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Recap / Thomas The Tank Engine S 22 E 14 Apology Impossible

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Air date: September 20th, 2018 (UK)

Fed up with the other engines pushing him around, Philip refuses to give way when he and James end up facing each other on a one-track bridge. As James refuses too, it's stalemate. But with engines stacked up behind them and the bridge in danger of collapsing, Philip decides that sometimes the littlest engine can actually be the bigger engine!


  • An Aesop: Everyone makes mistakes, but things can get much worse if we don't admit them and say sorry.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When James is about to apologize to Philip for accidentally covering him in oil, he instead apologizes to his paintwork.
  • The Bully: James, to Philip.
  • Bully Hunter: Philip.
  • Call-Back: In the And Knowing Is Half the Battle segment, Thomas recalls the events of "Who's Geoffrey?" and "Springtime for Diesel"
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  • Character Development: Philip receives some in this episode when he gains a backbone (?) and stands up to James.
  • Easily Forgiven: James is forgiven for bullying Philip, holding up Thomas, Rebecca, and Paxton, and for almost causing the bridge to collapse.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even the two troublesome trucks Philip was carrying glare at James for stalling the engines on the bridge.
  • Extreme Doormat: Philip, initially.
  • Imagine Spot: Philip has one where the bridge collapses and he, James, Thomas, Rebecca, and Paxton sink.
  • Jerkass Ball: James grabs it in this episode. James is stuck-up, but with a big heart. But in this episode, he downright bullies Philip. Some fans were not pleased with this.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The engines' reactions to being sunk in Philip's fantasy sequence:
    James: My paint!
    Philip: My sardines!
    Paxton: I fell in the water.
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  • Never My Fault: James keeps blaming his mistakes on Philip.
  • Ordered Apology: Philip keeps demanding James to apologize everytime he was a jerk to him, which he doesn't. Then in the ending, The Fat Controller orders James to not only apologize for bullying Philip, but also to the other engines for blocking their way on the bridge, which he does.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Philip gives one to James.
    Philip: No! You didn't stop at the signalman's red flag, made a mistake!
    James: Oh, did I?
    Philip: Yes, you did! So you need to reverse and you need to say sorry. You've been unfair and, quite frankly, not very nice!
    James: (gasp) What do you mean?
    Philip: Well, you didn't say sorry when you knocked the crates into me at the docks, you didn't say sorry when you splattered us both with oil, you didn't say sorry when you jumped ahead at me at the wash-down, and now, you're blocking the bridge!
  • Shamed by a Mob: For causing the huge delay on the bridge, James receives angry glares from Philip, Thomas, Annie, Clarabel, Paxton, and the troublesome trucks.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Philip, in this episode, for standing up to James.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: James doesn't stop at the signalman's flag, and finds himself on the same track as Philip on the bridge, which then leads to the other engines stuck on the line as well.
  • The Unapologetic: James refuses to apologize for any of the crap he puts Philip through. He does apologize to Philip and the other engines at the end of the episode, though.

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