Disney’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 3 further explores Percy’s adventures as the mythical and real worlds collide.
“As long as the three of us are together, none of us are going to be alone” is the core sentiment in episode 3 but may also very well be the entire message of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. As evident in this episode, one of the main themes of the Disney show is friendship and, particularly, the relationship between the main trio that we see develop more and more in this week’s episode.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians episode 3 follows Percy Jackson (Walter Scobell) on a new adventure that will take him across the United States, accompanied by his fellow camper Annabeth Chase (Leah Sava Jeffries) and loyal best friend Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri) because quests are always undertaken by three, as explained in the series premiere. In the newest episode of the Disney show, the main trio has to face dangerous monsters who, for one reason or another, want at least one of them dead. As they come face to face with Alecto (Megan Mullaly), one of the furies who both Percy and the audience know from the first episode as Mrs. Dodds, and Medusa (Jessica Parker Kennedy), the series poignantly reflects on whether these are monsters at all.
In fact, episode 3 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians truly gives a spotlight to the monsters that were only mentioned in the season premiere. Moreso than in the book, the Disney show allows the audience to gain an insight into their story, particularly Medusa’s as she tells her story to the protagonists, and the audience, calling herself a survivor rather than a monster. This fits particularly well with the recent success of Ancient Greek myths retelling that set out to explore these untold stories as the show is giving the so-called monsters a voice to tell their story from their perspective, for once. This is extremely significant because they have always been painted as the villains of somebody else’s story.
This exploration of the monsters as well-rounded characters also allows Percy Jackson and the Olympians to start touching on the fallibility of the Olympic gods. This will undoubtedly be explored in the rest of the season but episode 3 already introduces doubts over the actions of the Olympic gods whose actions make them seem far more human and imperfect than what we may envision Gods to be. And, in the end, this depiction of the Olympic gods is quite accurate considering the religious practices in ancient Greece which portrayed their gods acting very much like humans with their vices, grudges and flaws.
“Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” readers will most likely notice that some things have been changed in episode 3 but probably won’t mind the Disney adaptation. The changes to the story are successful as they keep the plot interesting even for those of us in the audience that have read the book as not everything is on the screen word for word. Even fans of the books will not know exactly what to expect from Percy Jackson and the Olympians, as the show continues to surprise us with small but significant changes that only add more depth to the plot and characters while also remaining true to the core of the story we know and love.
Much like in the season premiere, episode 3 is very successful at integrating the mythical world with the ordinary one, which is perhaps one of the most fascinating elements of the whole Percy Jackson and the Olympians show. In this episode in particular, I loved seeing the satyr world and costumes explored more which only adds to the already fascinating worldbuilding the audience was introduced to earlier in the Disney show. Percy’s sarcasm and impertinence also makes a comeback in this episode, proving once again that Scobell has nailed Percy’s mannerism and sense of humour, perfectly capturing the essence of this character.
While the season premiere was highly focused on Percy, episode 3 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians allows us to gain an insight into his two quest companions: Grover and Annabeth. Grover in particular stands out in this episode as the glue that holds the group together. While Annabeth and Percy are busy arguing with each other, as they seem to be polar opposites in their approach to this quest, Grover is the one who intends to maintain the peace, making the group dynamic consistently interesting as they move from one threat to another. I cannot wait to see more of Simhadri as Grover in the next episodes of the show as in this episode he delivered an outstanding and emotional performance that truly stood out this week.
I also really like how in their conflicts with Medusa, we get to see the protagonists use the gifts received from the Olympians: not only is this a quick way to establish their importance and how they work, but it also introduces the audience to the Olympic gods and their influence on their offspring before we even see them on screen. Much like the season premiere, the action is very well built in these scenes and truly grabs your attention throughout, which creates a nice balance with the slower scenes that help establish the worldbuilding in more detail and underline the importance of the quest the trio goes on.
I could not help but notice that the writing is a little too awkward at times, with certain dialogue that seems to be coming straight from a TikTok-influence language with the use of Gen-Z slang but the actors do make it work almost seamlessly. While it probably fits with the age of the characters to see such slang used in the show, the only thing it did was take me out of the narrative and make me question the exact year the show is set in. In episode 3, Percy Jackson and the Olympians also struggles with the weight of its worldbuilding a little bit too much, with expositionary sequences that only serve the purpose of illustrating key elements for future plotlines.
But many of the screenwriting issues are only minor, as this episode flows really well thanks to its action-packed and tense sequences that make me even more excited to tune in next week to witness the rest of Percy’s adventures as the Disney show goes on. Episode 3 proves that Percy Jackson and the Olympians knows what it is doing in a visually stunning and incredibly faithful show, creating the adaptation that the Rick Riordan books deserved all along.
Episode 3 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is now available to watch on Disney Plus.