“Schmuck Bait!” sees the gang lay claim to some new territory and recruit another unlikely member, as more of the past is revealed.
This recap of Daybreak Season 1, Episode 2, “Schmuck Bait!”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
As Daybreak Episode 2 explains, schmuck bait is the kind of cliffhanger than the previous episode ended with, so it’s fitting that we find out pretty early who the mysterious figure in the gas mask is. But more on that in a minute. First, the episode’s flashback focus: Josh’s (Colin Ford) embarrassing experience at the mall the gang is currently stood outside of.
That mall is where we begin and where we spend most of “Schmuck Bait!”, in both the past and present. It’s an important location to this show and to zombie history; this one is currently controlled by Eli Cardashyan (Gregory Kasyan), the kind of wannabe kid who wears exclusively knock-off gear, and who quickly reveals himself to be the new arrival. The trouble is that the guy he’s impersonating, Baron Triumph, promptly arrives for real.
Taking shelter inside the mall, Eli lays down the law — and a barricade that traps he and Wesley (Austin Crute) on one side of the building and Josh and Angelica (Alyvia Alyn Lind) on the other. To make matters worse, on Josh and Angelica’s side there is, apparently, a witch.
While this is going on, Turbo (Cody Kearsley) and his goons interrogate the golfers we met in the previous episode and send out a signal requesting a group chat. We don’t see too much of them in “Schmuck Bait!”, but they make a few appearances. During the group chat, the nerds try to assassinate Turbo, only to discover that they’ve simply killed a decoy — RIP yet another golfer. The Jocks have a keg party with booze offered as a tribute during the meeting, but Turbo is only focused on Josh.
In a flashback, Josh and Sam (Sophie Simnett) make a vlog of Sam paying people legitimate complements in a statement against the prevailing fakeness of social media; Josh is harassed by some jocks and promptly runs away, which is hardly how you impress a lady on a date — as though those truly embarrassing trousers weren’t bad enough.
The mall witch in Daybreak Episode 2 turns out to be Josh’s biology teacher Ms. Crumble (Krysta Rodriguez), now a unique ghoulie who can speak full sentences and has actual, independent thoughts.
Ms. Crumble is also present during the flashbacks in Daybreak Episode 2. She finds Josh hiding in a clothing rack and explains that Ms. Crumble isn’t her real name — or at least it wasn’t until she had a breakdown in class and the students changed the school records to reflect her new moniker. When her cheques started being made out to that name, she had no choice but to legally change it. In the present day, she has the keys to the mall but ate them because she “needed the iron”. Luckily she can open her mouth wide enough to accommodate an entire arm, but only Josh’s is long enough to fish them out in an icky bit of visual unpleasantness.
Apparently keen on her new friends, Ms. Crumble helps them fight off the marauding man in the gas mask, who is apparently Jaden Hoyles (Rob H. Roy), a particularly awful jock who terrorized Josh that day in the mall and everyone else virtually all of the time. After having defended their new territory, Wesley traps Eli, alone, on his own side of the mall. Eli claims to know Wesley’s secret, but he says everyone knows he’s gay — apparently Eli knows something else about him which explains why he became a pacifist, but we don’t learn any more about it in “Schmuck Bait!”.
Besides, we have other things to worry about in Daybreak Season 1, Episode 2. In the bathroom, Josh talks to the past version of himself in what he explicitly explains is a visual representation of that age-old trope. It turns out he has been bitten by a ghoulie. In desperation, he attempts to hack off the sullied limb with his sword, but messes it up, only managing to slice off one of his fingers. In a second, funnier twist, Angelica reveals several bite marks of her own. They don’t cause an infection. This isn’t The Walking Dead. Turns out Josh cut his finger off for absolutely no reason at all.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.