|Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse|
|Series 3, Episode 6|
|Air date||April 17, 1998|
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Night of the Nearly Dead
After losing a bet to Father Dick Byrne, Father Ted has to kick Bishop Brennan up the backside.
Ted is extremely worried about the forfeit that Dick Byrne has set him, and is convinced that Bishop Brennan will send him to a parish much worse than Craggy Island after he kicks him "up the arse". Dick has insisted that Father Dougal take a photograph as proof; he also calls Brennan, saying that a likeness of him has miraculously appeared in the skirting board of the Craggy Island parochial house, so the bishop arranges to visit Ted as soon as possible.
After Ted stays up worrying all night, he and Dougal are surprised by the early arrival of Bishop Brennan and his assistant Father Jessup, "the most sarcastic priest in Ireland". When they go to look at the image, Ted cannot bring himself to carry out the forfeit and hurls himself out of a window. Father Jack locks Father Jessup in his underpants hamper, and Mrs Doyle misinterprets his sarcasm and does not free him.
Ted eventually manages to perform the forfeit, acting on Dougal's suggestion to kick Bishop Brennan and act as if nothing had happened - reasoning that, since Ted would never kick Bishop Brennan under normal circumstances, he may be able to get away with it as Bishop Brennan would never believe Ted would do such a thing. Bishop Brennan is shocked into a catatonic state that lasts well beyond the duration of his visit. In the meantime, Ted gets drunk and orders Dougal to have several copies of the photograph made, including a 'ten by ten' for himself.
Brennan snaps out of his stupor just as he is due to greet the Pope in the Vatican, and flies back to Craggy Island in extreme anger. Despite Brennan's rage, Ted eventually manages to convince him that he did not do it. On his way out, however, Brennan sees a massive version of the photograph that Dougal had made (having thought that Ted wanted a ten by ten foot picture rather than inches), and gets his revenge on Crilly by booting him across a field.
At the end of the episode Father Jessup, having been stuck in the hamper for several days, meekly calls "I'm really enjoying this".
- Dermot Morgan as Ted Crilly
- Ardal O'Hanlon as Dougal McGuire
- Frank Kelly as Jack Hackett
- Pauline McLynn as Mrs. Doyle
- The writers drew inspiration for the episode's storyline from the Seinfeld episode "The Revenge", in which the character George regrets quitting his job and Jerry]suggests that he return and pretend he had never quit, and a story involving the Belgian painter Magritte kicking his sister's fiancé to gauge his reaction. Other versions of the story involve a friend of his wife's or a Time magazine interviewer.
- Irish author Eugene O'Brien titled his book studying Irish culture based on popular literary and media works after this episode.
- The episode's recap sequence is a parody of NYPD Blue's "shaky camera" technique, and its post-credits scene, in which Father Jessup flicks his lighter on and off inside Jack's underpants hamper, is a reference to The Vanishing. The episode also features Brennan comparing Father Jack to the Kraken, a legendary sea monster, and a reference to a previous forfeit of Byrne's involving saying "bollocks" to Irish president Mary Robinson.
- This episode is the final time Bishop Brenan makes an appearance in the series.
- Dougal mentions that Bishop Brennan has only visited them twice in the past three years. He previous visited them in the episodes 'The Passion of Saint Tibulus' and 'The Plague'.