Saturday Night Live, Episode 47x19, Hosted by Benedict Cumberbatch

When it was announced that Benedict Cumberbatch would be hosting Saturday Night Live again, my first thought was "crap, am I going to have to recap that too?" And then I thought hey, maybe it would be interesting to do it without the overshadowing "my country is going to hell in a handbasket and I'm drinking" context. And then the Republican stacked Supreme Court signaled that they would enable the GOP to take the entire country back to the 1950s. Or the 1850s. And now I'm pretty sure if I do this I'm going to be getting major deja vu, but there's something weirdly appropriate about it. Maybe it will be a sort of therapy? I don't know. At any rate, I invited Chrissy to join me this time on condition that she bring alcohol.
Chrissy: Pretty sure I would have done that anyway.
Diandra: Yeah, trust me, if this is anything like last time we do NOT want to be sober.
Chrissy: I still don't know why you do this to yourself. Well, yes I do. We need to talk about your masochistic tendencies one of these days. By the way, I'm remembering that the reason we were talking at some point during that last SNL recap was because Benedict played a villain in a sketch and we agreed that if Tom Hiddleston was ever tapped to play James Bond he should be the villain.
Diandra: IF anyone is ever tapped to play James Bond again, I want both of them to be villains now. Possibly in the same movie.
Chrissy: That's not where I was going with that thought.
Diandra: Oh, sorry.
Chrissy: Although maybe that does sort of answer my question because I was just wondering what you thought of the fact that it was brought up recently that Benedict was originally offered the part of Malekith in "Thor: Dark World".
Diandra: Meh. Yeah, honestly he so perfectly fits the part of Doctor Strange that I can't see it. Fun as it might have been to have them on the screen at the same time for longer than that brief scene in "Ragnarok". But with the multiverse thing now, there's still time to correct that oversight.

Okay. Here goes nothing.

Oh, Jesus Christ, we're starting by talking about the overturning of Roe. Can I nope out of this already?
Chrissy: I'm already getting a buzz, so I can take over until you catch up.
Diandra: Er...okay.

So the premise of the first sketch is going back to the Middle Ages where that guy wrote a treatise about abortion that Justice Alito cited in his insult of an opinion. The guy is played by Benedict, who says he was thinking about abortion while he was cleaning the shitter. Which totally tracks with the way most men think the female body works, really.
Diandra: You pee from your vagina, right?
Chrissy: I like to tell guys who say that that we actually pee through the clitoris because they have no clue where that is so they don't question me.
The other two guys that neither D or I recognize bring up laws against pointy shoes and hunting in the King's forest and "Henry" thinks they should make a law against abortion that is as "fair and reasonable" as those. Which...I don't remember what they said was the punishment for pointy shoes, but the other one was removal of genitals. He thinks they could write something that hundreds of years later people would say didn't need any editing at all and could be cited as is.
Diandra: I mean, there will probably be people who read laws the way they read the Bible, so...either they'll insist it is gospel or they'll ignore it in favor of other shit they like better.

One guy suggests leaving it up to each fiefdom instead of making it a law across all of England.
Diandra: And then we'll make it a law across the whole country anyway because we are fucking hypocrites.
Chrissy: Keep drinking. Good girl.
Guy two says they need to punish the women though. Because...just...they really want to. Henry suggests putting them in a boat and sailing it off the end of the world and maybe one of the four giant turtles holding it up will eat her. Guy two isn't impressed with that. Guy one comes up with some frat boy thing involving getting her drunk and tricking her into having sex with a donkey. Henry thinks there's a risk she would get pregnant from that and the resulting man donkey they couldn't abort could become king. Somehow. Both of the guys yell "the prophesy" in horror.

Anyway, Henry says it would be just awful if the town crier were to catch wind of this conversation. A woman sticks her head in to point out that they don't have doors and she heard something about a law they're considering. She has a couple questions. Henry warns that they might drill another hole in her skull. She asks if maybe the woman (defined as over the age of twelve) should have a say given the fact that they have a 50% chance of dying during childbirth. Henry says that's why they get maternity leave. "When you're done with twenty years of continuous maternity, you can leave." Guy 2 suggests exceptions for rape and incest. Guy 1 thinks those are the only kinds of sex they HAVE. The lady asks why they're so obsessed with this issue anyway. Should they be focused on this plague that's killing them all? Guy 2 launches into the "I don't have to wear a mask because my body my choice" argument.
Diandra: Because the writing on this show is SUBTLE.
Yeah, in case you didn't catch it, the joke is that these people weren't great intellectuals whose opinions hold up hundreds of years later. But just in case you didn't get that, they go on for a while about how they've reached the pinnacle of knowledge and scientific discovery. They take a vote and all three guys naturally think abortion should be outlawed. A black guy wanders in suddenly to vote against this, but adds that it doesn't matter because he doesn't get a vote. "You ever get the feeling that this not gon' be your century," he asks the audience.

And then Kate McKinnon comes in dressed like a witch and all the males get as far away from her as possible. Henry calls her an ogre and she corrects that she's just "a woman in her thirties."
Diandra: But if you're unmarried...same thing.
She tells the other woman that she just ate a questionable mushroom and saw the future and these horrible laws will one day be overturned by something called "progress". And then reinstated fifty years later for some reason because "all the power comes from a place called Florida." And if you think this shit is weird, you should see the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial.
Diandra: I've tried ignoring those visions, but it's like...literally impossible.

She ends by saying that no matter how many choices are taken away from them "we've always got the choice to keep fighting." Henry says yeah, that's really inspiring, but I just realized you're a witch so we're going to burn you. from New York, it's Saturday Night. And I'm going to hand the keyboard back to Diandra in the hopes that the alcohol is kicking in now because damn, this shit is hard.

Yeah. The parallels between that punchline from Kate and the thing she did in 2016 after singing Hallelujah might have made me tear up a little.

Okay, so the credits tell me that the cast is mostly the same as it was last time Benedict hosted. I think. But there's, like, a dozen more and I'm not going to remember all of their names and I hope to be too drunk to bother looking them up, so...sorry.
Chrissy: Also, I'm pretty sure at least two of those white guys are totally interchangeable.
Diandra: Were those the two in that first sketch? Because yes. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to tell them apart if they weren't sitting next to each other.

And yes, I already regret my decision to do this.

Benedict begins the opening monologue by talking about all the story ideas the writers of this show were pitching for the past week and how most of them were about Doctor Strange. And when he pointed out that he's been in other movies recently like "Power of the Dog", one guy told him nobody had seen that one. He said he was nominated for an Oscar for it, but he was "beat by Will Smith" like oops, is that a bad way to phrase that? Anyway. So...remember when he was nominated the first time and his mother went to the ceremony and told everyone she was rooting for Eddie Redmayne? Apparently SNL extended an invitation to fly her to New York so she could be in the audience of this because Mother's Day, but she was on vacation and said "no, I'm on a beach in Greece, are you insane?"
Chrissy: I'll catch it on Peacock later. Maybe. And your dad just came back with margaritas, so byyyeeee.

He says he and his mom had cute little pet names for each other. "I called her pookie and she called me Benedict Cumberbatch".
Chrissy: And she usually giggled when she said it, which should have been a clue.
And then he went to a boarding school called Hogwarts and she sent him letters with lovely illustrations and he just wanted to take a moment to thank her for everything now. Sappy music plays and he looks into the camera and thanks her for all the wisdom she offered over the years. Like the time he lost both of his front teeth at the same time and she told him to smile without opening his mouth so the other kids wouldn't tease him, which he says explains why he still sometimes smiles like the Grinch. Then he switches to a different camera to address Sophie, the mother of his...three? is it three now?...children. Who she tells everyone she gave birth to while he was off "dressing up like a wizard". But seriously, he ends by thanking them both and doing an exaggerated, weird Grinch smile and we go to commercial while I question my life choices because seriously, why did I think this was a good idea?
Chrissy: If it makes you feel any better, I also question your life choices.
Diandra: is that supposed to make me feel better exactly?
Chrissy: I don't know. I'm tipsy and I'm tired from recapping that one scene. I know I give you a lot of crap when we're doing these, but I don't know how you do so many hours of this.
Diandra: I abandoned all hope of ever recovering my sanity a long time ago. That's how.

So skit two is a mother's day party. Aidy Bryant as "mom" gushes about how wonderful this is and Benedict calls her mom and she says no, I'm you're wife, honey. "Yeah, that's what I meant," he says quickly and moves on.
Chrissy: I don't have mommy issues shut up.
The other woman hands her a gift bag and she pulls out a wood sign that says "life doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a mother." The gifter says they found it at Home Depot.
Chrissy: And in acknowledgment of how much thought and care you put into're out of the will.
Benedict hands her a bag and she finally identifies him by name: John. Which won't be confusing as the alcohol soaks into my brain, I'm sure. This gift is also a stupid wood sign, this one noting that mom spelled upside down is "wow".
Chrissy: Got these on a two for one special did you?
Diandra: Yeah, have fun cleaning those out of the attic when she dies. Because that's DEFINITELY where they're going.

The lost Hemsworth brother hands her another sign in a bag, which says "dear mom, we sucked your teats dry and now you look weird in a bathing suit. Happy Mother's Day!"
Chrissy: Honestly, I would give you points for avoiding the sappy nonsense altogether.
Diandra: And James is laughing now, but wait til he sees what they do on Father's Day.
Chrissy: mean John?
Diandra: What did I say?
Chrissy: I think you made the same mistake Arthur Conan Doyle made, which might explain some things, honestly.

The last guy hands her one and says it doubles as a thank you for welcoming him to the family. His says "having a mother in law is like having crabs" with no further explanation. She's like '...what's the punchline?' The daughter hands her another one that asks "were your ears ringing? I was in therapy." She notes that that one doesn't even seem to have anything to do with Mother's Day. John hands her another one that says "dear wife, now that the kids are grown we don't have sex as much anymore, but we we do sometimes and that's fine."
Chrissy: And you wonder WHY I'm in therapy?
She looks at him like 'really?' and he pulls out another one that goes with it. He reads this one: "don't read into that as me asking for more sex. The amount that we are doing is good for me. Happy Mother's Day." Mom notes that these are getting weirdly specific and it's kind of...disturbing. She tries to soften the complaint by saying they "spent too much". The son in law assures her they didn't because "they're like $1.99."

The daughter pulls out another one she wants to read herself. It rambles about how if mom died and dad remarried they would probably eventually be able to call her mom too.
Chrissy: Luckily, you won't have to test that because at the rate this is going, I'm going to murder ALL of you.
Mom is like 'did you not find any of those cutesy ones talking about how mommy needs her wine then?' John says yeah, they did and hands her a smaller bag. She reads "oh, look, it's wine-o-clock. I just love watching the sun rise" and frets that that implies she's drinking at dawn.
Chrissy: Given what we know of your family now, you can hardly be faulted.
Diandra: Don't you have a sign that says "hey, it's five o clock somewhere"?
Chrissy: No. It's a t-shirt.
The son in law doubles down with one that says "I only drink on days that end in 'y' and during hours that have numbers in them." Before she can respond to that, the daughter hands her one that looks pretty familiar actually that says "I'm not drunk, it's the wine talking." Except it has a bunch of little addendum hanging off it that add something like 'no, really, the BOTTLE is talking to me and it has lips and eyes that are JUDGING me and I might have done shrooms and oh my god I need to lie down what the FUCK is wrong with me?!' She protests that she doesn't drink that much, which prompts the son to hand her a sign that says "you do".

She says that's quite enough of Mother's Day and they all babble apologies because that seemed like a good idea in the store, but they didn't mean to upset her and I just realized that Benedict might be doing an American accent.
Chrissy: Not well enough if you're just noticing now, apparently.
The daughter hands her another sign somewhat sheepishly and she reads an actual greeting card statement with a "thank you" and a "we love you". She agrees that this one is nice and the son in law notes that it has a little flip down addendum too. She sighs and flips down the part that says "we suspect dad has a secret family." John laughs nervously and asks if anyone wants more pancakes. She asks if that's true and we pan out as she is answered by dead silence.

The next skit starts with a focus group meeting at an office in a Blue Bunny ice cream building where a black lady employee exposits they want feedback for some possible new flavors. Kenan Thompson asks if there are any bomb pops and the perky girl next to him is like 'yeah, I want to try that!'. The white guy employee says no, but makes a cheesy little word play on how awesome they believe the samples are. Benedict - who is made up to look like Sam Elliot - snaps that he's here to try ice cream, not listen to some little stand up routine, so can they get on with it?
Chrissy: Interesting that they're making him look older in THIS skit, but not the last one.
The woman on the other end of the table - Heidi, who is made up to look like the female counterpart to Benedict - snaps at him to let them do their jobs and the employees ask if the two of them know each other. Cowgirl says "no, I came here a stranger and I'll leave one as well."

White employee is like 'okay, now that we've established what kind of trouble we're asking for here...' He hands them the first sample of peanut brittle something or other and asks Kenan for his response first. He just happily calls it "delicious". Black employee doesn't prompt him any further and just moves to the cheerful lady, who says it tastes "wet". They brace themselves and turn to the cowgirl (Bobby, apparently), who rambles about being a kid and playing with dirty buckets pretending to be a pig and grandma was churning butter so long that her blood was starting to lace into the ice cream and yeah, that's what this tastes. Black lady says okay, that was...something. And now for a description that will no doubt somehow be worse, we go to...fuck it, I'm just going to call him Sam. Twangy music plays softly while he drawls about trying to catch tadpoles in the pond until that one kid's sexy mom invited him in for a bowl of ice cream, which was a flavor he didn't even like but did he mention her breasts? White guy writes that down as "it tastes like Scooter's momma." Kenan asks if he's doing this wrong.
Chrissy: You're all doing it wrong, honey.

White guy reminds the rednecks that they're not asking them to go all Proust and "taste memories of the dust bowl." Bobby says, but sir, there's a WEIGHT to this here ice cream. Sam says he can taste "generations of women in it".
Chrissy: You're still thinking about Scooter's mom's breasts, aren't you?
Diandra: Ugh. Let's not look too deep into that.
White guy says he is DEFINITELY not writing that down. Black lady decides to move on to the next one, which is called "galactic mint frost". White guy tries to prompt Bobby to taste the fresh mint. She says she can taste the wind that threatened to knock her into the neighbor who lost his wife and daughter in a hospital fire that one time when she was little. She rambles about sitting on the porch with him and eating ice cream since she reminded him of them. "Just vanilla though. He kept it simple since the girls died." Black lady says okay, so..."it tastes like a widower in pain." She gestures at the white guy to write that down.
Chrissy: I'm going to attach it to my resignation letter.

Sam asks who hurt her. Bobby snaps "why? Are you lookin' to save someone tonight?" White guy asks what the fuck is going on here. "You wanna know what I taste," Sam asks.
Chrissy: Not really, but I doubt that will stop you.
Black lady suggests he limit his answer to six words this time. He ignores her and launches into a memory about the fourth of July. White guy tries to cut him off, but he plows ahead, describing being out with his little brother in air so thick with smoke that he lost him and wandered home to get some ice cream from the ice box and THAT WAS THE DAY HIS BROTHER DISAPPEARED. Bobby sobs that "I can't take your pain away, but I can sure give it a bed to rest in." The other two at the table have expressions like 'should we leave?' Yes. Run. White guy is like 'OKAY, let's just wrap this up before it devolves any more, shall we?' while Sam and Bobby run to embrace each other.
Chrissy: That would be more impressive if SHE was the one saying that.
Diandra: ........I think I missed something. Hang on...oh, because he just said "I will always come for you"?
Chrissy: This recap is going to be a disaster, isn't it?
Diandra: Well, whose brilliant idea was it for me to go into it drunk?
Chrissy: Yours.
Diandra: Oh. Right.

And now we have a fake ad where a mom takes the cell phone from a teenager who is grounded. Daughter whines that she didn't do anything that bad. Mom drops her name - Taylor - as she reminds her that she came home drunk and she's only seventeen. Taylor asks if she never drank when she was in high school. Mom vehemently denies it and we cut to some flashbacks of her in a varsity jacket chugging beers repeatedly at a party and then puking in a bucket.
Chrissy: Technically correct since you said "in high school". So there.
Taylor snots an apology that she's not PERFECT like her PERFECT mom. Mom says she's not perfect because she did things she regrets. We flash back to her climbing off of two separate guys in the back seat of a car.
Chrissy: And that's how I met your father.
Taylor prompts her to name one mistake she made and she says she failed a big test once. Flashback of her taking a sobriety test by the side of the road and falling on her face. But the important takeaway is that she never did anything "so stupid that it followed me through my whole life." The camera zooms in on her ass and gives an x-ray view of a tattoo of a marijuana leaf crossed with Bob Marley.

"Grandma" Kate comes in the room just then and Taylor says she was just listening to her mother tell her all about what a dumbass she is. Mom protests that she NEVER would have spoken to HER mother like that. Aaaand flashback of her yelling "SUCK MY BEEF YOU OLD BITCH." To which grandma replies that if she catches her smoking cigarettes again "I will shave your [bleep] head!" Grandma lectures Taylor about how there is a certain way young ladies should behave and we flash back to her waving her panties at a David Bowie concert. Grandma leaves and Taylor bemoans that Mom told her about this. Mom says they're worried about her. And then Benedict - made up to look like Ned Flanders for some reason - sticks his head in like 'what are we worried about? Did I miss something?'
No, seriously, this is weirding me out.
Taylor says mom is freaking out about her going to one party like she never had any fun herself when she was young. Dad (I'm assuming) laughs that she DEFINITELY knew how to party when he met her in college. Mom gives him a dirty look and he adds that she kept it under control though. Flashback of him dressed like a Rastafarian at the party with her, asking how many pills she took and then flashing right to the next morning where she apologizes for giving his roommate a blowjob because she got them confused.

They have the little family sap moment of the parents assuring her that they're just hard on her because they love her so much. The girls hug and mom starts to give the cell phone back but a text message dings, which the robotic voice reads out loud. "Parents gone? Come over for eggplant emoji." She says never mind and she TOTALLY KNOWS WHAT THAT MEANS and Taylor is probably grounded until she's 30. And we end with a message from the writers about being the perfect mom despite not being the perfect person.

Plowing right ahead to the next skit, which is set in Georgia in 1951 according to the chyron. Four prisoners on what looks like a chain gang. The two black guys complain about how hot it is in colorful terminology. The warden comes around to yell at them to get back to work. They start "breaking up rocks" and the way Benedict is swinging that sledgehammer suggests he's never used an axe in his life. They sing one of those prison blues songs I am not going to transcribe that kind of stutters to a halt when Benedict's part goes off the rails and he admits to snitching to the warden. The other white guy calls him Tom and says you did what? "Tom" claims that's how the song goes. Kenan says it definitely is not. Tom is like 'well, I definitely ain't a snitch and is it hot in here?' He picks up a daiquiri and acts surprised when the others ask where the hell he got THAT like 'oh, you didn't all get one?' The warden comes back along with a sheriff, towing another white guy they identify as "Lilly". The warden says they found him in the storm drain and the sheriff adds that "a little birdy" told them about his escape plan. And on a completely unrelated note, they brought Tom a cherry pie, which Tom picks at while they haul Lilly to "the box." The warden tells everyone but Tom to get back to work.

They go back to singing, which grinds to a halt even faster when Tom sings (I guess we can call it singing) about blabbing all their secrets to the warden and getting rewarded with pie. The warden comes back, this time with his wife, who is the same lady who played Bobby in the ice cream thing. I think. She's playing a femme fatale caricature here, purring about wanting to get a look at some naughty boys. She zeroes in on Tom and asks if he's especially naughty.
Chrissy: Yes, ma'am, I sure do deserve a spanking.
Diandra: [sigh] Would you like to recap this scene?
Chrissy: No. You're doing fine.
She sweeps some "cherry" off his cheek and sticks her finger in her mouth and the other guys are like WHAT THE HELL, MAN? She's feeling up his chest when the warden shoos her away and she promises to see him later.
Chrissy: Yeah, bring the paddle. And don't forget the handcuff keys this time.

They go back to singing, except Tom starts right away like 'yeah, I'm totally fucking the warden's wife'. And he likes to watch from between the slats in the closet door. The sheriff sidles up to the warden and says that guy sleeping with your wife?
Chrissy: See, this is why you will never make detective, Anderson.
Diandra: Did they say the guy's name and I missed it?
Chrissy: Haha. Oh. Are you being serious?
Diandra: Oh, you meant...okay, I get it now.
The warden says yeah, apparently he can't satisfy her, so.
Chrissy: Maybe if you let her TRY the strap on ONCE.
Diandra: Just how elaborate is that headcanon getting over there?
Chrissy: Why? Looking for fic prompts?
Diandra: How would that even know what? I'm pretty sure every time I ask that question I end up regretting it, so never mind.
And as the camera pulls back, we see the audience sitting in a balcony above the set and one of the stage hands appears to pull Benedict away. Except this seems to be the first instance where he doesn't have anywhere he needs to rush to next because this is followed by a commercial break and the first performance from the musical guest.

I think I usually skip the news segment, which is obviously almost entirely about the Supreme Court travesty. Except for the part where they note that Putin might have cancer so for once we might actually be rooting for cancer. And something about an effort to curb speeding drivers in New York by putting up signs to "scare" them that say "now entering New Jersey."

And we're back with a TCM channel show called Landsdowne House, which the chyron says takes place in England in 1914. Yeah, it's "Downton Abbey". Fuck it. Instant name dump as a guy enters a sitting room and greets "Amelia" and "Kenneth" and she greets him as "Christian". "Kenneth" gets out of his chair awkwardly like maybe Benedict pulled something in that terrible attempt at swinging a hammer earlier. Christian says he left Cornwall and he has to tell them something. Amelia calls the butler ("Henry") to bring tea first because they are BRITISH, damnit. Christian starts talking about how the Great War has reached England and he has to do the patriotic thing. She starts wailing immediately and Kenneth catches her as she starts to faint, identifying her to Christian as "your sister."
Chrissy: Oh, they're not his parents? Hard to tell.

Henry brings a tray with a full tea service back and she knocks it all over him and crashes to the floor in the complete opposite direction of the fainting couch Kenneth was badly guiding her toward. They both help her up and she starts over, saying she just had a terrible dream that Christian told her he was going to war. He says yes, he is and Kenneth starts guiding her to the couch again. Henry returns with "elixirs" and she hits the floor, realizes she missed the tray entirely and flings her leg up to kick it. Kenneth orders the now dripping Henry to go get some sherry to steady her nerves and Henry snots that they shouldn't worry because he's fine. They help her up and this time she tries to convince Christian to change his mind and go back to Cornwall. He says he's already enlisted. This time, she rips right out of Kenneth's hold and rips down one of the drapes, throws a lamp on the ground and smashes an entire two shelves worth of breakables. Christian is like 'so...kind of a drama queen, isn't she?' Kenneth snaps at him that this is SERIOUS and shouts at her to steady herself while she breaks everything else in her path around the room before rolling over the fainting couch back to the two of them. Christian notes that that last move was CLEARLY deliberate.

Henry returns with the sherry already poured in more glasses than probably needed and she takes one and takes half a sip before slamming the whole tray all over him. She declares that she's fine now, so Kenneth orders Henry to bring some hot soup. Henry is like 'seeing as we don't have the concept of hazard pay yet and we certainly don't have unions, I will not even try to object.' Amelia notes that she seems to have given herself a cut on the hand at some point here and at the sight of blood, Kenneth swoons and the returning Henry has to dodge him. "No, please, sir," he moans before getting the bowl of soup flipped into his face. Kenneth gets up right away and apologizes that these weird little fits of theirs run in the family "ever since we had a tiny bout of inbreeding for the past five hundred years." Christian is like ' I might have this problem too? Why has nobody mentioned this before?' This makes him rethink the idea of fighting on the front lines of a world war. Amelia chortles that they need to celebrate this decision and Kenneth orders Henry to bring champagne and the priceless fabrege egg collection like we're not even pretending anymore. But mercifully, we're cutting this off before it can get any more ridiculous.
Chrissy: Well, that one was kind of a dud.
Diandra: Yeah, but overall, this whole episode is better than the last one, I think. I haven't had to fast forward through anything yet.

Oh, jesus christ we're actually doing a sequel to the literal toilet humor sketch from last time. AAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH.

Fine. Fine. It's fine. Sigh.

So this time there's a bunch of school kids in a classroom sitting on toilets where the desks should be and I'm pretty sure I've had this dream before. The school master is lecturing them about the ONE WAY to sit on the toilet because that is the RULE. And Benedict shows up at the back of the room wearing brighter colors than everybody else to say rules are meant to be BROKEN. Teacher asks who HE is and he says he's the "next big thing" and starts taking off his pants and this is Chris. Diandra just snorted so hard she started choking and fell off the couch. I'm sure she's fine.
Chrissy: You want to get back up here and finish this?
Diandra: [coughchokewheeze]no[hack]
Ugh. Okay, the punchline is that it reclines like a barcalounger and he rips a page out of one of the student's books to wipe his ass. What I want to know is: did anyone have eyes on Sophie during either this "big thing" line or back when he referred to himself as Little Benedict (which I think Diandra neglected to mention)? How hard was she laughing? More at one than the other?
Diandra: Okay, I think I'm good now. Give me the keyboard.

And when we come back from the actual commercials, we're at Chuck E Cheese's.
Chrissy: Oh, that brings back memories.
Diandra: Any of them good?
Chrissy: Eh.
A suburban family sits at a table and "dad" exposits that the show is about to start. I take a generous gulp of beer and hover my thumb over the fast forward button because I have a bad feeling about this. An "employee" gets on the stage in front of the animatronic band and apologizes that they are having technical difficulties so Chuck and the band will not be terrifying children tonight. But he contacted his "favorite British band from 1983" on Twitter to entertain the kids in their place and this is totally going to be the Morrisey parody from Simpsons all over again, isn't it?

Benedict and Bowen Yang come out wearing physical versions of Snapchat animal filters on their faces and this is Chris again. Diandra just stuck her head between her knees and made a sound I'm not sure I've ever heard her make before. I'm not sure I've heard ANYONE make that sound before, actually.
Diandra: Is this what Eurovision is like? I feel like this is what Eurovision is like.
Chrissy: Are you going to get back up here?
Diandra: No and you can't make me.
Mmkay. I don't think there's any actual recapping needed here. They sing a terrible pizza themed song and I think Diandra might be right and Benedict is doing a Morrisey impression but with a lot more falsetto. And Bowen announces a birthday as "congratulations on the anniversary of emerging from your mother's vagina." And then other cast members come out to do verses and it somehow devolves even further.
Diandra: Can you do me a favor?
Chrissy: You're going to say "kill me" aren't you?
Diandra: No.
Chrissy: Okay, then sure.
Diandra: Go to the laundry room. Look on the shelf. There should be a clearly marked bottle of bleach...
Chrissy: Okay, no. How about if I just fast forward?
Diandra: Or you could do that. That works.

Okay, I'm back. CLEARLY I spoke too soon about the fast forwarding. I will say this though: Benedict's ability to keep a straight face regardless of the insane bullshit he's asked to do is impressive.

After the second performance by the musical guest, Chloe Finneman addresses the camera directly with a parody of one of those Behind the Camera things. She talks about what kind of season it's been on SNL because I think there were only two weeks left after this. She says people ask about what happens if someone is out sick. She says that's why she is the official understudy for the show. She practices with everyone just in case she needs to take over at the last minute. We see her rehearsing with Kate McKinnon, copying the way she is slouching in the chair. Kate directs her to spread her legs even further until she's basically in gynecological exam pose. "Really make people uncomfortable with what you're doing." She does a couple more rounds of imitating female members of the cast, one of which isn't even for the show because she claims she's so good at it that she acts as emergency replacement in their personal lives too. Like when they need her to break up with people for them.

She says there are limits though because "no matter how good my Elizabeth Olson impression is, I would never use it to trick Benedict." Which is of course followed by her approaching him in a dressing room in full goofy comics version of Scarlet Witch costume and doing an impression of Elizabeth, suggesting that Chloe Finneman would make a great understudy for her in any future Marvel productions, right? The real Elizabeth scoots in behind her to ask what's going on and they argue about which of them is really Elizabeth. "Oh my god, the multiverse is real," Benedict moans. She does a few more impressions of castmates and then says we're probably wondering what happens if SHE gets sick, right? The camera pans out and Punkie Johnson, dressed the same way as Chloe with a blonde wig yells, without even the slightest hint of an actual impression, "yo, bitch, I'm Chloe Fineberg". No, that was not a typo. Although at this point, it's probably a miracle I can still type at all.

And Benedict and the regular cast are wearing shirts with the year Roe V. Wade was passed on them as they roll the end credits, calling attention to the fact that the lead singer of Arcade Fire has it painted on his guitar too. I could probably spend a solid day going through the comment sections of any social media post about this and blocking conservative wingnuts.
Chrissy: You could make that a drinking game. Take a shot any time they use the words "woke" or "virtue signaling" or suggest that celebrities shouldn't have opinions (unless they are Clint Eastwood or Chachi).
Diandra: Yeah, I would blackout before I got through one thread if I did that. But I'm sure I started drinking after I clicked through to block one and saw "my pronouns are Let's Go Brandon" on her profile.
Chrissy: Yeesh. Okay, so are you ready for "No Way Home" or are we still taking a break from Marvel maybe until we see "Multiverse of Madness"?
Diandra: You know...when I started recapping Marvel I didn't realize just how fucking much of Benedict's face I was going to be looking at in the coming years.
Chrissy: I guess that's my answer.
Diandra: No, I think I'm resigned to it now. Just let me dry out and we can invite Emilio to play all the Peters and act as our encyclopedia for all things Spider-Man that we have forgotten over the years.
Chrissy: Knowing you, you've probably forgotten stuff from these last couple MCU Spider Man movies too already.
Diandra: Ha. Why do I keep inviting you to do these things?
Chrissy: Because you love me.
Diandra: Huh. Sounds fake, but okay.