“We Take a Zebra to Vegas,” the sixth episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, is one that fans of the book series have been waiting for. Percy (Walker Scobell), Annabeth (Leah Jeffries), and Grover (Aryan Simhadri) make their way to Las Vegas and enter the infamous Lotus Hotel and Casino — where the fans have been hoping a specific favorite character might make an appearance, due to what they already know about this location from Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson novels.

[Ed. note: Slight spoilers ahead for the Percy Jackson books.]

Grover talking to Percy and Annabeth, as they stand in front of the glitzy Lotus Hotel and Casino entrance

Photo: David Bukach/Disney

Introduced in The Titan’s Curse, book three of the Percy Jackson series, Nico and Bianca di Angelo are at the Lotus Hotel and Casino at the same time as Percy and his friends, at least in the books’ canon. That’s why many fans have theorized that the di Angelo siblings might have cameos in this episode.

Nico and Bianca are mysterious siblings with an unknown parentage. Eventually, Percy and his friends learn that even though they look like preteens, Nico and Bianca were actually born in the 1930s, some 70 years before the events of The Titan’s Curse. They just spent decades of their lives in the Lotus Hotel and Casino, without realizing how much time had passed.

Nico goes on to become a major player throughout the Percy Jackson series and the Riordan books that follow. As for Bianca… let’s just say she doesn’t really appear much beyond the third book.

Do the di Angelo siblings appear in episode 6 of Percy Jackson?

Short answer — no, they do not!

Long answer — while there are some children and teenagers also in the casino when Percy and his friends are there in “We Take a Zebra to Vegas,” the episode doesn’t focus on them or highlight them in any way. They just appear in the background.

But we do get to see one other important character: Hermes (as played by Lin-Manuel Miranda) has a long conversation with Percy and Annabeth. This is new to the series, since Hermes doesn’t make an appearance until the second Percy Jackson book, The Sea of Monsters. (Also, Grover runs into an old satyr friend named Augustus, who doesn’t have a book equivalent.)

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hermes, leaning over a poker table with a big goofy smile

Photo: David Bukach/Disney

All in all, this episode plays out very differently than its equivalent chapter in the books. In the first book of the Percy Jackson series, The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends initially stumble upon the casino and fall victim to its gimmick: Designed by the lotus-eaters of mythology, who abandon everything else in life to eat narcotic, pleasure-giving lotus flowers, the casino similarly offers hedonistic indulgences so travelers never want to leave.

The trio gets swept up in the casino’s cool arcade games: Annabeth in particular spends a lot of time with some 3D city-builder simulation, which sounded like the coolest shit when I read the books at age 12. Percy doesn’t realize what’s up until he notices one of his gamer buddies using very archaic slang, then starts looking at all the anachronistic outfits around him and his friends. The gang ends up losing five days in the casino.

But in the show, Grover realizes pretty quickly the connection between the Lotus Hotel and Casino and the lotus-eaters. He warns the others from the get-go not to eat anything at the casino, but it turns out that the lotus aroma is in the air instead. The friends still lose a few days, but this time they’re more aware and genre-savvy about it.

Enough about the book differences — where are the di Angelos?

It’s unlikely that the production team would commit to casting these two characters this far out from a hypothetical third season of Percy Jackson and the Olympians — particularly Nico, considering how big his role in the series ends up becoming. Given the hullabaloo around casting the main three characters, I’m certain that Rick Riordan will be making a big deal about Nico’s first appearance and not just slip it in as a brief cameo.

But the di Angelos do make a kinda-sorta-tiny-maybe appearance in the show! Well, their name does. In the first episode, Percy’s mom, Sally (Virginia Kull), tells her loser husband that she’s going to pick up sandwiches from a place called di Angelo’s on the way back from Montauk. The captions spell it “D’Angelos,” not “di Angelos,” but still. It’s a bit of an Easter egg for eagle-eyed (or eagle-eared) fans out there.

“We Take a Zebra to Vegas” is out on Disney Plus now. New episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians drop on Disney Plus on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST.



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