The stewardessThe titular Cassie Bowden will experience all kinds of turmoil as she nears a year of sobriety.
Season 2 of HBO Max’s Emmy-nominated dark comedy thriller finds lead character Kaley Cuoco in a pretty happy place, after moving to a sunnier Los Angeles, finding something resembling love with a new man. (Hi(Santiago Cabrera), and quite deftly juggling his gig at Imperial Atlantic with his hustle and bustle as a CIA civilian asset.
But when Cassie’s latest CIA assignment – to simply have her eyes on a POI in Berlin – blows up dramatically and quite literally, her life begins to spin in circles again. And her sobriety that she fought for becomes a potential victim.
“The first thing we thought about for season 2 is, what is Cassie’s emotional journey? And it was clearly going to be about recovery [from alcoholism]“says showrunner Steve Yockey. “At the end of season 1, she’s got her white chip, she’s been sober for a day, and aren’t we all excited for her? But it’s a lot more work than that, and it takes a lot of time. As thoughtful as possible on our show, we wanted to look at the recovery process, so if season 1 was a journey of healing, season 2 is navigate this recovery.
In season 1, Cassie’s unfortunate involvement in a murder in Bangkok led her to visit a “spirit palace” retreat, where she compared notes with Alex (Michiel Huisman). “It was such a big part of the show, and something that people really responded to,” Yockey notes. “So the question was, how do you reinvent this so that you can surprise people and entertain them?”
Enter Gold Dress Cassie (aka who she was before Alex was murdered)…and Future Perfect Cassie (suggesting the ideal potential of the Queen of Bad Choices)…and Black Hole of Joy Cassie…and others. (It’s a meeting of multiple “mind palaces” that TVLine has dubbed “Cassie and the Tapes.”)
Said co-showrunner Natalie Chaidez, “Thematically, I thought, what do you do with this dark side of yourself that you finally admit exists? This means that there is of them from you, and that led me to this theme of doubles, which is a very Hitchcockian theme. And then Steve kind of took that great idea and came up with “the tapes.”
Yockey adds, “We were excited about this idea of ’If Season 1 was about the honesty of finally admitting that the dark part of yourself is there and not going away, then Season 2 has to be about accepting those parts of yourself. Cassie starts off the season saying, ‘These things are all dead’. I’m a new person and I’m fine,” but that’s not how recovery works. So we can watch her over the course of eight episodes discover how to accept all of these parts of herself and bring them together into one identity.
Asking an admittedly surprised Cuoco (who was Emmy nominated for Season 1) to take on multiple roles was partly a case of going with what works. As Chaidez explains, “It was a priority for us to try to give Kaley more work, because I think Season 1 surprised people so much with what they thought was a very comedic actress. We felt that there was more to do. Indeed, there is, and that is really exciting to watch.
As Cassie grapples with some kind of look-alike who is in the real world wreaking havoc on her, she gets much-needed support – but still a bit of judgment! – to visit BFF Annie (played by Zosia Mamet) and her handsome hacker Max (Deniz Akdeniz); she distinguishes between going for a loop with fellow flight attendant/CIA agent Shane (Griffin Matthews) and keeping huge secrets; and she even finds time to help her MIA colleague Megan (Rosie Perez) navigate the bit of deadly espionage she found herself roped into in Season 1.
Having already established Annie, Max, Shane and Megan in the thriller’s first year, “this season we started from a point of view: ‘Everyone now knows what’s going on with these characters, so we can open more storylines’, Yockey claims. . “We made the choice to have more stuff running.”
Also, like in Season 1, there are some very messy family issues to deal with, when Davey (TR Knight) arranges a reunion for his “black sheep” sister and their mother, Lisa, played by Oscar-nominated Sharon. and Emmy winner. Calculation.
The maternal cast isn’t just weird, it was kind of coincidental.
As Yockey explains, “Lisa was a very minor part of the Season 1 flashbacks (played by Morgan Hallett), so we were like, ‘OK, who’s gonna play this in the present?’ We need someone who can go along with Kaley, tackle heavy stuff and, quite frankly, be a version of a mother who is not the mom we usually see on TV.
“And then we found out that Sharon Stone was a fan a spectacle. And then they were like, ‘Sharon Stone is not just a fan of the show, she’s interested in being on the show,” says Yockey. “So it worked really well, and she delivered in spades.”
Sharon Stone, however, isn’t the only one new to Season 2. Scroll down for our guide to some of the other characters set to rock Cassie’s world….