Percy Jackson and the Olympians recap guide: First 3 episodes, explained

The first three episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians are now streaming on Disney+

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS - Credit: Disney
PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS - Credit: Disney /
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Percy Jackson and the Olympians is now streaming on Disney+. The first two episodes were released on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. Well, actually, they dropped a little early (on Tuesday, Dec. 19). Having seen the first two episodes of the series, it's truly one of the best Disney+ shows of all time. It's a must-watch this holiday season. To make sure you know what's going on and are

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is based on Rick Riordan's five-book series of the same name. The first season, which is what we're watching right now, is largely based on the story of The Lightning Thief, the first book of the series and an introduction to the work of Percy Jackson and the Gods of Olympus.

Walker Scobell stars as Percy Jackson, a 12-year-old boy who learns he is a demigod, a half-blood. His mother, Sally Jackson (Virginia Kull), is a human while his father is a Greek God. Which one? We'll get into it! We recapped the first three episodes, "I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher" and "I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom," and we'll be publishing recaps for allnew episodes as they are released on Disney+ weekly.

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Glynn Turman as Chiron in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image: Disney+. /

Episode 1 recap: "I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher"

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"I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher" is the first episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and it's also the name of the first chapter of The Lightning Thief. In the premiere, we're introduced to Percy Jackson (Scobell), who warns viewers how dangerous it is to be a half-blood. We learn that Percy has trouble in school, largely, because of all the weird things he sees and the things that happen to him. He's expelled or kicked out a handful of times.

While on a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to visit a Greek exhibit with Yancy Academy, Percy and his best friend, Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri), are being bullied by Nancy Bobofit and Percy knocks her into the water fountain outside the museum, but he does so without using his hands.

As Percy struggles to understand what happened and waits for his punishment from Mrs. Dodds (Megan Mullally), Mrs. Dodds turns into a Fury, a monster with giant wings. She wants something from Percy, but he has no idea what she's talking about. Percy, who was just gifted a ballpoint pen by his teacher, Mr. Brunner (Glynn Turman), sees that pen turn into a sword and he stabs Mrs. Dodds in monster form. She disintegrates in front of him. Mr. Brunner and Grover rush over, but when Percy asks what happened to Mrs. Dodds, they claim to not know who Mrs. Dodds is. This is like seventh or eighth red flag so far. Something is not right.

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Megan Mullally as Alecto in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image: Disney+. /

Back at school, Percy pleads his case that he didn't push Nancy, despite her ending up in the fountain. Grover, though, rats Percy out and claims Percy told him he was going to get back at Nancy for all the trouble she caused him. Interesting, very interesting.

Percy is expelled from Yancy Academy, but before he goes, Mr. Brunner tells Percy that he's special and in for a difficult journey. Percy doesn't want to hear it. He leaves for his mom's apartment on East 104th Street in Manhattan to find his mom's husband, Gabe Ugliano (Timm Sharp), a big, stinky loser. Percy's mom welcomes him with a hug, some blue candy (Percy's favorite), and questions him about what happened. Sally takes extra interest in what happened, and Percy admits he's scared. Sally takes Percy to Montauk on a trip to get away from the apartment. She's truly a great mom.

Percy falls asleep in the car and has a vision of something or someone, asking who he is and warning him to run away before he gets hurt. Yikes! As we'll all learn in this show, visions from dark and scary sources are usually bad news.

On Montauk, Sally reveals that Percy is special, and this place they always come to on a vacation is special. It's where Sally met Percy's dad, and there's a lot that Percy doesn't know about his dad or his, well, we'll call them abilities.

Suddenly, Grover shows up, and he has bad news. They need to get to Camp Half-Blood immediately. Oh, and Grover doesn't have human legs. He has goat legs, which obviously bothers Percy. His best friend is a satyr, and Percy doesn't even know. This is all way too much for a moody 12-year-old, but he has to get over it quickly. There's a Minotaur, a huge monster who was killed by Theseus, on their tail.

In the car ride to Camp Half-Blood, Grover tells Percy about "the Mist," which disguises the world of monsters and Gods from mortals. He also tells Percy of Camp Half-Blood and tries to explain what is happening, but it's all too much. The Minotaur is right there! It knocks the car off the road and into a swamp. They have to walk to Camp Half-Blood, but Sally can't enter the camp because she's human. She makes Grover swear he will protect Percy. She leaves to distract the Minotaur, but it easily picks her up and she disintegrates similarly to Mrs. Dodds.

Percy, in a fit of rage, attacks the Minotaur and kills the monster, but it takes all of his strength. He passes out as the episode ends surrounded by people, including a centaur with Mr. Brunner's voice. He says, "Welcome to camp, Percy Jackson. We've been expecting you."

What an incredible first episode. Seeing this part of the story, something I've read so many times, play out as good as it is in The Lightning Thief is, just, incredible, awesome, and everything other word that means cool. I loved it, and I can't wait for the second episode. The good news is you can watch right now and read the recap for the second episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Continue to our recap of episode 2!