Daybreak season 1, episode 2 recap: Schmuck Bait!

Photo: Daybreak Season 1 Image Courtesy Ursula Coyote/Netflix
Photo: Daybreak Season 1 Image Courtesy Ursula Coyote/Netflix /

In episode 2 of Netflix series Daybreak, Josh and crew meet a familiar witch and we learn more info about Ghoulie bites.

Previously on Daybreak, we met Josh (Colin Ford)…and yes, Josh did the “vs. the Apocalypse” thing. Now, he and his annoying companion, Angelica (Natalie Lind) and Wesley Fists (Austin Crute) are headed to the mall (Dawn of the Dead-style). At first, they seem to encounter the menacing Baron Triumph but he reveals himself to be Eli Cardashyan (Gregory Kasyan). Eli has taken over the Glendale Mall, dressing up as Baron Triumph to protect himself.

However, things take a dark turn when the real Baron Triumph shows up! They quickly flee into the mall, locking the madman outside. However, Eli is quick to show his true, selfish colors, locking Josh and Angelica in a store. Still, Wesley Fists refuses to fight Eli due to his personal code.

Once in the mall, Eli informs them of a witch, and sure enough, there are some strange and witchy screams. Josh uses it as an opportunity for another flashback about Sam (Sophie Simnett). To counter the negative aspects of social media usage, Sam gives compliments to people in the mall, posting them on social media. Unfortunately, flashbacks aren’t always happy, so Jayden Hoyles (Rob H. Roy) pushes Josh.

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However, present-day-ish Josh is interrupted by The Witch (Krysta Rodriguez), who is ravenously eating pillow stuffing. She quickly spots and chases Angelica. Before long, The Witch is identified as Ms. Crumble, who used to be Glendale High’s biology teacher. Interestingly, she’s not quite a “Ghoulie” as she can speak more than one sentence and seemingly has some control over her appetite for human flesh.

Eli’s zero-tolerance immigration policy

Like many shows, Daybreak offers little bits of social commentary. For example, Eli says he has a “zero-tolerance immigration policy” and is hostile to Wesley, regarding him as an invader. In fact, like a warped Macaulay Culkin, he tries to kill him with an anvil tied to a bowl of snacks! Being the bigger man, Wesley apologizes for bullying Eli in school, saying “The child I was is not the man I hope to become. Still, Eli repeatedly slaps Wesley to test the man’s stated pacifism.
In a way, Eli is similar to Turbo “Bro Jock” Pokaski (Cody Kearsley), who uses the apocalypse to run things his way.

Turbo Bro also wants revenge on Josh and crew (which is obviously expanding to include the reluctant yet crafty Eli). Pokaski loves to be honored by his lessers, demanding they pay tribute. The Disciples of Kardashian offer kegs of IPA gold. Melkyar Darksbane/Beth (Caroline Patz) of the 4-H Tribe offers sheep. The STEM Punks have nothing to offer, then rebelliously shoot Turbo and claim they’re taking over. However, we learn it was Jerry Wienkers (Micah McNeil) who was shot, not actually Turbo — Turbo apparently knew the assassination attempt would happen (or something).

A bad witch and/or a good witch?

Daybreak offers another flashback to Ms. Crumble before she was “The Witch.” She discovers Josh hiding in the blue jeans section of a store, afraid of Hoyles. There’s a quirky origin story here, too, as Ms. Crumble isn’t her real name (everyone just incorrectly called her that). Things take a strange turn in the present, though, when Josh learns The Witch swallowed the keys to be freed. So they can be retrieved, The Witch expands her jaws like a powerful anaconda, and a trusting Josh reaches down her throat to get them (though she also has doll heads down there). Impressively, she doesn’t clamp down her jaws and tears off his arm!

However, he soon has other concerns. The Ghoulie Yoga Mom (Jodie Esquibel) from the last episode attacks Josh, who is saved by Eli! Also, Baron Triumph gets in through the trash compactor. Interestingly, The Witch scares the Baron away by acting crazy and speaking Spanish.

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After this fiasco, Wesley separates Eli from them, saying they’ll divide the mall. Before long, Josh reveals that has a ghoulie bite and plans to remove part of his harm to avoid turning. He manages to cut a finger off before Angelica stops him. She shows him her arm which has numerous Ghoulie bites. In other words, Josh lost his finger for nothing! Unlike regular “zombie” stories, people are not transformed into creatures through bites.

What are your thoughts on Daybreak? Let us know in the comments!