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Going to America
Series 3, Episode 8
Going to America.png
Air date May 1, 1998
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Going to America is the series finale of Father Ted.


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 his parish is expected to deal with gang violence, and has seen 5, 620 gang-related deaths within the last year. Realising that his dream will lead him into a whole new nightmare, Ted quickly disembarks and returns to the airport lounge, where Dougal, Mrs. Doyle and Jack are still waiting. Ted finally 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 remarks to Ted that now they'll all get to stay together forever, and Ted resigns himself to the fact that he's probably never going to escape Craggy Island.

The series ends with a montage of all the events in the series in reverse order and finally ends with Ted and Dougal wishing each other a good night's sleep.


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • The clips that are shown in reverse order are as followed:
    • 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 hit 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 bathing 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")

Series 3
#301 "Are You Right There, Father Ted? #305 "Escape from Victory"
#302 "Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep" #306 "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse"
#303 "Speed 3" #307 "Night of the Nearly Dead"
#304 "The Mainland" #308 "Going to America"