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Recap / Father Ted S 3 E 5 Escape From Victory

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Football, football, football. Ted is a nervous wreck with the upcoming Annual All-Priests Five-a-Side Over 75s Indoor Football Challenge Match between Craggy Island and Rugged Island. Tasked with the near-impossible task of whipping up the elderly clergy on Craggy Island into a winning team, Ted and Dougal's task is not helped by talented Jack being comatose after drinking a whole bottle of Dreamy Sleepy Nighty Snoozy-Snooze, his star player dying, his forward losing his kneecap and Dick Byrne getting an Italian priest who only needs one nun to get out of a chair.

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After rolling his eyes at a fellow priest's mail order fake arms and remote-controlled wheelchair, Ted shares the source of his nerves: they're using the forfeit system this year.

Match day comes. Mrs Doyle is getting the ladies of Craggy Island into the spirit of things, Dougal is eagerly keeping his opposite number Cyril from stealing the flags and on the pitch things look bleak for Craggy Island. After the Italian dives his way into getting a penalty Ted hastens away and returns with sleeping Jack in a jerky wheelchair, his arms looking a bit limp and a suspicious bulk under his jacket. Jack scores the winning goal and the home crowd go wild.

Before Ted and Dougal can celebrate, the referee discovers Ted`s fake arms and remote-controlled wheelchair control. Exposed and humiliated, Ted forfeits the game and waits at the parochial house for his "extra-special" forfeit. Dougal brings in the envelope and reveals Dick's shocking forfeit: within the next week, Ted must kick Bishop Brennan up the arse.

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Tropes featured in this episode:

  • Baseball Episode: A football episode in a series where the only consistent allusion to the sport has been Dougal's Ireland football team pyjama shirt.
  • Call-Back: Dougal asks if Jack might be 'dead again' after he died in Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Or rather Chekhov's fake arms and remote-controlled wheelchair.
  • Cliffhanger: The only episode to lead directly into the next.
  • Deadly Doctor: Dougal as the team physio, seen bending the legs of the practice dummy the wrong way. Fortunately Ted makes him corner-flag watcher.
  • Freeze-Frame Ending: Of Father Jack's mortified expression.
  • Gilligan Cut: Ted mentions a priest that needs to be at the peak of his ability to help Craggy Island win the match. Cut to the priest lying in a coffin.
  • Informed Ability: Father Jack is, according to Ted, a fantastic footballer. The few times Jack is out of his wheelchair in the rest of the series he seems to struggle with verticality, let alone locomotion. Lampshaded by Dougal when he points out that you wouldn't think Jack was any good at football at all.
  • Noodle Incident: Craggy Island losing the previous year and Ted having to photocopy his bottom.
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    • Ted and Dougal also make reference to Jack having been on trial in Liverpool for an unspecified crime.
  • Oh, Crap!: The collective response of Dougal, Ted, Mrs Doyle and even Jack when the forfeit is read out.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Ted's ruinous paranoia about being bugged by Dick Byrne turns out to be justified when Dick's seen listening to headphones in a disguised van outside the parochial house.
    • Ted also sets Dougal to 'guard the corner flags' to keep him out of the way, but which Dougal takes seriously. Sure enough, Dick sets Cyril to steal him one.
  • Serious Business: Everyone regarding The Annual All-Priests Five-a-Side Over 75s Indoor Football Challenge Match between Craggy Island and Rugged Island.
  • Talking with Signs: Ted and Dougal at the beginning when Ted thinks they're being bugged.
  • To Be Continued: Ends the episode.
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