Washout is the tenth episode of the second season.
As the episode begins, a rumble of thunder signals the presence of stormy weather. Stacy is busily lighting a lantern as all the lights are out at Shining Time Station. But she is relieved that the telephone still works when it starts to ring. It’s J.B. King, superintendent of the Indian Valley Railroad, and they start discussing how the storm is affecting the whole railroad and how each of them is doing their part to ensure that safety is of the utmost importance. After Stacy hangs up, the lights come back on.
As she blows out the lantern, Mr. Conductor appears telling her to make a wish, then asking what she wished for. Stacy is reluctant at first, but at Mr. Conductor’s insistence, she tells him that she’s wished that they’ll make it through the storm safely. Helpfully, Mr. Conductor uses his magic to reveal a flashlight for Stacy to use. After thanking him, Stacy reminds him to use an umbrella when he goes outside. Mr. Conductor is reluctant, because he gets lost in umbrellas. At this, Stacy produces a little paper umbrella that she got with a glass of lemonade and gives it to him.
After Mr. Conductor vanishes, Billy comes back from his track inspection and announces that the rails won’t hold for long if the storm keeps going. Stacy then tells him that Mr. King called and has told them to keep the trains running. Billy then goes to close any open doors or windows, while Stacy changes the timetable. Dan and Kara then come bounding into the station, commenting on how much it’s raining. Stacy is surprised at their coming, and kindly tells them that they should have stayed home, to which Kara replies that the storm didn’t start until they were almost at the station.
Next, Schemer comes into the station, and he’s actually enjoying the bad weather! The reason? To sell umbrellas! He tries to interest Stacy and the kids in buying one, but doesn’t succeed. A few moments later Becky arrives, soaking wet and demanding a refund from the now-laughing Schemer. When Stacy asks why Becky didn’t use the umbrella she bought from Schemer, she’s shocked to see that it’s full of holes when Becky opens it. While Stacy dries Becky, she reprimands Schemer, who attempts to deflect the blame.
At that moment, Felix Perez, the bus driver, arrives with a couple of passengers who wonder if they managed to catch their train. Stacy tells them that they’re in time because their train arrived late due to the weather. Overjoyed by this news, the passengers try to express their thanks to Felix by paying him, but he doesn't want their money. Schemer, on the other hand, is interested in their money, until he's stopped by Stacy. He then tries to sell one of his umbrellas to them, but they walk away.
Stacy takes Schemer aside, and tells him that it’s not a time for his nonsense but a time for everyone to cooperate. When she asks if she can trust him to help, Schemer reluctantly agrees with one condition; she must check on his supply of Cheese Giggles. Apalled, Stacy tells him that the passengers' safety is more important than his Cheese Giggles, so Schemer decides to check them himself.
As Schemer leaves, Felix comes back into the station and asks if the kids need a ride, to which they kindly turn down, because they want to stay and help Stacy. After Felix leaves, Stacy goes outside to check on things while the kids go to Billy’s workshop. When they arrive, they see that Mr. Conductor is already there, helping Billy. The kids begin to tell him about how Felix just helped some stranded passengers, which reminds Mr.Conductor of when Bertie the Bus had to chase Edward, so that some passengers could catch his train.
After finishing his story Mr.Conductor sparkles away, while the kids begin to say that nothing good can come from storms. At this, Billy tells them the benefits of storms; without rain, there would be nothing to clean the air or replenish and clean the earth. He then goes into the spiritual side, explaining how the wind, water, sun, and thunderstorms all do their part to make up a “sacred circle,” so that they can have rain. Suddenly, the power goes out again, much to the kids’ dismay. Stacy then comes into the workshop with her flashlight, to see if everyoneis alright. After Billy lights a lantern and the kids feel safer, Stacy takes them back into the station, saying that she has the perfect rainy day activity.
Setting the flashlight on the ticket counter, Stacy shows the kids how to make animal puppets using the shadow of their hands. Schemer interrupts and begins playing with the flashlight, scaring the kids in the process. As he continues making fun of them, Schemer accidentally drops the flashlight, and it goes out! The kids now start teasing Schemer about being afraid, while he claims he's not. The lights come back on to reveal Schemer curled up in fear on the Information Desk, still claiming he isn't scared! The kids continue teasing him, so to prove that he’s not afraid of the storm Schemer sticks his head out the window. He pulls his head back in after getting a face full of rain.
After that, Stacy hands the kids a nickel and tells them to play a song from the Jukebox. Inside the Jukebox, the band is jittery because the lights keep flickering on and off. Didi notices the nickel and the Rex and Tex think they ought to play something loud. A fuse pops, and the band frantically begins to play. Tito, however, is in the mood for something slower and begins playing a different song. The band stops to regain their composure before deciding to play “Cumberland Gap.”
A little while later, J.B. King arrives and is instantly approached by Schemer, who tries to make it look like he’s in control. Mr. King, of course, doesn’t buy it and demands to know where Stacy is. When Stacy appears, J.B. informs her that since the storm is getting worse, he has cancelled all trains until further notice. He adds that he’s going to be inspecting the line for damage to expedite repairs once the storm is over. Thinking Stacy is about to object, J.B. remains firm, stating that since he’s in charge of the railroad, it’s his job to ensure the safety of the passengers. But then he realizes that Stacy is really asking him what his route will be.
As Stacy wishes J.B. luck, Dan comments on how brave J.B. must be to go back out in that weather, to which Stacy says it’s because he’s doing his part, just like the rest of them. She then tells the kids that she’s going back outside to check on things, and wants them to be with Billy. The kids go to the workshop, only to find Billy on his way out to the storeroom for some emergency flares, in case anything happens. In the workshop, the kids find Mr. Conductor waiting for them. They begin to tell him that the storm is getting worse, and they ask if Sodor ever had storms. This instantly reminds Mr. Conductor of a story, but the kids are somewhat reluctant to hear it. But when Mr. Conductor assures them that the story ends well, the kids immediately beg him to tell it. After some playful reluctance, Mr. Conductor tells them how Percy braved bad weather to keep a promise he made to Thomas.
When the story is over, the kids hear Billy shout for Schemer and run out of the workshop to discover why; Schemer carelessly left the box of flares out in the storm because there was no room for his Cheese Giggles. But the worst is yet to come, as Stacy comes running into the station with bad news; the bridge just before Shining Time has been washed out, and J.B. King’s train is due any minute! She immediately tries to call the Train Dispatcher, but the phone line is dead. With the flares ruined, Stacy says they need something else to signal the train. Needing something bright that the engineer can see, Billy suggests using a blanket that Schemer is wearing. Schemer and the kids begin to point out that it won’t work, but Stacy shows them how they can use the storm to their advantage; the wind will keep the blanket moving, and the flashes of lightning will light it up. With this in mind, Stacy and Billy immediately run back out into the storm, with not a second to lose.
Schemer and the kids run to the window to see what will happen. Schemer is so scared, he hides behind the Ticket Counter. At that moment, the lights go out again, and the kids grow even more worried. But their worries are soon exchanged for joy, when they see the train pulling to a stop. Stacy’s plan has worked! Soon, Stacy and Billy, along with Mr. King, return to the station, just as the power comes back on. Mr. King is astounded at Stacy's ingenuity and as everyone congratulates each other, Billy begins to notice something; there’s a sound of birds chirping, and the sun is now shining again. The storm is over! Overjoyed, Schemer sticks his head out the window and takes a deep breath of the fresh air. But Mr. Conductor, rowing along in the water-filled window gutter, tosses a bucket of water into Schemer’s face, and quickly disappears! Amid laughs from everyone, Schemer draws his soaked face back inside as the episode ends.
- Mr. Conductor
- Stacy Jones
- Billy Twofeathers
- Dan Jones
- Kara Cupper
- J.B. King
- Felix Perez
- Thomas (mentioned)
- Edward (mentioned)
- Percy (mentioned)
- Bertie (mentioned)
- Harold (mentioned)
Jukebox Band Segment Song
- Cumberland Gap
- Larissa Lapchinski and Peter Van Wart guest starred as passengers.
- When Schemer causes the flashlight to go out during the shadow puppet scene, not only he can be seen turning it off before dropping it, there is a brief moment between the time the flashlight goes out and the rest of the studio lights go out to completely darken the stage.
- The flashes of lightning seen inside the workshop imply that there's a window on the viewing audience's side.
- Possibly due to time constraints, the opening scene for Bertie's Chase where Edward is waiting for Bertie at Wellsworth was removed. This scene was also left out in the Random House book, James in a Mess and Other Thomas the Tank Engine Stories. The story would be shown complete on the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode, Splish, Splash, Splosh.
- Schemer: (interfering with the kids' shadow puppets) Hey, everybody look! It's a bird with a boot on its head!
- J.B. King: The situation is critical, you could say bad!