It's Valentine's Day around the TGS offices, and Liz is determined to do away with lonely longing by scheduling her route canal for the 14th, spending the first half of the day in twilight sleep and the second half in front of the TV. Sounds like a good plan, until the dastardly dentist's office reveals that she has to have someone come pick her up after the procedure. She scrambles, looking for someone to come get her, but comes up short.
Jack, meanwhile, has an overabundance of Valentine's Day plans. On top of scheduling dates with three different women, he becomes enchanted with a sexy news anchor for a faux FOX News show called "The Hot Box", deftly played by Elizabeth Banks. Oh, Jack.
At a VIP after party for TGS, orchestrated by Liz solely to impress Jack's new news anchor lady friend, Liz meets Jon Bon Jovi (NBC Artist in Residence), who convinces her not to sign the release allowing her to drive herself home and be labeled a crazy, spinster, cat lady. Instead, she'll pretend that her boyfriend (Astronaut Mike Dexter, of course, who is rapidly becoming this season's Dr. Spaceman in terms of references per episode) will be picking her up.
Of course, things don't work out as planned. After her surgery, Liz is so wonky from the anesthesia that she hallucinates Dennis, her deadbeat ex-boyfriend, Floyd, the man she almost followed to Cleveland, and Dr. Drew, the devastatingly handsome but equally stupid Jon Hamm. It was wonderful to see these fine actors make a too-brief return to Liz Lemon's life, and especially as a vehicle for her to shout that she does want love in her life! Now, the fact that she makes this declaration to the annoyed nurses at her dentist's office makes it a little sadder, but no less hilarious.
The nurses decide to call people in Liz's phone until someone answers, and they reach Jack, just in the middle of a breakup with Elizabeth Banks. She wants a family, you see, a husband, and while Jack was fun for one weekend, he's not in it for the long run. Jack protests, and receives the call. He begs Elizabeth (ok, her character's name is Avery Jessup, but she's always Elizabeth Banks to me) to come with him to see that he's not lying. She does, and they take Liz home. Before falling dead asleep, Liz tells Elizabeth that Jack is a wonderful man, and she doesn't know what she'd do without him. Awwwwhhhh. I think this spells a character arc for Ms. Banks!
Although the episode was hilarious, I'm a little uncertain of the message we're left with. I was really excited that Liz was taking a stand against Valentine's Day and all that it represents. She's an independent woman, and she can do things on her own! Except she can't, and that's when she needs Jack's help. Not exactly a feminist victory. Oh well. Tina Fey and company make no claims about championing women's rights - it's just a TV show. And oh, what a TV show it is. I'll let it slide this once, 30 Rock, but only because you gave me a glimpse of Jon Hamm.