Sibling Rivalry Has a Whole New Meaning on This Week’s “Hamster & Gretel”

This week’s Hamster & Gretel marks the first return of Lyle and Lauren, now with their cool supervillain names, and “Hero Hunch” of Gretel’s that may just prove to be right after all.

Superhero Sibling Rivalry

After several days of spatting, Gretel and Kevin have come to the conclusion that they are fighting too much and decide to take a break from each other for a bit. Of course, given their operation this might prove to be a bit more challenging than one would think. Gretel decides that she will handle things alone from now on (with Hamster too, of course). Hamster, meanwhile, has his own things to say, mostly from his fortune cookie – it might not necessarily apply to Gretel and Kevin – “Sibling rivalry is the only competition that no one can win.”

Remember in the first episode, not only did Gretel and Hamster get their superpowers, so did two other siblings who were told to use their powers only for evil? Well, in this episode they’re back and they have just been spotted down near the docks. Kevin reluctantly stays home to enjoy the day off and decides to go to the mall – one big shop with a bunch of smaller shops – with their cousin, Fred.

At the docks, the evil siblings Lauren and Lyle, (now known as the Destructress and Fistpuncher) are throwing boats and cargo around for a series of new videos so they can start getting a good following on social media. Fistpuncher uses his strength and launches a yacht at a nearby office building. While the workers inside debate on how to follow an evacuation manual, the ship approaches closer and closer before it is inevitably stopped by Hamster and Gretel just before smashing through the glass windows of the tower.

As Gretel goes to introduce herself and her pet hamster, Hamster, the Destructress is astonished to see her. The whole city already knows about Hamster and Gretel, so this would be the perfect collab, and when they defeat the young hero and her pet, their followers will become followers of the supervillains instead. While Gretel fights with the pair at the docks, Kevin is at the mall with Fred but clearly has no desire to be there. He is even passively scrolling away on his phone looking at headlines and livestreams of Gretel when Gretel calls. Refusing to answer, he hands the phone to Fred who answers and finds out that Gretel and Hamster are trapped under 200 tons of shipyard junk, and together they can only lift 157 tons.

Worried, Kevin rushes away from Fred and heads to the docks where he finds Gretel and tells him to go along with his plan. Pretending to know who these new supervillains are (because they’re SOOOO famous), and  uses his own experience fighting with Gretel pitting Lauren and Lyle against each other, saying that everyone online is talking about them but wondering who is the stronger of the two. Trying to prove themselves, each sibling individually starts building their own pile of shipyard junk – freeing up Hamster and Gretel and invoking a musical number.

Though the two are taken away at the end of this episode, the very fact that they were introduced in the pilot and have reappeared now leads me to think that this is not the last we’ve seen from Lyle and Lauren.

Close Shave

Kevin is taking Gretel to school when she explains that she has a plan since she has a “hero hunch” that her new substitute teacher is evil. Mostly because of his “evil half beard thing,” which Kevin acknowledges is a Goatee. She’s also going to sneak Hamster into class, disguising him as the class pet, but he needs to be careful considering the last class pet was a mouse who was a neighbor of a pretty hungry snake.

As she puts Hamster in his cage, the substitute, Mr. Chabner comes in and though Gretel is awfully suspicious, seems pretty normal. He announces to the class that he is going to strengthen the curriculum and has a volunteer, Bailey, come up and lead the class in some exercises. This leads Gretel to go into her imagination, and play out scenarios where Mr. Chabner reveals himself as a true supervillain.

Kevin is at school too giving a project alongside his cousin, but is constantly interrupted by Gretel’s phone calls, most of which seem overhyped and nothing to worry about, especially given how wrong her Hero Hunches have been in the past. Mr. Chabner brings in special cupcakes and again, Gretel plays out the worst case scenario in her head, and ends up attacking the box of cupcakes, launching one into Hamster’s cage and see-sawing him out into the snake’s mouth. Though he is swallowed, he appears to be okay as he is just moving around inside the snake’s body. He moves to one end of the snake and whips him around, knocking him senseless before coming out of the snake's mouth and calmly returning to his cage. Immediately, Mr. Chabner asks Gretel to stay after class.

After class, Mr. Chabner says that Gretel is not in trouble, but he suspects something is wrong and asks if there’s anything she wants to talk about. She comes clean and says she suspected he was evil because of the goatee. Just as we get a bit of sentimentality, Mr. Chabner reveals himself as a supervillain who saw Hamster and Gretel on TV and started subbing at various schools until he found them. But who is he? A young scientist who once could not grow a beard and started playing with facial DNA and accidentally transformed himself into a piece of sentient facial hair that can control whatever host he attaches himself to. His name? The Van Dyke- Mind Controlling Facial Hair.

The goatee rips himself off his host face and begins a fight throughout the schoolyard in this episode’s musical number. At a point in the song, the fight finds itself in a barber shop and then latched onto Hamster so the two end up fighting each other. Kevin and Fred check their phone to find out this is going on. The Van Dyke finds itself on Kevin, threatening that if Gretel tries to do anything stupid her brother is “mincemeat.” Fred arrives on scene and removes the Van Dyke with some hair removal spray, saving the day. The Van Dyke is in pain and scurries off only to get lawn mowed? All the action happens off screen through sound only and we see a bunch of little whiskers come back asking to be put together again. So maybe we haven’t see the last of him, but he definitely needs to be reassembled first.

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

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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.