Warning: The following contains spoilers for Percy Jackson and the Olympians finale.
The inaugural season of Percy Jackson and the Olympians ends in spectacular fashion, balancing its heart and emotional stakes with spectacle and shocking twists. From the beginning, the series’ core was its characters, all of whom get to shine in a thrilling 40 minutes that are as exciting as they are heartbreaking.
In last week’s penultimate entry, Percy (Walker Scobell), Grover (Aryan Simhadri), and Annabeth (Leah Sava Jeffries) finally arrived in the Underworld — the endless, desaturated realm where all people go when they die. After recovering the Master Bolt he’s sought all season, Percy visits Hades (Jay Duplass) to exchange the weapon for his mother Sally (Virgina Kull). But he soon learns that the plot surrounding Zeus’ (Lance Reddick) prized lightning bolt is far more complex than he ever thought possible.
Percy Fights the God of War in ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Episode 8
Armed with the knowledge that Ares (Adam Copeland) was a part of the scheme to steal Zeus’ Master Bolt, Percy angrily confronts the god on the beach outside the cabin where he once stayed with his mother. As Percy approaches the god of war, Luke’s (Charlie Bushnell) voice-over says that Percy didn’t ask to be a half-blood. But, he is one, which makes him part of something bigger than himself.
The episode transitions to a flashback of a sword-fighting training session between Percy and his pal, Luke, in the woods outside Camp Half-Blood. Luke urges Percy to work on his disarm and tells Percy that there are always rules in warfare.
Back on the beach, Percy Jackson and the Olympians continues as Percy sets the terms of the fight with Ares: If Percy draws first blood, he wins and Ares must turn over Hades’ prized Helm of Darkness. Percy knows that the Titan Kronos, currently ripped to shreds in Tartarus, concocted the plan to convince Ares and a mysterious accomplice to steal the Helm and Master Bolt and frame Percy to start an all-out war among the gods.
After conjuring a tidal wave that completely overwhelms Ares, Percy draws first blood. Ares returns the Helm but warns Percy that he has made an enemy for life.
Percy Meets the King of the Gods on Mount Olympus
After seeing a light turn on inside the cabin, Percy heads inside. There, he finds Alecto (Megan Mullally), the Fury who has hunted him throughout Percy Jackson and the Olympians‘ first season. He gives her the Helm on the condition that Hades keeps his word and returns his mother to the land of the living.
Despite missing the summer solstice, Percy decides to visit Olympus to return Zeus’ bolt and warn him of Kronos’ impending return. He rides the elevator up to the 600th floor of the Empire State Building and gets his first look at the opulent palaces and temples of Mount Olympus.
Percy’s flashbacks with Luke continue with Percy deducing that the gods create demigods so they can break rules the gods cannot. Luke looks on proudly as Percy wonders why the gods aren’t more scared of the demigods they create.
Percy climbs to the top of Olympus, where he meets Zeus. The King of the Gods takes back his bolt but chides Percy for failing to return it on time. Zeus also shows neither fear nor surprise when Percy tells him about Kronos’ plan to return. The god dismisses Percy, but the young demigod criticizes Zeus, who plans on carrying through with his plans for war.
Zeus moves to strike Percy down, but Poseidon (Toby Stephens) appears between them, stopping his brother from killing his son. Poseidon surrenders to Zeus, and Zeus agrees to call a meeting with the other gods to discuss Kronos. Percy then has his first face-to-face conversation with his father, during which Percy asks if Poseidon ever dreams about Sally. Poseidon’s silent non-answer speaks volumes, and he uses a pearl to return his son to Camp Half-Blood.
The Lightning Thief’s Plan Is Finally Revealed
After returning to camp, Percy learns that no one has yet openly accused Ares’ daughter Clarisse (Dior Goodjohn) of helping her father steal the Master Bolt. Luke says it would cause chaos within the camp to accuse her with no evidence to back up their claims. Luke thinks it’s best to meet to discuss everything with Chiron (Glynn Turman) away from the rest of camp.
During the celebrations that night, Percy and Luke discuss the Oracle’s prophecy from the third episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Percy realizes the only part that hasn’t come true is the line saying he will be betrayed by a friend. He then deduces that Luke never said anything to Chiron because he knew Clarisse didn’t steal the Bolt. Percy pieces together that Luke is the lightning thief, and that he gave Percy the enchanted shoes that would drag him down to Tartarus — where Kronos awaits — with the Bolt.
A horrified Percy listens as Luke claims the gods as his enemy and tries to recruit Percy to his cause. Tired of blindly worshipping and fearing the gods, Luke wants to help restore Kronos to bring back the Golden Age of the Titans. He tells Percy he doesn’t want to fight, but that changes the moment Percy brings up Luke’s dad, Hermes (Lin-Manuel Miranda).
The two spar and Percy accidentally slashes Luke with his sword, Riptide. Luke advances on Percy, but Annabeth appears. She reveals she heard everything, and before Percy or Annabeth can react, Luke flees.
Percy Leaves Camp Half-Blood in the ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Season 1 Finale
As Percy prepares to return home, Chiron warns that he’s scared of what Luke may be planning as Kronos can be very persuasive. As Percy heads past Thalia’s tree, Annabeth tells him her father is planning to take her to Disney World, while Grover reveals he’s received his Searcher’s license so he can begin his quest to find the missing god, Pan. They promise to all return back to Camp Half-Blood in exactly one year.
Percy dreams of reuniting with his mother at the beach house. The dream shifts and Kronos appears. The Titan tells Percy that they’ll meet soon if Percy can survive what’s next. He says Percy’s survival is essential to his return. Back in his New York City apartment, Percy reunites with his mother. She prepares him some blue food and the two prepare for an outing, with Percy taking Riptide just in case.
In the mid-credits scene of Percy Jackson and the Olympians‘ Season 1 finale, Percy’s stepfather Gabe (Timm Sharp) reveals that Sally is divorcing him. He tries to enter Sally’s apartment, but she’s changed the locks. Instead, he picks up a box outside the door addressed to Percy and opens it. When he lifts the object out of the box, he starts turning to stone, calling back to the trio’s earlier meeting with Medusa.
‘Percy Jackson’s Finale Has Some of the Best Performances of the Season
With a phenomenally emotional and well-paced finale, Percy Jackson and the Olympians has already set the stakes for its presumptive second season. Luke is now on the run from Camp Half-Blood and the gods, presumably to continue his quest to raise Kronos from Tartarus.
The show’s VFX doesn’t always work, and there are moments, particularly in the Olympus scene, where the show’s budget is obvious. On the acting front, though, each actor brings their A-game. Charlie Bushnell gives a sincere, nuanced performance as a young man whose mind is warped and manipulated by an ancient, evil force, and who must betray his friend. Walker Scobell, likewise, does some of his best work of the season as he portrays a devastated boy who realizes his brother figure and mentor is not who he seems.
But the standout of the episode is the late, legendary Lance Reddick. The actor, who passed away in 2023, gives a powerful, commanding, and intimidating performance as the temperamental Zeus — his barely-contained fury crackling just beneath the surface like the lightning bolt his character wields. He’s only onscreen for a few minutes but leaves a lasting impression with a talent and gravitas worthy of Olympus.
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'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' Episode 8 Review: "The Prophecy Comes True"'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' Episode 8 Review: "The Prophecy Comes True"
- Well-paced .
- Emotional payoffs for every main character.
- Deviations from the source material make for a tighter, more cohesive, and more impactful story and shocking and gripping moments even for readers of the book
- Strong, nuanced performances from Walker Scobell, Charlie Bushnell, and the late Lance Reddick.
- Sets the stakes for the show's presumptive second season.
- Some shoddy VFX.