But on this week’s Saturday Night Live sketch “The Duel,” they took it to an extreme. It opens with a frantic Sandra Oh running through a perfectly manicured garden, costumed as an aristocratic lady (lady of what, where, or when is not specified, but we assume...someplace in historic England?). She comes across a clearing and finds Pete Davidson and Beck Bennett — also dressed in period garb, and speaking in and out of amusingly bad British accents — about to face off in a pistol duel for Oh’s heart.
“Stop, kind sirs!” Oh declares. “My affections are not worth this quarrel. Whatever injury you may incur cannot compete with the wound you inflict upon my heart.”
No dice. Davidson and Beckett take their marks, get ready, set — with a bang, Davidson shoots first. But he’s a bad shot, and the bullet ricochets straight into his beloved Oh’s arm.
As the duel continues, Oh’s heart remains relatively unwounded as it becomes obvious that she will be the only fatality in this fight. She winds up covered in buckets of blood and, at one point, a bloody prosthetic leg falls off.
The gory joke is clearly a send-up of some of our favorite historical period films, particularly those set in the 16, 17, and 1800s (the eras of petticoats, powdered wigs, and m’lords and m’ladies) — think Mary, Queen of Scots meets Marie Antoinette meets The Favourite. The sketch seemed to draw lots of inspiration from the latter in particular, from the delicate garden to the bulky pistols to the title font recalling the hit Rachel Weisz-Emma Stone drama.
It definitely leaves us wanting more. Perhaps we can get a prequel to this sketch — what led up to this bloody duel? After a quick glimpse of Oh in this world, all we can think about is watching her absolutely kill it in a historical period piece of her own.