The Beginning of the End was the premiere episode of the seventh and final season of 30 Rock, airing on October 4, 2012 to 3.46 million viewers. Jack unveils his shockingly bad fall programming lineup for NBC, as part of his plan to "tank" the network and convince Kabletown CEO Hank Hooper (Ken Howard) to sell it. Jenna is preparing to get married and taps Liz to be her maid of honor, but Liz attempts to get out of it by employing Jack's "tanking" method and throwing Jenna a disastrous bachelorette party. Meanwhile, Kenneth and his new girlfriend Hazel (Kristen Schaal) invite Tracy to dinner at their apartment. However, unbeknownst to Kenneth, Hazel's real intention is to try to land a role in one of Tracy's new movies.
Liz (Tina Fey) begins to notice that Jack (Alec Baldwin) is green-lighting an exceptionally terrible lineup of new NBC shows like Homonym and God Cop (in which Jack himself plays God). Eventually she discovers that Jack is trying to "tank" NBC so that Kabletown CEO Hank Hooper will sell the network entirely to Paas, an Easter egg dye company that Jack sees as a more promising future. In the end, Liz agrees to work with Jack on "tanking" NBC so that Hank will sell the network and the two work together to make TGS with Tracy Jordan terrible.
Meanwhile, Jenna (Jane Krakowski) asks Liz to be her bridesmaid. Liz decides to employ Jack's "tanking" method to her bridesmaid duties, hoping Jenna will choose someone else after Liz performs the job terribly. After Liz throws Jenna a disastrous bachelorette party, Jenna erupts with anger and begins to destroy Liz's apartment. Liz is eventually able to calm Jenna long enough to convince her that Jenna herself is the only person truly capable of doing the job, inspiring Jenna to literally become her own bridesmaid.
Hazel (Kristen Schaal) and Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) invite Tracy (Tracy Morgan) over for dinner. However, once Kenneth leaves the room to kill their dinner, Hazel begins to make advances towards Tracy. In doing so, Hazel admits that by dating Kenneth she was only using him to get close to Tracy so that he would cast her in a movie and in effect launch her career in show business. This sparks outrage in Tracy, whose genuine friendship for Kenneth will not tolerate Hazel's selfish manipulation. A feud is ensued between the two as they attempt to compete for the love and trust of Kenneth.