‘The Flight Attendant’ Season 2, Episode 2 Recap
Photo: Jennifer Rose Clasen/HBO Max
Much like Cassie’s mysterious viewmaster footage, this episode of The stewardess felt like a series of random stories put together to form a single narrative. Over the course of a single day, Cassie tracks her new friend Grace (who she believes to be the doppelganger) through a farmer’s market and an airport, attends her year-long AA meeting with her brother and boyfriend, spies on Grace again, runs dinner with her friends, and receives an encrypted message from Megan. It’s a lot of things. I can barely get to the grocery store and the gym most days. Maybe I need to eat more donuts and Hot Tamales for energy?
Cassie is nothing if not productive, but she also indulges in some of her worst impulses. His mental palace is back in full swing. Oddly enough, it seems to be activated by loud noises such as the round of applause she receives at her AA ceremony and a horn honking in a park. In season one, Cassie was taken to her mind palace whenever she was on shaky ground or questioning her own rash actions. The transition has always been marked by internal and not external troubles. I think the show could try to pair the physical aftermath of Cassie’s trauma from the explosion with her visits to her spirit palace, but that oddity seems totally unnecessary, especially when the concept is otherwise executed so perfectly. .
The evolution of Cassie’s most intimate voices is fantastic. At the premiere, we met Party Cassie, and although she’s very energetic, we know she doesn’t make the best decisions (see: getting back into bed with a dead guy in Bangkok). More voices are added throughout this episode as Black Hole of Joy Cassie and Young Cassie (Audrey Grace Marshall) begin to chime in. None are empathetic, thoughtful, or even very helpful to Cassie as she works to sort out the current situation she’s found herself in. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. Later in the episode, when Grace hands Cassie a glass of frosted rosé, Party Cassie cheers her on, saying it won’t even make a noise for her. And when Cassie, Max and Annie find the source of one of the viewfinder images at the foot of the Lady of the Lake statue in Echo Park, Black Hole Cassie expresses utter despair at the whole situation saying, “We are we’re really gonna screw this up, aren’t we?”
But Young Cassie seems to be the most telling of Cassie’s current state of mind. When Cassie receives her one-year AA chip – an achievement she should certainly be proud of – Party Cassie appears, faking applause from the back row. Moments later, Party Cassie enlists Young Cassie’s help in putting the real Cassie down and encouraging her to fall back into her old ways. Despite the fact that Cassie revisited the first big trauma of her life with Alex the previous season and even gave herself a tearful hug, it seems she hasn’t worked to fully heal from childhood abuse.
If nothing else, the great Pixar movie Upside down taught us that we all have these competing voices in our heads, and it almost feels like we’re discovering Cassie’s versions of Anger, Sadness, Joy, Fear and Disgust. Except Cassie’s emotions want nothing more than the happy release of an alcoholic drink. And there doesn’t seem to be any positive influence in sight. At least not yet.
Instead, Cassie’s positive influences come from the real people she chooses to surround herself with, like the ever-patient Max and Annie. Annie is unable to attend Cassie’s ceremony because she is busy bombing a very important interview, and Max is locked up at home looking for the sights. But Cassie’s jolly brother, Davey (TR Knight), is on hand to celebrate her year of sobriety, as are her new boyfriend, Marco (Santiago Cabrera), and godmother, Brenda (Shohreh Aghdashloo). We’re also reminded that Shane is someone Cassie knows, loves, and trusts, but we don’t see him in this episode.
There’s also a busy bee that hovers around Cassie at her AA meetings, and her name is Jenny (Jessie Ennis). Jenny clearly wants to get closer to Cassie in a single white woman way — she buys the exact same necklace Cassie is wearing and swipes on Davey moments after meeting — but Cassie is too distracted by the idea of Grace being her doppelganger to really care about any of it. It seems like Jenny just wants some fodder for her true-crime podcast, but the copycat props and incessant hugs tell me there’s more here. Plus, as evidenced by his hilarious and ruthless spin on Apple TV+ mythical questEnnis can go from sweet and innocent to nasty villain in no time, so I can’t wait to see if a similar makeover takes place here.
Despite all the wonderful things going on in her life, Cassie only has eyes for Grace and denounces her as Berlin’s mysterious doppelganger. And Grace – well, Grace turns out to be kind of an insufferable idiot. She has a hipster white-savior complex to the max. She makes perfect sourdough bread, which is a tolerable trait, especially since that’s what we’ve all been doing to get through COVID-19, amirite? But as Cassie visits her apartment, she finds all kinds of red flags. Grace was in the military for a short time, and while in Fallujah she stole a ceremonial shamshir. Of course, Grace doesn’t think she stole it. She just freed him! Someone else was going to take it anyway! Uh, okay.
Grace also shows a photo on her library. The image is torn in half, only showing Grace in her military gear and an army person’s arm hiking next to her, and I’m sure we’ll meet the person on the other half of this image at some point in the near future. Are torn photos Chekov’s new gun? Discuss!
While Grace takes her shower, Cassie snoops around the rest of the apartment. She sees no telltale bruises or tattoos on her new friend. In fact, she can’t find much. Even though Party Cassie thinks she smells a whiff of Santal 33 – the same perfume that was on the bloodstained wig – Cassie cannot locate a bottle of candle perfume. But she finds the secret package that Grace picked up earlier at the airport; it’s full of fentanyl lollipops. Fresh, fresh, fresh.
When Grace catches Cassie looking at the hiding place, she tries to explain herself. But that’s a horrible explanation. Instead of just admitting she’s a drug dealer (no judgment, girl!), she says she’s a fentanyl fairy godmother. Oh, throw up. Grace may not be a murderer, but she’s downright murdering all the patience I have left for her holier-than-thou antics. Even though Cassie rules out Grace as a potential wig lady, it looks like she’ll be an important character as the series unfolds. I just really need to know who’s on the other side of this picture!
Speaking of photos, we get some stolen moments with Megan. The only contact she has with the outside world is through a string of emojis she sent in a Snapchat to her son, Eli (David Iacono). Eli sends the picture to Cassie, but the emoji doesn’t make sense to her either.
The two scenes featuring Megan are brief and raise only 8 million more questions. First, she is seen picking poisonous mushrooms in the woods. Later, in a well-appointed apartment, Megan tackles mushrooms with a mortar and pestle. She helpfully opened a guide, identifying exactly the type of mushroom she uses: the jack-o’-lantern mushroom. From my brief research on Wikipedia, these mushrooms grow in the forests of Europe and South Africa. They’re poisonous but not deadly, which means Megan is probably looking to harm someone, not kill them. Hmmm. Interesting.
But the biggest surprise of all is that Megan seems to have a lover! And that lover is none other than Margaret Cho! This woman walks into the apartment, says Megan’s real name, then snuggles up to her for a dance. Megan doesn’t really seem into it, but she gives in, slowly swaying with this mysterious lady as she gives her mushroom powder a look.
It seems inevitable that Cassie and Megan’s mysteries will collide at some point during this season, and perhaps Cassie’s new neighbors will shed some light on any connection in the weeks to come. As Annie and Max return home after dinner, they see a vine trying to enter Cassie’s bungalow. The guy apologizes saying he got fired. His name is Esteban Diaz, and he and his wife, Gabrielle, just rented an Airbnb across the street. Annie and Max are charmed by this duo in their hunger games Panem-casual, but we know they’re the same couple who tagged Cassie’s phone in Berlin. They have the real neighbors tied up in a closet, and Gabrielle has a Taser ready for anyone who crosses paths with them.
We did our last descent near the end of the recap, so make sure your trays and seats are in an upright position. Until next time …
• Annie and Max continue to be one of my favorite TV couples. When Annie worries about her job interview, she says: “I especially regret being independent and feeling useful. I’m supposed to be the one who’s together! To which Max replies softly, “Have you lost your glow?” I’m sorry. You didn’t. You will always shine. They. Are. The. The sweetest. Every woman deserves a Max.
• When Cassie sees Davey at the farmer’s market, we overhear a snippet of conversation that he’s been in LA for over a month. What? Why? What’s going on with her adorable husband and adorable kids in Denver? Do Davey’s childhood ghosts also come back to haunt him?
• Cassie’s behavior at the airport shows why she’s so good at undercover work. Even though she’s really terrible at staying under the radar, she’s good at going with the flow and acting like a damsel in distress. The way she said “Can I see a menu?” I am such hungry” to the waiter made me laugh out loud.