What to Watch Verdict
Some questions are answered and while there are no surprises yet, Cuoco remains on top form.
Kaley Cuoco's ability to hit the emotional moments
The Max/Annie team-up
The use of Santa Monica Pier
A few mysteries are left for the finale to address
The imposter was not that hard to identify in the end
Megan still feels out in the cold (but Rosie Perez is still excellent)
Considering health and safety are a big part of Cassie’s (Kaley Cuoco) regular job, it shouldn’t be hard for her to follow simple instructions. Yet once again, she can’t help but plunge feet first into a dangerous scenario. The penultimate episode of The Flight Attendant season 2 brings everything to a head at the Santa Monica Pier as the identity of Cassie's double is revealed. However, this is much bigger than the blonde-wig wearer and there are still several big questions left dangling.
Grace (Mae Martin) was the initial suspect for the Berlin bombing after she made comments about her ears ringing and wore an Imperial Atlantic scarf that was no longer part of the uniform — to cover the bruises on her neck. Cassie believed Grace’s story about obtaining painkillers for cancer patients who couldn’t afford them, but you can trust pretty much no one on this show. Yes, Grace is the person who has been committing an international murder spree and knocking off anyone with a connection to Will, the man Cassie was tasked with surveilling in the first episode.
After the bodies of three more CIA agents (including the "cloudy eye" guy) are discovered on the boat on the View-Master slide, it is determined by Cassie, Annie (Zosia Mamet), Max (Deniz Akdeniz) and Shane (Griffin Matthews) that each image matches a location where the imposter killed someone — or disposed of their body. Shane takes a bit of a leap when he suggests the final image of Santa Monica Pier is where Cassie will die, because the only way to frame someone is to silence them permanently.
Is everyone who works at the CIA on The Flight Attendant terrible at their job? Shane has seemed relatively competent up until now; however, his choice to leave Cassie sitting on a bench unattended is asking for trouble. Cassie spots the imposter and ends up experiencing a trippy ride on the carousel. From here, she runs into her handler, Benjamin (Mo McRae) and pushes her way onto the Ferris Wheel to temporarily escape. Typical that Cassie picks the one ride that makes her a sitting target.
Anyone who has watched a single spy movie or TV show will not be surprised to find out that Benjamin is not the bad guy. Grace tells Cassie when she forces her to take a second ride on the famous Santa Monica ride that he is not behind the killings. In fact, she just stabbed Benjamin and wounded Shane. It's unclear what condition either man is in, but Shane did promise his boyfriend that he isn’t going to end up dead, so that's worrisome. Shane made some bad choices in "No Exit," but no worse than anyone else. Hopefully, he lives to be annoyed at Cassie some more.
Before Grace holds Cassie at gunpoint, Cassie did see Shane and Benjamin getting into it from her high Ferris Wheel vantage point. However, the audience only heard fragments of the conversation. It hasn't been confirmed yet, but what seems clear is Dot (Cheryl Hines) is the person pulling the strings of this bloody operation.
Grace certainly isn't acting alone, as she is scared about it all to the point of suicide. With her military history, perhaps the motive behind this whole thing lies in the stolen artifact in her home — or has something to do with criminal activity concealed by war.
Unfortunately, Grace couldn’t even spill who gave the orders before dying by suicide. If past events didn’t already scar Cassie, she sure is now.
In the lead-up to this confrontation, Cassie saw a few trippy things (despite being completely sober), including a carousel horse looking at her and a giant version of the teddy bear she threw into the ocean appearing before her. These moments are too gimmicky on the surreal scale, but the conversation with an imagined version of her mother, Lisa (Sharon Stone), strikes a perfect chord.
Cassie faces versions of herself, saying every negative thing possible, but younger Cassie offers a respite. "So much time wasted" is how this projection of her mom refers to the years they spent drowning in guilt. Accepting how powerless she is in specific scenarios and being patient are life lessons imparted by the serene Lisa. "Cassie, I love you. And I wouldn’t be saying it in here if it didn't already exist out there," is perhaps the most crucial message and Cuoco’s tear-stained cheek as she snaps back to reality hits home.
It's still a mystery why Cassie is the fall guy for this murder scheme, but maybe she is the easiest person to pin it on. Her life is so chaotic and her alcoholism makes her unreliable. However, whoever planned this whole thing didn’t realize how scrappy Cassie can be. Despite how much she beats herself up in her mind palace, she is resourceful and tenacious — even if she gets into most of these messes thanks to bad choices.
After coming off the "indecision bench," Annie and Max seem stronger than ever and have finally put a stop to "Team House Invasion." Bounty hunters Esteban (Joseph Julian Soria) and Gabrielle (Callie Hernandez) have been a red herring of sorts and a way for Annie to regain her confidence. It seems like a wasted opportunity bringing in these two new characters just for this, but the Annie and Max team-up isn’t a complete bust. Max plays damsel-in-distress and this couple remains a source of joy.
Back in New Jersey, Megan (Rosie Perez) is still grappling with abandoning her family but is rudely reminded of the dangers to her life by the North Korean agents. Megan’s cover is almost blown, but she uses motherhood as a method to get on her flight. Every word she says is the truth and while this storyline is still not gelling, Perez is nailing the emotion.
A couple of loose ends remain before next week’s season 2 finale, including Davey’s (T.R. Knight) texts proclaiming confusion and whether Jenny (Jessie Ennis) has a true-crime podcast or is involved in the wider conspiracy. If it's the latter, Cassie has to up her spy game.
New episodes of The Flight Attendant release Thursdays on HBO Max.
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.