Tentacles of Doom - Synopsis


The episode begins with Dougal reading a book of 'Gary Lineker's Book of Ghost Stories', supposedly too scary to complete - followed by a discussion with Ted on ghost sightings (following a rambling 'scary' story about Ted staying at his great-aunt's house where a girl had apparently hanged herself in his room, neither has seen any - Dougal's 'ghost' in fact being Ted himself).

While dealing with serious plumbing problems at the parochial house, which turns out to have started after Ted gave the toilet an extra hard flush after Jack used it and furthered by Jack hiding alcohol bottles in the plumbing, Ted receives some bad news. He learns that the nearby Holy Stone of Clonrichert is being upgraded to a "class two relic" by the Vatican. Three bishops are to be sent to Craggy Island to perform the ceremony. This means that the priests must be "on their best behaviour". Ted realizes that Jack, in his perpetual drunkenness, stands to offend the bishops. He sets out to train Jack to say some all-encompassing phrases, apart from his usual stream of obscenities. After much effort, Jack is able to enunciate "Yes" and "That would be an ecumenical matter" after Ted says there will be drink for him if he manages. Mrs Doyle meanwhile has lost her contact lenses after a "dog ran off with them"- meaning she has to put on her ineffective spectacles which make her look like a "frustrated old bag."

When the bishops arrive, the priests manage to interact fairly normally with the visitors. One, Bishop O'Neill, even goes so far as to say that Jack will make a valuable contribution during their visit. Another, Bishop Facks, dominates conversation with enthusiastic rhetoric about improving the church's image. The oldest, Bishop Jordan, remains mainly contemplative, although he warns them that he has a heart condition, having had a heart attack last year. Dougal nearly gives him a heart attack when he gives a loud yell after finding out the film Aliens is on T.V, thinking Bishops love science-fiction. Mrs Doyle goes into a fit of hysterical laughter when Bishop Jordan says his housekeeper isn't as good and sometimes he thinks he should be making the tea for her. The ceremony passes without incident and the priests and bishops begin to interact on a one-to-one basis. Father Ted is thoroughly confused by Bishop Jordan's thoughts on mortality and asks to be excused for a trip to the toilet. Unfortunately, Bishop Jordan situates himself above the drain where the parochial house's sewage is fired into the air in lieu of proper disposal. When Ted flushes, the old man has a heart attack.

Dougal and Bishop O'Neill share a conversation. Dougal talks about the doubts he has regarding organised religion and the Catholic Church. The bishop listens earnestly and begins to have doubts of his own, having already had his faith tested. Meanwhile, Bishop Facks displays increasingly aggressive enthusiasm for Father Jack's religious "views" at the relic site. Eventually, Jack loses all restraint after getting hit on the shoulder by the Bishop's finger and attacks Bishop Facks, jamming the Holy Stone into his rectum. The last scene shows Bishop O'Neill embracing Dougal's jumbled philosophy as he gives up the church for a life as a hippie and departs for India in a painted minivan with some pot-smoking hippies. Bishop Facks, clearly in agony, is escorted away for medical attention (Ted briefly asks if the Holy Stone "will still be a Class 2 when they remove it"). It is then revealed that Bishop Jordan has died, as his coffin is taken from the parochial house. When all have gone, Ted reflects on the visit, remarking that it went rather well.

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