Percy Jackson And The Olympians episode 6 review | Exploring the Lotus Casino

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Percy and companions near their destination, but first they must ask Hermes for help – here’s our Percy Jackson And The Olympians episode 6 review.

This article contains spoilers for Percy Jackson And The Olympians episodes 1-5.

Disney’s TV adaptation of Percy Jackson And The Olympians has proven to be a fun fantasy adventure so far. It’s also been the most faithful adaptation of Rick Riordan’s novels, with the author serving as the series’ co-creator and executive producer. With six out of eight episodes now streaming on Disney+, Percy (Walker Scobell) is now coming towards the end of his quest.

He, Annabeth (Leah Sava Jeffries) and Grover (Aryan Simhadri) are getting close to their destination of Los Angeles, which houses the entrance to hell. There, Percy will find Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt – which he’s been wrongly accused of pilfering. Also in the underworld is Percy’s abducted mother, and saving her is arguably even more important to our protagonist than finding the bolt and preventing a war between the Greek gods.

Each episode of the series so far has taken on a ‘monster or challenge of the week’ format, with last week’s episode seeing Annabeth and Percy venture into Hephaestus’ theme park to recover Ares’ shield. In return, the god of war helped them to cover a considerable amount of ground, getting the group as far as Las Vegas. But that’s still one state away from where they need to be, and the clock is ticking on their all-important quest.

Episode six, We Take A Zebra To Vegas, begins as the group reaches their destination, with the goal of finding Hermes and convincing him to reveal a secret entrance to the underworld before their deadline runs out. It won’t be quite so easy, though, as Hermes can be found in the Lotus Casino. It’s a place that isn’t as it seems.

Compared to the previous obstacles the trio have faced, the casino is very much on the less threatening end of the spectrum. There aren’t any physical antagonists to be fought. They simply have to find their way through the casino, which is difficult when the passage of time works differently there and the lotus flowers served to guests cause them to lose their memory. There’s definitely a lack of threat in this episode compared to the rest of the series. The Lotus Casino should feel disorienting and scary because of the effect it has on the characters, but no scenes there are shot in a way that conveys that.

That’s not helped by the episode’s pacing. At just over half an hour, this is one of the series’ shorter episodes, and it feels it. Just as time passes more quickly in the casino, the runtime goes by in the blink of an eye. It does, however, feel like the events of the episode have been rushed through in order for our heroes to get from A to B.

Unlike previously, there’s not a lot of world building done here. It feels very much like an instalment designed purely to get Percy to his destination. What little character development and world building that is done relates to Grover, who plays a fairly small part in this episode’s story. The information revealed about him and the wider goals of the satyr race doesn’t relate to the story being told in this season. It therefore feels largely irrelevant to the episode, as though shoehorned in to be brought up at a later date.

The highlight of episode five was Adam Copeland’s amazing performance as Ares. So far the godly characters of the series have been extremely memorable, and well designed. It’s disappointing, therefore, that when the group reaches Hermes, he’s much more subdued than expected. We’ve seen Lin-Manuel Miranda inhabit the role briefly at the end of episode three, and this gives him more of a chance to flesh out his character.

Sadly, there’s not much to flesh out. With Miranda being known for his musical talents, he can be a very personable performer when the role calls for it. Hermes isn’t a character that makes the most of that. When he’s introduced he’s wearing a beige tracksuit, and that’s pretty much a visual representation of his personality, too. He’s almost entirely defined by his regrets as a parent, and his godly powers and responsibilities hardly come into the picture. We know all too well by this point that the gods are a big dysfunctional family, but each member of that family has also had redeeming qualities and a sense of ‘coolness’ about them despite that. Hermes is the first character to feel lacking in that department.

Luckily, episode six as a whole is redeemed by its ending. I mentioned earlier that the series has been faithful to Riordan’s books. The ending of We Take A Zebra To Vegas diverges from them in an interesting way that adds a significant amount of tension. It will be exciting to see how the change affects the story of the two episodes to come.

Percy Jackson And The Olympians episode six is streaming now on Disney+, with further episodes streaming weekly on Wednesdays.

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