Title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians S1.E05 “A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers”
Released: 2024

Hero of the Week: Annabeth
Riordan Readalong:
The Lightning Thief, Chapters 14 to 16

Previously: “I Plunge to My Death”

Last week, I asked if the show is hitting the right emotional notes for y’all. 75% said yes, and 25% are still undecided. (Compared to the results from Episode 1.3, the show’s fared better at humour than at heart.)

I also asked book readers if they liked how closely the show is following the book. 92% said yes, and 8% said the plot should be more faithful.

Demigod Diaries

After falling from the Gateway Arch and getting saved by Poseidon, Percy (Walker Scobell) emerges from the Mississippi River on better terms with his father, who steered him towards finding Hades in Santa Monica, CA. Easier said than done, since the police are now looking for our trio, for all the chaos left in their wake. Also having their eyes on our heroes: the three Fates, who have Annabeth (Leah Sava Jeffries) spooked.

With seemingly no other options, the trio begins their long walk from St. Louis to Santa Monica (28 days, to be precise) when they run into none other than the god of war Ares (Adam Copeland), who’s also looking for Zeus’ stolen master bolt. Ares offers to help the trio with transpo if they can retrieve his shield — but Grover (Aryan Simhadri) has to stay with him as insurance.

The search for Ares’ shield takes Percy and Annabeth to Waterland, which they quickly discover is no ordinary deserted amusement park. Waterland was built by the god of craftsmen, Hephaestus (Timothy Omundson) — and it’s also where Ares got caught having an affair with Aphrodite, aka Hephaestus’ wife.

Percy and Annabeth find the shield in the Thrill Ride of Love, but retrieving it requires someone to sit in Hephaestus’ golden chair, from which they can never get up. They both volunteer as tribute, of course, but Percy ‘wins’ and the chair turns him into gold. With the shield freed, Annabeth could easily leave and claim all the glory on her own, but she’s not about to leave her friend behind. Seeing how these upstart demigods want to do better than how the gods have carried on for eons, Hephaestus frees Percy from the chair.

Our heroes return the shield to Ares, who gives them with provisions for the rest of their journey and a ride on a freight truck en route to the Lotus Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

Hero of the Week

I thought I was going to repeat the two-fer I had last week, but my Annabeth-loving heart SOARED. (I could also make the case for Percy, Grover, or Ares, but my girl and yours takes it!) We learn a little more about her, and we get to see her use her brain, despite the ADHD trying to take over. Her determination to stay to save Percy and break the cycle of intergenerational trauma was so endearing that she moved both Hephaestus and me!

Bonus shout-out to her fearless eyebrow raise when Ares gets annoyed by her quips. AND we get our first Seaweed Brain! I LOVE HER. (And rainbows and unicorns for Leah Sava Jeffries, who’s dealt/dealing with so much garbage while delivering a fantastic performance.)

Overheard Olympians

Percy: “Look, I’m sorry about shoving you in the stairwell. Even hearing myself say that sounds really bad.”

Taking accountability!

Percy: “I think this quest might be harder than we thought. I’ve been thinking. I didn’t steal the master bolt. You guys didn’t steal the master bolt. We’re pretty sure Hades has the master bolt, but he couldn’t have stolen it himself. I mean, we don’t even know who actually stole the thing, or why, or how deep this goes. I’m the last person to realize this, aren’t I?”

He tries.

Percy: “Oh. I get it. It doesn’t have to be a thing, you know. That you hugged me.”

You probably think this song is about you, don’t you?

Annabeth: “It means one of us is going to die.”

Percy: “We’re all going to die. Eventually.” 

Percy the philosopher!

Ares: “Give me a second. I’m just starting a fight on Twitter here.”

Every word out of him is PERFECT. (Including not acknowledging that other name.)

Percy: “I’m going to kill [Gabe].”

Ares: “I knew I was going to like you.”

Family bonding!

Ares: “Olympians fight. We betray. We backstab. We will push anyone down a flight of stairs to get ahead. And that’s why I love my family so much!”

I love this interpretation of Ares.

Percy: “Why would Hephaestus build an amusement park?”

Annabeth: “Maybe he finds them amusing?”

Percy: “That’s really not funny, Annabeth.”

Annabeth: “It’s a little funny.”

More like wise-cracking girl, am I right?

Percy: “Push?”

Annabeth: “Yup.”

Percy: “‘Cause weren’t you the one this morning who was all, ‘The Fates say one of us is going to die and we should take it really seriously’?”

In Annabeth we trust, Percy!

Ares: “Satyrs eat tofu. Satyrs worship flowers. Satyrs sing songs about their feelings. Satyrs are not fans of mine.”

Green Eggs and Ham, Ares and Grover Edition.

Percy: “[My mom] was trying to keep me away from you guys. Maybe you were right. Maybe she should have been preparing me better.”

Annabeth: “Maybe she was preparing you. So when you got to us, you’d be different than this.”

Sally Jackson the forever MVP!

Ares: “I hate kids. All of ’em. I hate my own kids. Maybe less than other kids, but still not fond of them. ‘Look what I made!’ ‘What are butterflies for?’ ‘My knee hurts.’ BLEH.”

I just know Adam Copeland had the best time on set. (He also has two children lol.)

Ares: “And seriously, she’s the smart one? Really? If she’s so smart, explain the owl. She talks to it, like, all the time. This fat, nasty, little feathered rodent. And it’s like her best friend. And we’re so sure that she’s a genius, and I, no owl, am not?”

CHEF’S KISS. (I’m also now very excited to meet Athena and her owl BFF.)

Grover: “Thank you for the emotional abuse and the cheeseburgers.”

Seriously — THANK YOU, ARES.

Riordan Readalong

Note: This section discusses the show as a book adaptation. Click here to skip to the next section.

The Lightning Thief, Chapters 14 to 16, with the episode named after Chapter 15.

Some spoiler-minimal series reader observations:

  • I love when adaptations step outside of the source material’s perspective for scenes like Annabeth with Hephaestus and Ares with Grover.

  • However, in the book, Ares didn’t hold Grover hostage, so the whole team went to Waterland together. But I liked that Grover wasn’t completely sidelined, and we got MORE ARES.

  • Hephaestus’ golden chair and Hephaestus himself are also completely new. I love how the show is bringing in more mythology!

  • What I love about Rick Riordan’s involvement in his own adaptation is that he can course correct and explore the story in a new way that’s still true to the books. (This Variety article on the Medusa episode is a great read about that.)

  • I actually started rereading The Lightning Thief, and I had forgotten how much casual fatphobia there is, and how so many of the women monsters are described as old and ugly. Definitely ‘published in 2005’ vibes.

Greek Chorus

  • Echidna really just gave up that easily? Didn’t even search for a body? No wonder demigods always best her and her children!

  • Speaking of children: Ares’ origin story of Kronos and the Olympians, LOL. Disney should do one of those spin-off web series with Ares retelling all the Greek myths.

  • Speaking of Ares: I’ve never watched Adam Copeland as an actor (Haven) or a professional wrestler (currently in AEW and formerly as Edge in WWE), but I am SOLD.

  • Another Gabe (Timm Sharp) cameo! The adult cast really are living their best lives.

  • Hephaestus was Timothy Omundson (Psych, Galavant)?!?! I am SHOOKETH. And also excited to see more of him in a very different role than I’m used to!

  • One last point about the (superb, phenomenal) cast and I’ll move on: the kids are doing so well carrying the show and playing against veteran actors!

  • Seeing as I quoted like half the episode, I should also shout out the credited writers, Rick Riordan (of course lol) and Jonathan E. Steinberg, who also teamed up for the first two episodes.

  • Grover playing Ares was SO GOOD. Weaponized empathy lol.

  • Once again, I am hopping on my soapbox to complain about current shows being SO. DARK. TV creatives, why don’t you want us to see your work!??!?

  • So when are we going to get another satyr song about feelings? Don’t leave us hanging, Grover!

Percy Poll

Which would you like to see the most?

  • Ares retelling more Greek myths (74%)
  • Athena gossiping with her owl (16%)
  • Grover singing more satyr songs (11%)
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What did y’all think of this episode? Share your thoughts in the comments!


Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.