The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series finale ends the show with a bang, making book fans long for a second season already.
As I sat down to watch the series finale of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, my expectations were very high. So far, the Disney+ show had done little to disappoint me, an avid fan of the series, and I knew from the years spent obsessing over the Rick Riordan books that the events that were about to unfold would be the most exciting of the whole show. Needless to say, my hopes were not only met when watching episode 8 but also surpassed as I quickly realized this was going to be the best episode of the entire show.
The final episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians begins with one of the most memorable moments from the book: the epic battle between Ares (Adam Copeland) and Percy Jackson (Walter Scobell). In a desperate effort to stop the war between the Olympians and the upcoming rise of Kronos (Nick Boraine), Percy, Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri), and Annabeth Chase (Leah Sava Jeffries) will have to do anything to complete their quest. If episode 7 made us travel to the Underworld, the series finale takes us to a whole other world: Mount Olympus where Zeus (Lance Reddick) and Poseidon (Toby Stephens). Back at Camp Half-blood, the rest of the prophecy Percy received at the very beginning of the show unfolds in all its details.
As mentioned, the season finale opens with a battle of epic proportions as Percy dares to challenge the god of war to a fight. I was very happy to finally see some fight scenes between Percy and his enemies. This is particularly important as it will come into play in future seasons but also because it underlines the importance of the training Percy and the other demigods receive at Camp Half-blood. The fight scenes are very well choreographed and shot, with an impressive use of special effects, stunts, and camerawork. All of this only highlights the importance of these moments in the overall plot of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which is also heightened by the use of sound in this scene as it contributes to creating a tense atmosphere.
Seeing the Olympians interact with each other was one of my favourite moments in the entire season finale. I have mentioned before how I think the biggest strength of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is the strong, albeit brief, presence of the Gods and seeing them share the screen only reinforces this. The audience has now seen various Gods in previous episodes, but this is the first time we see them together in the same scene and their interaction makes it well worth the wait. I particularly enjoyed the use of Ancient Greek in this episode: not only does this reference the ancient myths and culture Percy Jackson is rooted in, but it highlights and confers importance to a key part of their dialogue.
The cinematography was also particularly impressive in the season finale. When Percy takes the infamous Empire State Building elevator, the visuals transport us to Mount Olympus: in all its glory and monumental beauty, the Gods’ home is portrayed better than I could have ever hoped. As we get to see Camp Half-blood again the production design and attention to detail that audiences will have appreciated at the beginning of Percy Jackson and the Olympians make a glorious comeback. Towards the end of the episode, when the traitor is revealed, we get one of the most striking and memorable scenes in the whole series. The acting from the two leads is outstanding with beautiful cinematography, lighting, and camera work that set the background for such an important scene.
Much like in previous episodes, a lot of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is far too expositionary for my liking. With a lot of action in the series finale, this becomes almost bearable but the show has a tendency to show Percy figuring out all the main plot twists and explaining them directly to the audience, and whoever is sharing the scene with him at that given moment, which ultimately hurts the stakes and suspense element of the show. Similarly, there is a lot of talking in this episode about the quest deadline having passed and an ongoing war between the gods but we never actually see the consequences of this for ourselves.
Another big issue I have with the series finale, and recent episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians in general, is the way the threat of Kronos is presented. Generally speaking, Kronos is presented to the audience as a menacing presence: Percy’s dreams, particularly at the end of this episode, and the Gods’ reactions to his name being mentioned are a testament to this. However, Percy and the Olympians all tend to throw Kronos’ name around too much. In the book, naming Kronos – or any supernatural entity for that matter – is an extremely delicate matter that should never be done lightly, particularly when it comes to Kronos, and I would have liked the show to also follow this as it only heightens the seriousness of the matter.
I also would have liked to see more of Annabeth in the series finale. Generally speaking, we find out a lot less about her character and history in Percy Jackson and the Olympians compared to the rest of the trio. In this episode in particular, Annabeth’s reaction to the reveal of who the lighting thief is was meant to be a pivotal moment for who her character is but both the way she finds out and the delivery in the scene are extremely underwhelming and undermine the importance of this plot point.
The series finale of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a worthy conclusion to an exceptional season. With some bumps on the road in some of the previous episodes, the Disney show proves to be one of the most successful book-to-show adaptations of recent years. Much like the book, the finale of the show ties up loose ends but leaves just enough unsaid to have its audience want more by the time the episode ends. I know that I am already excited for the unconfirmed season 2 of the show.
The series finale of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is now available to watch on Disney Plus.