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The Flight Attendant Series 2 Review – Kaley Cuoco Returns as Magnetic and Mysterious Heroine

When we last caught up with Kaley Cuoco’s alcoholic flight attendant, Cassie, she had woken up in a hotel room in Bangkok next to a bloody corpse. Unable to remember the events of the previous night, Cassie became a detective, uncovering a plot involving missing money, a copy of Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment and a deadly British assassin. A year later, Cassie began a new life in Los Angeles, dutifully attending AA meetings. She has a side business as a “human asset” for the CIA, stealthily photographing persons of interest during international layovers.

The second series of The stewardess marks a departure both from the source material – the first series was based on Chris Bohjalian’s 2018 novel of the same name – and from the common sense plot. While on a job in Berlin, Cassie follows her latest mark while wearing a bright red overcoat and loudly tripping over passers-by. She couldn’t be more visible if she put on a firework spelling out ‘CIA’. Things take an early turn when his career explodes onto the streets. Her boss blames a gas leak but Cassie insists it was a bomb planted by a woman who, in a Hitchcockian twist, appears to be her double, right down to the moth tattoo on her back .

Given the neat story arc of the first series, a second aid – which features a refreshed cast including Sharon Stone and Feel good‘s Mae Martin – was always going to be something of a jump. Credulity is stretched by Cassie’s recruitment as a civilian ghost by one of her co-workers who, having barely uttered two words in the first series, turns out to have been a spy all along.

Things aren’t helped by the split-screen footage that only exists to give the project a retro glow. But despite the implausibilities and some whiplash-inducing shifts in tone — the series morphs from slimy comedy to high-stakes thriller to harrowing childhood drama and back again — Cuoco’s Cassie remains a magnetic heroine. forever on the precipice of calamity.

Where previously Cassie used to hold hallucinatory conversations with her dead lover, here she is beset by iterations of her past, from the withered teenager who would share a case of beer with her father, and the adult three-sheet party girl to the wind in a sequin dress, to a later version smudged with mascara that reached the bottom. These subconscious Cassies each do their best to blow up what her best friend Annie (Zosia Mamet) calls her “perfect life, I’ve-got-veggies-in-the-fridge.”

There are arguably more subtle ways to show us a character at war with himself, though it’s those scenes that give the show a real sense of peril. In the face of Cassie’s precarious inner life, the bombshells, villains and lookalikes are just background noise.

★★★☆☆

On Sky Max and Now from May 26

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