“Post Mates” takes place exclusively in the past and hones in on Sam and Josh’s pre-apocalypse relationship to mixed effect.
This recap of Daybreak Season 1, Episode 8, “Post Mates”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Daybreak Episode 8 takes place entirely in the past, exploring Sam (Sophie Simnett) and Josh’s (Colin Ford) relationship before the bombs fell, and it’s a mixed bag that doesn’t work as well as the other episodes. Having no fun formal devices robs it of some energy and style, and I’m not sure I necessarily buy the connection between these two, as much as there are plenty of decent moments in “Post Mates”.
This is all from Sam’s perspective. A theme of the episode is that Sam is much more mature and worldly-wise than Josh, which makes their attempts at sex and their discussions of consent remarkably embarrassing for him. And it’s genuinely refreshing to see that in a teen-focused drama. Josh slipping on his satin sheets and accidentally headbutting Sam is a fun gag, and his pathetic interrogation of her about her sexual history deserves the angry response it gets.
What follows, though, as Sam becomes kind of unhinged and starts terrorizing the young lad who delivers their food, is a bit hit-and-miss, sometimes playing for laughs and sometimes for pure weirdness, and you can’t always tell which is which. “Post Mates” lost me a bit here, and it’s a bit overly obvious where Josh’s mum’s relentless calling is going.
There is a lot of truthfulness in Sam’s anxieties about becoming homecoming queen, and how she dislikes the viral video that made her popular because it just highlights all the best parts of her rather than the real thing. And the negative comments are getting to her. She also makes a lot of solid points about how women are judged negatively for promiscuity whereas it’s a badge of honor for men, even if they are familiar and well-trodden arguments. Her feminist rant includes complaints about labels like queen and s**t, most devised by men. She says she isn’t what everyone says she is on social media. She’s a kid; she doesn’t know who she is. Josh says she’s Sam Dean, which is apparently enough.
Anyway, they finally have sex.
In the aftermath of that, Josh’s mom calls. Sam answers for him. It isn’t much of a surprise that his dad is dead. And it isn’t that much of a surprise that he turns on Sam as a result, his guilt for being too busy trying to get in her pants while his father was dying manifesting as blame for her putting him in that position. He says that from her position of social privilege, beautiful and adored by everyone, she has no idea how real people feel. He also tells her she’s a s**t.
Sam leaves distraught, at which point she returns to school and has that conversation with Wesley (Austin Crute) that we saw part of in his episode. Daybreak Season 1, Episode 8, “Post Mates”, ends with Sam looking herself in the mirror, which we could all probably stand to do more often.