Cold Open: Alright, we know now that Jim Downey thinks **** Is the New Black. Someday he can go back to poking fun at the candidates instead of pulling punches.
Monologue: Chris Walken certainly doesn't have to perform a song-and-dance monologue, and sure enough this Q-and-A bit suited his style well. That said, you can't help but wonder WHY things got changed. Perhaps his dancing shoes didn't fit his old feet anymore.
Grease rehearsal: The Cowbell-style sketch of 2008, Walken just can't help but interrupt music rehearsals with his own input. This time, though, he's forced to carry the weight of the entire sketch. The writing was fine (a Gene Rayburn reference!), but not stellar, kinda lukewarm.
Office stalker: An improvement, the host gets a good opportunity to interact with Sudeikis in a good setting. Liked the singing, Jason's controlled desperation, and the souvenir that will likely be displayed on the living room wall when Jason becomes a movie star and Cribs stops by.
Digital Short: I loved the first one, and I loved the second one. Laser Cats! 3D was just too similar, with the low-budget jokes really becoming stale. The Chris Dodd cameo was nice, but Walken's appearance was obviously wasted.
Surprise Party: Oh god. Kristen gasps louder than her Publisher's Clearing House character, and any hints at realism are almost immediately killed by the stupid plot.
"Nine in the Afternoon": Panic at the Disco may very well see one of the great Mass Fan Exoduses (Exodi?) of 2008, but this is at least a catchy tune with appropriate Classic Pop influence. So it was fine.
Update: Nice and short. I just wish that Andy's bit was cut out (how on earth did people think that was funny?), and that Seth could lose some of the ego. The camera posing at the end was way too much.
Walken Family Reunion: SNL should know better than anyone that Less Is More. Trim the sketch to just Chris, Bill, Amy, and maybe one other castmember, give them each a few more lines, and the sketch turns from hollow to solid.
Indoor Gardening Tips from a Man Who's Very Scared of Plants: Finally we come across the pure Walken sketch. This was quite funny, of course, perhaps the best of the evening overall. Proof that a good sketch can be made after a pitch of "we get Walken to say 'googley-eyes.'"
Top Chef: Is there a clause somewhere that SNL can only parody Cable TV shows? I mean, most of the good ones are on cable, but that's no reason to avoid the broadcast networks entirely. Anyways, a solid impression from Kristen here, but nothing else works. Is that the best premise they could come up with? That a contestant was just kinda stumped?
"I Write Sins Not Tragedies": Brendon Urie was "pitchy," to use a completely original word. And I don't think their attempt at a low-key version of the hit single completely clicked. But Fun with Censorship, as "goddamn" becomes "ahh-damn."
Larry King Live: Darrell Hammond's 1000th-or-so solid impression, and another one that's been buried at the end of the show. Liked the idea, though, seeing as we should all be buying Carter's books, but I totally have no interest in reading them.
Certainly the weirdest show of the season, as I kinda expected, since there were some laugh out LOUD moments just with Walken's delivery alone, despite a sea of lousy writing and some laziness from the cast.