Mae Martin, Mo McRae, Callie Hernandez, and J.J. Soria preview their 'Flight Attendant' characters (and their relationships with Cassie).
It's been a year since we last saw Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) in The Flight Attendant. And she's trying, as she puts it, to pull "her multi-car pileup of a life" back together.
She's moved to Los Angeles. She's about to get her one-year sobriety chip. She's got a new boyfriend (played by Santiago Cabrera) and a new sponsor (played by Shohreh Aghdashloo). And she's desperately trying to leave the chaos of her former life behind. One smallish problem: As hinted at in the first season finale that aired way back in December 2020, in addition to being a flight attendant, Cassie now has a side gig as CIA civilian asset. "Emphasis on the world 'civilian'," her CIA handler Benjamin Berry (Mo McRae) tells her, which is something Cassie hears but maybe doesn't fully internalize.
"The first time we see Cassie again she's saying how great her life is and she feels really settled and good," Mae Martin, who joins the cast this season as flight attendant Grace St. James, tells Metacritic. "There's something very joyfully sadistic about knowing how things are going to go so wrong."
Cassie spent all last season talking to the ghost of Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman), her mysteriously deceased one-night stand. This season, in her "mind palace," she talks to the many faces of Cassie — party girl Cassie, young Cassie, and boring and responsible Cassie.
"In general everything is just turned up to 11," Martin says about Season 2. "It's funnier. It's more dramatic. It's scarier. And it is just very fast paced. You never know what's going to happen."
And you never know who you might meet. In addition to Grace and the many versions of Cassie, The Flight Attendant Season 2 welcomes quite a few other new faces. Whether they will be friends of or foes to Cassie will play out over the course of the eight-episode season.
When the show picks up, Benjamin Berry has been Cassie's CIA handler for a few months. But she knows very little about him and he clearly has his hands full. Cassie isn't one to follow directions or to listen when expressly told not to do something. She has a habit of getting too involved with her marks.
And that's a problem for Benjamin who is somewhat of a rule follower. "He is extremely diligent about results related to his job and he has been said to take things maybe too serious and too personal," Berry tells Metacritic. "And I think over the course of the season, you'll get to see all of those things. How serious and how personal it gets for him."
McRae says he was "enamored" with the first season of the show and was lucky that he knew Benjamin's arc before filming began since his relationship with Cassie veers into some unexpected directions.
"They had it all mapped out of where it was going to go and how we were going to get there," he says. "And I was afforded the opportunity to craft out that arc with those things in mind and knowing what the checkpoints are for this character as he begins to take all these interesting twists and turns and new colors reveal themselves."
Bounty hunters Gabrielle and Esteban Diaz cross paths with Cassie early on in the second season, but neither Cassie nor the audience know why at first.
"We're unpredictable and passionate and very impulsive and that leads us down some weird roads," Hernandez says.
The couple wreaks a lot of havoc in Cassie's life. But for Gabrielle and Esteban, this is just another day in their life of crime. Cassie is not their first, and definitely won't be their last, mark.
"A lot of work that Callie and I did was creating our backstory and what was our lives before these moments, [such as], 'How did we become so successful?'" Soria says. They're also a couple that is very much in love and their "bond is very real in spite of their behavior," Hernandez explains.
"We're committed to each other and very driven in our purpose," Soria adds. "That passion and that drive and impulsiveness gets us into some crazy situations."
And even though the couple do some very (very!) bad things, they also provide The Flight Attendant with some comic relief.
"Esteban and Gabrielle really enjoy what they do," Soria says. "It comes through that fun that they are having doing these things."
When Cassie first meets Grace, the Imperial Atlantic's new flight attendant announces, "I'm Grace. I'm not a good person."
"When somebody tells you who they are you should believe them," Martin says. But "nobody is just good or just bad. That's what so good about the show is that moral ambiguity and gray area."
Cassie and Grace have an almost immediate connection, and it seems like they could become friends just when Cassie really needs one, but things are never as simple or straightforward as they seem on The Flight Attendant.
"She's kind of a kindred spirit for Cassie and in a way kind of represents an older version of Cassie, a party animal, anti-authority rebellious spirit," they explain. "Cassie and Grace have a genuine connection, but like every character on this show, of course, there's a shadow side to Grace and the version of herself that she's projecting isn't necessarily who she really is. It's tricky not to overplay the mystery of that."
Martin also says that Grace, like Cassie, is lonely. "[They're] always having to lie to people and hide things," Martin says. "They're drawn to each other in that way. They're not very judgmental of each other."
The role has given them a newfound admiration for flight attendants. "I really respect how they are able to maneuver in that tiny space and deal with all these annoying passengers," Martin says. "And I'm definitely trying to figure out who among them is a spy."
Martin also warns viewers that they should brace themselves for the final two episodes of the season: "I'm excited for people to see Episode 7, that was really fun," Martin says. "Similar to Season 1 of the show, Episodes 7 and 8 are when everything starts tying together and exploding. It's really satisfying."
The Flight Attendant is