‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 3 “We Visit the Garden Gnome Emporium”

Hannah - Editor/Instagram Manager
13 Min Read

In the two episode premiere of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, audiences met the titular 12-year-old and watched the beginning of his journey: learning that he is a Half-Blood son of Poseidon and that he must embark on a quest to the Underworld to confront his uncle Hades and retrieve his other uncle Zeus’ Master Bolt and his own mother. Setting off on the quest is where we pick up the story in Episode 3, with the description for the episode reading:

“Percy sets off on the quest to return Zeus’ master bolt and stop a war between the gods.

Percy ascends into a dusty attic to consult the Oracle and learn his fate — specifically the details of the quest, as it isn’t one until the Oracle says so. Green mist taking the form of Percy’s stepfather Gabe speaks to Percy to share the prophecy.

“You shall go West and face the God who has turned, and you shall find what was stolen and see it safely returned.”

Chiron announces that the Oracle confirmed what they already knew and that Percy is to embark on a quest to the Underworld, which has an entrance housed beneath Los Angeles. He instructs Percy to select two fellow campers to join him from an impressive roster of the camp’s most eligible. To no surprise Percy selects Annabeth first, as he knows she won’t hesitate to do whatever is necessary to complete the quest. Grover isn’t present and is instead shoveling pegasus poop as punishment from Dionysus — a punishment that is now over as Percy has selected him for his second companion. Grover is confused as to why he was selected, prompting a flashback to more of the Oracle reading:

“You shall be betrayed by the one who calls you ‘friend,’ and fail to save what matters most in the end.”

Percy selected Grover because he trusts him, and that’s what matters most right now. As Percy prepares to leave, he is visited by Luke who gifts him a pair of flying shoes that he received from his father, Hermes. Percy confides in Luke that he was going to choose him before choosing Grover, but he was afraid because he can’t risk anything stopping him from rescuing his mom, and he felt Luke’s relationship with Annabeth may pose a threat. Annabeth says her goodbyes to the tree that was once Thalia as Grover shares the story of what happened to get her into that situation. Annabeth naturally takes the leadership position as she feels that’s their only chance of staying alive.

The trio set off by taxi first, transferring to an unglamorous bus with the reminder from Annabeth that they’re soldiers on a mission and not on vacation. Grover clarifies they couldn’t take a plane because monsters aren’t the only threat to Percy’s quest — the Gods are as well, and being in Zeus’ domain while flying is far too dangerous. At a gas station Annabeth states she’s going to get snacks and insists Percy stay seated on the bus next to the bathroom because monsters can’t smell him through the stink. This prompts an argument between the two as Percy wants decisions put to a vote, and Grover ultimately has to step in with a song to change the topic:

“Oh, golly, the road’s gettin’ bumpy ’cause I got me some friends who just can’t get along. Oh, dear, when the team’s gettin’ grumpy the trick to gettin’ through it is singin’ this song -“

Grover’s “Consensus Song” offers at least enough of a distraction for Percy to ultimately concede and stay on the bus. As Annabeth purchases their snacks she begins to feel uneasy, while on the bus Grover explains how monsters are able to track down Demigods and that what they sense in the half-humans varies — some sense fear, some sense inadequacies, shame, a need for glory … wherever you’re weakest, that’s what the monster is coming for. Annabeth puts on her baseball cap to become invisible and take a seat next to Electo, who is once again disguised as a human woman. She offers Annabeth a continued, unimpeded quest if she will lure Percy off the bus and allow him to be taken quietly.

Percy and Grover bust out a window so they can escape the now-approaching Electo. The open window gives another Fury the opportunity to try to land an attack but Annabeth throws her dagger at the monster, causing her to turn to dust as we’ve already seen with the Minotaur this season. The trio find themselves hiking in the woods to continue their journey, specifically on a Satyr Path. Percy wants to find a phone so they can call camp for help as they’re not even to Trenton yet and facing this amount of trouble. Annabeth refuses to do this as it would be admitting failure and questions Percy why he’s afraid of himself. Grover shares they’re on the same path his uncle Ferdinand took on his quest. Annabeth reminds Percy that he’s not “just a kid.”

“You are part of something so much bigger than we can understand right now. We have to move forward whether we like it or not … whether you want to or not.”

Percy tells Annabeth they should just ask her mom for help, leading her to reveal she doesn’t have much of a relationship with her mother as well as the fact that Grover used to be her protector. The trio use Grover’s keen sense of smell to follow the scent of hamburgers, ultimately leading them to Aunty Em’s Garden Gnome Emporium Café. It doesn’t take long to put the pieces together and figure out who Aunty Em is and while Annabeth is quick to say they should leave while they still can, the path becomes blocked by Electo who has tracked them again. Electo taunts Annabeth by saying she should’ve taken her offer.

Percy asks to know the deal that was offered but the conversation is derailed by the arrival of Aunty Em, who states there will be no fighting at her door but she’s happy to help settle the dispute if everyone joins her inside. She taunts Electo, who is clearly very afraid of her before formally introducing herself to the Son of Poseidon as Medusa. Medusa invites the trio in for lunch and Percy feels they can trust her as he’s got a good feeling about her and remembers the stories his mother told him about the woman Annabeth is eager to call a monster. Percy accepts the invitation to lunch for himself but encourages his companions to do what they want.

Snacks are waiting on the table while Medusa gets something proper underway. While Percy questions if the food is safe to eat, Grover is so hungry he’s willing to take the chance. Annabeth joins, though it’s clear she doesn’t want to be present for the lunch. Medusa insists she won’t hold a grudge against Annabeth on behalf of Athena and says they might have more in common than Annabeth would think, and why Electo is afraid of her.

“I don’t like bullies. When one shows up on my doorstep they end up spending a lot more time there than they planned for. The gift the gods gave me is that I cannot be bullied anymore.”

Annabeth reminds Medusa that what Athena did to her was a curse, not a gift. Medusa shares her story — the story of how she became what she is and how both Poseidon and Athena were involved. Annabeth insists that her version of the events are a lie and her mother is just, and Medusa excuses herself from the conversation before getting too heated by saying she thinks something is burning. Percy follows her to the kitchen while Annabeth tells Grover they need to be ready to run. Percy tries to apologize for Annabeth’s behavior and Medusa warns him that Annabeth will betray him, striking an already existing anxiety in Percy.

Medusa also shares that she feels a connection to Percy’s mother as they were both targeted by the same “monster” and that she therefore feels protective over Percy. This confuses Percy as Sally never spoke of Poseidon like he was a monster, but Medusa taunts him with the fact his mother isn’t exactly safe right now either. She offers to remove Grover and Annabeth from the picture for Percy so he doesn’t have to worry about them anymore, but when she turns to receive his answer he has already gone.

Medusa tracks the trio to the basement where her massive collection of stone creatures is on display. While Grover tries to share a plan involving Hermes’ flying shoes, he accidentally takes flight, leaving Percy and Annabeth to figure it out themselves and for Medusa to be able to taunt Percy with what she offered him. Ultimately, Medusa is decapitated by the trio with a combination of Grover presenting a distraction, Annabeth’s invisibility cap, and Percy’s Riptide. They use the severed head to turn Electo to stone so they can make an escape and continue the quest.

Grover finds his uncle Ferdinand amongst Medusa’s statues, a bittersweet moment as he’s the only statue that doesn’t look afraid. Percy and Annabeth begin to bicker about the secrets being kept and Grover has to step in to get things back on track, leading to the most open conversation thus far where Percy shares what the Oracle said in full and the two share the offers made by Electo and Medusa. Grover reminds the group of something they all need to hear:

“You didn’t choose to be Demigods. We didn’t choose this quest. But we can decide as long as the three of us are together, none of us are going to be alone. And if we can’t do that we might as well head back to camp right now because we won’t make it.”

Percy decides to ship Medusa’s head to the Olympians despite Annabeth and Grover’s warnings because he views it as a tribute rather than impertinence. The episode ends with a package delivery to Olympus with Hermes acting as the courier.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians episodes 1 – 3 are available to stream now on Disney+. Our review for the premiere episodes can be read here, and additional coverage for the series including episodic recaps for the rest of the season can be found here.

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By Hannah Editor/Instagram Manager
Hannah’s a lifelong nerd, but has been with the team since May 2021. Her life is easily classified by two abbreviations - BBG3 and ABG3 (before Baldur’s Gate 3 and after Baldur’s Gate 3). Especially nerdy about: video games, folklore, Star Wars, D&D, Spider-Man, and horror (all of it). Based in Denver, CO.
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