This episode, all three storylines were about relationships. Lemon has dating sea legs. She makes a date with Dr. Baird at her apartment on Valentine's Day; that's a no-no in the dating manual. It's awkward, and gets even more awkward when the cheddar stew she serves for dinner backs up on her. There's a draft, a window gets raised, a bathroom door blows open, and Dr. Baird finds himself staring at Lemon on the can with her pants down around her ankles. It's already the second time she's exposed parts of her body to the doctor that night; over dinner, one of her boobs fell out of her blouse. The night reaches a premium when Dr. Baird's teenage daughter Bethany gets dropped off unannounced by his ex-wife. He explains that normally his mother could help watch Bethany, but she's sick in the hospital, and then he proposes something interesting. Between the boob slip, the bathroom blooper, and now this, why don't they continue the date, warts and all? He calls it the express train to a relationship, and asks if Lemon's on board? "I'm on the train," she says. Next stop: dying mother. That must be the town in between "molesting uncle" and "sister with a plastic surgery fetish."
Dr. Baird's sister calls to tell him their mother has taken a turn for the worse. Lemon assumes he'd want to call off the date but it's quite the opposite. He asks her to join him at the hospital. When they get to his mother's waiting room, Lemon receives a cold reception from Dr. Baird's sister before his mother asks to speak with her son alone. All the other family shuffles out, but Dr. Baird clasps Liz's hand tight and doesn't let her leave. When he goes to look at his mother's chart, the old, befuddled matriarch takes Lemon by the hand. She confuses Lemon with her son's ex-wife, and tells her to tell him that the woman he thinks is his sister is really his mother. So Dr. Baird's "mom" is really his grandmother. (In Spanish it's abuela.) "You have to tell him, or I won't get into heaven," she says to Liz. Then she dies. Awkward, but it would have made for a great graphic on an episode of Blind Date. Therapist Joe says: Men lied to all their life are hostile toward women.
Jack and Elisa's fine romance begins with the two of them on the couch feeding each other McFlurries. It's a calorie-imbalanced celebration of the fact that Jack's mother has finally moved out of his house. They talk of their love of McFlurries, but for Jack it is mere preamble. He tells Elisa that, on Valentine's Day, they will be served the world's greatest dessert -- the "Lover's Delight" -- at a restaurant named Plunder. Imagine a dessert for two with Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream in a pool of Cognac, drizzled in the world's most expensive chocolate, covered with shaved white, black and clear truffles, and topped with edible 25-karat gold leaf. The problem is, Elisa has plans. On Valentine's Day, she's all ready to be served the world's greatest consecrated wafer at a Catholic church. It's a ceremony called the Feast of the Martyrdom of Saint Valentine, and, like most any other religious conviction, it's non-negotiable. Jack thinks it through. He hasn't been to church since he was 12 years old, and he doesn't want to miss out on the most decadent dessert since Caligula brought peanut butter to a chariot race, but Elisa and her divine bosom are equally irreplaceable. Her bosom wins out, and Jack convinces himself that they'll have time for both church and dessert. Foolish boy, he's never heard of C.P. time? Catholic people's time.
The service at church runs longer than Jack could anticipate. Kneeling beside Elisa in prayer, he cups his cell phone inside his hands and calls Jonathan. While everyone else says the Lord's Prayer, Jack tells his assistant to call Plunder and push back the table reservation. Elisa reminds him that before they can go, the two of them have to do confession. Have I mentioned that I'm Catholic yet? Confession is a great time in the life of a kid in junior high school. It's really the only age when a boy gets to open up to complete strangers about how many times he masturbated to nude drawings of She-Hulk. "How many rosary prayers am I in to you for this week, Father?"
Jack sits in confession but doesn't confess until he goads himself into an intellectual argument with the benign priest. Jack lists off his sins like they're worth a nickel at a penny factory. (Right? I just made that up.) The priest asks to know the real reason behind Jack's visit to the church, and Jack explains it to him as only a man in love with an incredibly curvy Hispanic woman can. It only takes two sentences before he's describing in great detail the feel and shape of her breasts. The priest starts sweating like Richard Chamberlain. He runs out of the confessional, away from the temptation. Jack exits the confessional, only to be confronted by a very stern-looking (and bosomy) Elisa. Have I mentioned her tits yet? Elisa and Jack have it out outside the church. Elisa's problem is that Jack has no faith. He intellectualizes everything with his big head. "Well, you have big boobs," snaps Jack. Elisa questions the basis of their being together. She believes that maybe the church experience is a sign; maybe they shouldn't be together. To Jack, divinity is not a factor. "God wants us to leave here, get a good meal, and go to town on each other." Elisa smacks Jack in the face and refuses to go with him to the restaurant. Jack goes to Plunder alone, and watches his $1,000 dessert drip off his spoon without a bite. Back at the church (she's still in church!), Elisa is handed the donation plate and pulls out a coupon for a McFlurry. She takes it and leaves for McDonalds -- the one in Union Square. When she arrives, Jack is in line ordering his own McFlurry. Elisa tells him that the McFlurry coupon was a sign from God. Jack believes it was a sign from corporate America. Maybe it's God, or maybe it's Ray Kroc? Either way, they kiss and make up.
The third romantic storyline involves Kenneth and a cute, redheaded blind girl hired by TGS to edit reruns. Frank asks Kenneth to take care of the blind girl so that he can attend to a pressing catfight, but when Kenneth meets Jennifer he's tongue-tied and speechless. He's so overtaken by her beauty that words fail him. It's a deaf and blind romantic courtship. As always, Tracy is lurking in the hallway. He can tell how taken with the young lady Kenneth is and offers to help. The help comes when Jennifer walks past Kenneth's desk and Tracy pours water on the floor. She slips and falls, and Kenneth rushes over to help her up. They hold hands, and this time when Kenneth turns speechless, Tracy swoops in like Cyrano de Bergerac. He pretends to be Kenneth, and charms Jennifer off her feet. "Well, cotton and fiddles! I enjoy your smile!" Tracy, as Kenneth, asks Jennifer out on a date. She happily agrees. The rest of the storyline plays out like an old-timey, '80s-comedy, madcap disabilities romp. Tracy and Kenneth turn the TGS studio into a makeshift restaurant, and, aided by Jenna, Grizz and DotCom, they trick Jennifer into believing they're in an actual restaurant. She asks about the live music. Tracy (as Kenneth) tells her it's Michael McDonald! Jenna is obliged to do a horrible Michael McDonald impression. It sounds like Michael McDonald on drugs. The date ends too well. When Jennifer moves in for a kiss, Kenneth owns up to the deception. Jennifer forgives him, so long as Kenneth really means the kind things that Tracy told her; she wants to be with him. She feels his hands, his arms, his face, his hair, his chin-- she stops at the chin. Her face grows puzzled. "Oh, look at the time. I forgot I have a... a thing." She turns and walks away. See? Even a blind woman gets to call you ugly if you're from the South. I think that's the lesson.
Who got to decide that Cupid is the international symbol of Valentine's Day? Cupid is, of course, the Roman god of beauty and erotic love. "Erotic" is what a Vermont librarian mouths to herself about the high-schooler, working as a clerk, at the General Store when her husband Roy isn't paying attention. Then she stares at him in the store from the passenger seat of Roy's pickup, and somehow lives off that for the next 20 years of marriage. What I am saying is that Cupid is really the God of the Lifetime Channel. Eros is where it's at: Greek, nimble, the son of Aphrodite and Ares... He's a lover and a fighter. Most importantly, he's the primordial god of lust, love and intercourse. Now that's a title. Boom! Just let it lay there in front of you. Intercourse. You know how many times they used the word "intercourse" on the Oxygen network last year? Once, in a documentary about Elayne Boosler. So there you have it: my Valentine's Day riff. It's a touch more cerebral than, say, Andrew Dice Clay: "Jack and Jill went up the hill, both with a buck and a quarter. Jill came down with a reduced sense of self-worth." It's that kind of thing.
Lemon and Dr. Baird run into each other in the lobby of their apartment building and make date plans. Dr. Baird suggests they go out on Friday, but it's no good for Liz because of TGS. She recommends Saturday, and Dr. Baird appears a little off-kilter: "Okay, that doesn't have to be weird." Lemon doesn't understand the reluctance until his very next comment: "Valentine's Day it is." She recoils in regret, and then rues her mistake. "Saturday is Valentine's Day? Nords!"
"It's so sexy when you say that," says Jack, but not to Liz. He's talking to Elisa, who repeats, "Your mother has gone back to Florida." The two of them are entwined on his couch, eating McFlurries, in celebration of his mother's departure from his house. They talk of their love of McFlurries, but for Jack it is mere preamble. He tells Elisa that on Valentine's Day they will be served the world's greatest dessert -- the "Lover's Delight" -- at a restaurant named Plunder. The problem is, Elisa has plans. On Valentine's Day, she's already going to be served the world's greatest consecrated wafer at a Catholic church. It's a ceremony called the Feast of the Martyrdom of Saint Valentine, and, like most any other religious conviction, it's non-negotiable.
Now over to the hallways of 30 Rock: Frank doesn't mind a chick fight, so long as it's not over him. Right now, he's dropping everything to watch three of the show dancers fight over the same guy, and by everything, he means a blind girl. I must pause a moment and ask why a sketch comedy show would have dancers post-1992? TGS never struck me as courting the same audience as In Living Color. Anyway, Frank tells Kenneth to watch after the blind girl, who has been hired to edit reruns. I think that's a joke, but it's not an obvious one. Kenneth turns around and sees a very attractive, redheaded woman struggling to make coffee. It's the blind girl. [a.k.a. Coppertop from Strangers with Candy, who was coincidentally married to Jack McBrayer's character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. - Zach] Kenneth runs over to aid her, and as she turns around the stars fill up in his eyes. She thanks him kindly, and Kenneth absently pours out coffee, missing his cup, onto his shoes. He's so smitten by her that he hardly even notices. The blind girl's nose perks up. "Is everything okay? Because now I smell burnt plastic." As Kenneth silently backs away, Tracy observes the whole painful encounter and nods his head in disbelief.