‘The Flight Attendant’ Team on [Spoiler]’s Return & Cassie Bringing Down Her Life
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Flight Attendant Season 2 Episodes 3 “The Reykjavik Ice Sculpture Festival Is Lovely This Time of Year” and 4 “Blue Sincerely Reunion.”]
With the latest two episodes, The Flight Attendant takes Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) to Iceland to track down her missing friend, Megan (Rosie Perez), after she misinterprets a message and reunites her with an old frenemy and then back home, where she makes a decision that brings down her life.
First of all, in Iceland, Miranda (Michelle Gomez) comes to Cassie and Megan’s rescue — Megan has a bounty on her head from the North Koreans — and helps them get out of the country. “Miranda was, of course, a fan-favorite in Season 1, and we wanted to bring her back with a real splash in Season 2,” executive producer Natalie Chaidez tells TV Insider. “It was pure joy on the set to have [Kaley and Michelle]. Those two are so funny off-screen, behind the cameras. You could not believe the level of jokery between Kaley, Margaret [Cho], Rosie, and Michelle on that set. I hope that she’s as badass [as she was] — she stabs someone in the back, she gets shot in the leg again, she has a helicopter — [and] that she lives up to how large she loomed in Season 1.”
But before parting ways with Cassie this time, Miranda tells her there won’t be any more “Miranda ex Machina.” So does that mean we won’t see her again? “I think we live in a world where Miranda’s always around, so never say never,” executive producer Steve Yockey says.
That being said, Cassie thinks that she won’t have her as backup now. “Look, was it the smartest thing to go to Iceland? No. Was it the smartest thing to play hero instead of dealing with her own problems? And I think Miranda was there,” Yockey continues. “But we can only, as storytellers, play that card so many times. So she got one of those. She gets one ‘get out of jail free’ card which is ‘Miranda’s going to put you on a private jet and get you back into the country,’ but I think that Cassie’s going to have to learn to start solving her own problems.”
Cassie adds to that list of problems at the end of “Blue Sincerely Reunion.” Right after arriving home in Los Angeles, she finds out that two bodies were found at Echo Park (CIA analysts, she then finds out). And ignoring the other versions of herself in her mind palace, Cassie sleeps with her CIA handler, Benjamin Barry (Mo McRae).
“She’s back in the country. She’s having to, all of a sudden, face all of these problems that she left behind when she went to Reykjavik, including Marco [Santiago Cabrera] wanting to move in together and that starting to move way too fast for her and all of that stuff,” Yockey explains. “Then the bodies that get found at Echo Park Lake and everything’s really mounting and she’s feeling all of this pressure.”
It goes back to the Cassie we met in Season 1, when she was “someone who drowned out their problems with alcohol and sex,” he continues. “There’s no more alcohol, so she’s gotta do something. I feel like when we broke it in the writers room, the conversation was, ‘she’s looking for different ways she can blow up this perfect life that she has now because she can’t handle it,’ and so we let her do it.”
But Cassie’s not the only one in a dark place at the end of the episode. Benjamin is, too, and he’d been drinking when she showed up. McRae hopes that seeing him like that “says a lot about his vulnerability and him being susceptible to something he ostensibly tried to fight against throughout, I think, the season up to that point. He tried to be on a certain path. So I think you have to acknowledge the vulnerability there, but because of the nature of the show, you also have to question the motivation behind it and what is the end goal? Was it really just a lapse in conduct or was it connected to something else?”
The season began with Benjamin refusing to tell Cassie anything about himself. But how does he feel about her now? “Obviously on some level, he feels some type of connection. There has to be a connection to engage in that manner,” McRae says. “They happen to be, for better or for worse, at the same place at the same time, kind of floating in the same troubled waters together and then having to hold on together to stay afloat.”
Speaking of relationships, Annie (Zosia Mamet) and Max (Deniz Akdeniz) might actually be a bit more solid after surviving being held hostage by the Diazes, Gabrielle (Callie Hernandez) and Esteban (JJ Soria), bounty hunters after Megan. Annie apologizes and admits she’s bad at feelings, and Max assures her they’ll be OK. So did they need to go through something intense like that to have any hope of making their relationship work?
“Deniz and I actually talked about that a lot throughout the season,” Mamet shares. “We questioned whether or not Annie and Max would’ve made it without us going through a scenario that traumatic together. It kind of forces them to rethink their priorities and how they feel about each other and to put all the other stuff aside and without that, I don’t know.”
Akdeniz agrees. “It shows them what’s really important or else they could have slowly dwindled at the relationship. This forces them together, forces them to rely on each other and work together, so I think that trauma’s best thing that’s ever happened to them,” he adds.
When it comes to the Diazes, say what you will about their methods, but they do seem to be a somewhat stable couple when it comes to their relationship. “There’s a method to our madness, and also we’re so successful together,” Soria points out. “I feel that Gabrielle’s the leader of the two. [For Esteban, it’s] ‘I love her so much. I want to make her happy.’ Their relationship works, as crazy as it is, as crazy as they are.”
Adds Hernandez, “I think that was intentional on the writers’ part. The Diazes and our relationship, a lot of the comedy came from that because at the end of the day, we might be completely off but that love and connection still can exist. That was what made it so fun to play.”
The Flight Attendant, Thursdays, HBO Max