‘The Flight Attendant’s Michelle Gomez on the Real Miranda & Cassie’s ‘Tenacity’
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers through Season 1, Episode 7 of The Flight Attendant, “Hitchcock Double.”]
Who killed Alex (Michiel Huisman) and left a bloody scene for Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) to discover when she woke up the next morning in his Bangkok hotel room? Was it the mysterious Miranda (Michelle Gomez), who’s been stalking the flight attendant ever since?
In Episode 7 of The Flight Attendant — “Hitchcock Double,” which dropped December 10 on HBO Max along with Episode 6 — Miranda insists it wasn’t her. (Of course, she’s a rather unreliable narrator.) But it does seem likely that the killer is Felix (Colin Woodell), the pet psychopath of Victor (Ritchie Coster), Miranda’s boss. (Which isn’t to say Miranda isn’t capable of murder; she did kill the thug Victor sent after her.)
Felix, unfortunately for Cassie, is also the guy she’s been hooking up with, whose name she thinks is Buckley, and who asks her to run away with him. Miranda, too, suggests she and Cassie run, especially after they discover Alex’s book, Crime and Punishment, has the account numbers for where he hid they money he stole from clients (a move he made after learning his parents are criminals).
But Cassie chooses to fight back, and Miranda comes up with a plan that requires the flight attendant be bait for Felix in the finale.
Here, Gomez breaks down Episode 7, discusses working with Cuoco, teases the finale, and more.
We seem to find out quite a bit about Miranda in Episode 7. Can we trust what she tells Cassie?
Michelle Gomez: Up to a point. [Laughs] As long as it benefits Miranda, then yes.
Do you think we’ve gotten a peek into the real Miranda?
Yeah, probably as much as she’s willing to show another person. Cassie’s thrown her off her game in a way. She seems to have time for Cassie that she doesn’t have for other people.
Miranda has the best reactions when she’s dealing with Cassie — her exasperation over Cassie getting arrested, and when she realizes Cassie is just a flight attendant…
[Laughs] I know. It was really fun to play with Kaley. When you work with somebody as great as her, things just becomes a lot more relaxed and comfortable, which means a lot more fun can happen. You can take risks you wouldn’t normally, that weren’t even on the page. We had a good energy together.
Miranda tries to come up with a plan to stop Felix and actually asks Cassie if she has any close combat training, which is just funny.
[Laughs] That actually made me laugh out loud when I read it on the page. These two worlds that couldn’t be farther apart colliding in a bodega.
How does Miranda envision this plan of theirs to stop Felix will go?
She’s probably grasping at straws and thinking on her feet, trying to pool all the skills that she has, given that she’s some dodgy business assassin. I’m sure she’s had to make a lot of contingency plans along the way. Some, I’m sure, worked, and some didn’t. She just doesn’t have time to think about [what if]. She’s doing the best she can in the moment.
If Miranda does kill Felix, what’s her next step? Run?
Just to go back to her original plan and then head off to Miami. I know whatever it is will benefit her greatly.
On the roof, Miranda drops the book with the account numbers. Did she do that on purpose? Or can we trust that she’s being truthful about what happened?
At some point, the audience has to make that choice for themselves. We could go down a whole conspiracy theory there, which might be fun, or we could take it as face value and enjoy that this could be the beginning of a friendship [between her and Cassie] that was just completely unexpected. If she had dropped it on purpose, maybe that’s something we’ll find out further down the line.
The flashback to Bangkok shows that Miranda wondered if Cassie could have been sent to seduce Alex. What did she think of Cassie when she began to track her down early on?
She was just a body, another problem to solve. She was just possibly in the way and she hadn’t really come to understand Cassie’s tenacity, and that’s what she ends up admiring. She was just a nuisance she had to get rid of.
Miranda admits she begrudgingly respects Cassie in the church and, earlier, Cassie speaks of flight attendants being more than they appear.
There’s a survivor in Cassie that Miranda witnesses and there’s an energy to her that she maybe can relate to. Miranda’s probably been on the run for a while as well, and it’s like, “Oh, maybe it’d be nice to have a running mate for a while.” She sees in that moment that this girl is capable of anything.
Miranda warns Cassie that Victor will go after Annie if he finds out she’s trying to help. Is that why Miranda doesn’t seem to be close to anyone?
It’s probably part of who she is at base. She’s like a shark. She just keeps moving forward regardless of the circumstances. Some people are just born that way. I’d love to go deeper into the backstory of why Miranda is the way she is, [but] there were moments where I was like, “This girl really knows how to handle herself. Who was she before she became this badass cat burglar?” That would be interesting to explore if we were to move on to a second season.
What did Miranda see in Alex that allowed her to drink too much and talk too much?
Oh, please, if you were sitting at a bar opposite Michiel Huisman playing Alex and you’d had a few drinks, it’d be hard not to open up. Not only Michiel himself, but Alex is a charming, rich businessman who happens to be ridiculously good looking. You have a couple martinis in you, I’m sure you’re going to say s**t you shouldn’t have said.
Cassie was glad she was right about Alex being a good guy.
For all of them, it’s at what point do you become a bad guy [or] gal? There’s these choices that we make in life, and I believe that we’re all born good and then circumstances come along and then life does what it does and, depending on our choices, we either end up bitter and resentful, or we make a success of our mistakes. The real challenge is to learn from your mistakes and move on. Alex at heart is a good guy that maybe just got mixed up in some s**t.
What did you know about Miranda when you first signed on?
In the beginning, I was enjoying playing the mystery of her and the enigma of her because to be honest, I didn’t know that much about her. Then as the series wore on, her character became a bit more fleshed out and a bit more developed in a way that I could make more solid choices. In the beginning, I was flying blind a little bit and I made a virtue out of that so I would try and make choices that were interesting but didn’t give too much away because it’s hard to just — I never want to just play one color. I never want to just be the baddie, in the background, standing behind a pillar. Because anybody can do that.
What can you preview about the finale?
The thing about this show is every episode goes somewhere you don’t expect. [Flight Attendant producer] Steve Yockey and his creation and his imagination continue to surprise me every single episode. That doesn’t stop at Episode 8. It’s always unexpected, what’s to come. Episode 8 isn’t going to disappoint.
The Flight Attendant, Season 1 Finale, Thursday, December 17, HBO Max