Warning: Spoilers for Daybreak season 1 are ahead.
Netflix’s new teens vs. zombies show Daybreak may have familiar elements and pop culture references, but it definitely exists in its own league. Naturally, those who've finished its explosive first season are already clamoring for confirmation of Daybreak season 2, complete with Queen Sam and whatever else the writers have in store.
Daybreak somehow manages to bridge Ferris Bueller’s Day Off-style narration with tongue-and-cheek audience interactions and a coming-of-age story all centered around the idea of teenagers surviving in a post-apocalyptic Glendale, California. It sounds strange (and it is), but it also works, which why these first 10-episodes are such an easy binge watch.
But if fans are worried, they have right to be: Netflix has become pretty stingy handing out new seasons these days. The good news is, it's still early. Daybreak has only just delivered its first season, so while there hasn’t been an announcement about a possible second season yet, there's still plenty of time for that. And I, for one, and hopelessly optimistic because the season finale left us with an eyebrow-raising cliffhanger and so many unanswered questions. And either way, we'll probably know in a month or two. If it's good news, we'll likely know quickly — Netflix often renews hits after a few weeks. If it stretches beyond a month, don't assume the worst, but keep in mind that it did take the streaming giant approximately five months to decide to cancel its sci-fi series The OA, so a long silence might mean it's time to prepare for the worst.
But, while we patiently await our joy (or devastation), here's what's at stake in the world of Ghoulie-ridden Glendale and which elements are primed for deeper digging in season 2.
Who Will Rule The Teens?
In the last couple of minutes of season finale, Sam (Sophie Simnett) shocked the audience and Josh (Colin Ford) when she sat on her throne and declared she would be the leader instead of Josh. Mona Lisa (Jeanté Godlock) took her side, signaling she would be Sam’s new right-hand woman. All the jocks bowed to Sam to show their loyalty. Josh, Wesley (Austin Crute), Angelica (Alyvia Alyn Lind), Ms. Crumble (Krysta Rodriguez), KJ (Chelsea Zhang), Turbo (Cody Kearsley), Victoria (Sandra Mae Frank), and a few other people were the only ones to look up in awe as Sam essentially betrayed them.
It was a gut punch for Josh, who spent the whole season trying to reunite with Sam and explain their “epic” love story through flashbacks. But for the audience, it was a little more expected: Sam always hinted or flat-out said that Josh basically saw her as a manic pixie dream girl. And by episode 10, Josh is ready to save the world while Sam is comfortable embracing the apocalyptic lifestyle. The romance between these two is officially kaput (well, at least for now), and we're firmly in brand new territory. If Daybreak gets another season, it will get to explore how the former 'ship (well, in Josh’s eyes anyway) battle for dominance. In short: That finale changes everything.
Can We Really Trust Turbo?
Turbo Bro Jock is pretty much a main antagonist alongside Burr/Baron Triumph (Matthew Broderick) for the first six episodes. Then, he takes a backseat. It is partly because Burr beats him within an inch of his life and Wesley has to nurse him back to health. But the other reason is that Turbo is supposed to have experienced some personal growth in light of Wesley telling him their love is toxic.
Everything seems fine now, but Wesley also, um, attempts to shoot Turbo in the finale. It is only because the gun is a confetti blaster (which Turbo knows, but Wesley doesn’t) that Turbo survives. How could Turbo not retain some unresolved, bitter feelings that Wesley was fully ready to kill him? Plus, he will have to abandon the people who were his original followers and trust a new group if he chooses Wesley. Turbo could return to the jocks, who now mostly support Sam, instead of following Josh, who he deeply hated for a majority of this season. In fact, that seems almost certain to cross his mind, at the very least. Sure, we can hope Turbo and Wesley’s love is truly strong enough to make him want to continue to be a better person, but our episode 5 narrator, RZA, did say that Turbo and Wesley’s story would not end well...
What Are Mrs. Crumble & Burr?
The Netflix description for episode 10 highly suggests that everyone will learn what exactly Ms. Crumble is. But, um, that definitely didn’t happen. Instead, the group is left wondering if Crumble can actually turn herself into mist after she ignites a missile at extremely close range and then appears unscathed immediately after doing so. Angelica asks Ms. Crumble what she is and she replies, “I don’t know. But aren’t we going to have fun figuring it out together?” So, we still don’t know why Ms. Crumble is a half-Ghoulie, what that means, and why she has been able to improve and regain some of her wits. That certainly sounds like an entire second season mystery to me.
And if that wasn't enough, there is the issue of Burr. While he is dying, an inexplicable gray arm bursts from his stomach. (Honestly, Josh and co.’s reaction to seeing this was not nearly as dramatic as it should’ve been.) Burr explains in episode 9 that he survived the nuclear blast because he hid in a bunker, but the chemicals in the air still managed to turn him into a cannibal with an arm growing inside him. Burr’s existence means there could be other adults (like, perhaps, Angelica’s mom) who retreated underground and are experiencing mutations as well. We seriously doubt that Ms. Crumble is now the only adult alive, which means there will be more people interested in challenging Josh’s, or Sam's, power.
Who Set Off The Bombs & Why Did They Do It?
This is the show's biggest mystery and it was pretty much glossed over in the last episode. Angelica makes a speech about how adults are supposed to teach children to be good people, but grown-ups became selfish and that is why they were targeted by the chemical bombs. It is a reasonable explanation that fits into the message of Daybreak. It also means that whoever created the bombs is most likely an evil teen genius who wanted to rid the world of parents. If the teens plan to survive their new world, whatever lies beyond it, and their current food shortage, we're going to need to start figuring this major mystery out — a second season would certainly help.
What About All These Fantastic Supporting Characters?
Throughout Daybreak’s first season, a few supporting characters were introduced and now that Eli (gone too soon) and Burr are dead, there is room for a few new mains. Enter Demi, KJ, and Victoria.
Demi, the co-leader of the Cheermazons, is said to be missing after Burr sets off his bomb. She appeared in a few episodes, so it doesn’t seem likely that she would have an off-screen death without ever being mentioned again. If she returns, she'll probably join Sam and Mona Lisa, since she is all about women being in charge. A woman like that would never follow a Josh type.
Demi’s co-leader Victoria decides to join Josh after her interpreter is killed because he is the only person who understands sign-language. There were also some definite romantic sparks glowing between Victoria and Josh and considering Sam just took his affections and said, "Nah, bro," Josh will probably be looking for a new object of affection.
Finally, there is KJ, who had a brief romance with Josh before he (cowardly) dropped her when he found out Sam was alive. She still supported him in the fight against Burr and there are obviously lingering feelings. But KJ, rightfully, is no one's second choice. She's better than that, and I'll be money she'll tell him that if given the chance.
Can The Ghoulies Be Cured?
In episode 8, Burr voices his theory that teenagers didn’t turn into Ghoulies because they all had the HPV vaccine and whatever was in the vaccine saved them. That'd be a strange plot point, but okay.
He also says that some of the students didn’t receive all of the shots and are susceptible to turning into a Ghoulies. These students could transform when they become 18, or they could be in the process of slowly changing from continued radiation exposure. Either way, the Daybreakers are going to have to find out a way to reverse the Ghoulie transformation to help Ms. Crumble, Angelica’s mom, and the partially vaccinated students. Figuring out how to make the Ghoulies better and teaching adults to become good people again could be the key to ending the apocalypse and we'd definitely need at least 10 more episodes to begin to scratch the surface of that mystery.
Get on it, Netflix.