'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' Episode 4 Recap: The Mother of Monsters (2024)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 3 was a pivotal moment in the series and its character’s journeys. After leaving camp and defeating the complicated and tragic Medusa (Jessica Parker Kennedy), the trio of Percy (Walker Scobell), Annabeth (Leah Jeffries), and Grover (Aryan Simhadri) learn to set aside their differences and trust each other, realizing they’re at their best when they work together.

Percy’s first quest in Percy Jackson and the Olympians continues to unravel like a peeled onion, revealing new depths and layers to an increasingly complex plot involving the gods of Olympus. In the series’ fourth entry, “I Plunge to My Death,” Percy and his companions continue their journey west toward the Underworld, meeting a deadly and unassuming foe in the nation’s heartland.

Percy Meets the Mother of Monsters in ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’

'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' Episode 4 Recap: The Mother of Monsters (1)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 4 begins with a flashback scene of a younger Percy (Azriel Dalman) learning to swim with his mother, Sally (Virginia Kull). Percy is scared and clings to the edge, but Sally impresses on him that it’s important for him to learn. After another dream focusing on the evil, disembodied voice from previous episodes, present-day Percy awakens on a train. He questions the methods demigod children have to employ to get attention from their divine parents.

Annabeth reveals that Athena created her from a thought in the goddess’ mind. Athena then gave Annabeth to a mortal man she’d fallen in love with as a gift. But once her father started a traditional family of his own, her father no longer treated her like a gift and she ran away from home. The next morning, someone vandalizes the trio’s train cabin while they’re at breakfast. Security detains them and speaks with a woman from a neighboring cabin (Suzanne Cryer). The woman carries an unseen, growling animal in a carrier, and reveals herself to be Echidna, the Mother of Monsters.

Like Medusa in Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ previous episode, she takes issue with the word “monster,” arguing that demigods are the more dangerous creatures. Meanwhile, the baby monster in the carrier has picked up their scent and attacks. Annabeth stabs it with her knife, and the kids take off down the train. Grover realizes the monster stung Percy and left a golden barb in his shoulder. They exit the train, flee into St. Louis, and make for the Gateway Arch, a sanctuary dedicated to Annabeth’s mother, Athena — she says even monsters can’t enter the space.

Percy Fights a Monster in a National Landmark

'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' Episode 4 Recap: The Mother of Monsters (2)

As Percy Jackson and the Olympians continues, Annabeth suggests that Percy try to communicate with his father. Percy refuses, adamant that he wants nothing from Poseidon, who he says has had his chance to be a part of his son’s life. As they talk, Percy suddenly collapses, finally feeling the poison from the monster’s sting.

Annabeth and Grover take Percy to a fountain outside and splash him with water, hoping it will heal him. But, as it’s not fresh, running water, it doesn’t have the intended effect. Instead, they decide to head up to the top of the Arch and ask Athena for help. Meanwhile, Echidna arrives at the Arch with her monster, the Chimaera.

As they ride to the top, Grover wonders how the monster got inside the landmark unless Athena allowed it. Annabeth reveals Echidna spoke to her telepathically, telling her that her impertinence — taking part in sending Medusa’s head to Olympus — wounded Athena’s pride. She tells Annabeth that impertinence will be her doom.

Echidna and the Chimaera, a terrifying fire-breathing hybrid of a lion and goat, arrive at the top of the Arch. A pale and weak Percy decides to take on the Chimaera himself, wielding his bronze sword, Riptide. Echidna uses her powers to rip a hole in the Arch’s floor, which Percy tumbles out of during the fight. Percy clings to a beam for dear life, 630 feet above the ground. As Echidna and the Chimaera watch, he loses his grip and the hero of Percy Jackson and the Olympians seemingly plunges to his death.

Percy Plunges to His Death in ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’

'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' Episode 4 Recap: The Mother of Monsters (3)

We see the scene from Percy’s perspective as he plummets to the ground, tumbling through the air. A waterspout suddenly appears over the nearby Mississippi River and collides with Percy, who splashes down into the river. His foot stuck on the sandy bottom, Percy panics until he realizes he’s not alone. A water spirit called a Nereid (Jelena Milinkovic) appears and tells Percy that Poseidon sent her. She says Poseidon wants Percy to know that he’s all right and to breathe.

The Nereid also tells Percy that Poseidon has been with him the whole time. She also says it’s been hard for the god to sit back and watch his son struggle and not interfere. “He’s so very proud,” the Nereid says. “Trust him. Trust yourself. Just breathe.” At those words, Percy inhales deeply, realizing for the first time in Percy Jackson and the Olympians that he has the power to breathe underwater.

‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Red-Hot Streak Continues

'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' Episode 4 Recap: The Mother of Monsters (4)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Episode 4 proves why this show is a necessary adaptation of a beloved story. It adapts several chapters of author Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief novel that the movie adaptation left out. At the same time, it deepens the bond between its main characters, as well as Percy and his father. Furthermore, like the previous episode, it demonstrates how dangerous Percy’s world is and the fickle nature of the gods they’re supposed to honor and worship.

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Brandon Moore

Author and travel/pop culture writer from Chicago, Illinois. I've been writing and telling nerdy stories since before I can remember. My geeky interests range from the MCU to Percy Jackson to Tomb Raider, but I'm also a fan of travel, history, archaeology, and dance. I'm a big fan of '90s and early 2000s nostalgia, from book series like Goosebumps and Animorphs, to TV shows like LOST, Friends, and Boy Meets World. I recently discovered Ted Lasso, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Shrinking, and rekindled my love for Pokémon. My favorite movies of all-time include Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire Strikes Back, and Jurassic Park. I love music of all genres, from pop to R&B to hip-hop to rock. I also ghostwrite for a popular travel blog called David's Been Here. Let's spread a little extra love and kindness in this world!

'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' Episode 4 Recap: The Mother of Monsters (2024)
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