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Jinxed is the tenth episode of TUGS.
One night out at sea, Ten Cents and Sunshine find a mysterious tug named Boomer. He isn’t moving as he has apparently broken down. He declines their offer of help, explaining that he is a “jinx” and wants nothing to do with anyone because he will bring them bad luck. The tug explains that his original name was "Captain Harry", and that the supposed jinx began when a new owner renamed him Boomer and painted over his original name.
Events tend to confirm the story of a jinx. First Ten Cents' towrope, which he attaches to Boomer, falls into the sea. Then, when the tugs bring Boomer to Captain Star and he is restocked and restarted, his engine blows. Captain Star orders Ten Cents and Sunshine to pull Boomer clear. As soon as he is clear, his engine strangely stops smoking. After this, Captain Star's megaphone falls out of the window. Captain Star obviously realises that Boomer may be a jinx, as this has never happened before; he tells the tugs to take Boomer to Lucky's Yard.
On the way there, Boomer suddenly starts taking on water. He is quite happy as he sinks lower and lower - he has always wanted to sink, because he won't jinx anyone. But he comes to rest on a sunken garbage barge. Ten Cents fetches a rescue crane, Mighty Mo, who tries to lift Boomer, but just as he lifts him out of the water, his crane hawser jams and he is unable to lift him up any further.
They somehow manage to get to Lucky's Yard, but suddenly all the lights go out, and the tugs are nearly damaged when they get crammed together. The a few days later, Boomer is repaired, and begins working with the Z-Stacks on the munitions contract. As he passes Zip, Zug and Boomer, who are hauling a barge of explosives, Ten Cents toots good luck to Boomer on his hooter and the explosives immediately detonate. Captain Zero is a less patient man than Captain Star, and instantly gets rid of Boomer. Captain Star decides to give him another try, using him only on very simple jobs, where nothing can go wrong - or so he thinks.
As Ten Cents also hooted as Boomer was being lifted out of the water by Mighty Mo, Sunshine theorizes that Ten Cents' hooter may somehow be causing the jinx. Ten Cents, however, thinks this is nonsense. In an attempt to prove he is right, Sunshine organizes a test - he finds Boomer with a marker buoy, and tells Ten Cents to sound his hooter Ten Cents does so, and nothing happens until the marker buoy sinks, much to everyone's surprise.
The following morning, Captain Star gives Boomer the simple task of towing a schooner out to sea, believing nothing can possibly go wrong (given that there's "No engines to break down, to catch fire, no crane hoses to snap, no ammunition to explode, and no buoys to sink. Just plain sail. And if Boomer breaks down, then the sail can more likely pull him"). Ten Cents and Sunshine escort Boomer to the schooner without any mishaps, and Boomer starts off successfully. (Ten Cents is careful not to sound his hooter.) But later, Ten Cents and Sunshine see Boomer and the burnt-out schooner being towed in by the Fire Launch, who thought that Boomer went too fast and a spark from his stack caused the schooner to burn up, but Boomer says he was struck by lightning -- though the weather has been fair.
Captain Star's patience finally runs out. He has Sunshine take Boomer sent to Lucky’s Yard with strict instructions that he is "never to be used as a tug ever again, no matter what.”
Some weeks later, Ten Cents and Sunshine are surprised by Captain Star’s order to fetch Boomer and take him Up River. Ten Cents tells Sunshine, “There’s a ship's graveyard there, full of rusting hulls.” They fear the worst for Boomer, but when they see him, they find he has been turned into a houseboat. The pair escort Boomer to his new mooring ("Dun Tugging"), where he is very happy. Boomer thanks them both and apologizes for getting them into trouble. Ten Cents tells Boomer he hopes the jinx left him. Boomer tells him it's what the jinx did to others that worried him the most. As Ten Cents whistles goodbye, a tree falls over, which would seem to have been caused by the jinx. But Boomer assures them the jinx is gone; if it was still there, he reasons, the tree would have collapsed on him, or one of them.
The two switchers then say goodbye to Boomer, and go back to work. Boomer is once again happy; now he can rest during the summer and the trees can keep him shade. He is very happy there, because the jinx has been lifted.
- When Boomer explains about the tree falling down, he is still back at Lucky's Yard.
- When Sunshine prepares to take Boomer to Lucky's Yard with Ten Cents, his bow ropes are moving whilst he is pulling the barge.
- In the close up of Boomer's stern when he tries his engine, it's really Top Hat's stern.
- When Boomer is at Lucky's Yard as a houseboat, he still has his front bumper but when he is at his new dock, his front bumper is gone.
- When the Fultan Ferry passes the Star Dock, it has Top Hat's whistle sound.
- When Ten Cents says "Look, we can't," he is smiling.