Thursday, February 29, 2024
ReviewTelevision

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode Three Review

Episode three of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ takes us to Aunty Em’s Garden Gnome
Emporium and introduces one of the most terrifying characters, not just in the series, but in the
whole of Ancient Greek mythology, Medusa the Gorgon. She’s often associated with the hero
Persius who Sally Jackson named her son after, he was the one who cut off her head in the
original myths, a story which has been recreated in films like ‘Clash of the Titans’ from 1988.


It was only natural that she would appear in Rick Riordan’s updated retellings of Greek legend,
and she’s one of the first obstacles the three young heroes encounter on their quest. In keeping
with Riordan’s quirky reimagining, she’s the owner of a garden gnome emporium where she
sells the unfortunate victims she’s turned to stone as decorative statues.


While the general premise of the episode remains the same as the chapter from the book it’s
based on, it has been changed in several ways, most notably in the way Medusa is portrayed.
It’s not just her physical appearance that’s different, her character is more sympathetic, being
shown as a victim of the god’s cruel, self-centred attitudes. Despite her devotion to Athena, she
was ignored when she needed her help most, and was then punished, being cursed with the
power to turn people to stone when they looked at her.


It’s just one of the ways the show feels more mature than the book. Whether this is intentional,
an attempt to bring in a wider audience, or whether it’s just an unexpected consequence of
translating the work into a series. It’s not detrimental to the story. In fact, it enhances it in many
ways, making it feel more solid than the book, and no doubt preparing the audience for a darker
tone to come in future seasons of the show.


Now that the quest to find Zeus’s lightning bolt is properly underway, we get to see the three
main heroes working together. It’s not easy given their different characters, and the complicated
relationship they have because of their parent’s hatred for each other, but they can work as a
team when the situation calls for it, as is proven by their defeat of Medusa.


One positive aspect of the series is that it allows more room for the characters of Annabeth and
Grover to be expanded on. In the book, we have to rely on Percy’s perspective, and his reading
of every situation to know what the others are thinking. In the show, we’re given small but
important glimpses of the other characters’ feelings, even if that’s just in a close-up shot or a
small scene. This isn’t a detriment to Percy’s story, he is the title hero after all, but it does allow
the other two more room to tell their stories, which is important as their roles will only increase in
the future.


This all feeds into a feeling that there’s a bigger universe being built here which the
showrunners will be using for some time to come. It helps that they have all of Riordan’s
established work to look back on, and have the luxury of knowing exactly what’s coming next,

so they can drop subtle hints that will be picked up on in future projects. These will be welcome
additions for any fan of the novels, but will also make the series look much tighter in future.
There are plenty of popular scenes from the book coming up, and given how good this
adaptation is, it will be interesting to see how they go about bringing them to life, but for now,
‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ is still a lot of fun, and every minute is enjoyable to watch.

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