Disney’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians is back with episode 6, one of the best episodes so far thanks to its unique setting and heightened stakes.
“It’s easy to forget what’s important when you are alone,” is one of the most impactful sentences of episode 6 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which once again reminds us of the importance of the group element to the success of the quest we have been seeing for the past four episodes. As the show gets closer to its season 1 finale, this week’s episode takes things up a notch with an entirely new setting and even higher stakes than before, thus becoming more fascinating and impressive than ever.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians episode 6 takes us to Las Vegas. More specifically, to the Lotus Casino, where Percy Jackson (Walter Scobell), Annabeth Chase (Leah Sava Jeffries), and Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri) arrive at the beginning of this week’s episode. The main characters are on a mission to find the gods of thieves, travellers, and heralds Hermes (Lin-Manuel Miranda). As time is of the essence especially for the three heroes, finding Hermes and getting his help seems to be their only chance to complete their quest on time and reach the Underworld before the Solstice and thus stop a war between Olympic Gods.
The setting of episode 6 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians makes it one of the most unique and fascinating episodes yet. The Lotus Casino is one of the most memorable parts of the first Percy Jackson book because of its alluring nature and dangerous appeal. The aesthetic of the Lotus Casino is perfect: with its bright colours, music choices, and costumes, it almost feels like the audience, along with the characters, are trapped in time. It is also a clever reference to the Greek myths – in particular to Homer’s “Odyssey” – that the series takes clear inspiration from, if only a bit too over-explained during the episode.
Once again episode 6 gives us a better insight into who the Olympic Gods are. While much was discussed about them since the very beginning of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, we only see properly see them in this week’s episode, and the previous one. In particular, Hermes, played by a brilliant Lin Manuel Miranda, is an excellent chance to start making the audience see things from the Olympians’ perspective as he tells Percy that “it is very hard for a God to feel powerless.” This episode also explores the complicated relationship between the demigods and their parents in a more nuanced way which will surely come into play in the next two episodes.
This episode’s pacing is the best yet: the urgency of their quest is finally conveyed properly, as are the stakes of this quest. In episode 6, the personal risks the characters face are a lot clearer as well as the threat of an upcoming war should Percy, Annabeth, and Grover fail in this mission. This is something the show struggled with in the past so I am very glad to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians pick up its pace and heighten its stakes in the moment where it needs to the most as the first season draws to an end.
Between comedy and tension, this episode creates the perfect tone that defines the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The tone switches are executed perfectly well in episode 6 as it creates a balance between the sarcasm Percy is known for and the haunting atmosphere that the characters discover as they move deeper into the Lotus Casino. At the same time, there is also a sense of wistfulness in this episode, almost hinting at an innocence that is irrevocably lost during this quest.
I also really liked how episode 6 keeps underlining Percy’s nightmares: this will be even more significant in later episodes, but it is also one of the defining characteristics of demigods in the Percy Jackson books. Generally speaking, during this episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, there is a lot of foreshadowing as the show introduces plot points that will later become important if the show goes on for more seasons in the future. As book fans will know, the mentions of Pan, which is particularly relevant in this episode, will be key to the future of the show, much like other elements that may only seem insignificant for now.
The changes from the books will not go unnoticed by fans of the source material, but they work. As a book reader, it only makes me even more curious for the upcoming episodes as these choices heighten the stakes even more and add more layers to Percy’s character, who appears even more resilient and determined in the Disney+ version of the Percy Jackson series. Episode 6 is just another testament to how Percy Jackson and the Olympians updates the books in the best way possible and proof that movie adaptation can – and should – change some elements of their source material when needed.
Episode 6 still has a storytelling problem, much like the rest of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. While everything we see and hear in this episode is essential to the plot, it is not always conveyed well from a writing point of view. For example, this episode expands a lot on Luke’s backstory: this is not only interesting but it will also come into play in the future of the show. However, it is over-explained and too expositionary, I wish it had been instead told through flashbacks rather than having other characters narrate it directly to Percy and, therefore, to the audience.
This week’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians takes Episode 6 may very well be my favourite yet, with one of the most fascinating plotlines so far. The atmosphere it creates is incredibly unique to the Lotus Casino but at the same time very in line with the entire world of the Percy Jackson series that the audience is getting to know. With a very strong episode 6, I cannot wait to see what comes next as Percy Jackson and the Olympians with the last two episodes on the horizon.
Episode 6 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is now available to watch on Disney Plus.