My Whole Life Is Thunder
Singing a happy "look who got married" song, Liz bounces into the TGS studio where preparations for the annual Christmas show are underway. Jenna Maroney tracks Liz down to tell her how betrayed she feels. Not only is Jenna hurt that Liz didn't invite her to her wedding, she's furious because Liz's surprise wedding has ruined her own surprise wedding. Jenna tears off her costume to reveal a wedding dress; a naked Paul and a leather-clad officiant retreat from the studio wings, disappointed.
Cerie approaches Liz to tell her she's being honored at a luncheon today as one of 80 Women Under Age 80 in Entertainment. The luncheon will be broadcast on Lifetime.com. Liz is thrilled.
Liz heads to Jack's office to discuss how she might defuse the tension with Jenna, but Jack's in no mood to solve Liz's problems. His mother's in town for Christmas. At 87, she's still finding new ways to let Jack know the many ways in which he's disappointed her. Frozen with fear over how she'll cut him next, Jack's effectively paralyzed.
Kenneth explains to Tracy how upset he is that Liz fired Hazel. Kenneth wishes life could be more wonderful, like on TV where people learn from each other and things don't really change. Instead he's filled with venom for Liz. Looking to help his buddy Kenneth, Tracy tracks down Florence Henderson. Kenneth's thrilled that Mrs. Brady is in the house, but Florence is strictly business.
Liz seeks out Jenna in her dressing room, looking to make amends over the wedding slight. She reminisces with Jenna about how they first met, when Liz was just a lighting board operator back in their theater days. Liz asks Jenna to accompany her to the award luncheon today. Hearing there'll be cameras at the event, Jenna feigns forgiveness and excitement; she tells Liz she'd be happy to go. After Liz leaves, it's clear Jenna has an ulterior motive.
Jack's approached on the sidewalk by a nymphomaniac widow who wants to take him to a hotel room. Before they can scamper off, Jack's phone rings. It's his mother, complaining of health problems and summoning him home. Jack thinks it's just another of her ruses to get his attention, but he can't be sure. He rushes off, leaving the nympho to Frank. Jack finds his mother at home, resting in an easy chair. Jack accuses her of tricking him again, but Colleen assures him she's had a heart attack. She's even got the bruise to prove it. Jack wants to call an ambulance, but she'll have none of it. If she's going out, it'll be in style, not in a van. She insists on a horse-drawn carriage.
At the luncheon, Liz discovers that Jenna is planning to stage a surprise wedding at the event. Liz is beside herself and finds a sympathetic ear in fellow luncheon honoree Gayle King. They commiserate over how their so-called best friends treat them.
Tracy arranges with Grizz and Dotcom to disable the 30 Rock elevator while he, Kenneth and Florence Henderson are inside. Tracy's plan is to keep them all captive long enough for Kenneth and TV-mom Florence to learn from the past and help Kenneth get over Hazel. But the plan quickly deteriorates as all three are overcome by fear. Looking for anything with alcohol in it, Florence reaches for the window cleaner.
At the luncheon, the host begins her tribute to Liz, but can't quite get the technology to work. Liz and Jenna begin fighting at their table. Jenna vows to stage a live wedding as revenge right then and there, but Liz has a contingency plan. She's conspired with the house lighting board operator. In case of emergency, the operator is to adjust the stage lights to cast anyone who approaches the podium in the worst possible lighting. It's a terror even Jenna can't face.
On the carriage ride to the hospital, Colleen takes what may be her last opportunity to tell Jack how disappointed in him she is. She goes on to tell Jack all she really wanted for him was his happiness. Jack is aghast. He tells his mother that she's only happy when she's criticizing others. His mom stops him, reminding him that she won't be around forever. Jack scoffs, threatening to someday put her in a home. But just as he finishes the thought he looks over to see that his mother is, in fact, dead.
Back at the luncheon, Liz steps up to the podium to receive her award. As the polite crowd applauds, Jenna stands up and calls her out. Liz fires back, telling Jenna it's not about her. Jenna begins throwing rolls at Liz, excoriating her for preventing her wedding once again. Paul waits hidden in a steamer trunk nearby. Jenna tries to take the stage, but Liz calls on her lighting board friend to fire off the harsh combination of lights. Jenna is quickly caught and shrinks away from the dais, running out of the room.
Liz finds Jack in the hospital reception area. His mother is gone, he tells Liz, but at least she died doing something she loved: criticizing others. Jack heads off to plan the memorial and funeral. A repentant Jenna shows up at the hospital. She tells Liz that Colleen's death has made her realize that life is too short. And when she does get married, she will want everyone there to celebrate with her.
At the cathedral, there's a large turnout at the mass for Jack's mom. Tracy finds Kenneth; he's found a new Hazel for him. Kenneth turns the offer of a new girlfriend down, going on to explain that he doesn't want his life to be like on TV because his life is already better than TV. They all hug.
Jack steps to the lectern. He tells the crowd that his mother's crushing disapproval was the greatest gift a mother could give a son. His lifelong quest to please her made him the man he is today. He announces that he's inspired now out to deliver the greatest eulogy of all time. Jack explains about Colleen's distant Irish relatives, recites stories in Gaelic, jokes with Kermit the Frog, even plays the flute - all to an adoring, emotional audience.
Jack finishes the eulogy. Jenna, sensing one final opportunity, pulls off her coat to reveal a wedding dress underneath. Paul, disguised as a church statue of an angel, leaps down to the altar. Jenna and Paul announce they're getting married. As the congregation looks on, the couple exchanges vows, and the Preacher Gimp pronounces them married. "Mother would have hated this," Jack says, sharing a winsome smile with Liz.