Percy Jackson kneels with his sword Riptide with massive tidal waves in the background | Agents of Fandom

‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Premiere Recap: Welcome To Camp Half-Blood

12-year-old Percy Jackson enters a magical world where Greek gods and monsters are very real.

Warning: This recap contains major spoilers for Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 1.

The premiere of any television series has a lot of weight to carry. It has to introduce our main protagonists, conflict, and stakes while pacing itself well and telling an entertaining story. Percy Jackson and the Olympians‘ first episode has the added pressure of introducing a fantastical world on top of that.

The first episode adapts the first four chapters of author Rick Riordan‘s best-selling 2005 novel, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Titled “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher” after the book’s first chapter, the episode introduces Percy Jackson, a 12-year-old kid with ADHD and dyslexia who survives a harrowing attack from one of Greek mythology’s most notorious monsters.

The event leads him to seek refuge at the secluded Camp Half-Blood, where learns he is the son of one of the most powerful gods and must take on a dangerous quest. Let’s break it all down in our Percy Jackson and the Olympians premiere recap.

The ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Premiere Introduces Percy Jackson & Grover Underwood

Walker Scobell stars as Percy Jackson in 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' | Agents of Fandom
Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell) living a simpler life at Yancy Academy. Image Credit: Disney.

The acclaimed Percy Jackson and the Olympians premiere opens with Percy (Walker Scobell) delivering a nearly word-for-word narration of the book’s opening paragraphs. Percy discusses the dangers of being a half-blood over stormy, nighttime footage of Percy looking somber in the rain, which we’ll see later in the episode. After the title card, we shift to Percy talking about being a troubled kid and see moments of young Percy (Azriel Dalman) seeing things others can’t — including a black Pegasus on a New York City rooftop and a mechanical bronze rhino ambling down a busy street.

Percy also introduces us to his best friend, Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri). A cut reveals a present-day field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Percy’s class from Yancy Academy. His teacher, Mr. Brunner (Glynn Turman), teaches the students about Greek mythological figures from his wheelchair. The letters on Percy’s worksheet dance and shift around the page, representing his dyslexia. As he admires a statue of Perseus, we flash back to young Percy and his mother (Virginia Kull) standing in the same spot, years prior.

In a touching moment in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians premiere, she reveals that Percy’s name comes from the Greek hero, who similarly had an unbreakable bond with his mother. When Perseus and his mother were alone and afraid, she would whisper to him, “Hold fast, Perseus. Brave the storm that was meant to break us for we are unbreakable.” She also warns him that everyone who looks like a hero isn’t a hero, and everyone who looks like a monster isn’t a monster.

Ms. Dodds, the Pre-Algebra Teacher, Is A Fury

Megan Mullally as Mrs. Dodds eyes Percy with malice outside The Met in 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' | Agents of Fandom
The menacing Mrs. Dodds (Megan Mullally) is one of many antagonists in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image Credit: Disney.

Percy snaps back to reality with his despicable classmate Nancy Bobofit (Olivea Morton) teasing him about being “special.” His stern pre-Algebra teacher, Mrs. Dodds (Megan Mullally) admonishes him to exercise more self-control. Mr. Brunner comes to his aid, gifting Percy a ballpoint pen and telling him, “When you’re ready to hear what the gods have in store for you, they’ll tell you. I believe in you.

In a classic Percy Jackson and the Olympians scene, Percy and Grover eat their lunch near the fountain outside while debating how to handle Nancy’s bullying. Nancy throws some food at them, and Percy leaps to his feet. Nancy is thrown back telekinetically into the fountain, and the pen Mr. Brunner gave him begins to glow and vibrate in his pocket.

We then hear Mrs. Dodds’ ominous voiceover saying, “There you are. We’re not fools, Percy Jackson. It was only a matter of time before we found you.” As she walks toward Percy, she transforms into a terrifying winged creature named Alecto, one of the three Furies in Greek mythology. But only Percy can see her for what she is.

She asks where “it” is and pounces on Percy. The ballpoint pen Mr. Brunner gave him becomes a glowing sword, which stabs Alecto in the abdomen. She disintegrates into dust, and Percy wakes up asking what happened to Mrs. Dodds. Mr. Brunner tells him there’s no one there by that name.

Grover Gets Percy Suspended from Yancy Academy

Glynn Turman as Mr. Brunner in his wheelchair outside of The Met | Agents of Fandom
Mr. Brunner (Glynn Turman) is one of Percy’s greatest allies in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image Credit: Disney.

In the wake of the Nancy Bobofit debacle, Percy finds himself in the headmaster’s office with Grover where Percy Jackson and the Olympians author Rick Riordan makes a sneaky cameo. After Percy reiterates that he didn’t touch Nancy, Grover claims he saw Percy push Nancy into the fountain. A stunned Percy finds himself suspended after the meeting. As he waits for his ride home, Mr. Brunner says he suspects that Percy is special, but that he has an incredibly difficult journey ahead of him.

Percy arrives at his mom’s apartment, which she shares with her smelly bum of a boyfriend Gabe Ugliano (Timm Sharp). Gabe and Percy have words after he berates Percy for getting kicked out of school. Percy finds solace in his mother, who believes her son and is just happy Percy is home. She gives him a welcome home gift (blue food!) and Percy admits something is happening to him and that he’s scared.

Sally seems to know more than she’s saying. She tells a defiant Gabe she’s using the car to take her and Percy to their favorite vacation spot in Montauk.

‘Percy Jackson’s Premiere Reveals the Truth About Percy’s Heritage

Sally Jackson (Virginia Kull) reveals to Percy that he is a demigod in 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians | Agents of Fandom
Virginia Kull’s Sally Jackson is a grounding force in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image Credit: Disney.

As Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 1 continues, Percy has a dream about a mysterious, ominous, disembodied voice. He awakens at the cabin in Montauk and confesses that his daydreams have felt more real than ever lately. Then, Sally drops a truth bomb on him. She reveals that they come to this cabin every year because it is where she met Percy’s father. She describes him as a wise, noble, and kind man unlike any she’d ever met. Because he wasn’t a man. He was a god.

Sally tells him that Greek myths she shared with him are real and that Percy is a half-blood. A demigod; the offspring of a god and a mortal. She says demigods are unsafe, as they begin to attract terrible forces to them once they reach a certain age. These forces seek to harm and eliminate demigods before they become too powerful.

Percy argues that there’s just something wrong with his brain, but then Grover arrives in a panic. Instead of his usual legs, Grover is now walking on two goat legs. Before Percy can fully process the startling sight, Grover warns that something dangerous is coming.

Sally, Percy, and Grover Fight a Minotaur

The Minotaur attacks Percy, Sally, and Grover in the woods near Camp Half-Blood | Agents of Fandom
The fearsome Minotaur makes an appearance late in the first episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image Credit: Disney.

The three hop in the car to make a run for it. Grover reveals that he is a satyr and Percy’s protector. He tells Percy he got him kicked out of school because he wouldn’t have survived the night otherwise. Grover says the only safe place for Percy is a camp somewhere nearby on Long Island.

But after a sudden lightning strike, Percy Jackson and the Olympians ramps up as the mythical Minotaur appears, chasing the car through the storm. The terrifying creature — a massive and bulky half-man, half-bull hybrid — rams the vehicle, sending it careening off the road. After emerging from the totaled car, Sally attempts to distract the Minotaur to give Percy and Grover a head start. Before she takes the monster on, she repeats the words of Perseus’ mother: “Hold fast. Brave the storm.

Sally then takes Percy’s jacket, which reeks of “half-blood,” in an attempt to distract the Minotaur and give Percy and Grover more time to cross the camp’s boundary. As Percy watches from afar, the Minotaur lifts his mother into the air and squeezes, and Sally Jackson disintegrates into a cloud of dust.

Heartbroken and enraged, Percy notices Mr. Brunner’s ballpoint pen vibrating in his pocket. He pulls it out, revealing the glowing sword Riptide, and slashes at the imposing beast. The Minotaur swats the sword away and Percy climbs atop the monster’s shoulders. He breaks off one of the Minotaur’s horns and plunges it into the monster’s head, and like Sally, the behemoth crumbles into dust.

Percy Jackson Wakes Up at Camp Half-Blood at the End of ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Episode 1

The shores of Camp Half-Blood in Percy Jackson and the Olympians | Agents of Fandom
Percy arrives at Camp Half-Blood half-conscious after his battle against the Minotaur. Image Credit: Disney.

After passing out in the woods, Percy awakens at Camp Half-Blood, with a handful of campers surrounding him, a centaur version of Mr. Brunner backlit against the rising sun. “Welcome to camp, Percy Jackson,” he says. “We’ve been expecting you.” The series’ first episode ends with a bleary-eyed Percy peering up at his half-horse former teacher, unsure of what he’s seeing.

With an eventful, nightmarish, and life-changing day now in Percy’s rearview mirror, Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 1 sets the stage for an emotional second episode. It also promises that a new, fantastical world of possibilities awaits him on the other side of the camp’s boundary. It’s a world that, for the first time in Percy’s life, could feel like home.

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