March 16th, 2012
01:16 PM ET
It’s easy to forget that “30 Rock” is more than a just joke machine (because the jokes are so good!), but what makes it a truly great show is the humanity of the characters (yes, even not-certified-human Kenneth).
So when Tracy said, “It sure is rewarding as a TV viewer when someone you’re invested in shows growth,” it was a nice summation of an episode in which even perpetual dummy Dennis Duffy has evolved.
Tracy and Jenna were set to host NBC’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, but Hazel reignited their rivalry when she showed them a promo that gave Jenna top billing. Pete explained, “we don’t let them watch NBC. Jenna thinks that Christina Aguilera lost her voice during childbirth.”
Liz, on the other hand, planned to avoid celebrating “Ireland’s great accomplishments, like Michael Lohan and vomiting into a bagpipe,” altogether.
But Dennis Duffy, “former lover of Liz’s,” showed up at her door injured. (“I tried to steal beer from a Duane Reade and some black guy cold cocked me.” Criss: “Like a security guard?” Dennis: “I don’t know pal. I don’t see people that way.”)
Liz was convinced that Dennis the Terminator would drive a wedge in her relationship. But when he said, “we need to talk. Open up a bag of wine,” he confessed he had just returned from his honeymoon at Sea World. That’s right, Dennis the
At the office, Jack ran into Frank. “None of the writers can go out on St. Patrick’s Day because we all have faces people naturally just want to punch.”
So Jack joined their game of Colonizers of Malaar, funneling his career frustrations into the fantasy world. He had an epiphany: “It doesn’t matter if I’m on the windblown dunes of Croff, or the fluorescent lit boardrooms of 30 Rockefeller Center. I will create something from nothing!”
And while Kenneth has a new job, his heart is still at TGS. Using some Page-tested trickery, he made sure Jenna and Tracy ended the episode hand-in-hand.
As for Liz, it turns out she can change too. She and Dennis have always had a special connection, albeit one fueled by her cruelest and most self-destructive tendencies. But the romance is finally gone, and has turned into something resembling friendship.
Dennis motivated Liz to express her feelings to his bang brother Criss. She finally told him “nice stuff, like greeting card stuff.” And with a little more encouragement from Criss, she even said “I love you.”
Did you appreciate last night’s character evolution?
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