Sally Jackson's disappearance in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, explained

Sally Jackson's fate is revealed in the second episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Virginia Kull is Sally Jackson in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image: Disney+.
Virginia Kull is Sally Jackson in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Image: Disney+. /

The first episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, titled "I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher," ends on a massive low for Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell). Sally Jackson (Virginia Kull) drives Percy and his best friend, Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri), to the base of the hill that leads to Camp Half-Blood before the Minotaur, a monster, causes their car to leave the road. Sally makes Grover promise he'll keep Percy safe, and he obliges.

Then, Sally takes Percy's jacket to draw the Minotaur away from them. As a human, she can't enter Camp Half-Blood, which is a safe place for demigods. The Minotaur catches her easily. From atop the hill, Percy watches the Minotaur lift his mother into the air before she basically vanishes into thin air.

Percy, believing his mother was just killed, channels his anger and rage and attacks the Minotaur. It's not much of a fight. Percy, somehow, ends up on the monster's back, and vanquishes the Minotaur with Riptide. The fight zaps Percy's energy, and when he wakes up in the second episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, titled "I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom," it's clear that Percy believes his mom is dead.

Sally Jackson is not really dead, but she's been taken by Hades to the Underworld

This is a kids show, right? I watched the first episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians with my two toddlers fully expecting to have this conversation about what happened to Percy's mom with them. While they took it surprisingly well, I'm sure there are some parents and kids out there wondering what actually happened and how a Disney show killed off the main character's parent by getting squished by a monster at the end of the first episode. Like, that was probably a pretty big surprise.

The good news is that there's a lot more to the mystery, though, as we learn. In the second episode, Grover asks Chiron (Glynn Turman) and Mr. D (Jason Mantzoukas) about Percy's mom's death. She didn't squish like a banana, but she was actually transported to the realm of Hades, he learns. He wants to tell Percy, his friend who he has been lying to for so long, but Chiron and Mr. D make Grover promise not to say anything about Sally Jackson potentially not being dead.

So, no, Sally Jackson is not actually dead. As we learn at the end of the second episode, Sally has been taken by Hades and held in the Underworld. We don't fully understand why she was taken, but it's basically explained at the end of the episode after Annabeth pushes Percy into the water and Poseidon claims Percy as his son.

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS - "Episode 102” (Disney/David Bukach)WALKER SCOBELL /

As Chiron and Mr. D point out, there's a war brewing in Olympus. Someone has stolen Zeus's Master Bolt, and some think it was Percy, although the how and why make little sense. Percy is begged by Chiron and Mr. D to accept a quest to find Zeus's Master Bolt. It's believed that Poseidon wouldn't actually take the Master Bolt from Zeus; he's not that stupid nor does he want war, which is why he claims Percy in the first place. Chiron and Mr. D, and others, believe the third of the brothers, Hades, wishes to bring war between Zeus and Poseidon. Percy, then, must journey from Camp Half-Blood to the entrance of the Underworld in Los Angeles to find the Master Bolt and take it back by Hades. Zeus has put a time limit, the Summer Solstice, on this quest. If the Master Bolt is not returned by then, there will be war.

Percy bristles at doing his father's bidding. What have the Gods ever done for him? What has his father ever done for him? Percy doesn't even know him! Then, Grover appears and defies Chiron and Mr. D. He tells Percy that his mom is still alive. She's being held captive in the Underworld by Hades. Why? They don't know, but Percy is quick to accept the quest.

The quest is officially a go! But, it's still unclear what happened to Sally Jackson and why Hades took her instead of letting the Minotaur kill her. Well, that's where we can look to the books by Rick Riordan.


Spoilers for the rest of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, of which the first season of the series is based. This is a key spoiler to the whole season, so it's probably time to turn back unless you want that spoiler.

Hades happens to believe that Percy is the culprit behind Zeus's missing Master Bolt, but Hades also believes that this little demigod also stole an item very important to him, Hades' Helm of Darkness. Hades basically kidnaps Sally to make sure that the little hero pays a visit to the Underworld, assuming he makes it to Los Angeles and all that first. So, Sally is the bait to bring Percy across the United States and into the Underworld.

So, that's what really happened to Sally Jackson. No, she's not dead. This is a kids show after all, but Percy has to find a way to free her with some of the most powerful Gods and monsters making things quite complicated for Percy and his friends. More will be revealed soon!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians episode release schedule changed recently. Each episode drops weekly on Disney+ on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays throughout December and January. The season finale is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2023.

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