Percy Jackson and the Olympians 1×08 Review: “The Prophecy Comes True”

Disney/David Bukach

The first season of Percy Jackson and the Olympians comes to an end with the perfectly paced “The Prophecy Comes True”, although it still felt too short. The entire season felt too short, but perhaps that’s because I was enjoying myself so much that each episode seemed to be over in the blink of an eye.

We pick up “The Prophecy Comes True” where last week’s episode left off. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover face off against Ares on the beach outside Sally’s cabin in Montauk. Percy challenges Ares to single combat for possession of Hades’s Helm of Darkness. Interspersed with the fight are flashbacks of Percy training with Luke, those few days he was in Camp Half-Blood before being sent off on the quest. While teaching Percy sword forms, he also explains the rules of their world.

These flashbacks provide valuable context. Luke explains that the gods are bound by all sorts of rules; that’s why they have demigod children. Being only half god – and part human – allows them to break the rules, which is why demigods have to go on things like quests. As I was watching, I couldn’t help but wish that these scenes had occurred earlier, mostly because I was hoping they would use the television format as an opportunity to drop more hints that Luke was the one who stole the Master Bolt.

But the more I thought about it, the more I liked that they didn’t make it too obvious what had happened. Fans of the books would already know, and I’ve never liked it when a piece of media beats you over the head with something. I think there were enough clues peppered throughout so that Luke’s actions aren’t that much of a surprise. He makes no secret of how much he hates the current system, he’s no fan of his father, and he gave Percy the shoes that were spelled to fly to Tartarus. The quest is over, but not every part of the prophecy has come to pass. When Percy gets back to camp and finds Clarisse there, he is able to put everything together.

I mentioned last week how much I love Annabeth’s invisibility, because even though I know she can do this, I still always manage to forget. And then she pops out of nowhere and I remember. I should be expecting it, but I never am. I think that’s a testament to the storytelling ability of this series. Other shows might make it a point to keep verbally reminding you that Annabeth has this power, but Percy Jackson and the Olympians only reminds you when she actually does it, and she only does it when she needs to.

Luke was hoping to recruit Percy, and it makes sense. When Percy arrived at camp, he was very bitter and angry. He’s never met his father, and his mother had just been killed. Percy was very loud about his criticisms of the gods’ stupid rules, so Luke saw in him a kindred spirit. I think Luke’s mistake was waiting until after the quest to try and bring Percy to his side.

In the end, Luke escapes, and another line of the prophecy comes to pass.

Of course, there is a lot that happens before we get to the big reveal. Let’s get back to Percy’s fight with Ares, which was done beautifully. All three kids have said that this was one of their favorite scenes to film, and it’s easy to see why. Percy is able to hold his own for a bit, but he’s clearly outmatched. Ares is, after all, the God of War. It’s only because Percy is the son of Poseidon – and they’re on a beach – that he is able to draw first blood. I loved this moment because it’s the first time Percy really embraces who he is as he calls the ocean to his aid.

The scene with Alecto in the cabin, where she takes the Helm back for Hades, may not seem important in the grand scheme of things, but it gives an important message. That message, which is something everyone must keep in mind at all times while watching this show, is that nothing is ever as it seems. Ever since Alecto attacked Percy all the way back at the beginning of the season, it’s been presumed that she’s a bad guy. But as Sally was always so quick to remind Percy, not all monsters are bad. She wasn’t after Percy, she was after the Helm, which she thought Percy had.

Disney/David Bukach

Still trying to stop the war, even though he missed the deadline, Percy heads to Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus is everything I thought it would be. Actually, it’s more. I was sort of expecting it to just be a temple – like you step off the elevator and into the temple of the gods. But it’s like walking through a city in Ancient Greece, with Mount Olympus just part of the scenery. I just thought that was so cool.

But perhaps the scene of “The Prophecy Comes True” is Percy facing down Zeus (RIP Lance Reddick). You’ve got to remember that Percy is twelve, facing down the king of the gods, desperate to stop a war. You can see the frustration in him when he realizes that it doesn’t matter what he says or does, Zeus intends to have his war regardless. And it’s easy to see that Zeus is tired of this weak little upstart trying to lecture him on what he should do. And no one who knows anything about Greek mythology should be surprised that Zeus goes to strike Percy down.

It is only Poseidon, appearing in the nick of time, who is able to avert catastrophe. As he promised Sally in the flashback in last week’s episode, he is there for Percy when he needs him. He stops Zeus from hurting Percy and immediately, without thought, surrenders. This is a really important moment, not just because it stops the war, but because it indicates something different in their relationship.

Book readers know the reason why none of the Big Three – Zeus, Poseidon, Hades – are supposed to have demigods. And it’s been hinted at, particularly by Kronos in Percy’s dream in “The Prophecy Comes True”. Percy is not just one of many, like the other demigods. He’s alone in his cabin at Camp Half-Blood for a reason.

I’m hesitant to say too much, as I don’t know what may be considered spoilery should Percy Jackson and the Olympians get a season 2 (and it SHOULD). But from Poseidon’s reaction to Percy asking if he dreams about Sally to Sally and Poseidon’s scene in “We Find Out the Truth, Sort Of”, it’s heavily implied that their relationship was special in a way that a lot of these relationships aren’t.

Think about it. If it were any other demigod child, if it were any other god, would they surrender so readily? Ares has flat-out said that he doesn’t like his own kids. And as we’ve seen throughout the series, the gods are very prideful. Zeus refused to stop the war even though his reason for going to war – the Master Bolt – was returned to him. Poseidon doesn’t even think, in order to save Percy. This act of fatherly love will have long-lasting implications. It’s just not common in this world, and it paints an even bigger target on Percy’s back.

Yet it also shows Percy how much his father cares about him, something that he has been doubting for much of the season. The first time they meet, Poseidon makes an incredible sacrifice for him. He also calls Percy brave and tells him that he’s proud of him. It’s a very touching scene, cut abruptly short when Poseidon sends him back to camp after not really answering his question.

And then we have the big reveal of Luke being the titular lightning thief, and after that, things are wrapped up fairly nicely. Sally is returned, as Hades promised. Annabeth is going back to her father, who seems to be making an effort. Grover is given his searcher’s license, so he can begin his hunt for Pan. (His remark that no one has tried searching the sea is likely a nod to the second book in the series, The Sea of Monsters.)

Of course, it isn’t that simple. While “The Prophecy Comes True” solves the mystery of the lightning thief, Luke and Kronos are still out there, gathering their forces. Percy is still dreaming about Kronos, who seems to still be trying to sway Percy’s opinion. And, of course, there’s the last line of the prophecy: “you will fail to save what matters most”. Percy found the Master Bolt and got his mother back from the Underworld. So what did he fail to save? The quest itself may be over, but the prophecy is not.

Thus, the stage is set for Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 2. It hasn’t yet been greenlit, but my hopes are high. I really enjoyed this first season. The casting is great, the sets are amazing, and the score is killing it. This is such a great adaptation, doing a fantastic job at bringing these characters to life.

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Be sure to check out Farid’s review of “The Prophecy Comes Trues”!

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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