On this week's 30 Rock Liz met the man of her dreams, only to learn that he is actually an entirely different kind of crazy than he let on. Tracy was convinced his two sons were going to "Menendez" him; Kenneth let Jack invest his hard-earned savings; and Jenna was nowhere to be seen. "Gavin Volure" is perhaps the first episode of this third season (though numerically it is already the fourth) where the famous guest star played perfectly into the kooky story instead of the story taking a backseat to the kooky guest star.
The episode opens with Jack taking Liz to some big, fancy dinner for big, fancy, important people at an eccentric millionaire (Gavin Volure, played by Steve Martin)'s house. Volure is an agoraphobic and a germaphobe, so all of his parties must be thrown in the house he hasn't left for the past four years, which works out just perfectly because it's a huge mansion. Volure asked Jack personally to bring Liz after seeing her photo in a magazine, and he seems quite taken with her. In fact, the next morning he calls Liz to ask her out... or in. Since he cannot leave his house, he wants her to come back there so they can watch television, eat, and just generally sit around on the couch. Oh yeah, and since he has germ issues, there will be no physical intimacy of any kind. Liz, needless to say, is smitten.
Tracy, meanwhile, has noticed some changes with his two adolescent sons, and while sitting around his dressing room, happens upon a CourtTV documentary on the Menendez brothers. Convinced that is going to happen to him, he buys one of his own Tracy Jordan lifesize sex dolls (that are apparently HUGE, no pun intended, in Japan) to put in his place in the bed so when his kids creep into his room to kill him in his sleep, they'll stab or shoot or smother the inanimate Tracy instead. Of course the plan backfires, as his son creeps into his room only to tell him that he had a bad dream that his dad was making so much money he decided to go off and start a new family. It would be a sweet moment except Tracy sneaks up on the kid, who in turn hits him with a lamp.
Pete is desperately trying to unload the responsibility of Floor Safety Manager, mostly because the hardhat is too small for his head. Kenneth needs some extra cash and has started doing other people's laundry for them, but Jack convinces him to invest his life savings ($4000) with Jack's personal stockbroker. Unfortunately, the account gets cleaned out by the eccentric millionaire in a twist that will be explained in a few minutes, and Jack, having ruined both Liz's personal life and Kenneth's financial one, is running around like a bumbling fool to try to make it right. He just hasn't been the same since he got back from D.C.; I'm sure there's an explanatory episode coming up some time soon... maybe? hopefully? I'm not sure I can hold onto the faith! He offers to just give Kenneth the money, but Kenneth is too good to take it, so when Pete assigns the task of Floor Safety Manager to Kenneth, Jack says it comes with a $4000 signing bonus. Well, that worked out just perfectly, didn't it? And also, it appears some of the recycled Friends storylines have crept over into this episode, too, as Chandler once tricked Joey into taking rent money by inventing a card game and then letting him win. Or maybe I just watch too much TV.
Liz spends the weekend with Gavin, who confides in her that he isn't really afraid to go outside, but he actually can't leave because he is under house arrest for fraud, arson, and racketeering. Funny how he doesn't have to wear the ankle bracelet, though; even Martha had to wear the ankle bracelet! He attempts to escape but "miscounts the men" and gets tackled on his lawn. It figures, though, that the minute Liz meets someone seemingly perfect for her, something will come out of left field and screw it up-- first it was the "he's actually your cousin" thing with "The Hair," and now this!
Anyway, Gavin eventually escapes through an open bathroom window while Jack is trying to get back Kenneth's money that apparently he stole from him. He shows up at the studio to try to convince Liz to flee with him, offering: "Come with me to Canada; Toronto is just like New York, only without all of the stuff." When she rejects him, and Jack says he's going to turn him in, though, he climbs up into the rafters and threatens to jump. Kenneth busts in with his bright orange safety hardhat but can only offer bottled water or saltines. Jack distracts Gavin with an impassioned speech that appears to be working until he urges Gavin to come clean and admit what he did wrong, and then Gavin says he is no longer making any sense. It doesn't much matter, though, because Tracy is behind him on the rafters and takes him down. With the Tracy Jordan sex doll propped up in the chair that Tracy himself had been sitting in down on the stage, once again, it appears that Gavin "miscounted the men."
Best lines of the night:
Liz: "I just wish I could start a relationship about twelve years in-- when you don't have to try anymore, and you can just sit around together and goof on TV shows, and then go to bed without any funny business."
Liz: "He's not a germaphobe; I thought I was helping him when I let him hold my boob while watching Top Chef."
Kenneth: "What would this country be if our economy didn't allow wealthy people to take advantage of rubes?"