Sunday, December 13, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Flight Attendant' - Cassie Finally Has to Confront Her Past in Order to Survive the Present in 'Hitchcock Double'

HBO Max's The Flight Attendant - Episode 1.07 "Hitchcock Double"

Cassie is forced to work with a surprising new ally as she reconsiders all that's happened since Bangkok. Meanwhile, Megan's life begins to implode when her husband faces consequences for her actions.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of HBO Max's The Flight Attendant.

"Hitchcock Double" was written by Meredith Lavender & Marcie Ulin and directed by Marcos Siega

Cassie has long operated under the assumption that Miranda killed Alex in Bangkok. The audience is meant to agree with that thesis because Miranda has been outwardly violent and dangerous throughout the series. She had close proximity in Bangkok as well. Cassie has been lucky to survive every encounter she has had with her. And yet, Miranda has been targeted by this conspiracy as well. The criminal enterprise wants Alex, Miranda and Cassie dead because of the information they might possess about their operations. Alex stole money. He saw it as a good and noble act to make up for the evil deeds his parents have been doing out. Cassie is relieved to get the clarity that Alex was fundamentally good. He may have been too trusting. That's what got him killed in the first place. Everyone else has just been trying to put the pieces together. It's starting to make sense to many of them now. Miranda understands that Cassie truly is nothing more than a flight attendant. Cassie learns that Buckley is yet another assassin hired to track her down and kill her. She is only alive because he wants her to be for some mysterious reason. Annie suddenly trusts Cassie because she shows empathy for Max and regrets the actions that nearly killed him. Plus, she actually produces Miranda, which shows that she was right to be paranoid this entire time. Miranda is absolutely guilty of criminal acts. She's not remorseful about them either. It's simply what she has to do in order to survive. That is a relatable impulse. Her actions are simply more extreme than many are willing to take. The FBI is slow to realize that one of their agents has been killed. They are no longer tracking Cassie as closely as they would like. Van White even believes that the new evidence they receive will prove Cassie's guilt as a killer. In the end though, Cassie just happens to be a woman who frequently finds herself in deadly situations. Her first instinct is to run. She does so in order to act as if these traumatic things aren't happening to her. That has been difficult for her to rationalize throughout the season because more and more bad things keep happening. She can't ignore every single one of them. That would only push away her remaining friends even further. Annie may only return because Cassie's apology while sober is more genuine and convincing than when she was drunk. Some time has passed. New evidence has come to light. And yet, Annie is the one who retrieves the flash drive with all the evidence to exonerate Cassie. That information is crucial. Cassie believed it was lost. She has held a crucial piece of the puzzle anyway though. Alex's novel actually holds the key to finding the millions he stole. Retrieving that is still a priority for some. It's soon lost as well. That places Cassie once more in a situation where she is bait. This time she just happens to know that's what she is. That's the most terrifying thought to her. She is trusting Miranda to save her life now. She has been betrayed by a guy who was always trying to get too close to her. Cassie could never see those troubling warning signs. Her bond with Buckley was always an empty distraction to her. It was a vice she couldn't encourage any further. It's still strange that he hasn't killed her despite having her alone several times already. That too suggests that there is more to this mystery that has to be solved. Plus, Megan's cyber espionage is still a tangential concern. Her husband's employer realizes that he has been compromised. She may be exposed for the criminal actions she has taken in order to get a thrill out of life. That may connect with Cassie's plight at some point. It still feels like a weird subplot to keep Rosie Perez busy while Megan deludes herself into believing Cassie is her best friend. The show analyzes how desperate people are to believe certain things to be true. Cassie has to confront the reality that she was in the car with her dad when he died. She has to reckon with that fact while forgiving herself for not being responsible for the accident. She has blamed herself for so much. It's not all on her. She doesn't believe that quite yet. She can't confront her shortcomings in an AA meeting. It's random that she attends one. And yet, it's also clear that the narrative cares for her and wants her to improve. This tragedy has forced her to reckon with so much about her past. She still hasn't made great choices. Others frequently deal with the consequences instead of her. Max is still alive though. She still has a chance to make a difference while having the opportunity to improve her life and relationships as well. It's fundamentally a story about redemption while always highlighting just how difficult the struggle is. It's built up on a lifetime of pain and abuse. It's easy for Cassie to blame herself and wall herself off. She has to rely on others. That's a scary prospect especially given how high the stakes have become for her.