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Recap / Father Ted S 3 E 1 Are You Right There Father Ted

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Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Perfectly Square Bit of Dirt on the Window.
After winning the Golden Cleric in the previous episode, Ted is seemingly reaping the benefits, having been moved to a cushy parish in Dublin, performing church work in Paris, with good food, intelligent company and beautiful surroundings. Unfortunately, the parish accountant notices some discrepancies in Ted's 'expenses'...and he finds himself swiftly banished back to Craggy Island.
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After settling in back at the parochial house, Ted finds in his absence Jack has become agoraphobic and following a series of falls, Mrs. Doyle is pretty much crippled and incapable of cleaning the house. After a stupid joke of Ted's results in him being branded a racist by the island's (suprisingly sizeable) Chinese community, Ted finds his efforts to clear his name being thwarted by the decrepit condition of the parochial house and the antics of a fellow priest with some unwholesome interests.

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Tropes featured in this episode:

  • Both Sides Have a Point: While Ted's quite right to point out that he's not actually a bigoted person and just happened to do an offensive impression at a really poor time, it's not too hard to understand why the Ying family aren't inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, given that Ted tries to give lame excuses and rambling justifications for his actions rather than apologising at the start.
  • Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: Ted calls Ming the Merciless a 'notable Chinese person', ignorant of the fact that Ming the Merciless has nothing to do with the Ming dynasty. The same goes for Mr. Miyagi.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The perfectly square bit of dirt pointed out by Ted near the start of the episode later comes back to haunt him, as does the massive amount of Nazi memorabilia owned by the priest Ted visits at the beginning of the episode.
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  • Chekhov's Gunman: Father Jack (namely his constant emerging from confined spaces due to his newly developed agoraphobia.
  • Cringe Comedy: Ted's attempts to clear himself of racism lead to the situation getting worse, up to and including giving a bad presentation on diversity.
  • Cyanide Pill: Father Fitzpatrick and his Nazi lodger inadvertantly take two of these.
    Nazi Lodger: Oh shut up!
  • Digging Yourself Deeper / Not Helping Your Case: As mentioned above, Ted’s attempts at clearing himself of the allegations of racism make the situation worse.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: When Ted is accused of being racist towards Craggy Island's new Chinese residents, Dougal tells him to hold a presentation praising Chinese culture, as a gesture of good faith. It may count as a subversion, though: when Ted asks Dougal to follow up on his brilliant idea, poor Dougal panics, as he didn't think coming up with a good idea would be so much work. And the Chinese family didn't actually enjoy the presentation, but they appreciated the free drinks afterwards.
  • Embarrassing Slide: The Māori slide becomes this for poor Ted.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Father Fitzpatrick is shown to be an avid collector of Nazi war memorabilia. He's also been hiding a former Wehrmacht soldier for the last fifty years.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: Craggy Island has one that Ted was completely oblivious to, due to being at a different parochial house for a few weeks.
  • From Bad to Worse: Ted manages to escape from an angry crowd pelting him with rotten eggs for being a racist by running into a nearby pub...only to find it full of Chinese patrons.
  • Innocent Bigot: Ted, in this episode.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: At one point, Ted says Mr. Miyagi is a 'noteable Chinese person'. Miyagi is supposed to be Japanese. And that's not the only time...
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: When visiting Father Fitzpatrick to reclaim a book he lent, Fitzpatrick looks through his bookcase, rattling off the numerous significant philosophical and theological texts he owns before coming to the book Ted was after...
    Fr. Fitzpatrick: Let's see now, Humanae Vitae. You know, sometimes I leaf through this to see just how far we've come. Celebration Of The Christian Mystery, Daeus Canida, Ventra Mepolo... Ah, Stephen King's The Shining.
  • Mistaken for Racist: The premise of the whole episode.
  • Nazi Grandpa: Father Fitzpatrick and his Nazi lodger.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ted buggers up his second chance to rise up in the church. Apparently, the old "The money was just resting in my account" excuse didn't work this time either.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ted slowly realising Father Fiztpatrick owns what is less a collection of Second World War memorobilia and more a shrine to the Third Reich.
  • Racist Grandma: Mrs Carberry has less than flattering words on the Greeks.
    Mrs Carberry: I don't care who he gets as long as I can have a go at the Greeks! They invented gayness!
  • Rearrange the Song: The ending theme is redone in a Chinese folk music style.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: In this example, more a case of "Reassigned back to Antarctica".
  • Shout-Out: While doing his Chinaman impression, Ted says 'I am Chinese, if you please'. It could as well be that he's saying 'We are Siamese, if you please'.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: "I'M NOT AFTER THE CHINESE!"
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: After Ted accidentally offends the Chinese family, a couple of locals applaud him for "standing up" to them and ask how they, too, can become full-time racists. Ted is horrified.

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