The Plague (Father Ted)
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|Father Ted episode|
Bishop Brennan in bed with a rabbit
|Episode no.||Series 2
|Directed by||Declan Lowney|
|Produced by||Lissa Evans|
|Featured music||The Divine Comedy|
|Cinematography by||Chris Owen|
|Original air date||12 April 1996|
The episode begins with a self-referential mock title sequence with the words "Father Ted" replaced by "Father Ben", which then cuts to Dougal sitting in front of the television shouting excitedly to Ted that the programme is starting. Each comments on the spoof character representing themselves, Dougal saying that Brendan is "such an eejit" and Ted making fun of Ben for being "a big thicko". The original Father Ted titles follow.
Dougal gets a pet rabbit which, after much deliberation, he calls Sampras. Meanwhile, Jack has acquired a habit of sleepwalking naked, and Bishop Brennan is set to visit after the nude, sleepwalking Jack frightens one of Brennan's friends and his family. Unfortunately, the Bishop has a fear of rabbits brought on by a bad experience he once had with some in a lift (they nibbled his cape "and everything"), and Ted and Dougal must get 'Sampras' out of the way before he visits. They fail, and the situation is exacerbated as a whole army of rabbits appears in the parochial house, apparently from nowhere.
Ted and Dougal then resort to desperate measures to hide the army of rabbits, such as hiding them at the local greyhound track, giving them to their accident-prone friend Father Larry Duff (who's now bought some Rottweiler dogs) and giving them to Tom the psychopath, all to no avail. The Bishop soon arrives, when Mrs. Doyle ruins his car engine and Ted talks to him and shows him the security arrangements for Jack (which involve razor wire around his bed and a straitjacket suit). In the conversation, the Bishop notices a rabbit hutch on the floor, rabbit poo on the carpet (which Ted says is caviar) and Mrs. Doyle walking in with some lettuce, all of which prompt the Bishop to go to bed.
Ted and Dougal soon realize the rabbit army is convening in the spare bedroom (where Brennan is sleeping), and have to tiptoe in to get the rabbits out and into Jack's room. The Bishop wakes up, to find himself surrounded by rabbits and Jack sleeping in his bed. Although he goes back to sleep soon after, he realizes the horror and wakes up screaming.
- This episode contains a subtle reference to Pulp Fiction: Tom chooses between a hammer, baseball bat, chainsaw and katana to kill the rabbits, just as Butch in Pulp Fiction chooses between these weapons to fight Zed and Maynard. Also, one of the Rabbits apparently looks like Harvey Keitel.
- On the wall at the back of the room where Tom is showing the priests how he will take care of the rabbits a section of the word Redrum can be seen. This is a reference to the film The Shining.
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