Percy Jackson & The Olympians Episode 1 SPOILER Recap/Review: I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher

Percy Jackson & The Olympians Episode 1 SPOILER Recap/Review: I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher
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The long-awaited Disney+ adaptation of Percy Jackson & The Olympians has finally arrived with the first episode, “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher.” After such a long wait, does the TV version live up to the legacy of the beloved book series? How does it adapt the opening chapters? And does it deliver on being a great show in its own right?

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Well, there’s only one way to find out. Please bear in mind that there will be full spoilers for “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher,” so tread lightly if you haven’t seen it yet. Without further ado, let’s begin.

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Also Read: Percy Jackson & The Olympians (2023) Review: TV Worthy of the Gods

Percy Jackson Episode 1 Plot

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS - "Episode 101” (Disney/David Bukach) ARYAN SIMHADRI
Aryan Simhadri as Grover in Percy Jackson & The Olympians

After delivering the iconic opening monologue from Lightning Thief‘s first chapter, we are introduced to Walker Scobell’s Percy Jackson through a montage of his early life. Seeing things that aren’t really there, being transferred from psychiatrist to psychiatrist and from boarding school to boarding school, and not really making any friends with the exception of Aryan Simhadri’s Grover.

During a school field trip, one of Percy’s teachers, Mrs. Dodds, transforms into a harpy and attacks him. Percy easily defeats her with one sword strike, said sword having been disguised as a pen and given to him earlier; but afterwards, everyone around Percy denies the incident even happening and claim Mrs. Dodds never existed.

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Not long after this, Percy is kicked out of school and is sent home to his loving mother Sally and abusive stepfather Gabe. Realizing the implications of the Dodds incident, Sally and Percy head to the family cabin in Montauk so Sally can tell Percy the truth about his heritage. Percy was conceived after Sally fell in love with a Greek God; which makes Percy a demigod and highly sought after by monsters like Mrs. Dodds.

Percy doesn’t believe her at first, but changes his mind when Grover, revealing himself to be a satyr, arrives to take Percy to a demigod sanctuary known as Camp Half-Blood. The three are chased by a minotaur on the way there and while Percy does manage to defeat the creature; his mother is taken by it and the fight knocks Percy unconscious. The episode ends with Percy waking up in the camp infirmary, as the next chapter of his life awaits him.

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Percy Jackson Episode 1 Critique

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS - "Episode 101” (Disney/David Bukach) MEGAN MULLALY
Megan Mullaly as Mrs. Dodds in Percy Jackson & The Olympians

“I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher,” named after the first chapter of the original Lightning Thief book, is a near-perfect debut episode. It plants us firmly in the perspective of our main character and lets us get to know him, introduces us to the larger world and its unique elements without feeling too bogged down by exposition, and lays the groundwork for much of the ongoing story.

Most of the main supporting cast, including Grover, Glynn Turman’s Chiron, and Virginia Kull’s Sally Jackson get introduced here as well and they all make for great additions. The mother/son and best friend relationships between Sally, Grover, and Percy feel very authentic and the performances from Kull and the aforementioned Aryan Simhadri really help sell the characters as people. And Turman brings the sage wisdom and genuine love that Chiron has in the books to life perfectly.

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My one major criticism of this episode would have to be with the action scenes. While they’re overall very solid with great choreography, excellent VFX, and creative design work, the sense of weight and impact of moves could use some work. Monsters don’t really die in this world, they simply evaporate. So, when Percy defeats Mrs. Dodds in one blow, it makes sense.

However, this then makes the prolonged minotaur fight later harder to follow. It’s hard to get a read on how much the minotaur is hurt by each sword swing or how that affects the way it fights given the rules established earlier. Regardless, “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher” is a great episode and a great start to a seemingly worthy adaptation.

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9/10

9 Out of 10

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Written by Callie Hanna

Callie Hanna is an up-and-coming writer, aspiring actor, and full-time nerd. She grew up in a small town in Delaware and was instilled with a love for superheroes, science fiction, and all things geeky from an early age. When she's not catching up with her comically large backlog of movies, games, shows, and comics, Callie can be found working, writing, chatting with friends, or browsing the dying husk of Twitter.