Unpacking Season 1 of The Flight Attendant - Episode 4

This is Part 4 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 3 here. Be warned: since the plot will be discussed, there are spoilers ahead!

The Flight Attendant - Episode 4 - 'Conspiracy Theories'

Creator: Steve Hockey

Director: John Strickland

The almost-comedic start to this episode with Cassie flicking off one of her heels at Miranda as she chased her down a train carriage is a far cry from the tail end of it when Sabrina meets a grizzly end. I am still taking it in!

Family tensions mount as Cassie's brother, Davey, visits with his partner and children. Aunt Cassie tries to impress but her attempt at spoiling her nieces only serves as a nasty reminder about their own childhood. It seems that her memory of her father differs greatly to her brother's and he is highly sensitive to her drinking as a result of the history of alcohol abuse in the family. There is a bittersweet irony in the way that he is so annoyed about her buying some toy whales at the aquarium. If only he knew the real secrets she was keeping from him...

As far as digging further into Alex's demise, Cassie negotiates her way onto an eight passenger flight to Maine (which she finds out about with help from Ani's boyfriend Max as they put back together a sack of shredded paper). However, there are no passengers once she arrives just in time for 'wheels up' - an aviation term I learnt this episode. Instead, the plane is carrying what Cassie uncovers to be missiles. Are the Sokolovs arms dealers, or dealing with weapons of mass destruction?

We meet Victor (Ritchie Coster), who is Miranda's boss, for the first time in this episode. He refers to Bangkok as a mess and is even less pleased with Miranda's attempt at a 'clean up'. The exact organisation he works for is not clear, but she leaves with seriously slapped wrists and hellbent on making things right - 'right' from her point of view, not in a moral sense!

The romanticisation of Alex increases with each episode and in this one it may well be the peak, with him and Cassie slow dancing with a candy floss sunset in the background. Given what we now know about his family and their business, the idyllic version of him in Cassie's mind is sure to be short-lived.

Referring back to the title sequence mentioned in Part 1 of this blog series, if we treat the animation as a sort of prologue for the narrative, there is a point where a couple are free falling holding each other but then they separate and Cassie is left to descent alone (see video below at 18 seconds). If the title sequence does in fact metaphorically mirror and foreshadow the narrative, the point of separation could be coming soon.

What questions do I have at the end of episode four? What is the connection or relationship between the Sokolovs and Miranda/Victor? Perhaps they are competitors on the black market or a deal in the past went badly, but it's something that I've been wondering for a couple of episodes now. Additionally, I'm starting to question Cassie's general wellbeing - she is throwing herself into avenging Alex's murder but how long can her momentum last? What consequences will Ani face after letting down her 'legal shield' in order to pull in a favour from a client? Finally, there have been references and flashbacks to Cassie's father in every episode, but no mention at all of her mother. What happened to her?

What predictions do I have at the end of episode four? Given the show's ability to adapt to different styles and genres of storytelling, they may dare to present part of the narrative from another character's perspective. We are constantly aware of Cassie's drinking, but she remains high functioning as far as we can tell. A day in the life of Cassie from another character's viewpoint would be an interesting way to reveal something significant.


You can read Part 3 of this blog series here. Part 5 is here!