‘The Flight Attendant’ Boss on Cassie Getting Sober, Miranda’s New Life, & More
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 1 finale of The Flight Attendant, “Arrivals & Departures.”]
An alcoholic flight attendant and an assassin vs. a ruthless sociopath in a Rome hotel room — who comes out on top in the The Flight Attendant?
In a series of events instigated by the murder of Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman), (Kaley Cuoco) and Miranda (Michelle Gomez) seem to win the day. The sociopath, Felix (Colin Woodell), is stopped, taking bullets from Cassie and her coworker Shane (Griffin Matthews), who’s actually in the CIA. And Cassie, who’s getting sober, may have a future with the agency’s Human Asset Program.
Meanwhile, Miranda’s off to places unknown (with the money Alex stole). Also taking a trip? Megan (Rosie Perez), who leaves a note for her husband that she’ll fix the mess she made by stealing files from his computer and selling them to the North Korean government.
Here, executive producer Steve Yockey breaks down the finale.
How is Cassie’s mental state at season’s end? On the road to being healthy, staying sober, making amends?
Steve Yockey: That’s the hope. She’s not magically better. Because of what she goes through, she’s in a place where she’s ready to give it her best shot. That’s what we want people to feel: Hopeful for her. It’s going to be hard for her. It’s hard for a lot of people, and we wanted to be really honest about that
In that final scene in her mind palace, she allows herself to leave her past behind her but also accept it’s part of her. That was so well done. And to see her sitting and smiling…
You read [that scene] very well. It was really important to us the last thing we saw was Cassie in a good place. We could’ve written a scene about how she’s in a much better place, but Kaley can do it with that look at the end.
Miranda’s still out there, thankfully, because Michelle Gomez is so delightful.
I am obsessed with Michelle Gomez.
Miranda and Cassie clearly grew on each other. Will Miranda’s experiences with Cassie change her?
I don’t know that they’ll entirely change her. The great thing about putting Cassie and Miranda together in Episode 7 is you’ve got this character in Cassie who is trying to do the right thing, but is also lying to herself and lying to other people and really struggling. Then you’ve got Miranda, who’s absolutely honest about who she is. She’s a bad guy, and she’s totally comfortable with it. She’s already in a pretty good place, knowing and accepting who she is, but she has a whole lot more money at the end of the series, [which] will probably change her life.
I liked seeing Miranda’s note to Cassie that she’ll “see her soon.” I want to see that.
Has Annie [Zosia Mamet] been disbarred?
That may be what’s on the table for Annie, and she may have to make some different career choices.
Is she really free from that firm and its clients’ clutches?
[Laughs] That’s a good question. It seems like she’s in a situation where she’s going to be OK, but you never know.
We saw how far Cassie and Annie were willing to go for each other without shying away from the issues between them.
They’re good friends, but they both realize, “We’ve been lying to ourselves and each other.” It’s a rough road getting to a place where they can tell each other the truth because their secrets are so big. When they finally get to that place, it can only make their friendship stronger.
I wish we’d gotten more of Shane. Was that by design because his assignment was Megan?
Yeah, Megan’s the star of her own little television series inside The Flight Attendant where she’s gaslighting her husband and doing capers with her son while Cassie’s going through all this other crazy stuff. Because of Shane’s ultimate reveal, we couldn’t really go that much into his life and we really wanted that fun cherry on top at the end.
Should Cassie accept being part of the Human Asset Program or should she focus on herself before eagerly jetting off on the next adventure?
It’s a really good question: Does she have it together enough to do this? And is this something that’s really going to happen? We’re having all kinds of conversations in the event there is another Cassie Bowden Flight Attendant adventure.
Megan wrote in her note to her son and husband she’d fix everything. Is she naïve to think she can?
I think Megan was just guilty of wanting some adventure and really wanting to be seen. It got out of hand. I don’t think she’s naive for thinking she can fix it, but it’s a really uphill battle.
Cassie’s time with the Alex in her mind palace was bittersweet. Could she have fallen for the real Alex?
I don’t know. She met this guy on a plane who seemed different to her. First dates are full of potential. For that to be cut off in such a gruesome way, she’ll always wonder. When we get to the end of the series, Alex says, “It’s not me you were falling in love with,” and she says, “Just kiss me, I’m tired of all this introspective bulls**t.” She doesn’t want to think about it anymore, but she was really falling in love with herself, really realizing she is a person worth loving.
The FBI agents’ had a great dynamic.
When you have characters like the FBI agents they can be purely functionary and just delivering information. But we thought it would be a really good opportunity — especially with Merle [Dandridge] and Nolan [Gerard Funk], both such strong actors — that even though we didn’t have a lot of real estate for it, we could get a real struggle between their dynamics and workplace politics.
Ask Matt: 'Race' Alliances, Grooming During the Pandemic and Other 'Conners' Issues, 'Queen's Gambit,' HBO Max Movies, and More
You strayed from the book in several key areas. What went into deciding what you would take and what you would change?
In the book, you can be a lot more internal and really dig into Cassie’s anxiety. What Chris [Bohjalian] does so well in the book is you’re really trapped in those hotel rooms with her in her paranoia and in her self-reflection. You can’t really do that in a TV show because watching someone worry isn’t interesting to look at, so we figured out ways to open things up. Ultimately, in the book, Cassie makes the choice to get sober — I don’t want to spoil the book — for someone else. She realizes she has to change her life. We thought it was really important, since we were going to be spending 80, 90 percent of each episode with Cassie, that the journey she goes on in the television show is that she changes for herself.
How likely is there to be a second season?
It’s getting a lot of attention and people are really enjoying it, which is super heartening. We wrote it as a limited series in that it has a beginning, middle and a very clear ending point. If we wanted to do another Cassie Bowden adventure, like another book, that’s certainly possible. But we’re just at the very beginnings of what that might look like.
The Flight Attendant, Season 1, Streaming Now, HBO Max