[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Flight Attendant Season 2 finale, “Backwards and Forwards.”]
But first, she must figure out who Grace (Mae Martin) was working for. The answer is not entirely surprising: Dot (Cheryl Hines), the CIA regional director, who was also the one to send Cassie the viewmaster and based on her file, thought she’d fit the profile of a rogue operative. Once that’s solved (and Dot’s taken into custody), however, Cassie ends up in more danger: Jenny (Jessie Ennis), from her AA meetings, has kidnapped her brother Davey (T.R. Knight) and is targeting Cassie due to her obsession with Feliks (Colin Woodell). In facing and stopping her, Cassie accepts all the parts of herself, and the different Cassies in her mind palace disappear.
Cassie’s in the best place we’ve ever seen her at the end of Season 2, mainly because she’s not lying to herself. She seems to be in a position to reach that one year.
Steve Yockey: The thing that we were the most excited about in Season 2 was having a really authentic, honest, and grounded emotional journey for her in terms of her sobriety and facing the realities of, recovery’s not telling people that you’re better, it’s actually putting the work in. Yeah, we agree with you. She’s in a really good place at the end of the season to actually dig into what it means to recover, and that’s what we were really going for. It was a continuation of our Season 1 emotional story, so we’re really happy with the way it landed.
That scene with the other Cassies disappearing. Natalie, Steve had said the doubles was your idea, so did you always know you wanted to end the season with them disappearing like they did and in the order they did?
Natalie Chaidez: No, I came in with this idea of two Cassies because my idea was, what do you do with that dark side of yourself and now that she’s admitted she’s an alcoholic, and Steve took that and multiplied it into many, many Cassies, and then this idea that they were absorbed, I don’t know, Steve, when did we land on that?
Yockey: It was in the first outline of the finale. We knew that part of the self-acceptance was she needed to stop denying them and trying to make them disappear and accept that they’re actually a part of her that she’s gonna have to deal with. She can’t just magically be this new person. And so once she has that realization in the middle of [Episode] 8, right before Jenny started chasing her around with a hammer, we started the process of, last year, she walked through and kind of consciously shut down the mind palace. This year, the mind palace sort of disappeared from around her and, including the other Cassies, it all kind of got sucked up inside, and then she stepped out of the real world and it was gone.
How will Cassie be different as a person, friend, and asset going forward?
Chaidez: She’s gone through quite a journey, given all the betrayals with Dot and of course now Jenny, so there’s that hanging over her, but in another way, she’s cracked a big case, so I think she might be carrying that forward, if we do a Season 3.
Yockey: I think she is learning. In Season 1, she really had to learn how to be a better friend to Annie, and that friendship really withstood the test of Season 2 in a way that we were very excited to show. Her friendship with Shane [Griffin Matthews] is gonna need probably a little bit longer to recover, but they seem like they’re on a good road back, if she can just stop telling everyone that he’s in the CIA. I think she’s learned that she needs to keep her mouth shut a little bit more. Whether she’ll do that or not, we’ll have to see.
Cassie and Shane’s dynamic is easily one of my favorites of the series. Why does he trust her as much as he does? With the double, Megan (Rosie Perez)…
Yockey: We were very careful. She sounds a little kooky, but she has some evidence that admittedly she got by taking from her boss’s office after they slept together when Shane is like, well, that’s a bad idea, and also you could go to jail for this. But Shane is finding out through his own connections at the CIA that some of what Cassie’s saying is making sense, and I think that’s enough for him to trust her, even after she has her slip.
We thought it was important that the people around her not abandon her when she has a slip in her sobriety, because they’re her friends and they do love her. And so Shane’s more mad at her for putting her own life at risk and putting his life at risk than he is for slipping up with her sobriety. Just like Annie’s more concerned with her putting herself in danger than she is with the fact that she drank.
Was the goal for Annie and Max to put them in increasingly dangerous situations until an engagement and marriage didn’t seem nearly as scary for her?
Yockey: I don’t think we did that on purpose, but that’s a great way to say it. [Laughs] We wanted to put them in situations that reminded Annie or allowed her to begin to trust her gut again and trust her feelings for Max.
Chaidez: And also see how well they work together as a couple.
Yockey: Yeah, we threw in that heart-to-heart moment at the end. It would be fun to see them have their own PI firm.
Their wedding was very fitting because I could not see Annie having a big wedding. I don’t think she could have gone through with one.
Yockey: I think she barely went through with the small one.
Dot and Grace on the outside represent parts of Cassie: the one who’s successful at her job and the one still partying and drinking.
Yockey: Natalie and I always talked about Grace as a character that Cassie wished she could still be and that Dot was sort of an aspirational character. Look, Cassie’s never gonna be a regional director of the CIA — and I know Natalie has different ideas — but I think that it was meant to be she’s very put together and so that’s something to aspire to and then it turns out maybe it’s not.
What are these different ideas, Natalie?
Chaidez: I pitched a season on a nuclear submarine and Steve’s not on board yet, but there’s still time.
Yockey: That’s going in the article.
Why have the Jenny and Feliks storyline?
Yockey: Initially Jenny was a character that we had in the AA storyline that was someone that looked up to Cassie and gave Cassie a reflection point. The worse she treated Jenny, the more she realized, oh, maybe I’m not as far along as I think I am. And then Kaley actually said she really missed from Season 1 at least one big sort of unexpected twist. We felt really good about the case, the Dot-Grace of it all.
[Writer] Ian Weinreich pitched maybe Jenny all along could basically be like a Manson chick for Feliks, and we instantly all fell in love with that idea and ran with it. Then Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions loved it so much that she got out her sword and shield and batted away anyone that tried to say, no, that’s not gonna work.
Where’s Cassie in terms of a relationship? Is she ready for one?
Yockey: I don’t think Cassie needs a relationship right now. Cassie knows that she’s got plenty of work to do on herself. She already tried handing it to someone else. It doesn’t work. Right now she steps out of the way and doesn’t catch that bouquet for a reason and she’s ready to just be alone for a little bit. When she’s ready to start dating, she’ll start dating. I have absolutely no idea who that person will be.
Things seem to be looking up for Megan and her family, with Bill taking her hand as they head into the house. What does the future hold for them?
Yockey: Well, they’re the Joneses now. I think that in a perfect world, they would have a happy new life and everything would be fine.
In the Flight Attendant world?
Yockey: Well, that’s a whole other thing. My answer’s in a perfect world. Natalie?
Chaidez: I think in the future, there would be many other adventures and secrets ahead for Megan as well. I don’t think she could stay in that witness protection forever. But who knows?
What could a Season 3 look like?
Yockey: We really don’t know. Our plan was always that with each additional season, we would do a new standalone case that would have a beginning, middle, and an end that would bring our characters back in some unexpected way, trapped in a new sort of weird international mystery. It worked for Season 2. We’re both very happy with how it’s landed with audiences. I think it would work with a Season 3. The big question is always what’s Cassie’s emotional story. If we can figure out what that is, then we’d be happy to do a Season 3.