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Recap / Father Ted S1E2 "Entertaining Father Stone"

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Father Stone would just like you to know that he's absolutely fine.
Ted announces to a horrified Dougal that Father Paul Stone (Michael Redmond) has come for his holidays. For the preceding six years, Father Stone has visited the parochial house; he is pathologically boring and is totally unable to hold a conversation, giving one-sentence answers at the most and dominating the room with his awkward protracted silences. To try to stop him from coming, Ted told Father Stone incredible lies, but this failed to deter him.
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Even when Father Stone arrives, Ted and Dougal make excuses to have him leave the house, but Stone offers to stay regardless of the conditions. After Father Stone stays through Ted's birthday party three weeks later, making it an awkward time for all the guests, Ted prays to God to get rid of Stone anyway he can. The next day, Ted and Dougal go to the Crazy Golf Course in the middle of a thunderstorm, thinking this is better than hanging around Father Stone. However, Father Stone has followed them there. Ted suggests that Father Stone should try a go at golf; as he raises the club, Father Stone is struck by lightning.

At the local hospital, Father Stone is found to be in shock: standing up, still holding the golf club, and not responding to any stimulus. Father Stone's parents and maternal grandmother arrive. His grandmother privately warns Ted that she knows what he is up to, while his parents go on about how much Father Stone looked forward to his visits at Craggy Island, showing a picture of Ted and Father Stone that he drew. Ted feels very guilty about having prayed for Father Stone to leave, and scared that the grandmother seems to know what he did. Ted begins praying at Father Stone's bedside, saying that Paul can stay for as long as he wants, that he will look after him "until the end of his days". After a brief interval, Father Stone regains consciousness, and is his old self again, giving one-word answers. Finally, Father Stone, as promised, has been allowed to stay on Craggy Island. A faint smile breaks across his face.

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Tropes

  • Abusive Parents: Father Stone's father is less than paternal about his son.
  • And I Must Scream: Father Stone is briefly left immobile with a golf-club in his hand after being struck by lightning.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Ted begs God to do something to make Father Stone go away. The next day Father Stone is hit by lightning and hospitalised.
  • The Bore: Father Stone takes this Up to Eleven. He doesn't talk in a boring way like Father Purcell, he just sits around without saying a word for prolonged periods and reduces any room he's in into painful, awkward silence for hours on end. After waking up from a lightning bolt-induced coma, his only reaction is to say he's fine.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Dougal reaches new heights in this episode:
    Dougal: Remember that film, Ted, where your man's head is transplanted onto a fly and the fly's head is transplanted onto the man?
    Ted: Oh yes, what was that called?
    Dougal: Out of Africa, I think. Anyway, you know, your man has the head of a fly and he's chasing his wife all over the place, she's trying to hide the jam so as he won't get stuck in it.
    Ted: I have to stop you there, Dougal.
    Dougal: Yes, Ted?
    Ted: No reason. I just have to stop you.
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  • Comically Missing the Point: Dougal innocently points out that Ted's brother is a doctor after Ted said that it was traditional for a favourite son to become a doctor and an The Unfavorite to be sent to the priesthood. This goes right over Ted's head.
  • Creator Cameo: Arthur Mathews makes a cameo appearance as a guest at Ted's birthday party.
  • Dull Surprise:
    Father Stone: No, I'm fine.
  • Fainting: Ted reveals to Dougal that the guest in the next room is the excruciatingly dull Father Stone:
    [Dougal enters the front room of the parochial house as Ted tries and fails to get any sort of conversation out of Father Stone]
    Ted: [jumps up from his chair] Oh, Dougal, you wanted to have a word, fair enough, won't be a moment, see you in a minute, Father. [barrels a startled Dougal out into the corridor, then closes the door after him and sighs with exasperation]
    Dougal: What's up with you, Ted? Who was that?
    Ted: [gasps for breath as he takes out a pack of cigarettes and removes one] Oh... I had to get out of there! [puts the cigarette in his mouth]
    Dougal: [smiling] Who is it, Ted?
    Ted: Now Dougal... don't overreact.
    Dougal: Fair enough.
    Ted: [lights the cigarette, then closes his lighter and takes a drag off the cigarette] Right... it's Father Stone. [Dougal drops to the floor like a puppet that's had its strings cut] Dougal, get up. [Dougal gets up again immediately]
    Dougal: Oh, Ted, no, not him.
    Ted: It's him all right.
    Dougal: God Almighty!
    [later, after Ted drags Dougal into the room to keep him company as he resumes his unsuccessful attempts to engage Father Stone in conversation]
    Ted: So! What time you going back tomorrow?
    Father Stone: I might stay.
    Ted: [as Dougal goes weak at the knees and grabs Ted's arm for support] ... what??
    Father Stone: I say, I might stay.
    Ted: ... how long?
    Father Stone: Oh, I don't know. A few weeks, maybe. [Dougal falls to the floor]
  • Gargle Blaster: Jack's proclivity for dangerous drinking emerges when he's hospitalised for a combination of Babycham and Harpic cleaner.
  • Gilligan Cut: Ted and Dougal reassure each other that Father Stone will be gone by the time of Ted's birthday. Cut to Father Stone in a roomful of miserable priests in party hats, Mrs Doyle sadly extinguishing the candle on a cake.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Such as knocking people out cold
  • Megaton Punch: Jack delivers one to Ted with such ferocity he flies through the window and out of the parochial house.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: Ted to Dougal in the hospital waiting room talking about The Fly (1986).
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Father Stone uses the toilet while Ted in the bath right next to him.
  • Running Gag: The beginning of one. Asking another priest if they've 'seen Father Shortall at all recently?' comes up again in New Jack City.
  • The Stoic: Father Stone emerges from his lightening-induced coma as dull as ever.
  • The Unfavorite: As above, it is implied Ted was one.

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