‘The Flight Attendant’: What the Heck Is Going on in Cassie’s Head?

Kaley Cuoco as Cassie and Michiel Huisman as Alex in The Flight Attendant
Spoiler Alert
Phil Caruso/HBO Max

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the first three episodes of The Flight Attendant.]

What starts as a fun night out for flight attendant Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) and passenger 3C Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman) ends in a bloody tragedy: She wakes up to him murdered in the bed in his hotel room. But he’s not exactly gone we quickly learn when the first three episodes of the new HBO Max series dropped on November 26.

Cassie, who downs vodka like water, starts seeing and talking to Alex in her head. She in effect uses him as a sounding board, and it’s not just to piece the night together, it’s to deal with some traumatic memories of her childhood concerning her father. Is this due to PTSD — of waking up next to his dead body — or because of the seemingly real connection they had their one night together?

Huisman suggests to TV Insider that a real connection is something “that this party girl has missed or is missing in her life, and it was looking like there was potential for more. And then she was robbed of that in a brutal way.”

And Alex was drawn to Cassie, he says, because he “knew that something was likely going to happen soon. That really opened him up to fun. … When he meets Cassie, he’s really smitten by her, but he also feels in his personal life that he’s recently been betrayed and he’s really attracted to the honesty that Cassie’s showing on their first date out.”

And by talking to him in her head, he teases, “by Episode 8, without giving too much away, we’ve found out a lot about Alex, so he’s probably closest to the real [Alex].” The Alex on that first date? He “was on his best behavior. [He may have seemed like] Mr. Perfect and very clean, [but] there’s actually a bit more to him.”

The Flight Attendant Cassie Hammond White Interrogation

The fact that his character’s death didn’t mean the end of his arc was, Huisman says, intriguing for him.

“I always thought it would be interesting to play a character that slowly has to piece together who he was. [The Alex in Cassie’s head] doesn’t really understand his past until Cassie starts unraveling stuff about him,” he says.

We’ll have to wait and see just how this will play out for Alex and Cassie when the next two episodes drop this week.

The Flight Attendant, Thursdays, HBO Max