The Second Episode of “Hamster & Gretel” Builds The Universe of The New Series

The second episode of Hamster & Gretel keeps the fun going while building the universe that the new series takes place in, complete with villains and what are sure to be recurring characters.

Recipe for Disaster

It’s family dinner night at the house, and it's a mandatory tradition. Mom’s special Ropa Vieja (which means “old clothes”) is set in the oven and its up to Kevin and Gretel to keep their eyes on it for the next few hours. Gretel, again taking a more aggressive and impatient approach to things, decides to use her heat vision to finish it off so the siblings can have the next few hours to themselves. Tragically, this works a little too well and she instantly burns the dinner, sending Kevin into a panic. On top of that, Mom has showed up at the house again way sooner than they expected since she forgot her keys. Fortunately, Kevin comes up with a quick plan. He is going to distract Mom while Gretel goes out into the city looking for some more Ropa Vieja.

Kevin tags along with his Mom while they go shopping, despite Kevin’s fear of conveyor belts at a grocery store that he may or may not have outgrown.

Gretel is going throughout the city to restaurants looking for the dish, but realizes she has no money. Now, we learn of a particularly fun trait that Hamster has – an ability to locate nearby coal and uses his strength to turn it into a diamond, perfectly cut no less.

While shopping with Mom, Kevin decides to spend more quality (and distracting) time with his mom, even if it means running into Hiromi in embarrassing situations. Gretel has found many restaurants but none with Ropa Vieja that compares to their mother’s. Fortunately, she ends up near Casa de Ropa Vieja and finds one that is perfect, but alas, it’s the last one in the restaurant. A new villain has appeared, and El Luchador is ready to fight for that last Ropa Vieja in the restaurant.

After spending the day with his mother, Kevin realizes that Family Dinner Night isn’t just about the Ropa Vieja, it’s about eating it together as a family. So, despite Gretel’s best attempts at taking on El Luchador, she listens to her brother and they decide to make Mom’s recipe together. Cue this episode’s musical number – featuring a montage of memories about cooking as a family and traditions with everyone.

The dish is ready and looks perfect, but as Kevin goes to put the new dish in the oven as though it were there the whole time, he trips and spills the plate everywhere as Mom comes back into the house. Now, the truth must come out – they burned the Ropa Vieja. Mom, upset, runs into the kitchen and pulls her dish out of a different location – the top oven. But what did they ruin? Abuela’s dirt cake – cake that looks like dirt so that obnoxious neighbors won’t eat it.

Math Punch

Gretel is doing her math homework, but remember, as we’ve learned in the previous episode, Gretel doesn’t like anything to do with calculations or formulas or you know – math. Kevin is trying to help but she has no patience, but Dad interrupts explaining he has the perfect anniversary gift for their mother that will trump anything she does for him and better yet, it’s totally going to make her cry.

In the city, a new supervillain has arrived and he’s also supercharged. A cowboy who has been hit by lightning and is now supercharged and can take out everyone’s devices, and his name is Rodney Thunderpants. His motive? He appreciates a time when smartphones weren’t a thing, and when horses were loyal. He was out on the ranch one day with his horse when a cell phone tower got struck by lightning and fell on top of him, and got struck by lightning again four more times, thus giving him his powers.

Gretel is bored sitting through her math lesson when she is presented with the usual math problem about two trains traveling at x miles per hour, etc etc. Math isn’t my forte either. I feel you, Gretel. Fortunately for her, the arrival of Rodney Thunderpants provides a welcome distraction. When she arrives on scene, she asks Rodney what we’re all thinking— you have lightning powers and your name is Rodney, why didn’t you call yourself Lightning Rod?! While their great battle in the city takes place, Mom and Dad are out at their anniversary dinner while Dad tries to download their special video from the cloud. It’s loading…

Rodney is creating a giant Electromagnetic Pulse that is set to take out the city’s devices – permanently. After he sets the ball of electricity on his way, the musical montage kicks on as Kevin tries to stop him on the nearby train… a steam powered contraption that won’t be affected by the pulse when it hits. The pulse is headed for the tower and Gretel is ready to stop it, but a nearby electrician knows it would be very easy with just a bit of math. Again, Gretel’s impatience takes over, and decides to just move the cell phone tower, inadvertently ruining her father’s download at 99%.

Now, her brother is on the train traveling at 60 miles per hour and she needs to actually use her math skills to save him. After more music, she makes it on time to save Kevin and Rodney, who thanks to the police who also chased the train into ravine, now is aware of what else smartphones can do and decides to get one for himself.

Finally, at Dinner, Mom shows off her gift to Dad, a video she smartly downloaded (instead of using the cloud) that is the best anniversary gift and makes HIM cry.

This episode of Hamster & Gretel is now available on Disney Channel and the DisneyNOW app.

Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.