‘The Flight Attendant’ EP: Sharon Stone ‘Brought a Real Honesty’ to Playing Cassie’s Mother
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Flight Attendant Season 2, Episode 6 “Brothers & Sisters.”]
The latest episode of The Flight Attendant features a moment many were probably waiting for all season: Sharon Stone’s introduction as Cassie’s (Kaley Cuoco) mother, Lisa. And it was definitely not a happy reunion.
After visiting their father’s grave, Cassie and her brother Davey (T.R. Knight) head to clean out their mom’s house. Cassie and Lisa are both surprised to see the other; Davey set them up. Lisa can’t forget Cassie’s behavior when she was drinking — as an adult (like forgetting about her when she came to visit or nearly burning down her house), not a teenager, she says when the flight attendant and CIA asset apologizes. Lisa’s also not surprised when it comes to when Cassie’s last drink was. (She wasn’t a year sober when she drank in Episode 5.) “I’m doing better! What else do I have to show you that I’m doing better?” Cassie asks, and Lisa tells her she loves her but doesn’t like her and slaps her.
“We did initially get pushback on the characterization of Lisa because I had in my head, here’s a woman who is tired of falling for ‘I’m getting better’ and who isn’t cruel but is protecting herself and has boundaries,” executive producer Steve Yockey tells TV Insider. “I think that what everybody wanted to see was a mom who was like, ‘I forgive you’ and gives her a hug, and that’s not what Cassie gets. That’s not the mom she has. And so much of that interaction is about Cassie learning to realize or coming to terms with the fact that she can’t just apologize her way out of things and she can’t control how other people feel. Her mom has to decide whether she wants to have Cassie in her life. Cassie can’t do that.”
He continues, “So, I think her recognizing she’s powerless in situations obviously circles back to her sobriety, and we were excited to show a different kind of dynamic and Sharon Stone was particularly excited about the character because she’s had some of those experiences in her life where she’s had to hold people accountable for substance abuse, which she’s written about in her book and such. I think she brought a real honesty to her portrayal of the character.”
Cassie’s life is messy all around, especially when you take into account the fact that she can’t trust anyone at the CIA — Dot’s (Cheryl Hines) blonde like the double, and Benjamin (Mo McRae) is looking into her … and even her friend Shane (Griffin Matthews) might be iffy. “She’s lied to Shane several times this season, and she blew up his relationship by telling his boyfriend he’s in the CIA, so I don’t even know if she can really trust Shane,” Yockey points out.
Speaking of Shane’s relationship, “it’s on the rocks” after Cassie’s reveal, according to Matthews. “As I was trying to figure out what do people in the CIA actually talk about and who knows, we had a lot of conversations about [the fact that] their personal relationship are very, very fragile because you can be dating someone in the CIA and not know it. It takes the stakes of his relationship with his boyfriend really through the roof.”
As for who Benjamin trusts at this point, “no one,” McRae says. “Benjamin comes to the realization that he’s on an island in a way that he maybe has always suspected that he was and he’s conducted himself that way, but around 206, that’s when he realizes the very serious thing that he is alone and the onus is on him to figure it all out before it comes tumbling down.” But should the audience trust him? There have been moments where we can’t help but wonder, and it sounds like we might be right to do so. “I think the audience should follow their instincts and then second-guess their instincts, whatever those are,” McRae shares.
Elsewhere in “Brothers & Sisters,” Megan (Rosie Perez) tries to reconnect with her family while staying hidden after committing treason. Her son is at least happier to see her than her husband, whose files she stole. Why did she do what she did? To feel special, she admits. She wasn’t feeling that at home, but it’s not his fault they were on autopilot. But her time away made her realize all she needs is him and their son. The only problem: The FBI told Bill he needs to call them if she comes back, or they’ll prosecute him. As she leaves, he’s making a call.
“Megan definitely feels like she’s lost her family at that point and she doesn’t know what to do, but she only has one choice and that’s to keep moving forward,” Perez says. “There’s too much at stake and she’s messed up already so much that she has to just keep moving forward, but Megan being Megan, she’s full of surprises and she’s never going to give up. She’s going to keep trying.”
Shane is one of the agents trying to track her down, though she, so far, has managed to evade him. “She’s in hiding, and the thing that I love that the writers did a great job of is it’s hard to catch fugitives,” Matthews says. “He’s running around the world, trying to find her, and it provides a lot of unexpected drama, new scenery. Shane is trying to show you what the job of being a CIA agent actually looks like, and it’s frustrating and has many twists and turns.”
Adds Perez, “And I think that Megan chose to go to Reykjavík because who would think of looking for a middle-aged Puerto Rican woman in Reykjavík? It made sense to me. Megan isn’t dumb — she’s misguided and a little bit naïve — and she’s been a flight attendant majority of her life, so of course she would pick something like that, something that’s not obvious.”
With only two episodes left, you can be sure they will be “explosive,” as Episodes 7 and 8 “always” are, according to Matthews. “The reckonings are coming, which is why it gets so exciting.” In particular, Mae Martin teases that their character, Grace, “is about to have a serious reckoning in 207.”
Executive producer Natalie Chaidez adds, “That’s the fun of Flight Attendant: There’s going to be a twist and a turn and you have to keep watching to the end to see which carpet’s going to get pulled out from under Cassie. Everything will be explained.” That includes exactly what happens at the dock — the double shot the CIA’s Jones (Erik Passoja) — at the end after the episode ends. “There will be more than one dead body at that boat,” Yockey confirms.
The Flight Attendant, Thursdays, HBO Max