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Recap / Father Ted S 3 E 4 The Mainland

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A trip to the mainland to get some new spectacles for Father Jack, who keeps losing them due to constant crow attacks, takes a turn for the worst when Jack ends up in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a disagreement between Mrs. Doyle and a friend of hers over who'll pay the bill in a cafe results in their arrest, and Ted and Dougal keep falling afoul of Richard Wilson, who takes violent exception to the use of his eponymous catchphrase, "I don't believe it!"

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Tropes featured in this episode:

  • Adam Westing: Father Ted, meet Richard Wilson. And get ready for a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Ambulance Cut: What happens when the AA member makes the grave mistake of getting between Father Jack and his drink.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "She was on her way to the shop the other day, and a man came over to her, and killed her, and stole her pen!"
  • Artistic License: The optician's boards are unrealistic. They should start with just one letter, after which the number of letters should increase as the said letters get smaller.
  • Artistic License – Geography: There are no flights between Ireland and Paraguay and Aer Lingus most certainly don't go to South America. In 1998, no airline in Europe even went to Paraguay; the only direct connection today is Air Europa, which starts its flight in Madrid, Spain.
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  • Artistic License – Law: At the start of the episode, Mrs Doyle makes reference to a robbery involving one of her friends. Ted asks her if the robbers took much, showing that he knows the correct definition of a robbery, but then it becomes apparent that she thinks "robbery" and "kidnapping" are the same thing ("she was robbed, they stole her"), when in fact they are not.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: "FECKARSE" does not sound Slovakian.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Tony Lynch finally has enough of Father Noel's going on.
    Tony Lynch: WILL YOU SHUT UP?! WILL YOU?! WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT UP?! WILL YOU SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!
  • Blind Without 'Em: Father Jack.
  • Berserk Button: Two of them:
    • Richard Wilson despises anyone coming up to him and using his catchphrase "I don't believe it!" and tends to react violently.
    • Also Jack's reaction to the AA member trying to separate him from the alcoholic drink he was trying to take.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
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    • Dougal asking if Richard Wilson enjoyed hearing Ted say Victor Meldrew's catchphrase even after he's seen (and taken photos) of Wilson beating the crap out of Ted for it.
    • Later, a hungry Dougal tries to order food from a Garda, first a lasagne, then a chicken curry, then a bag of chips with Fanta Orange. Despite the officer explaining that Dougal was in 'a police station', Dougal responds "in that case, just the chicken satay and pilau rice."
  • Description Cut: After Father Noel Furlong has gotten himself buried by a cave collapse.
    [cut to airline check-in desk]
    Check-in Lady: And that's four tickets to Paraguay.
    [cue wide-shot of the aforementioned youths at the check-in desk]
  • Didn't Think This Through: Ted and Dougal thought Richard Wilson would laugh at Victor Meldrew's catchphrase when they first saw him, but he didn't.
  • Dirty Cop: Hilariously lampshaded by Ted.
    Ted: There was a time when the police in this country were friends of the Church! Parking tickets torn up, drunk driving charges quashed, even a blind eye turned to the odd murder! But now?!
  • Enemies List: After Tony shouts at Fr. Noel, the latter apparently gets annoyed and tells Tony he's 'putting [him] on [his] enemies list'. He even says "You're for it" as he's writing. Subverted, as we learn he actually wrote "I REALLY LIKE TONY!"
  • From Bad to Worse: For Ted and Dougal, getting trapped in the Really Dark Caves gets even worse when they discover they're trapped with Father Noel Furlong.
  • Poor Communication Kills: When Jack shouts "DRINK!", he actually always wants a drink. The AA members thought he was pleading for help, which ends up biting one of them in the arse.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Fecking birds again".
  • Running Gag: Ted constantly saying "I don't believe it", only to then fall foul of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Richard Wilson.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Ted when he sees Father Noel Furlong.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Father Noel's youth group promptly ditch him and flee to Paraguay.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: When Mrs. Doyle's name is spoken, the first name is drowned out, first by the fire alarm and then by plates breaking.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The AA member who tried to stop Father Jack drinking. Admittedly, he wasn't to know Father Jack had long since fallen off the wagon.
  • Truth in Television: Richard Wilson really does hate "that bloody catchphrase".
  • The Unreveal:
    Garda: Would you happen to know a Mrs. Doyle? First name Mrs. [fire alarm goes off] Doyle.
    Ted: Hmm, would I happen to know a Mrs. [plates smash] Doyle?
  • Where Do You Think You Are?: "You're in a police station."

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