it.” He even capped it off: “Go Necks!”

I’m not sure I’ve ever cackled as loudly as I did when Lemon copped to wearing a Duane Reade bag as underwear. The idea that a respite from her Donaghy Mentor Experience would leave her that far gone…way, way beyond wearing a one-piece swimsuit as underwear…I just love that they went there. A PLASTIC BAG. And I’m glad Avery’s skepticism wore off so easily. Finally, order had been restored in the underwater kingdom and the remora’s face could suction-cup her way back onto the Great White Shark’s parasitic body! It was back to business. “Can I show you a weird thing on my leg?”

NEXT: My top 10 quotes, even though every 30 Rock episode is like one big quote

My 10 Favorite Lines from 30 Rock‘s “Gentleman’s Intermission”

10. “Hi, I’m Daphne Donaghy! I just saw a turtle!” –Lemon reverting back to Mean Girl mode during the tag

9. “Sometimes she just…falls over. It’s stressful.” –Jack on Avery’s new “boob weight”

8. “Telephone etiquette is important. It lets people know your race even when they can’t see you.” –Dick Lemon

7. “I’m not done with him, Jacob! He stays on this side!” –Kenneth’s Lost moment after seeing Tracy’s pre-recorded obit on a monitor

6. “Ambition is the willingness to kill the things you love and eat them in order to stay alive.” –Jack’s throw pillow

5. “Kim Jong-il? I never heard of her.” –Jenna, who played Arts and Literature (not History) in the film adaptation of Trivial Pursuit

4. “I don’t know any of my lines!” –Tracy “playing” Prince Hal in Central Park’s Henry IV

3. “I would never say this to her face, but Lemon is above-average. She’s got just the right amount of DIHC for me. I hear it, and I don’t care!” –Jack

2. “Tell people in lieu of flowers, they can pour jewels into my open coffin.” –Jenna, a three-time Tony…Shalhoub sex partner

1. “I was gonna take a class called Cooking For One, but the teacher killed himself.” –Who do you think?

Okay, time to go ask a coworker (or your roommate, or your cat, etc.) if you can use his or her computer to “Google yourself.” But of course! “How else would you do it?”

Last ’30 Rock’ recap: Sex Bomb

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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