alec baldwin tina fey '30 Rock' recap: Race to the FinishOn “30 Rock,” Jack heads down to D.C. as NBC’s front man in a congressional hearing about the Kabletown merger. He successfully scares the representatives into accepting vertical integration, but rhapsodizing Rhode Island representative Regina Bookman (Queen Latifah) becomes a thorn in his side when she threatens to thwart the merger if Jack doesn’t racially diverse NBC. Jack panders to her demands by consulting Tracy and promoting Toofer to Co-Head Writer with Lemon. Lemon sees Toofer’s promotion as a welcome promotion, since she feels under-appreciated and over-mocked by the writers. Needless to say, Lemon’s plight only worsens when the writers embrace Toofer over her. So she does the next logical thing and crashes an interview Toofer has booked with African-American talk show “Right On” and comes off as a flaming racist.

Meanwhile, Tracy gets to work on producing a pilot Dot Com wrote that sounds a lot like “American Dreams,” but with black people… and a talking dog (Grizz’s suggestion). In between failed test audiences, he visits with Congresswoman Bookman, who has dropped by NBC to check on Jack’s progress. In five minutes time, he manages to make the atmosphere at “TGS” not unlike that of a soda fountain in 1960s Birmingham. Even Jack can’t save the scene by presenting Toofer with a medal. Ironically, Rep. Bookman finds Lemon to be the only saving grace at NBC. Jack takes the Congresswoman aside and promises to wow her within the next three months, at the peril of the merger.

In the midst of all this, Kenneth finds that re-applying to the Page program is more competitive than it used to be, including but not limited to a newly instituted talent portion. He inadvertently likens it to a pageant, so veteran beauty queen Jenna offers her services and begins the arduous process of tearing Kenneth down to build him back up. The results are predictably JonBen�t-level terrifying, with a song, dance, and sequin jacket that rips open to become an NBC flag. The plan backfires, leaving Kenneth rejected and Jenna transformed into her stage mom Verna. She vows to make it right, but it takes Jack’s intervention to get Kenneth’s job back. Since Kenneth apparently snatched the job right out of the hands of a Native American named Wantsasandwich, you can imagine how well that goes over with Rep. Bookman. On the upside, Kenneth is no longer in that red blazer. It did nothing for his coloring.

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