Unpacking Season 1 of The Flight Attendant - Episode 3
This is Part 3 of a blog series about The Flight Attendant. I will be posting my response to each episode after watching, and doing a bit of 'on the fly' analysis after each initial viewing. You can read Part 2 here. Be warned: since the plot will be discussed, there are spoilers ahead!
The Flight Attendant - Episode 3 - 'Funeralia'
Creator: Steve Hockey
Director: Tom Vaughan
The bulk of episode three is spent unveiling new characters as the plot thickens. Cassie's relationship with Alex deepens too as she lets him - or the figment of him in her imagination - in on more of her childhood. She grows fonder of him with each day that passes after his death, and though it does seem from the flashbacks that they had a genuinely good time together in Bangkok, it's a difficult romance to believe in, given the circumstances (i.e. he's not alive). That said, when Cassie arrives in Rome and visits the bar of an old 'friend with benefits', she tells the Italian man, 'I've met someone'. So perhaps it really was the real deal.
Besides the brief trip to Rome, the majority of the action takes place at Alex's memorial service. His mother, the matriarch of the family, is introduced, and through Ani we find out that Alex's parents and their associates are involved in some shady business. Cassie is warned that they're highly dangerous people, but she shows up, sneaks around their house and generally makes a spectacle of herself anyway. The more she panics, the more she drinks, and the more erratic the camerawork becomes - there are some brilliant tracking shots as she blunders through the house, and some hitchcockian high angle close up shots of Cassie's face as she stands confused about her first exchange with Janet Sokolov (Ann Magnuson) - see the expression in the image below but imagine it from an straight on perspective, slightly canted high angle shot! In fact, there are a lot of elements of The Flight Attendant that match the characteristics of a typical Hitchcock film, but time will tell if we get the climactic plot twist - I hope so!
Through the changing depth of field of the previously blurred shot of the woman in the red dress, we find out that Miranda Croft is indeed the woman who seems to be following Cassie. Is this out of jealousy? Guilt? Revenge? Her motives and background story remain to be revealed. The casting and direction of Michelle Gomez as Miranda is very interesting indeed: she is the antithesis of Cassie in many ways - her facial features strong and sharp in comparison to Cuoco's wide eyes and soft, youthful countenance, and Miranda's movements are discreet and measured in contrast to Cassie's impulsive recklessness. It could be explosive when they finally collide.
Besides introducing the Sokolovs and revealing more about Miranda, this episode also shines a light on some secondary characters. Cassie's 'date' to the memorial is Shane Evans, who seems like a lovely friend. He brings some light relief and makes the most of the waiting staff while Cassie strays round the house in search of evidence. We also meet Ani's boyfriend, a hacker whose skills come in handy. There was some subtext about Ani not wanting to fully commit to him but they seem smitten with each other all the same. A sub-plot with Megan is initiated, involving some data theft from her husband - a bit of an odd addition to this episode, but perhaps it will connect to the bigger picture with time. As predicted, the FBI agents Van and Kim continue to disagree, with Van's suspicions of Cassie continuing, while Kim reminds him that a member of hotel staff from housekeeping saw Cassie asleep elsewhere in the hotel at the time of the crime. He seems to disregard this, emphasising his unprofessionalism.
What questions do I have at the end of episode three? What else could Cassie possibly do to make the situation even worse for herself? Why was Alex's mother so cagey about Miranda? What has she done to make her so furious to even hear the name?
What predictions do I have at the end of episode three? Cassie seems to attract trouble so I think she will get tied up with Megan's mischief somehow.
Read Part 4 of the blog series here: Unpacking Season 1 of The Flight Attendant - Episode 4.