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The Flight Attendant season 2 episode 1: double trouble

A sober Cassie finds herself at the center of a new mystery.

Kaley Cuoco sitting on a couch in The Flight Attendant
(Image: © Julia Terjung/HBO Max)

Our Verdict

An intriguing start to the season, with Cuoco shining at the center of this story.

For

  • Shooting on location in Berlin
  • The imposter mystery
  • The use of the mind palace
  • Guest star Mae Martin
  • Costume designer Mari-An Ceo adds more Cassie sartorial highlights

Against

  • Some moments stretch credibility
  • Only a brief appearance from Rosie Perez

NOTE: This post contains spoilers for The Flight Attendant season 2 episode 1 "Seeing Double."

At the start of The Flight Attendant’s first season, Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) woke up in a Bangkok hotel room with a monster hangover and a bloody corpse lying next to her. Drinking at any given opportunity (including while she is at work) was part of Cassie’s self-destructive behavior, but this murder conspiracy was a sobering moment. Life and death stakes will do that to you and Cassie has made some huge life changes since we last saw her. This includes moving from New York to Los Angeles and embracing romance stability with hot photographer Marco (Santiago Cabrera). 

"It all feels pretty great," is Cassie’s assessment of her current situation at the start of the new season. Of course, this blissful mood will quickly be ruined by a new perplexing mystery that Cassie finds herself at the center of.

Cassie is still working as a civilian asset for the CIA and her handler Benjamin (Mo McRae) offers a stern reminder that she should only watch the target in the hotel. Cassie has a habit of letting her curiosity get the better of her, as he lists off multiple examples of when she has ignored the strict parameters set for her. 

Considering Cassie consistently breaks the rules, it's surprising the CIA continues to use her as an asset, but the risk is worth it at the moment. After all, her job does take her to other countries without drawing attention. Unfortunately, this particular task goes from simple to messy in the blink of a bomb.

Cassie sits next to her target in a Berlin hotel bar for a casual non-alcoholic drink. Will (Kayvon Esmaili) is also sober and they briefly bond of their fondness for the drinking ritual even without the booze. When he gets up to leave it should come as no surprise that Cassie follows.

Wearing a red coat (costume designer Mari-An Ceo continues the strong sartorial thread from season 1) is a chic choice, however it isn’t exactly top covert attire. It's shocking Cassie isn’t spotted trailing this guy — but her inexperience is the point. A taxi ride leads to a handoff at the visually arresting Berlin tourist landmark Teufelsberg Hill and the production is dialing up the espionage elements while shooting on location in the German capital. 

J.J. Soria and Callie Hernandez talk with Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant

J.J. Soria, Callie Hernandez and Kaley Cuoco (in her chic red coat) in The Flight Attendant (Image credit: Jennifer Rose Clasen/HBO Max)

Somehow, Cassie remains invisible to this mark and even manages to talk a hotel concierge into giving her the number of Will’s hotel room. She uses a hookup as the reason and she is told "the gentleman has a type." This quip becomes more troubling when she sees the semi-naked blonde woman in Will’s room who has the same back tattoo as Cassie. 

The amateur spy's persuasive powers extend to gaining access to a room that ensures she can see into Will’s window; apparently, no one knows how to draw shades. She watches as the pair have sex before the mystery blonde pulls Will's hands up to her throat. Afterward, another handoff occurs and Will exchanges an envelope for a briefcase. 

Cassie has spotted a surveillance team in the room above and if you were doing a covert operation you would think curtains would be utilized. The man listening to the room below is later on Cassie’s return flight and at the CIA office when she gets called in for a debrief. It's unclear if he knows she was looking, but no one seems particularly observant so far.

Instead of staying in her hotel room, Cassie decides to head outside to pick up the trail but Will's car blows up. Was the briefcase a bomb? Cassie gets a glimpse of the woman, but it all happens too quickly and all she is left with is tinnitus. 

Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant

Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant (Image credit: Julia Terjung/HBO Max)

Back in the hotel, her room key has stopped working and she elevates her ditziness to get back in. Once inside she is sucked back into her "mind palace" and now the hotel lobby is where the party girl Cassie resides to admonish her reckless choices. This version wears the same gold sequin dress from season 1 and uses booze as a temptation. Cassie is two days shy of a year sober and doesn’t succumb to the self-destructive voice in her head. In this challenging set-up, Cuoco shines and the exploration of her alcoholism is part of The Flight Attendant’s strength.

Despite Cassie’s sobriety, she is still easily distracted. A couple in the lobby use flattery as a means to clone what appears to be her phone, which could explain some of what follows. She discovers someone is pretending to be her, which includes checking out of her room and taking her luggage.

When her missing suitcase is returned in the final scene, it contains a bloody blonde wig and an old View-Master toy. Someone is taking on her persona, but who? This is one of several mysteries introduced early on and the number of dangling threads could become overwhelming. This includes Megan (Rosie Perez), who briefly appears and is off on a dangerous mission of her own.

Elsewhere, newcomer Grace makes her mark early on thanks to Mae Martin’s effortless performance. Grace exchanges numbers with Cassie, but it's unclear if she has anything to do with the explosion — she does mention her ears are still ringing so maybe she was close by. 

Mae Martin carrying a tray of champagne on The Flight Attendant

Mae Martin in The Flight Attendant (Image credit: Jennifer Rose Clasen/HBO Max)

Season 1 favorites Annie (Zosia Mamet) and Max (Deniz Akdeniz) are visiting LA and are staying at Cassie’s place. They are immediately pulled into Cassie’s drama as they see the contents of the suitcase; danger comes calling no matter the city.

It's a solid start for The Flight Attendant that demonstrates Cassie's progress and her inability to stay away from chaos no matter how long she hasn't had a drink for.

New episodes of The Flight Attendant will debut every Thursday exclusively on HBO Max. The entirety of season 1 is also available on HBO Max.

Emma Fraser
Emma Fraser

Emma Fraser spends most of her time writing about TV, fashion, and costume design; Dana Scully is the reason she loves a pantsuit. Words can also be found at Vulture, Elle, Primetimer, Collider, Little White Lies, Observer, and Girls on Tops. Emma has a Master’s in Film and Television, started a (defunct) blog that mainly focused on Mad Men in 2010, and has been getting paid to write about TV since 2015. It goes back way further as she got her big start making observations in her diary about My So-Called Life’s Angela Chase (and her style) at 14.