Warning: The following contains spoilers for Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 3.
With Episodes 1 and 2 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians setting the stakes and central conflict of the season, Episode 3, “We Visit the Garden Gnome Emporium,” sends its heroes off on their first adventure together. Percy (Walker Scobell) feels a renewed determination after learning his mother is being held in the Underworld by Hades, who they also believe has stolen Zeus’ Master Bolt.
Percy and his companions find themselves heading west to retrieve the Bolt in a race against time before war breaks out among the gods of Olympus. Not being accustomed to one another, the trio must quickly learn to work together as a threat with ties to Grover’s family emerges.
Percy Consults the Oracle in ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Episode 3
Immediately after accepting his quest, Percy consults the Oracle to finalize it. The grotesque, mummy-like corpse spews out an impressive amount of green smoke, revealing an apparition of his mother’s awful boyfriend Gabe (Timm Sharp). The apparition tells him, “You shall go west and face the god who has turned. And you shall find what was stolen and see it safely returned. You shall be betrayed by the one who calls you friend, and fail to save what matters most in the end.”
With Percy’s quest confirmed, Chiron (Glynn Turman) assembles several of Camp Half-Blood’s most qualified candidates as Percy’s potential quest companions. They include Percy’s new friend Luke (Charlie Bushnell), the camp bully Clarisse (Dior Goodjohn), and the daughter of Athena, Annabeth (Leah Jeffries). Percy immediately chooses Annabeth, who has vied to go on a quest for years. He also picks someone not in Chiron’s lineup: his satyr Protector and best friend, Grover (Aryan Simhadri).
Despite the Oracle’s warning that a friend will betray Percy, he trusts Grover. Percy also knows Annabeth will do whatever it takes to ensure that they complete the quest. Before Percy sets out on his first quest in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Luke gives him a pair of winged sneakers, a gift from Luke’s father Hermes (Lin-Manuel Miranda).
Percy, Annabeth, and Grover Embark on Their Quest
Before leaving, Annabeth rests a hand on the magical tree that prevents monsters from entering the camp. Grover tells Percy that, when Annabeth arrived at camp with Luke and Thalia, the forbidden daughter of Zeus, they were being chased by monsters. Thalia turned to fight them to buy her friends time, and just as she was about to die, Zeus intervened. He transformed Thalia into the tree to save her life.
Annabeth doesn’t take kindly to Percy joking about the tree. She tells Percy that he’s no Thalia and that he might survive the quest if he listens to her. They leave the relative safety of Camp Half-Blood and pass through New York City.
Grover tells Percy that quests are world-defining events. They’ve made and broken empires, altered the course of human civilization, and changed the balance of power on Olympus; they’re sacred. Even if that quest means sitting next to a smelly bathroom on a Greyhound bus or not flying to avoid the dangerous domain of Zeus.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians continues with the bus pulling into a gas station. Annabeth grabs some snacks for the trio and, despite Percy’s protests, tells Percy and Grover to wait on the bus. She says the stinky bathroom will block monsters from smelling Percy, so he’s safest there. Grover tells Percy that, as a child of one of the Big Three, he’s at the most risk, and explains that monsters often sense a demigod’s greatest weakness and try to exploit it.
Megan Mullally’s Alecto Returns in ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Episode 3
At that moment, we see Mrs. Dodds/Alecto (Megan Mullally), whom Percy vaporized in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series premiere, sitting on the bus. An invisible Annabeth takes the seat next to her, and the two trade barbs over their history together. Alecto reveals she was hired — by Hades, as Annabeth deduces — to collect Percy quickly and quietly. She wants Annabeth to give Percy up and will allow her and Grover to continue their quest unimpeded.
Alecto reveals her true form, unseen by the other passengers. Annabeth vaporizes her with a quick throw of her knife, and the trio escapes into the forests of New Jersey. Grover leads them down an old satyr path once taken by his Uncle Ferdinand. Percy complains about their quest getting derailed, but Annabeth reminds him that quests are not supposed to be easy. She tells him they need to press on whether he wants to or not, and wonders what Percy is so afraid of.
Percy suggests Annabeth contact Athena for help and looks to Grover — his Protector — to agree with him. Annabeth shoots back that Grover was her Protector first. Percy realizes Grover was the satyr Protector with Annabeth, Luke, and Thalia during their disastrous journey to Camp Half-Blood.
Grover suddenly says he smells hamburgers and follows the tantalizing scent to a business in the middle of the woods called Auntie Em’s. Scattered around the shop’s grounds are what look like realistic stone statues. But Annabeth quickly recognizes them not as statues, but as people who have been turned to stone.
Percy, Annabeth, and Grover Meet Medusa
In a major departure from Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ source material, Alecto returns and says Annabeth should have taken her up on her offer. Percy unsheathes Riptide, but another woman (Jessica Parker Kennedy) arrives on the scene. Her face obscured by a fancy hat, she makes her way through the maze of statues toward the trio. Annabeth and Grover immediately shield their eyes as she approaches, and Percy follows suit.
She offers to help resolve their situation and invites them all inside. Alecto, who has also turned away from the woman, declines. The mysterious woman says Alecto won’t harm the trio while they’re with her. She also notes Alecto won’t leave either, as that would mean reporting that she failed to capture Percy. She then introduces herself as one of the most notorious and well-known monsters in all of mythology, the tragic and legendary Medusa.
Medusa tells the trio they can face Alecto or come with her. Percy chooses the latter, remembering the stories his mom told him about Medusa. Annabeth reluctantly follows. Inside Auntie Em’s are a collection of snacks waiting for them. Annabeth says dealing with Medusa is different for her than it is for Percy and Grover, but Medusa states that she wouldn’t hold a grudge against her simply because Annabeth is a daughter of Athena. “We’re not our parents, after all. You and I might have more in common than you think,” she says.
‘Percy Jackson’ Reveals the Tale of Medusa
In Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 3, Medusa refers to herself as a survivor rather than a monster and says that she hates bullies. When bullies arrive at her doorstep, they wind up staying there longer than they anticipated. The gift she received from the gods ensures that no one can ever bully her again. Annabeth argues that what her mother did to Medusa wasn’t a gift, but a curse.
Medusa tells them that Athena was everything to her — she prayed to and worshipped the goddess, with no acknowledgment in return. One day, Poseidon gave Medusa some attention and told her that he loved her. She felt seen in a way she’d never felt seen before. Feeling slighted, Athena punished Medusa over what she saw as an embarrassment. She vowed that no one could ever see Medusa and live to talk about it.
Annabeth defends her mother’s actions, calling them just. But Medusa says that the gods are bullies and that they want mortals to believe that they’re infallible despite their shortcomings. Annabeth calls her a liar, and Medusa retreats to the kitchen. Percy follows her, and Annabeth warns Grover to get ready to run.
Medusa tells Percy that Annabeth will betray him. She tells him that she feels a kinship with Percy’s mother, as Poseidon targeted them both. She asks if Percy’s friends will allow him to rescue his mother if it interferes with the quest and offers to remove them from the equation to ensure that Percy succeeds in rescuing her.
A Battle Ensues in Medusa’s Basement
Percy bolts and Medusa removes her hat. She checks to see that Alecto is still outside while the trio finds themselves in the basement of Auntie Em’s, faced with a sea of statues, their faces contorted in terror. Grover dons the winged sneakers Luke gave Percy to execute a plan, but the shoes have a mind of their own and carry him away.
Meanwhile, Medusa arrives in the basement, her snake-filled hair slithering and hissing ominously. She tells Percy he could have chosen to stand up for his mother, rather than do his questionable father’s bidding. Medusa says she’ll make an example out of him and Annabeth by shipping their statues to Olympus.
Percy, wielding Riptide, faces Medusa, his eyes closed. Grover, still unable to control the winged sneakers, crashes into a nearby statue, distracting Medusa. Annabeth sneaks up behind her and places her invisibility cap on her head, making Medusa invisible. Percy slashes his sword, and we hear a sharp yelp, followed by a heavy thud.
In a deviation from Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ first book, Percy finds the invisible severed head and carries it outside. Alecto swoops in to grab Percy, but as she does, Percy removes the cap, revealing Medusa’s severed head. Alecto instantly turns to stone and crashes into the ground, breaking into several pieces.
Percy, Annabeth, and Grover Finally Learn to Work Together in ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Episode 3
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 3 continues in Medusa’s basement, where an emotional Grover finds the statue of his beloved Uncle Ferdinand. After he mourns, the trio decides to bury Medusa’s head in the basement so no one else can find it.
Annabeth confronts Percy about his mother being alive and questions his intentions for accepting the quest, noting she shouldn’t have had to hear about it from Medusa. Percy counters, reminding her of Alecto’s offer on the bus. Grover steps in and defends them both to the other, arguing that he’s been trying to keep their quest on track without upsetting either of them.
Grover rounds on Percy, asking him the same question Annabeth asked in the forest — what’s he afraid of? Percy admits that the Oracle told him that a friend would betray him and that he’ll fail to save what matters most in the end. He tells them he chose Annabeth for the quest because he never saw himself befriending her, and he chose Grover because he thought Grover would always be on his side, no matter what. He says now he feels alone and doesn’t know who to trust.
Annabeth and Percy admit to the offers they were given, and with Grover’s help, they realize that they’ll never truly be alone if they stick together. Grover tells them they won’t make it otherwise.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hermes Makes a Surprise Appearance
Percy devises a plan to ship Medusa’s head to Olympus as a tribute to the gods, against Annabeth and Grover’s wishes. He removes the invisibility cap from the head and gives it back to Annabeth so she still has a piece of her mother to carry with her.
In the closing moments of Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 3, we see a sneaker-wearing delivery man carrying a box into the Empire State Building. Inside the elevator, he pushes the button for the magical 600th floor. The camera then pans up from the box, addressed to the gods from Percy, to reveal Lin-Manuel Miranda as the god Hermes, who says with a smirk as he leaves the elevator, “You guys are not gonna believe this.”
With the trio now on the same page with one another and a strong message sent to the gods, Percy Jackson and the Olympians sets the stage for a cohesive team moving forward and an eventful fourth chapter.
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