The Flight Attendant
This season of The Flight Attendant has been many things: The words “bonkers,” “unhinged,” and “wild” immediately come to mind. Setting aside the manic and chaotic pace and the layers of occasionally incomprehensible narrative, Cassie Bowden’s personal journey showcased a deeply emotional core that kept me coming back for more.
At times, Cassie is a hard person to like. Sure, she’s charismatic and beautiful, but she’s also selfish, caustic, and impulsive. And she never ever turns the ringer on her phone off, which is absolutely infuriating. Watching Cassie navigate her mental-health issues and sobriety would be a difficult ask for most viewers if everything wasn’t wrapped up in a larger story that promises intrigue and astonishment. And, as the series shifts into a new era of Cassie’s evolution, The Flight Attendant doesn’t seem too sure of what exactly it wants to be.
The finale felt a bit like we were watching the show channel hop through the premium cable networks. In a span of 45 minutes, we shifted from a jet-setting Megan to a hospital procedural to a cerebral thriller to a comedic horror sequence to a cheesetastic Vegas wedding. That’s a lot of genres.
First, Cassie reunited an injured Shane with a conciliatory Megan. Despite being confined to a hospital bed, Griffin Matthews is perfection as usual with his droll yet comedic line delivery and cool and collected attitude. Shane agrees to a deal with Megan, and later in the episode, we see her reunite with her family at a safe house. They’re presumably in witness protection, and because Shane likes Megan, he set her up with a nice house. However, if a third season of the show does happen, it seems doubtful that they’ll leave Rosie Perez cooped up in peaceful purgatory for long.
It’s interesting to note that Megan’s crimes were not so far off from the shenanigans Dot was pulling at the CIA, and yet the two women meet very different fates. Dot Carlson is the first of two Big Bads that Cassie faces in this season finale, and, quite frankly, the showdown with Dot is super anticlimactic. Cassie’s mind palace is in full swing during this interaction, insinuating that it might just be best for Dot to kill her and get it over with, but seriously? Absolutely no one wants to be killed and then framed for a murder spree.
As Cassie walks around Dot’s apartment, she literally puts the pieces together in her mind palace. Cassie sees that Dot was, indeed, the other person in the torn photo with Grace (called it!), and she also finds a bottle of Santal 33 in Dot’s medicine cabinet. (MSRP for that bottle is a cool $289, folks. Dot must’ve been making bank off of her side hustle to afford that pricey scent.)
Cassie’s saving grace is the personal alarm that Miranda gave her back in episode four. Knowing that Dot would also have tinnitus from her proximity to the explosion in Berlin, she sets it off and runs. This plan was not the best, but thankfully two agents sent by Benjamin Barry intercept Dot and save the day.
If the battle-of-the-wits showdown with Dot was dry, lifeless, and (let’s face it) predictable, the next big bad Cassie encounters are the polar opposite. Who had Feliks coming back on their Flight Attendant bingo card? Not me! Who had Jenny as a murderous fangirl? Well, I was holding out hope that we’d get to see a villainous Jessie Ennis, but the twist certainly came as a surprise!
The vibe of The Flight Attendant has generally been steeped in more noir and mystery than straight-up horror, but the show takes a turn into gory true-crime territory here. The sequence is undoubtedly hilarious and entertaining, but there seems to be little reason for it to exist at all beyond giving Jessie Ennis a showcase for her immense talent. As Jenny reveals the true object of her obsession, Ennis transforms her face into a canvas of depravity. Her sweet demeanor crumples as she curls her mouth into a contemptuous sneer and brightens her eyes with a shiny vengeance. Despite her perfect beachy waves and chunky knit sweater, she cuts an absolutely terrifying figure.
During this sequence, Cassie corals all the versions of herself into an elevator, and, one by one, they disappear, indicating that she’s become a cohesive whole. Why at this moment? It’s unclear, but once she dismisses all of her voices, she emerges, ready to face the Jenny monster. For the second time that day, she’s ready to fight for her life. In a revelatory moment, Cassie admits, “You’re right about me. I am a deeply flawed, sad alcoholic, narcissistic thrill addict, and I don’t like myself very much. But it is who I fucking am, and it is enough for me.”
This little speech gives Davey just enough time to sneak up on Jenny and incapacitate her. Hooray Davey!
A month later, Cassie is 30 days sober and living her best life as she heads to Ani and Max’s wedding in Vegas. She checks in with Davey and Rick via FaceTime as she’s leaving and promises to visit in two weeks. And Davey’s husband reveals that he’s going to Al-Anon! Good for Davey. Baby steps and gold stars for everyone in the Bowden family.
On the plane to Vegas, Cassie reaches out to her mom, and it’s the one truly transcendent scene in the entire episode. I definitely cried, y’all. It was a messy — and at times, sloppy — journey to get here, but the moment has serious resonance. Even though the two actresses aren’t in the same room, the meaning of the call and the earnest words exchanged are enough of a live wire to spark deep emotion and catharsis within the brief scene. The conclusion of their call lends an effervescent and hopeful feeling, giving us true hope for Cassie’s future and emotional well-being as the episode draws to a close.
Of course Cassie shows up to Max and Ani’s wedding looking like a whirling cloud of cotton candy in a frothy pink confection of a dress. She’s smiling. Her friends are smiling. Everyone is happy. And, as we close on this chapter of Cassie Bowden’s life, she’s content. The final shot of Cassie swaying and smiling on the dance floor finally gives her a sense of peace that she so deserves.
At the time of the finale’s air date, it’s unclear as to whether or not the show will be renewed for a third season, but the last few moments of the episode suggest a lot of possibilities for future narratives. Ani and Max are starting a PI agency. Shane is off to do some more secret James Bond stuff, and Cassie is the reigning golden girl at the CIA. But honestly, as much as I adore and admire Kaley Cuoco’s brazen and brave performance, I’m not totally sure I want to see a third season of The Flight Attendant that focuses on Cassie. Shane is also a flight attendant, amirite? Follow that dapper dude around for a season, please and thank you! Or maybe just shift focus onto Ani and Max and have Cassie be a supporting player in their shenanigans!
I’ll still totally watch a third season of the show focusing on Cassie, by the way. Even though the show might have lost a bit of cohesion in the second season, I fully believe that any jaunt with Cassie Bowden is still a chaotic trip worth taking.
We’ve made our final descent into the end of the season, so please make sure your tray tables and seats are in the upright position. We made it to the end! Free Hot Tamales and donuts for everyone!
• It’s absolutely hilarious that Jenny read about Feliks on a blog called “Dapper Death,” not only because it sounds like something that absolutely exists but because Feliks is still indisputably hot even though he’s a mass-murdering psychopath.
• Speaking of hot men, I am quite appreciative of the decision to have Max be shirtless whenever possible. Deniz Akdeniz can get it.
• More Sharon Stone in everything, always, please.