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30 Rock 3.04 – Gavin Volure Monday, December 1, 2008

Posted by The Bad One in 30 rock, nbc, The Bad One.
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Welcome back to our 30 Rock recaps after a *totally planned* one-week absence. Yes. Of course I always meant to post this the week the next new episode aired. Completely. Anyway…

We open as Jack urges Liz to loosen up as they walk into a schmancy dinner party, but she’s 1.) Connecticut, 2.) No food yet, 3.) “Away” toilet situation, so no dice. Anyway, they’re at the home of Gavin Volure, founder of some company called “Sunstream”. He was the first man to be on the cover of Fortune and Jet at the same time, back when Jet was about jet ownership. Jack: “That magazine took a weird turn.” Since that time, Volure sold Sunstream and reportedly hasn’t left his house in three years.

The white-haired piano player turns out to be Volure himself, played by Steve Martin. He thanks his guests, explaining that his agoraphobia and debilitating wealth force him to import the rest of the world into his home. He points out the luminaries from the worlds of fashion, society, art collecting & yelling (John McEnroe(!): “WHY IS THERE NO GOOD ART IN HERE? COME ON!”), business and historical fiction (Jack), and the arts (Liz waves). Volure adds that he specifically asked Jack to bring her after seeing Liz’s photo in the style section of the New York Times. Cut to the page with Jack in a suit Liz in something big and yellow under the headline “WINTER PLUMAGE: Bold Color for Men and Women”. Liz: “Funny story, I was only wearing that because the fire alarm went off while I was getting a haircut.”

Volure tells them he’s sending his driver into Manhattan to pick up dessert and asks if anyone knows a good place for cupcakes. McEnroe starts to answer, but Liz confidently cuts him off and rattles off three places and gets in a plug for Sara Lee frozens. “Don’t overthink it.”

Tracy is talking to Kenneth about his sons Tracy Jr. and George Foreman, who’ve been acting kind of weird lately. Tracy: “Those two have never paid me any attention, and rightly so. I’m a strange man who can’t be taken seriously. Now they won’t let me out of their sight!” He dismisses Kenneth’s suggestion that maybe they love him, and displays the sort of crafty thing that first graders are prone to come home with that looks like nothing and everything and you just have to guess what it’s supposed to be. Tracy is pretty sure that it’s voodoo. Kenneth: “Sometimes kids act out when there’s some big change. I know I was a handful when our family moved from our farmhouse to that militia camp in the woods.” Tracy does note that there’s a lot of new money coming in from the video game and its spin-off products, including the life-size Tracy Jordan sex doll. Kenneth: “Well, you know what they say. Money is the root of all evil.” Tracy: “I thought that was just a tagline for my movie Death Bank.”

Jack is telling Gavin how surprised he is that Volure’s out of the game, but Gavin answers that he’s forming a new company. “Here’s the pitch: Wind power. Bandwidth. Chinese market.” Jack is struggling to contain himself, and Volure offers to see if he can get him a position with the new company. Liz arrives to tell Jack that car has arrived. Volure thanks Liz for her cupcakes, and has Carl (whose earpiece makes him seem to be some sort of bodyguard) say goodnight for her. Carl takes her hand and kisses it.

TGS. Pete is in the writers’ room looking for a sucker volunteer to be the floor emergency marshall. He’s unable to serve as his head is too big for the hard hat. Liz walks in, as Cerie ignores the ringing phone, and picks up to find Volure on the other end of it. He invites her out to the house again on Saturday, promising to send a helicopter to take her to the train station.

Tracy is in his dressing room, flipping through the channels. He eventually lands on a Menendez documentary and has an epiphany. He flips down the picture on his desk of his kids smiling only see one behind it of them scowling. He flees.

Kenneth is trying to send extra money home to the farm (I guess they moved back). It seems that the inbred pigs are getting violent and the pig shield has worn thin. Jack asks him how much savings he has. Kenneth: “Eighty thousand dollars.” Jack: “If you don’t include Confederate money.” Kenneth: “Four thousand dollars.” Jack takes the money to invest it in Gavin’s new venture, promising Kenneth enough money to buy his folks a pig moat. After Jack walks away: “Well, that would be great if pigs weren’t excellent swimmers.”

Liz tells Jack about her weekend plans, and he’s not surprised. Liz, however, doesn’t like all the work you hae to put in at the beginning of a relationship (which fits with Dennis). Liz: “I just wish I could just start a relationship about 12 years in, when you really don’t have to try anymore and you can just sit around together and goof on TV shows and go to bed without anybody trying any funny business.”

Tracy comes home late at night, trying not to wake anyone up. “Hey guys, Daddy’s home. Don’t Menendez me.” He screams and runs out of the house as the two boys walk in, dressed in Jason-style hockey masks. George Foreman doesn’t understand what’s up with Dad, as they were waiting to tell him they made the hockey team.

Gavin is showing Liz around his house, talking about how it gets lonely enough to dance with a broom once in a while. Liz: “Sometimes, to feel like I have company during dinner, I dispute credit card charges on speaker phone.” She asks him how a relationship works given his agoraphobia. Gavin: “Well, it’s not easy. We can never leave the house, and we’d probably just sit around all weekend and watch TV.” Liz: “Go on.” Gavin: “There’s not much else to do up here except eat and read celebrity gossip on the internet and nap the day away.” Liz: “Really.” Gavin: “And, unfortunately, because of my phobias we could never be physically intimate. I know, what woman would want all that?” The gleam in Liz’s eye is blinding.

Kenneth comes up to Jack’s office to give him another $10 to invest after his street performing (to “Rockit”) paid off handsomely. Well, except for the stolen boom box. Jack calls his broker to find out how the money is performing and learns that the account was cleared out. Ruh roh.

Liz is in the foyer getting ready to leave. Gavin sends Carl into the other room to retrieve her cell phone, then locks him in. Gavin: “I’m not really an eccentric agoraphobe. I just tell people that so they don’t know I’m really under house arrest for tax fraud. And arson.” Carl, who’s actually a US Marshall, has quickly wised up to Volure’s “plans”. He runs out the door, heading for the water, and is planted by another marshall. Gavin: “I thought Derek was upstairs! I miscounted the men, Liz! I miscounted the men!”

Jack is on his cell phone, trying to get in touch with Gavin. Liz informs him of his idol’s criminal activities, and his exploitation of his fauxbia via a boob grab. Liz: “I thought I was helping him.” Going up the hallway, Liz orders Tracy back into his dressing room, but it’s actually the Tracy Jordan sex doll. He’s using it as a decoy for his greedy kids.

Jack confronts Gavin Volure over his malfeasance, and wonders how the foudner of Sunstream could be in such trouble. But Sunstream’s the cause of it. Their commercials never said what they did, they were just a string of single words and busy images. Gavin doesn’t even own the house, the government does and he has to share it with three other white-collar criminals who may or may not be stealing his peanut butter. After telling Jack how much he misses Liz, Gavin enters the bathroom and exits it by jumping out a window and leaving a tape recording playing.

Jack offers Kenneth a check to cover his losses, but Kenneth refuses, as what would the economy be if wealthy people couldn’t take advantage of rubes. “We Parcells have eaten our share of rock soup and squirrel tail, but we’ve also known lean times. We’ll get by.” And then Kenneth’s day is made when Pete offers him the job as emergency floor marshall. Jack: “Pete, doesn’t that job come with a $4000 signing bonus?” Pete catches the snap and then negotiates himself a sweet $0.12/mile per-diem for gas. Jack agrees. Pete: “YES! Hornberger!”

George Foreman sees his dad asleep and comes in to confess his fears that Tracy will get so rich he’ll leave them for a new family. But it’s not his dad, it’s the decoy, and when Tracy comes out of his closet, the terrified tyke grabs the bedside lamp and starts swinging. Tracy: “Stop patriciding!” Tracy tells him that he’ll never leave them and he’ll always be there to take care of them. “And if anything ever happens to me, you and your brother are going to go to jail.”

The next day, Tracy lets Liz know he’s not dead. As she walks across the stage, Gavin breaks his disguise as a painter to let her know he came back for her. Gavin: “I was free. I was across the Canadian border.” Liz: “No, you weren’t.” He proves it to her with cheap cholesterol medicine and a Paris Hilton movie released only in Canada. Liz: “Camp of Approval? What does that even mean?” He begs her to come with him to Toronto. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that just about the worst place to hide? Isn’t extradition simply a matter of putting you back on one of the garbage trucks to Michigan or shoving an ice floe across the Niagara River? Jack rounds the corner and Volure puts up his paintbrush (not a euphemism) to keep Jack at bay. Gavin has lost everything, but he vows never to go to real prison. He climbs a ladder up to a lighting platform and warns everyone that he’s going to jump. A crew member calls for the floor emergency marshall and Kenneth comes running to distribute water and saltines. As Tracy lounges in a chair, Jack sort of tries to talk Volure down before cueing “Now, Tracy! Now!” And Tracy tackles Gavin. Gavin: “But you’re down there!” Tracy: “Or am I?” Jack: “Good job, sex doll.” Liz: “Hmm. He miscounted the men.”

For our final scene, we’re left with Tracy’s sex doll delivering a PSA on how they save lives and bring families closer together. The More You Know…



1. DougOLis - Monday, December 1, 2008

I thought we learned the previous week that cupcakes were out and donuts were back in? Shame on you Liz

2. The Bad One - Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I’m blaming Volure for this one, but the guy’s been under house arrest for three years, so I guess it’s reasonable.

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