Cold Opening: As revealed last week, this is Alec Baldwin's first of his two final appearances as Trump on the show. Whether this is for the season or the series is not known as of now, but I can tell that the writers are putting their very best effort into the sketch. Seriously, if Trump is watching this, and he probably is, then he's going to be furious. That's a good thing, because if he's mad at the show, they're doing something right. On a minor note, I'm pretty sure that Mikey Day has taken over as Paul Ryan. I'll miss Taran Killam's impression, but he's already won me over with his cheerful "He feeds me dog food!" line.
Monologue: Okay, right off the bat, I'm predicting that this will be a question-and-answer session with the audience, but with a Sean Spicer-impersonating twist. Okay, note to self, maybe don't make predictions before the episode actually airs. It turns out that the monologue was actually a special Mother's Day edition. In recent years, the Mother's Day monologues have been especially sweet, often paying tribute to the mothers of the cast members. This one takes a different angle, but it's all the more charming for it. One lucky audience member, Joan, gets an exclusive tour of the backstage and even an introduction from Darrell Hammond.
Game Show: Is it bad that I could see this being a real game show in the future? This is as good as the "Beat The Bookworm" sketch from earlier in the season in the way that it plays to the host's strengths. Similar to how Aziz Anizari can play smarmy characters impeccably, one of Melissa's strongest comedic traits is her ability to pull off outrageous slapstick material. In this case, getting pied in the face multiple times, among other antics. It's refreshing to see a variety in the topic of the game show sketches. The writers get to experiment with different formats and it keeps the routine from getting stale.
Amazon Echo: I love the increasing frustration in the Echo Silver's voice, as played by a slightly electronically-modified Cecily Strong. She's a really good actress.
Sean Spicer Returns: I finally got my wish for Alec's Trump and Melissa's Spicer to meet, and my birthday isn't even for another two months! I don't think I'm alone in saying that this is the best Spicer sketch yet. Melissa expertly puts her acting talent to use by making fun of him but somehow also humanizing him. As easy as it is to laugh at the character, we also feel a small amount of pity for him, even when he seemingly murders a reporter.
HAIM Musical Performance #1- "Want You Back": The audience definitely liked the song, seeing as they were clapping in the background.
Weekend Update: I didn't like this edition as much as last week's. Colin and Michael's pieces were wonderful, but the guest commenters weren't as amusing this time. Still, this might be due to my own quirks. I like Cecily Strong's Cathy Anne character, but I have a hard time understanding her. As for Pete Davidson's commentary, I just don't find drug humor very funny. Even so, I would still give it a fair grade.
Film Panel: What's one way to one-up Kate McKinnon's Debette Goldry character? Introduce Melissa McCarthy's even older Hollywood actress character, Gaye Fontaine! Bonus points for actually sounding like a realistic name. As ever, the roundtable sketches are an excellent way to show the sexism in Hollywood by way of humorous exaggeration. The more ludicrous stories are clearly false, but women in the entertainment industry have to go through acts of sexism every day.
Kyle And Leslie: Forget the Weekend Update summer run, this is the spinoff we need! I would watch a mockumentary reality show full of Kyle Mooney and Leslie Jones's relationship issues.I love the touches of self-parody in the recurring Kyle and Leslie shorts, but the touch of human emotion makes them a winner every time.
HAIM Musical Performance #2- "Little Of Your Love": I liked it, despite the beginning getting cut off. As of now, it's not available on the YouTube channel or NBC's website, but I'll add a link if it does.
First Birthday: ...That was a bizarre little sketch. Was it original slated for the ten-to-one air slot? I'm reminded of a movie that I read about called The Lobster, wherein humans had to avoid turning into animals. It seemed to be mocking the appropriation of spirit animals, but I can't really put my finger on precisely how. In any case, I liked it.
Production Logo: Hey, have you ever wondered precisely how the pitch meetings for film studio logos go? "Production Logo" didn't really teach me anything about that, but it has Melissa McCarthy popping a small child's balloon and threatening him with bodily harm. As a branded content piece, it was perfectly fine, and as a regular sketch, it was exceptional.
Final Thoughts: Welcome to the Five-Timers' Club, Melissa McCarthy! This might be the best episode of the season. From start to finish, we had powerful sketches full of satire and laughs. Whether it was Alec Baldwin doing his best Nixon/Trump fusion (There's a Steven Universe episode I wouldn't watch.) or Steven Martin making a surprise cameo at the end to induct Melissa into the Club, all of it was amazing.
Saturday Night Live airs on NBC at 11:30 pm. It's now live in every time zone.
Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.