Going to America
|"Going to America"|
|Father Ted episode|
|Episode no.||Series 3
|Directed by||Graham Linehan, Andy de Emmony|
|Written by||Arthur Mathews, Graham Linehan|
|Original air date||1 May 1998|
"Going to America" is the final episode of the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted. It is the eighth episode of the third series and the 25th episode overall. The show's star Dermot Morgan died the day after filming was completed. Co-star Frank Kelly died on the same day as Morgan 18 years later in 2016.
After Ted prevents a depressed Father Kevin (Tommy Tiernan) from jumping to his death at the "It's Great Being a Priest" conference, an American priest, from the USA called Father Buzz Cagney (Jeff Harding) asks him if he'll come to a parish in Los Angeles. Ted can’t wait and excitedly tells Jack, Dougal and Mrs. Doyle, who incorrectly think they will be able to come with him. Ted doesn't have the heart to tell them otherwise and brings them to the airport leaving them there while he gets on the plane. However, Ted has second thoughts when Buzz mentions the gang culture around Ted's new parish in LA, and its violent state. Realising he's in serious trouble, Ted abandons going to the USA and rejoins Jack, Dougal and Mrs Doyle. It transpires that the three of them never wanted to go to the States anyway, with the possible exception of Jack, who yells 'Feck!' when he learns of what's gone wrong, though the promise of a drink cheers him up. The group leaves the airport and heads for home, and Ted resigns himself to the fact he is probably never going to escape Craggy Island.
The episode was always intended to be the last Father Ted; in the original script, the last scene was to be set at the "It's Still Great Being a Priest" conference 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, although this was not (as believed) because of the death of Dermot Morgan. Rather, the writers did not think that their original ending was very funny. It was recorded on 27 February 1998, the day before Morgan died.
This episode does not normally contain a credits sequence at the end, as it is replaced by the clips montage. The episode's guest cast is listed alongside the lead actors in the opening credits.
While filming the scene in which Ted dances to "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.
A clip is shown from each episode, in reverse order of airdate.
- Mrs Doyle fainting ("Night of the Nearly Dead")
- Ted kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse ("Kicking Bishop Brennan up the Arse")
- Ted shouting at the soccer team ("Escape from Victory")
- A crow stealing Jack's glasses ("The Mainland")
- Dougal driving the milkfloat ("Speed 3")
- Chris on a boat, watched by Ted and Dougal ("Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep")
- Ted inadvertently resembling Hitler ("Are You Right There, Father Ted?")
- Mrs Doyle falling off the windowsill ("A Christmassy Ted")
- "It's me. In the nip. With a dog." ("Flight into Terror")
- Mrs Doyle showing "GO ON" flashcards to Fr Stack ("New Jack City")
- Ted injured by a cross ("Cigarettes and Alcohol and Rollerblading")
- Imelda winning the Lovely Girls competition ("Rock-a-Hula Ted")
- Tom "taking care" of a toy rabbit ("The Plague")
- Part of the "My Lovely Horse" music video ("Song for Europe")
- "Picnic Area" sign hitting Ted ("The Old Grey Whistle Theft")
- Mrs Doyle bathes Dougal ("Tentacles of Doom")
- The Dancing Priest ("Think Fast, Father Ted")
- Ted, Jack and Dougal in the wrong caravan ("Hell")
- The Monkey Priest throwing books around ("Grant unto Him Eternal Rest")
- Ted being shocked by Polly's tale ("And God Created Woman")
- The Third Age of Elvis ("Competition Time")
- "Down With This Sort Of Thing" and "Careful Now" ("The Passion of St Tibulus")
- Fr Stone on the toilet, Ted in the bath ("Entertaining Father Stone")
- Ted on the 'Crane of Death' ("Good Luck, Father Ted")
The final shot is an exterior view of the parochial house. Ted and Dougal say goodnight to each other and the light in their bedroom is switched off.
- Father Kevin is cured of his depression by listening to a cover of Issac Hayes' "Theme from Shaft" by Eddie & the Soul Band, before falling back into depression by the song "Exit Music (For a Film)" by Radiohead.
- Brian Eno makes a brief cameo appearance in the episode as Father Brian Eno. Linehan has claimed that the idea came as "we used to see him around Kilburn wearing a fez."
- 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.
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