Please make sure your seatbelts are fastened, your folding trays are in their full upright position, and you’ve watched the Season 1 finale of “The Flight Attendant” because spoilers are ahead.
When your show has a central mystery to solve, no matter how good your season is, if you don’t nail the ending … people will be pissed. And it’s safe to say that Kaley Cuoco & Co. landed this plane as smoothly as possible.
“The Flight Attendant” is based on a book and so it was originally slated to just be a limited series on HBO Max. But the show was such a hit with critics and fans alike that a second season is looking inevitable.
So just how did “The Flight Attendant” nail its ending AND set up a possible return flight? Let’s break it down:
Megan didn’t realize she was working for North Korea
This entire storyline felt like it was part of a different show all season long — but it all came to a very satisfying conclusion, tied into the main story, and plays into how the show might do a second season (more on that later).
Megan (Rosie Perez) came clean to Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) about stealing information from her husband after Cassie came clean to her about Alex (Michiel Huisman). She began her confession with the word “apparently,” indicating the truth about what she was doing came as a big surprise to her, and explained how she was approached at one of her husband’s conferences.
“Do you ever feel like nobody sees you?” she said to Cassie, in an effort to explain why she started doing it in the first place.
Megan ended her conversation with Cassie by vowing to “fix this” and the last we see of her, she’s at a train station and saying goodbye to her son. It sure feels like the mystery of who recruited her and why will be a big part of next season (if we get one).
Shane is a CIA agent
Shane (Griffin Matthews) to the rescue! Cassie’s funeral sidekick was not just some run-of-the-mill flight attendant. It turns out that he was working for the CIA all along and was sent in to keep tabs on Megan and her North Korean misadventure.
It was Shane who saved Cassie from Felix (more on him in a moment) and the one who relays a message to Cassie that (again) provides a nice excuse to pick this story up again (more on that later as well).
Shane working for the CIA does explain a little about why he was so willing to put up with Cassie’s shenanigans. Megan considered Cassie her best friend, so Shane probably figured that if he stayed close to Cassie, it would let him get closer to Megan.
Felix, Enrico and Miranda all lived
Shot, stabbed, left for dead in a bathtub … no problem!
Yes, despite the fact that each of them could have easily been killed, Felix (Colin Woodell), Enrico (Alberto Frezza) and Miranda (Michelle Gomez) all managed to survive their hotel room encounters. It’s hard to imagine Enrico being central to any second season story, though I could imagine Cassie making a pit stop in Rome again at some point — if for no other reason than to see Enrico’s grandmother again. Wasn’t she the best?
But Felix and Miranda are out there — Felix no doubt will come back to try and kill Cassie, and Miranda, well … she’s rich! In the second to last scene, Miranda slips Alex’s book into Cassie’s coat pocket and lets her know she took the page with all the bank information.
On the flight to Rome, Miranda — after killing Victor (Ritchie Coster) and his driver — told the stranger who tried to flirt with her that she feels protective over Cassie and actually cares about her safety. It’s a good bet Miranda will save Cassie’s ass one more time in Season 2.
Cassie is sober
She’s only been to two meetings, but it’s a start.
Cassie managed to not only defeat Felix, but her inner demons, too. She forgave herself for her perceived guilt over her father’s death, mended fences with her brother, truly bonded with Megan as a friend, and all is well with Ani (Zosia Mamet).
“It’s like a whole new lease on life!” she declared, before she realized how clichéd that sounded.
Look, a lot of what made this first season so great was watching Cassie drink and party and go off the rails for our amusement. But as much as I loved the “mind palace” where she hung out with Alex, the drunken flashbacks to her father and dead rabbits got a little old. Hopefully, we can leave all that stuff behind but it’s a safe bet that Cassie will be tempted to fall off the wagon in a second season.
So while she stopped drinking, it seems Cassie is about to start …
… Working for the CIA?
In the final scene of the finale, Shane kinda sorta but not really denied he ever said anything about working for the CIA (*wink, wink) but did say that his boss “kept asking” about her for their “human asset” program.
What I like about this moment is that not only are we giving Cassie a reason to get involved in another mystery, but it also slyly sets up a big new character for Season 2.
“We should talk because she will call,” Shane said to Cassie, the “she” being his boss. I will spend the next few months obsessing over who should be cast in this role. What’s Jean Smart doing?
So while I was skeptical that “The Flight Attendant” would reach a satisfying conclusion (unlike “The Undoing”) or set up a Season 2 without feeling forced (unlike “Big Little Lies”) it somehow managed to do both.
Thank you for flying with us!