Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 7 Review

The penultimate episode of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ sees the heroic trio taking the dangerous journey into the Underworld in a race against time to reach Hades, find Zeus’s master bolt, and return it to Olympus to stop the impending war between the gods.

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While the series does have the occasional small deviation, it’s a mostly faithful adaptation, and this episode opens with another scene from the book as Percy enters Crusty’s Waterbed Palace. I always felt that this was one mythological reference too many, which didn’t really add anything to the plot and felt tacked on, so it doesn’t really bother me that it’s been cut down quite a bit here. It does provide an interesting Easter egg, though, as Julian Richings who plays Crusty also appeared in the 2010 movie adaptation of ‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’ as Charon, the ferryman of the Underworld.

Image Credit: Disney+

A much more important change is the one made to Poseidon. In the book, he was distant and didn’t seem to care much about Percy or his mother, only helping out when it was absolutely essential. The fact that he gave Percy four pearls in the last episode shows he really cares about Sally and wanted to save her from the Underworld, proving he isn’t just a selfish immortal who deserted his responsibility when he was needed most.

The flashback scenes involving Poseidon and Sally Jackson certainly help here, giving us a better look at their characters and the bond they share over Percy. It’s clearly hard for Sally to bring him up alone, having to move him from school to school as his powers grow, and not being able to tell him who he really is.

It’s equally difficult for Poseidon, too. While he doesn’t have to deal with the mundane everyday tasks of providing for his son, he has to look on powerless to help because of Zeus’s orders which prevent the gods from having direct contact with their children. He knows what Percy will have to face as he grows but he isn’t able to help prepare him for it.

In many ways, this is the standout part of the episode. The journey of Percy, Annabeth and Grover in the Underworld is important and filled with memorable moments, like their encounter with Cerberus the three-headed dog, but the scenes with Poseidon and Sally really help to flesh out two characters who might otherwise be neglected.

The new cast here is good, too. It’s the first time we get to see Toby Stephens’ as Poseidon. He’s a veteran British actor who always turns in a good performance, and doesn’t disappoint here. Jay Duplass does an unexpected take as Hades, staying away from the outright menace you might expect from such a character and playing on a more comedic line.

I did wonder if Percy having four pearls would mean a change to the ending, allowing him to rescue his mother, but this was avoided by Grover losing his pearl to Cerberus, meaning Percy still had to choose between leaving his mother or his best friend behind in the Underworld. As a result, it seems that the final episode will deliver a similar finale to the book, with the fight between Percy and Ares being teased as a satisfying conclusion to the series.

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