Cold Opening – Final Encounter
after her third unpleasant alien abduction, Ms. Rafferty leaves Earth
- It’s the end of an era, ladies and gentlemen, as this is Kate McKinnon’s final episode as a cast member. It will be truly painful for me to say goodbye to her tonight. Even when I had problems with her (mostly political impressions), she was the show’s MVP throughout her tenure and will be remembered as an SNL legend.
- Wow, the Kate McKinnon Farewell Tour begins from the opening with the return of Ms. Rafferty. I see that SNL is going all in for Kate’s final show.
- While I was never happy that they made this sketch recurring, as nothing will ever beat the classic first sketch, I’ll go into this one with an open mind, knowing that this is part of Kate’s sendoff tonight.
- A great Kermit the Frog line from Kate just now, and as usual with these sketches, her delivery is so on-point and hilarious. These lines are funnier now than before, as we understand that this is the final recurring Ms. Rafferty sketch and the end to her story.
- Whoa, a change of pace with this sketch just now, with Kate’s Ms. Rafferty leaving this time and joining the grey aliens. This feels like a great closure to both this character and Kate’s tenure on the show.
- A beautiful message to earth from Ms. Rafferty, with Kate’s delivery of her lines being now more meaningful than ever due to tonight’s episode. I love how Kate’s sendoff is in character, much like Bill Hader & Molly Shannon’s, and as a way to open her final show, and with a solo LFNY delivered as this character. Just a great, classy way for Kate to say goodbye in a way that’s not an ego stroke or seemed to indulge in vanity. Showing us how classy Kate is as a person, and how she remained so in bowing down gracefully after such a legendary tenure.
- An absolutely heartbreaking LFNY delivery from Kate at the end. I’m honestly choking up as I write down this bullet point, we all love you Kate, and we shall miss you dearly after tonight.
- Overall, a very sweet idea for a sendoff for such an invaluable & iconic cast member, so long for now, Kate…
host recounts the ups & downs of her life & career; MAR & FRA cameos
- I love Natasha’s raspy, old-school New York accent. And she’s a performer I never thought that I would see host SNL.
- Very funny mention of all these “Harry Styles as SNL finale host” tweets from Natasha early on.
- Huge applause for the Fred Armisen & Maya Rudolph’s walk-on. Kinda charming to see Natasha and Fred next to each other, considering that they recently broke up. I’m glad that they are still friends.
- Natasha is coming off excellent here, and feels like she was born to do the show.
- I love Natasha’s reaction to her Pee-Wee’s Playhouse clip.
- The energy is fantastic in this monologue, Natasha is coming off really great here. A very likable presence, and a natural on live TV.
remember, stupid people (JAJ), (AIB), (KET), (KYM), (host), (CES) vote
- This PSA piece reminds me of the ones they did in the previous season around the election.
- I love how after such a long setup we get the reveal that these people are stupid and not only that, but they are proud of it.
- Man, I’m going to miss these solid line deliveries from Aidy after tonight’s episode.
- After the initial reveal of this PSA’s message, the short cools down to an overall decent effort.
radio announcer’s (host) use of meth livens his call of 1951 Yankees game
- Great feel & aesthetic to this sketch, it feels just like a film from the 1950s.
- James’ perfect as an old-timey announcer, playing that role for the second episode in a row. And he does look like Darell Hammond here.
- Ok, the difference in tone between Natasha & Mikey’s commentary reminds me of the great Soccer Broadcast sketch from Idris Elba’s season 44 episode. And this premise was done better in the previous one, as this is ok but not as effective or funny.
- The lines are good, and Natasha’s delivery is pretty solid here, but not to sound redundant, the lines in this sketch are NOWHERE near as hilariously absurd as those that Idris Elba flawlessly delivered in the aforementioned sketch.
- A pretty abrupt ending, or was it written to be this weird? I really don’t know. Overall, a typical finale time-filler, which one would expect to at least have in the season’s final episode.
harmonica player’s (host) ex’s revenge quest leaks into Treece’s gig
- whoa, a very random return to this very occasionally-appearing character by Kenan, and it’s somewhat weird that it’s appearing in the season finale of all episodes.
- As usual, some good laughs from Kenan’s singing as this character. Kenan singing a song never fails to make me laugh.
- (*sigh*) I’m assuming that this sketch is a subtle sendoff to Kyle, as his character is as funny in this as usual.
- Chloe & Bowen inject this sketch with much-needed energy with their whole scene, pretty much stealing this entire sketch. I look forward to their fourth season and how they’ll fare. SNL is in safe hands with these two in the cast.
- Natasha is excellent in her appearance, and is fitting perfectly into the show, displaying some great energy in her scene.
- An overall enjoyable and harmless sketch.
The Places We’ll Go
(host) was awful in the 20 years after senior prom
- Ah, great to see Andrew in the finale, considering that he had Covid and missed last week’s show with Alex.
- I LOVE the visuals & the color grading in this short, it adds perfectly to the atmosphere.
- Andrew’s doing a great job as the narrator in this short, his cadence and rhythm while narrating is nothing but top-notch.
- A big, cheap laugh from the whole reveal around Ego’s character.
- Yeah, this seems to be one of those shorts that contain multiple reveals as it moves forward, and this one is being executed rather well.
- I’m enjoying how Andrew always returns to Natasha’s Rachel Finnster character as he narrates the short; a running bit that’s working for me perfectly in this case.
- James’ whole scene is hilarious, and yet another non-impression role that James killed at.
- Sarah’s giving me solid laughs with her facial expressions alone.
- A fantastic, shocking, and dark reveal at the end that Rachel murdered Andrew’s character, and the whole ending visual in this short in nothing short of excellent to me. A fitting ending to Andrew’s fantastic season, with such a fantastic & brilliant short like this one. I cannot WAIT to see what he and Sarah have in store for us next year.
Musical Performance – “Be Sweet”
Guy Who Just Bought A Boat offers punny dating tips for European travel
Trend Forecasters report their predictions for what the summer will bring
on his final SNL, PED recaps his journey & thanks LOM for the opportunity
- The obligatory “seen here” jokes never ever fail to make me laugh each time.
- While I did laugh at that Elon Musk joke, I certainly don’t want to hear his name being uttered on SNL ever again. Thank you very much…
- Alex!!! Great to see him not only back for the finale, but behind the desk as Guy Who Just Bought A Boat. One of my many favorite things that he has done throughout his tenure.
- The usual cheap but big laughs from this character, and Alex’s delivery remain as sharp and on-point as ever.
- A great Duolingo line right now, probably one of my favorites by GWJBAB.
- An overall solid commentary by Alex, and I’m so happy that he got to make it to the finale safe and sound.
- Ah, and now here comes Aidy’s own farewell; a great way for her to go out in character, just like her friend Kate did at the opening.
- This Trend Forecaster character seems to be Aidy’s Jeannie Darcy & Dawn Lazarus; a popular character that a performer establishes near the end of their tenure.
- Some ok laughs from the whole In & Out bit, while I never liked nor disliked these characters, this humor is not for me, but I do appreciate the energy and the commitment.
- Ah, and now we get a meta bit with Aidy’s “10 nice years” mention and with Bowen proclaiming Aidy as his friend, and we now have Michael calls her by her name. A lovely way to end this character & Aidy’s run on the show.
- Ah, such a sweet, fun, and low-key sendoff for such a great cast member like Aidy Bryant, who was one of the main pillars of this era. Goodbye Aidy, for now…
- Aaaaaand here comes Pete Davidson with this half-assed farewell from him, in his first appearance on the show in MONTHS. Absolutely ridiculous. And it does not deserve to get the same attention as Aidy, Kyle, and Kate who worked their butts off these last few months on the show.
- I’m not caring AT ALL with this whole goodbye spiel from Pete, the guy obviously wanted out since last season and stayed as a favor to Lorne. I would say a hesitant goodbye to Pete and just close this season of Update please…
9:15 to 5:10
9 to 5 meets Weekend At Bernie’s in movie’s dead sexist boss (host) plot
- Uh-oh, I don’t like where this sketch is going right from the opening voice-over from Steve Higgins.
- Ok, how many men will Natasha play tonight? I mean I do like her energy and willingness to play different roles, but come on.
- Having Heidi & Ego in lead roles in the final episode of both Aidy & Kate feels like a passing of the torch moment. Also, Cecily Strong is here.
- So, this sketch seems to be now going through a Weekend at Bernie’s parody? How did this get past dress & in the season finale nonetheless?
- Ugh, I did NOT need to see Fred Armisen in a live sketch tonight, when will this man decide to leave 8H once and for all??
- The sketch has tons of energy, and I’m enjoying the commitment, but it’s absolutely dying with me, and this whole tickling bit is barely giving me any laughs.
Musical Performance – “Paprika”
Grey Adult Pigtails
grey adult pigtails signify mature quirkiness of (AIB), (KAM), (KYM)
- This feels like the first time we’ve seen Sarah all night in a live sketch.
- Welp, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached the end of Aidy & Kate’s tenures on the cast, and what a fitting way to end it with a Kaidy sketch and them advertising an oddball product.
- Some ok laughs from the whole advertisement spiel, especially with the idea itself being funny on its own.
- Ah, here comes Kyle with his own part, and I see that he is his usual lovable and goofy self till the very end.
- I love the whole scene with Kate & Aidy & Kyle together, you could feel the emotions in Kyle’s voice and its really getting to me.
- A fitting usage of Japanese Breakfast, and a very sweet and low-key way to both end the season and Aidy, Kate, and Kyle’s tenures on the show.
- Aww, the hug between Kate & Kyle is really getting to me. And Sarah & Aidy’s hug is also quite touching when you know how much of a guardian angel Aidy was to Sarah throughout this season.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
The Places We’ll Go
Grey Adult Pigtails
- An overall good, calm, and steady season finale, which is quite the fitting capper for such a good, calm, and steady season. Natasha Lyonne was also a first-rate host who committed and gave it all in her performances all night, which saddens me a bit that she didn’t get a big solo showcase for her talents. I have no problem if she hosts again soon. Also, the great music by Japanese Breakfast, a favorite band of mine, contributed to the fun, calm feeling in this episode too. One of my favorite musical guests in this entire season & a great choice for the finale.
- Because my eventual wrap-up post is going to be about the season as a whole, I’ll talk about our departing cast members here, in order of seniority in the cast, so without further ado:
- Kate: With Kate being gone, SNL has lost one of its greatest cast members of all time. To put it simply, Kate was this era’s Will Ferrell, and this era’s definitive MVP alongside Beck Bennett, so saying goodbye to her is difficult not only for me and to the fans, but also how her departure is going to affect the show moving forward. I had my issues with Kate in the past, mainly political impressions and some empty sketches, but she was a committed, great, and iconic performer that will be regarded as an SNL legend in the future. This was a good final year for her, getting two fantastic pieces that showcased her talents (Lonely Christmas, Dream Home Cousins), and two solid Update commentaries. I’ll miss Kate dearly and I hope to see her host soon.
- Aidy: Aidy is my favorite performer in this era’s cast right after Beck Bennett, and her creative, fun, and brilliant pieces throughout her ten-years tenure are major era highlights and are near the top of my personal favorite pieces from this era. I did not just love Aidy Bryant, I adored her. I cannot count the huge laughs and genuine joy that she brought to me; a joy that my words cannot give justice to. I will remember the good times, and I’m so happy that she left after having a good year in general with several strong showcases, including one of my absolute favorite shorts in this entire season (American Inventors) and one of the strongest live sketches in S47 (Sleepy Town USA). For now, I’ll say: goodbye Aidy, until we see you soon.
- Kyle: This was not the best season for Kyle to go out with, nor one of his worse, as he sadly barely had any of his trademark oddball brilliance. I did wish that he left with Beck after having a solid final 8th year together. Yet, much like Aidy & Kate I’ll always remember the joy that Kyle brought to me and the countless brilliant pieces that he delivered throughout his tenure, from those great anti-comedy sitcom homages, to his surreal live material like the classic Del Taco Shoot & his Bruce Chandling commentaries. I never sensed any traces of vanity in Kyle’s work, just pure effort and hard work. Goodbye Kyle, you were one of the most creative & genuine performers SNL has ever had and will always remain near the top in my personal list of all-time favorite cast members.
- Pete: I have almost nothing to say about Pete, because the guy clearly didn’t want to be on the show anymore, and it was absolutely embarrassing to see him still hanging around especially after a surprisingly great season last year. I only wish him luck in his life moving forward, and I’ll remember the laughs that he gave me throughout his tenure, as covering him in this blog made me slightly soften up on him, and understand him a little bit more. Goodbye Pete and I wish you the best.
- And thus ends my third season as a reviewer on this blog, what a journey! Stay tuned for more to come soon! Thanks all for the support.
My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:
- The reviews for the cut-for-time sketches from the 2nd half of the season. Stay tuned!
My full set of screencaps from this episode is here.