"30 Rock" Cooter (TV Episode 2008) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Liz has a positive pregnancy test, and thinks that Dennis is the father. Meanwhile, Jack regrets taking the Homeland Security position, Tracy finishes his pornographic video game, and Kenneth tries to get a job at The Olympics.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • "30 Rock"- "Cooter"- May 8, 2008


    Liz is on the phone with Jack (she's eating her beloved off-brand Mexican cheez doodles, Sabor de Soledad, he's walking through a security station somewhere in Washington D.C.). He explains he's sharing the load at Homeland Security as well as working on extreme weather preparedness and the war on the poor. Liz corrects him "you mean the war on poverty." Jack replies, "yeah okay let's go with that." He says he's not coming back. Liz thinks it's all so weird it happened so fast. They hang up when it's time for Jack's strip search.

    Tracy and Frank approach Liz and ask her if something on the drawing they're holding resembles "wizard nipples." (They're for Tracys porn video game.) To help her decide Liz asks if the lightning bolts are supposed to be going in or out. Tracy laments working hard on his project while others goof off and asks if Liz can sympathize. She does and begins to cry. Tracy asks if she's having her "woman times."


    Liz is flipping through her calendar frantically and examining birth control pill packages on her desk trying to figure out when she last had her "woman times." Cerie enters and informs her that she's supposed to take all the pills... in a row. She thanks her for her help but explains she needs no advice since she's been sexually active since she was 25.

    Kenneth enters Pete's office asking Pete to write him a recommendation for his application to be a page at the Beijing Olympics. Kenneth asks if Pete's ever been. He recalls that he almost went once. Cut to: A mustachioed, bushy-haired Pete in a group of archers being told of Carter's boycott of the Moscow games. He's still mad. Pete tells Kenneth the applications are due today. The memo Kenneth got said two weeks. He scurries off to write his personal essay and runs into evil head page Donnie, who fed him the misinformation. Donnie gloats that he will be going to China. Kenneth informs him that the day isn't over yet.

    Jack enters a disheveled office- the door has plaques that read "Department of Homeland Security," "Tornadoes," Farm Credit Administration" and a piece of tape saying "Space for Rent"- and runs into Matthew Broderick who introduces himself as Cooter Burger, vice chair of farm subsidies, acting head of FEMA, and temporary acting head of the FBC while the acting head is on trial. Jack notes the shake-ups. Cooter couldn't disagree more saying "the adiministration has been streamlined." Jack is glad since he doesn't like to think of President Bush as a lame duck but a lame eagle. A trickle of water falls onto a desk from the ceiling. Burger says the ceiling is not leaking, they've looked into it. He begins to write his extension on a post-it note with some kind of primitive scratching utensil. Jack asks if there are no pens, Cooter immediately replies "we're not in a recession." Jack marvels that they'll have to crack the whip since they have no pens and the roof is leaking. Cooter insists it's not, offering to show Jack the study that proves it isn't. He then tells Jack they're late for an appropriations committee meeting. Jack laments that he's not prepared. Cooter claps a hand on his shoulder and says "I'm not drunk either but we'll manage."

    Liz is looking through Jenna's desk for a pregnancy test. Four tests say she's pregnant. She storms into what used to be Jack's office and encounters Kathy Geiss. She wonders why she even came up since she knows Jack is not there, she says she's going a little crazy. The room is covered in stuffed animals. She asks if Kathy wants to be her sounding board. Kathy responds by pulling a Matchbox car out of her mouth sheepishly. When Liz leaves she puts it back in.

    Jenna and Grizz are in a sound booth recording sexy dialogue for Tracy's porn video game. Tracy tells them to stop. Grizz is doing fine but Tracy upbraids Jenna for overthinking lines like "join me in the orgy room." He says "I don't need another Judi Dench situation." Jenna goes through random sex sounds that are very convincing. Sadly, he wasn't rolling tape.

    Liz, holding another pregnancy test, is on the one phone leaving a frantic message for Jack.

    In the appropriations committee Jack watches as a congressman decides not to support allocating money to shore up a dam in Maine because he thinks it's a curse word. He would support it if they called it a "godfinger." Jack then asks for pens. He gives them a stirring speech about how this could change the world.

    Jenna stalks Kenneth in the hallway angry that she had to put on her jeans herself. Kenneth apologizes but explains he's been distracted from his normal duties by his Olympic page application. Donny, who was hiding in a quick change dressing room, emerges to taunt Kenneth and they all start threatening each other in Chinese like a kung fu movie. Kenneth's worried about his essay since it's not in his nature to brag on himself. Jenna offers to help by explaining back door bragging. Example for Jenna "It's hard for me to watch 'American Idol' because I have perfect pitch.'' Kenneth can't do it and drops the application in the trash. Jenna fishes it out and comes across one of Liz's discarded pregnancy tests. "Oh no," she realizes, "someone is going to get more attention than me."

    Cooter is amazed by Jack's "we need pens" speech. Jack explains he was mentored by Don Geiss and that he will do the same for Cooter. Cooter hasn't felt this energized since the two weeks they tried to teach them Farsi. Jack's phone buzzes. It's Jonathan. He tells him that Geiss is still in the coma but he spoke. He said "Jackie boy." Jack tears up.

    Jack enters his office- where Cooter is spelling out "Pen Closet" with tape on a door- and tries to offer Cooter his letter of resignation. Cooter is bummed and asks why he wants to leave. Jack says he has unfinished business. Cooter says "but we were going to do great things together. Look, the leak stopped." Jack looks, more water pours out. Jack says he has to get back. Cooter denies his resignation saying he has to stay and serve his nation. Jack points out that as the head of GE he will be serving his nation by creating jobs. Then with a flourish he says the head of GE "brings good things to life" and grabs a nearby lampshade off a lamp, to reveal a candle burning where the bulb should be. He begs Cooter to let him leave. Cooter says it's not up to him, the administration doesn't want anyone going anywhere anymore. The pens arrive and Cooter starts chanting "U.S.A."

    Liz enters Jenna's dressing room from behind, hugs her, and says "hello friend." Jenna says "oh my god you're pregnant!" Liz asks how she can tell. Jenna says she just can and that people always underestimate her instincts because of her looks. Liz points out that this is no time for back door bragging. Jenna claims she's happy for Liz. Liz is not happy for Liz. Jenna asks if she's called Floyd yet. Liz looks guilty. Cut to Liz and Dennis walking back to her apartment and Liz saying "those margaritas were strong!" She asks him to come inside to "change some lightbulbs." Jenna realizes the cold hard baby daddy truth. Liz defends herself by saying she slept with him "before he tried to throw me under the subway train." She asks if Jenna is the only one allowed to make sex mistakes pointing out a three way Jenna had with Roseanne and Tom Arnold. Jenny protests, "that was two years ago!"

    Jenna asks what Liz will do. She points out Dennis can't be involved because he's "class A moron" (nice callback) so she's going to be a kick ass single mom like Erin Brockovich or Sarah Conner. She says she's actually excited. Jenna advises going to the doctor for a blood test and asks for some Adderall as long as Liz is going.

    Jack is trying to scratch out something on a post-it note lamenting that he's stuck. Cooter says he can't believe "the best friend I ever had" is trying to leave him. Jack tells him to look around and asks if he's thought of leaving. Cooter says he has but that since Jack is here now everything is going to be better and "we've got pens, glorious pens." He opens the box to find that it's full of caps only. Jack says "Cooter" and Cooter snaps saying "that's not my name, my name is James Riley. Cooter Burger? What do you think I am, a cartoon dog? The president named me that." He grabs Jack and says "we have to get out of here." Jack says that's the spirit and tries to figure out a way around the whole "not taking resignations" thing. He tells them to they have to work togther to get fired.

    Liz enters her apartment and is surprised to find Dennis on her couch. When she asks what he is doing there he says "I don't have to explain myself to you." He told his mom that he got a job so he's been hanging out at Liz's apartment for the past couple of weeks during the day. He asks why she's home. She forgot her computer. He asks if there's something she wants to tell him. He plays her a message from the doctor's office from which he deduced she was pregnant. She denies it. He says "really?" and picks up a pack of pre-natal vitamins and says he knows what pre-natal means "Pre, before, natal, ruined." Liz is disgusted. He starts laying out rules like they're having the baby at the hospital he was born at in Coney Island and if it's a boy they're naming him after Morpheus from "The Matrix." Liz kicks him out.

    Jenna enters Tracy's dressing room with Kenneth's "personal essay" on a DVD. She is proud of her work. She shows Kenneth. It's Jenna talking about Kenneth and how he personifies the Olympic spirit. She has cut a video showing all his good qualities and then she sings about how he's so beautiful she sees herself in him. He's very excited and runs off to deliver his DVD. Suree stops him and says someone needs 12 boxes of copier paper. He says to himself "duty before self" in Chinese.

    Jack and Cooter are trying to come up with a plan that will be "wasteful, embarrassing to the administration, and upsetting to the voters." They find a defunct Pentagon study on a "gay bomb"- a weapon that disarm potential foes by making them "totally gaybones for each other." They realize it's exactly what they're looking for. Jack says his friend in Congress will help them.

    Tracy offers Frank the prototype of his porn video game. Frank is excited to try it.

    Kenneth delivers the paper and Donnie taunts him that the paper was for no one it was just a trick to make him miss the deadline. Kenneth only has 30 seconds to get his application to the 27th floor and Donnie thinks he'll never make it. Pete shoots Donnie in the ankle with an arrow and says "run Kenneth run!"

    Liz is calling Jack telling him Dennis knows. "This is a disaster," she moans, "this baby's going to have a father."

    Kenneth runs, hurdles his way up to 27th. A wet paint tape stops him short of NBC sports so he discuses his application in. He then runs through the wet paint tape like he's crossing a finish line and then vomits into a bucket.

    C.C. is annoyed as she looks at Jack's "gay bomb" proposal. "You dragged me out of a meeting for this?" she complains. "I was going to meet Bono." Jack explains that she owes him since he did things for her in bed that she said she would reciprocate on his birthday which they broke up before. She says it will take weeks to approve. Jack will take his chances and also notes that he'll still be in town on his birthday. C.C. rolls her eyes and says she will help him get fired.

    Jack has a piece of pizza in his office and finally listens to Liz's messages. He reacts with alarm, puzzlement, amusement, and longing. He misses Liz. In the final message she tells him not to worry because even with Dennis as the father it turns out she's happy to be having a baby. Mid-message she puts him on hold for her doctor and comes back and tells him to nevermind, she's not pregnant. Jack is crestfallen. (This is a great little piece of acting on Baldwin's part.)

    A knock on Liz's door reveals Jack asking "Lemon how are you?" She explains it was the cheez curls causing the false positives on her pregnancy tests.Turns out the curls get their special tangy flavor from evaporated bull semen. "That explains your hair's thickness and shine," says Jack. She's still eating them. He apologizes that she had to go through it alone. She says it was good, she's finally reached a stage where she doesn't care what other people think of her. Jack tells her to resist the urge to get a short haircut. She says she now wants to adopt. Jack asks about artificial insemination but she declines saying Dennis and his brothers use sperm banks like ATMs. Jack stands and tells Liz he wants to help her...with an adoption.

    She asks how his day was. He says good, that the president gave him a nickname "the Jacker."

    A title card reads "Three Months Later"

    "The Pentagon"

    Jack and Cooter are in a sit room regretfully informing some generals that the "gay bomb" could not be weaponized. They're disappointed. It could only work if one could get the enemy in a closed, unventilated space. A container of the active ingredient is placed in a glass container on the table just as Cooter spies a bunch of pens in a pen holder. "Ooh pens," he says and grabs them, inadvertently knocking over the sample...in a closed, unventilated space. The gas emits. The men in the room start making googly eyes at each other.

    Back at 30 Rock - also three months later:

    Frank enters Tracy's dressing room with a full beard saying he played the game for a couple of hours and that it's just okay. Tracy points out that Frank's been in his office for three months. "What!" shrieks Frank, looking in the mirror. "Yes! I'm going to be a millionaire," says Tracy as he does a little victory dance.

    In a hotel room in Beijing- also three months later:

    Kenneth in a robe, is chatting with a pretty Chinese woman. There are no subtitles, hmmm. Whatever the last thing Kenneth said upset somebody as a beefy bodyguard type busts in with a gun.

    See you next year, y'all.

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