Every episode gets our intrepid trio a little closer to their goal. “A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers” throws yet another major wrench in the plan as the kids scramble to keep moving in the aftermath of the battle in the Arch from last week’s episode.
Despite the fact that the Mist hides much of the mythical world from the mundane, there’s not a whole lot it can do about a literal hole in the Saint Louis Arch. Unfortunately, the kids are also connected with the train crash and have law enforcement on their tail, so they can’t rely on any form of public transportation. Faced with no other option, they start walking, hoping to hitchhike, and instead are met by Ares, who offers to help.
While Grover stays with Ares as, essentially, a hostage to ensure their compliance, Percy and Annabeth venture to the creepiest (yet also coolest) amusement park ever – the personal playground of Hephaestus – to retrieve Ares’s shield.
Last week we saw the first hints of Percabeth beginning to emerge as Percy and Annabeth got to know each other a little better. In “A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers”, they’re really starting to lay the groundwork. Annabeth is so overcome when Percy is alive that she hugs him, and later at Waterland she is distraught at the thought of leaving him.
I very much loved their conversation in the Tunnel of Love, when Percy laments that his mother didn’t prepare him enough for the world he was eventually going to be a part of. Annabeth brings up a good point that his mother likely did that on purpose so that he wouldn’t fall victim to the toxic mentality that hovers around the gods and demigods. Percy wasn’t raised on the hierarchy, he doesn’t believe the gods are infallible, and he isn’t willing to follow their instructions just because of who they are.
Annabeth’s mini-epiphany helps both her and Percy later, when Percy must sacrifice himself to the chair so they can get the shield. When she refuses to leave without him, she gives Hephaestus an impassioned speech about how Percy is different than the rest of the Olympians. She doesn’t want to be vindictive and petty, obsessed with honor and victory. This speech moves Hephaestus into releasing Percy; Hephaestus has been a victim of the Olympians’ cruelty, and he doesn’t like the way things are either. It makes sense that he wouldn’t want to continue the cycle.
“A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers” also shows us how important some moments can be in changing your overall perspective. Percy was largely resistant to the quest in general because he was antagonistic towards his father, who he believes has abandoned him and his mother. (Which, to be fair, is not entirely inaccurate.) When he arrived at Camp Half-Blood, he expected to hear from his father, and when he didn’t, it only solidified his opinion that this was not a world he wants to be a part of.
However, after his father saved him, Percy reconsidered his attitude. He now understands the gravity of the situation in a way that he didn’t before, when all he cared about was saving his mother. I couldn’t help but laugh when he starts laying out the situation and realizes that he is the last person to arrive at that conclusion.
Camp Half-Blood is still my favorite set, but I really loved Waterland. The design was really cool; everything was intricate. And the Tunnel of Love was my favorite part. It was definitely a TARDIS kind of situation, because there is no way that ride fit in that building, but I busted out laughing when they started playing “What Is Love” by Haddaway. Definitely not the song I would pick for a romantic ride, but then again, neither is the story of Hephaestus. And the graphics for that were phenomenal.
Also, no lie, a little piece of me died when Percy said the song sounded familiar because he heard it at the orthodontist.
I still feel like we’re plowing through this story, but “A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers” felt perfect. We got a brief glimpse of Hermes in episode 3, but with the introduction of Ares and Hephaestus, we’re starting to meet more of the Olympians. I really don’t want to keep comparing this series with the 2010 film, but a big issue with the film was that the gods featured barely at all.
Something else I love about Percy Jackson and the Olympians is how it expands our perspective. The books are told in first person from Percy’s point of view, so what we saw was limited to not only what Percy saw, but what he understood. In this episode, we get to spend some time with Grover as he sneakily tries to get information about the master bolt theft from Ares.
I love getting to see this part of Grover. When he sings the consensus song in episode 3, you think he’s a little naïve and slightly ridiculous. But this episode shows that he can be cunning when the situation calls for it. He flatters Ares’s ego and gets him to talk. We don’t know yet what knowledge Grover thinks he’s gleaned from that conversation, but we do get a little insight into how things work on Olympus.
In the end, Ares keeps his end of the bargain, and the trio are off on their way to Las Vegas and the Lotus Casino. I am super excited about seeing the Lotus, so I can’t wait for next week.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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