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Going to America

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Going to America
Series 3, Episode 8
Going to America
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Going to America is the series finale of Father Ted.

Synopsis

At the annual 'It's Great Being a Priest' convention, the depressed Father Kevin decides to commit suicide by jumping from a window ledge. Ted is forced to talk him down, mostly due to being the only priest attending who knows him, and he is celebrated as a hero. This is observed by an American priest, Father Buzz Cagney. Ted invites Kevin to stay with him on Craggy Island... mostly because Kevin owes him £20.

Ted attempts to lift Kevin out of his depression, mostly so he'll be paid back the money he is owed, but to no avail. Buzz visits and, admitting he was impressed by the way Ted stopped Kevin from killing himself, offers him a position at his own parish in Beverly Hills. Amazed by the apparent luxury and the promise of earning big money, Ted immediately accepts.

Ted is, obviously, elated at his sudden good fortune and manages to unwittingly lift Kevin out of his depression by playing the theme from Shaft... in fact, Ted is so overjoyed he allows Kevin to keep the £20. Ted then tells Dougal about the upcoming move, but then finds that Dougal thinks he's going too and doesn't have the heart to let him down. Dougal then tells Mrs. Doyle and Father Jack they're all going to America and Ted continues to keep up his lie. Although he makes attempts to reveal the truth, Ted just can't bring himself to do the deed even after Mrs. Doyle has all the parochial house furniture taken away and burnt. Soon the four are at the airport and Ted decides to just abandon the others there and board the plane to America with Buzz.

Meanwhile, Kevin happily boards a coach but quickly falls back into his depression thanks to Radiohead playing over the radio.

Ted and Buzz are aboard the plane and about to take off, however Buzz casually reveals to Ted that he's going to a more run down parish and will be expected to deal with gang violence. Deciding he's in too deep, Ted quickly disembarks. Returning to the airport, where Dougal, Mrs. Doyle and Jack are still waiting, Ted tells them that they're not going to America after all only to be put out when Dougal and Mrs. Doyle reveal they weren't that bothered about going anyway (although Jack shouts "Feck!", implying he for one is disappointed). Dougal tells Ted that now they'll all get to stay together forever, and Ted resigns himself to the fact that he's never going to escape Craggy Island.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Trivia

  • The day after completing filming on this episode, Dermot Morgan died of a sudden heart attack at his London home while hosting a dinner party.  He was 45 years old and prior to filming the last series had announced his intention of moving on from the character.  As a mark of respect, Channel 4 delayed the premiere date for the final series by a week.
  • While filming the scene in which Ted dances to the "Theme from Shaft", Tommy Tiernan continually flubbed his lines. As a result, Dermot Morgan was required to perform the dance repeatedly, despite pains in his heart. In a 2009 interview, Tiernan speculated that this contributed to Morgan's fatal heart attack the following day.
  • The episode was always intended to be the last.  In the original script the last scene was to be set at the 'It's Still Great Being a Priest' with Father Kevin once again on the window ledge and once again Ted arrives on the ledge, except this time it is not to stop him from jumping but to join him, because he was depressed that the intended trip to America fell through and he would have to stay on Craggy Island forever. This ending was abandoned in favour of a montage of clips from all three series of the show played in reverse order from the series finale back to the series premiere. The writers denied that it was changed due to the death of Dermot Morgan the following day, rather they did not think that their original ending was very funny.
  • Father Kevin is cured of his depression by listening to a cover of the "Theme from Shaft" by Eddie & the Soul Band, before falling back into depression when the bus driver turns on the song "Exit Music (For a Film)" by Radiohead. The band are known to be quite choosy when it comes to their songs being used for films and TV shows but granted permission for the song to be used since they were huge fans of the show.
  • When Ted discusses a fictional Harrison Ford film with Dougal, the details mentioned are identical to those of Firestorm, a fictional film previously described by characters in the American sitcom Seinfeld.

Production

  • This episode does not contain a credits sequence at the end, as it is replaced by the clips montage off all of the episodes in reverse order. The episode's guest cast is listed alongside the lead actors in the opening credits.

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