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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!"


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.
  • 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:
    • 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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