30 Rock

Season 1 Episode 12

Black Tie

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 01, 2007 on NBC

Episode Recap

Liz trades bad jokes with some of the staff, when Jack interrupts, asking her to join him to the social of the year: the 25th birthday of an Austrian Prince. She reluctantly agrees to go. Jenna wants to tag along. Jack tells Liz to pick something nice from wardrobe, and, after she finds a nice red evening gown, he presents her with an expensive looking necklace in a box. When she reaches for the necklace, he snaps it closed on her, in an attempt to imitate the similar, humorous, scene from the movie, "Pretty Woman", but he accidentally shuts it hard on her fingers.
Meanwhile, Pete is having difficulty getting his son to potty-train over the phone. Tracy overhears the conversation, and tells Pete that he needs to be more of a "Samson" to his wife's "Delilah". Later, Tracy walks into Pete's office with a group of grungy, street partyers, including a couple of voluptuous women who come onto Pete, one of whom says she's a struggling actress and thinks he can help her because he's a Jew, in show business, and, therefore, must be important and possibly can get her an acting job.
At the elegant soiree, Jack seems to know every gorgeous woman there. The Prince, announced by his attendant to the crowd, turns out to be a snaggle-toothed, wheel-chair bound, cripple, apparently the result of years of inbreeding among the Austrian aristocracy. However, he enjoys the party. Jenna, who said she sneaked in by showing security one of her breasts, makes a play for the Prince, figuring it would be the greatest acting assignment of her life. She dances for the Prince, who makes her change dance- in rapid sequence.
Jack's ex-wife, Bianca, appears at the soiree; Jack said he thought she was in Paris. He introduces Liz to Bianca as being his live-in girlfriend; Liz is taken aback by the lie, but she goes along with it. Later, Bianca talks to Liz, alone, saying that she can deal with her ex-husband, Jack, fooling around with supermodels and other unmarriageable women, but she can see Jack marrying Liz and making him very happy, which upsets Bianca. After telling this to Jack, who doesn't believe it, she proves it by walking up to Bianca, who is alone in a hallway, tells her that Jack has proposed, at which point Bianca goes berserk, clawing and tearing at Liz's hair and clothing, which gives Jack great satisfaction.
Back at the studio, Pete is in a men's room, washing up, when the star-struck woman walks in, and tears open her blouse, in an attempt to seduce him, presumably to get an acting job. Apparently in awe of the girls smooth skin, he seems about to give in to her charms, when the page boy, Ken, appears form a wall vent, imploring him not to. Tracy appears in an adjacent vent, egging him on. Ken and Tracy give both sides, much like an angel and devil battling for Pete's soul. Pete comes to his senses and leaves.
The birthday cake is brought in for the Prince, who struggles to blow out the candles, spraying the cake with airborne spittle, disgusting Jenna. Later, the Prince professes his love for her, takes a swig of champagne, and dies from an allergic reaction to "the grape", as announced by his attendant.
The episode ends with Jack seeing Liz to her apartment, and entering it without her permission, though she doesn't seem to mind. He reaches for her as if to kiss her, which Liz finds awkward, but he's only reaching to take the necklace. Liz is relieved, and tells Jack what she thought he was about to do. As Jack leaves, necklace in hand, he laughs, saying that he's been with supermodels and actresses, so why should he "settle" for Liz?