With only one more week to go, Episode 7 Percy Jackson and the Olympians takes us to uncharted lands with new dangers around the corner.
There is only one episode left in season 1 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. As the season finale approaches, the Disney show has to bring its very best in the last leg of the season. Episode 7 opens a whole new world for us, and the characters, to discover. So much so that I wish we could have more time with it to properly explore its entirety, but as book readers will know this may not be our last endeavour in the Underworld if Percy Jackson continues to adapt the book series in future seasons.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians episode 7 is set in another world as the main trio, made up of Percy Jackson (Walter Scobell), Annabeth Chase (Leah Sava Jeffries), and Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri), travels to the Underworld. After facing Procrustes (Julian Riching), they enter the domain of Hades (Jay Duplass) and have to ward off multiple otherworldly threats, including passing by Asphodel and Tartarus. All of this is to complete their quest and, thus, avoid a ward between Gods, including Percy’s father Poseidon (Toby Stephens). But, first and foremost, Percy wants to save his mother Sally Jackson (Virginia Kull).
I loved how the Underworld is shown in episode 7 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, with a signature grey lifeless aesthetic. The sandy-looking and misty cinematography style helps create a very unique look for this new world, which is unlike anything else we have ever seen in the Disney show. Part of the Underworld’s frightening allure is in the creatures that inhabit it, like Cerberus: the iconic hellhound has been brought to life with an incredible special effect work. Visually, everyone in the Underworld is very distinct from the main trio, highlighting a clear difference between the world of the dead and those who are alive moving through it. Like in previous episodes, the show reminds us of how its visuals remain its biggest asset.
Once again, the presence of the Gods also proves to be one of the best elements of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. In episode 7 the audience gets to see two of the so-called Big Three, a collective term used to refer to the three most powerful Olympic Gods in the Percy Jackson show. Given the key role the Big Three are going to play in the future of the series and the very first season too, I was very happy to finally see them in action, especially Hades who is undoubtedly the star of this episode. Much like the other Olympians, the casting is incredibly successful and on-point as they all manage to deliver a memorable performance with the little screen time they have.
Episode 7 manages to keep up the pace established in episode 6 and bring the stakes to another level as the real dangers of Percy’s quest become more apparent. The reveal regarding the master bolt felt incredibly underwhelming, especially given that it has been discussed since the beginning of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and it is one of the key plot points of the entire season so far. Similarly, the plot point revelation around Kronos did not feel as urgent or groundbreaking as it should have as all of it is delivered in a very expositionary – and fairly unrealistic – way.
While the stakes are successfully conveyed, there are still some storytelling issues in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Much like in previous episodes of the Disney show, Percy, Annabeth and Grover seem to know fully well the threats and dangers they are about to face, which ultimately undermines the entire quest and the stakes of the show. The beginning of episode 7 shows Percy’s encounter with Procrustes: while this is fascinating, as being introduced to a new monster is part of the fun with Percy Jackson, it seems to be over too quickly and easily.
I liked the flashbacks to Percy’s childhood, but they felt a little too disconnected from the main plot of episode 7 especially now that there are so many in just one episode, which was already packed with action and plot. I wish these had been introduced earlier in Percy Jackson and the Olympians as they add an important layer and backstory to Percy’s relationship with his mother but they feel unnecessary now and drive the attention away from everything that is happening in the Underworld with little to no real connection to it.
On a similar note, the encounter between Sally and Poseidon was fascinating to see, as it gives us our first look at Poseidon and his relationship with Sally and Percy, but not needed in episode 7. I also felt like this was incredibly underwhelming for Poseidon’s first appearance. Until now, a lot of Percy Jackson and the Olympians has created a set of expectations for Percy’s first encounter with his father, which is why it would have been a lot more powerful for the audience to see Poseidon for the first time exactly when Percy sees him for the first time, thus highlighting the key importance of this moment in Percy’s character development.
Episode 7 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is not perfect by any means, but it is a good one nonetheless and certainly a good set-up for the upcoming season finale. It plays to the biggest strengths of the show, highlighting its incredible cinematography and the unique charm the titular Olympians bring to the entire show. Admittedly it has some flaws but overall, I have to admit that it does work, even better than it has in previous episodes as the show has finally picked up its pace in the last couple of weeks, which makes me even more excited for next week’s finale episode of the Disney show.
Episode 7 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is now available to watch on Disney Plus.