With the main villain revealed and the master bolt in his possession, Percy is set to complete his quest – here’s our Percy Jackson And The Olympians episode 8 review.
This article contains spoilers for episodes 1-7 of Percy Jackson And The Olympians.
With Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson And The Olympians books, serving as a series creator, Disney’s TV adaptation has been incredible fun. It’s been more faithful to the books than the films of the 2010s. The trio playing the main characters have been brilliant in their roles, and there’s been plenty of magic and myth to capture the imaginations of the audience.
Last episode saw Percy (Walker Scobell) enter the Underworld to seek out Hades, reclaim Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt, and save his abducted mother from the Lord of the dead. In an unexpected twist (or perhaps more expected if you’ve read the books), Hades had himself had his helm stolen. With Percy, Poseidon’s son, being blamed for the thefts, someone else had clearly set up this scenario to prompt a war between the three ruling gods.
As we found out at the very end of episode seven, one of those someones was Ares, the god of war played by Adam Copeland. It seems that he had conspired with his daughter Clarisse to steal both the bolt and the helm. Before the credits rolled, the intimidating god was readying a fight with Percy as Annabeth (Leah Sava Jeffries) and Grover (Aryan Simhadri) looked on.
That fight is where most of the action in this grand finale comes from. With Adam Copeland coming from a WWE background, it’s no surprise Ares comes across as a capable, scary opponent. This isn’t a fancy, intricately choreographed fight, either. The show makes good use of Copeland’s imposing stature, and the fight makes it clear that Ares is trying to overpower Percy with pure brute strength. The show has always made it clear that the gods are, for the most part, horrible, ruthless people, but seeing someone of Copeland’s build trying to hack a child to pieces really hammers the point home.
It’s also an opportunity for some character development on Percy’s part. For his entire journey he’s been slowly coming to terms with who he really is – and he’s learned some new skills along the way. He gets to make good use of them here, and in general seems much more self assured. The dialogue in this episode is especially well written, as Percy has confrontations with multiple other characters where he finally expresses his thoughts frankly. There are lines in this that are extremely satisfying to hear and complete Percy’s character arc from being a misfit child to a fully-fledged Demigod.
The various gods of Olympus have been well cast and have popped up throughout the series. This finale, titled The Prophecy Comes True, allows us to finally meet Zeus. Played by the late, much missed Lance Reddick, he’s as imposing as Ares without needing the physical stature. Instead, Reddick’s performance is incredibly stern. His Zeus is someone who’s used to giving orders and having them obeyed unquestioningly. But there’s also a rage bubbly just beneath the icy exterior, and it’s always clearly visible in Reddick’s piercing gaze.
Compared to his meetings with Ares or Zeus, the climax of this episode is less exciting. Readers of the books will already be anticipating what happens, but for newcomers there are some surprises in store. All of the problems Percy has faced throughout the season are solved, although some questions remain. The show ends the season having wrapped up the smaller story arc, but there is a larger plot that still threatens Percy, his friends, and the world.
Walker Scobell has shown in these eight episodes that he makes a brilliant Percy Jackson. Despite not having much to do in the finale, Aryan Simhadri and Leah Sava Jeffries have also given skilled performances as Grover and Annabeth, respectively. Not only does Percy Jackson And The Olympians follow Riordan’s books closely and capture well the magic of the world the author created, it also works hard to convey the message at the heart of them. Scobell’s closing narration echoes the entire point of Riordan’s books: that even if you feel out of place, if you don’t fit in, you can still achieve great things.
All episodes of Percy Jackson And The Olympians are streaming now on Disney+