Season 23, Episode 22: Lorenzo's Solo
Written By Becky Overton
Directed By Dianna Basso
When Thomas went on a big world adventure to help on the railways of Italy, he had heard from the amphibious giant Stefano about the legendary yet curious lost engine Lorenzo who along with his coach Beppe in tow traveled from Rome to Napoli searching for rare hidden treasures until he got stuck in a closed mine unable to move...and it was a real surprise for Thomas along with Gina and Stefano as well as Thomas' construction friends from The Pack when Thomas discovered that the legend of the lost engine was in fact real when he found the pair of best friends while wishing to make an exciting discovery. But now that Lorenzo and Beppe are repaired and good as new, what curious adventures will these two get up to now? Let's go go go on a big world adventure and find out as we sing along to 'Lorenzo's Solo'!
LORENZO'S SOLO: Lorenzo decides to take a bigger coach so he can pull famous opera singer Dame Bella Canto, but he is soon lost without his good friend Beppe
- The animation-even if they had to reuse a lot of assets from Sodor in order to create the railways of Italy like they did for the movie such as the Shunting Yards and Lower Suddery Station, you can't deny that the team at Jam Filled still did an amazing job in capturing the beauty and serenity of Italy from the lush green valleys filled with trees to the magnificent mountains and beautiful beaches even going as far as animating the Italian Scrapyards of which I'm surprised that the Italians just dump their trash onto what was once a very beautiful landscape as well as the Colosseum where Dame Bella Canto performs...I may not have ever been to Italy myself, but I adore how gorgeous it looks and authentic it sounds in the music department thanks to the compositions by Chris Renshaw-what else can you say except 'bravo, bellissimo'!
- The fantasy sequences-with this now being one of the major selling points for the series, this sequence fueled by Lorenzo's starstruck ego of singing along in perfect harmony with Dame Bella Canto as they travel the scenic route while Gina and Beppe take the orchestra along a different track was actually very interesting as we see the two opera singers on the same stage that we saw Lorenzo on earlier this year when the 'Lorenzo's Song' music video was released over YouTube on the Smyths YouTube channel...but considering the fact that we have two massive egos going at each other when there is room for only one soloist in Italy, this unfortunately will lead to the episode's greatest downfall in its career and it looks like it's time to get into the Cons section of this review!
- Lorenzo-when we were first introduced to Lorenzo back in the 'Digs & Discoveries' two part special, I was actually looking forward to seeing more of him in the future with how adventurous he was while being a curious soul much like his new friend Thomas when he was working the railways of Italy alongside Gina...but then came this episode and I was left completely disappointed since Lorenzo had absolutely no reason to blame Beppe for not being chose to take Dame Bella Canto (who we'll get to in a minute) and her orchestra to the concert nor was it right of him to trick Beppe and take a larger coach in order for him to still get what he wanted while Gina took the orchestra especially when they had shown since their debut that these two best friends are inseparable...while it is nice that they once again reference Lorenzo's curiosity getting him lost from what we had seen back in 'Digs & Discoveries', it doesn't make up for the fact that Lorenzo was portrayed as a completely egotistical jerk for a majority of the episode to the point where you're just sitting there waiting for him to realize his mistake! Guess I have to unfortunately add Lorenzo to the list of arrogant tender engines in the series...but speaking of arrogance, next topic!
- Dame Bella Canto-what could've been a golden opportunity to see Alicia Botti return in her presumable homeland after the amount of times that we have seen her on Sodor was unfortunately wasted by introducing a new opera singer by the name of Dame Bella Canto who while being an interesting parallel to how egotistical Lorenzo was behaving towards Beppe for a majority of the episode when it came to how she treated her orchestra and the porter at the station was unfortunately too arrogant in order to leave a lasting impression on me since she goes through the exact same steps that Alicia Botti went through when we first met her back in Season 6 with how she chose Percy to take her to the concert despite his dirty appearance especially after Thomas' squeaky guest aboard his coaches...at least Alicia Botti would've been more understanding and accepting of Beppe initially than Dame Bella Canto ever was and what makes it worse is that this was her only episode!
Overall as the episode to welcome us back into the beauty of Italy, 'Lorenzo's Solo' unfortunately started us off on a sour note because a character who I was really looking forward to seeing again ended up doing a complete one-eighty and unfortunately continued the trend of arrogant tender engines who think they know better than everyone else...I am so sorry to do this to both Lorenzo and Beppe for their very first solo episode of the series, but I unfortunately have to give 'Lorenzo's Solo' a 6.5 out of 10.
The Other Big Engine-9.5/10
Gordon Gets The Giggles-8.5/10
Laid Back Shane-8.5/10
Free The Roads-10/10
Heart Of Gold-10/10
Wish You Were Here-9/10
Diesel Glows Away-7.5/10
SEASON 23 OVERALL RATING: 8.6/10