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Review

THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT 1×02 “Rabbits” Review

“‘Rabbits’ builds on the foundations of the pilot with a razor sharp vision and wit” says Neil of THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT 1×02.

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The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)

Synopsis

Rattled by her own lies and under pressure from the FBI, Cassie goes against Annie’s advice to lay low and tries to find some answers by digging into Alex Sokolov’s work life – with bizarre and shocking results.

Review

I called the pilot episode of The Flight Attendant a glossy, immersive and darkly comedic murder mystery. That observation absolutely still stands having dived back in to the series for episode two.

What’s abundantly clear for the outset is that The Flight Attendant isn’t going to let the audience rely on exhaustive amounts of exposition to keep up with the story. There’s a brief recap of episode one (reviewed here) but then we’re thrust back in to the action.

Kaley Cuoco continues to shoulder the narrative like a pro. As Cassie spirals further in to desperation Cuoco is able to embody her with an amazing sense of comedy timing amidst huge emotional stakes.

As the FBI catches up to her, Cassie brings in her best friend (and lawyer) Annie for advice. Cuoco and Zosia Mamet have an amazing on-screen chemistry. Their scenes together are some of the series sparkiest. There’s a palpable sense that the two are feeding off each other to bring some of the most difficult scenes in the show – see the interrogation scene for more – and turn them in to something sadistically funny.

There’s two inevitably convergent storylines beginning to emerge at this stage: Cassie’s hunt for the mysterious Miranda (Michelle Gomez) and the FBI investigation in to Alex’s death. There’s no doubt that there two are intertwined but it’s so fun to see Cassie becoming an amateur sleuth due, partly to save her own skin but also because she just can’t seem to leave a mystery unsolved.

Cassie’s investigations take her to Alex’s office this week under the alias of Alessandra Richi. The entire scene is farcically hilarious. From her attempts to cover as a client of Alex’s to her sharp exit from the building, the writing it pitch perfect. There are echoes of the excellent Crystal character from Orphan Black, stumbling upon a conspiracy without ever realising what she is getting herself in to.

As for Miranda, we don’t learn much about her origins this episode but we do get to see that she is now hot on Cassie’s trail. Gomez is outstanding in any part I’ve seen her play and The Flight Attendant is no different. It’s looking likely that Miranda isn’t just a business associate of Alex’s particularly given her activities in this episode. Miranda feels closer to Gomez’s portrayal of Missy in Doctor Who than it is to Madam Satan in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

As for the FBI… it’s interesting to see them teed up as a villain. That statement probably says more about Nolan Gerard Funk’s Van Wight than it does of Merle Dandridge’s Kim. They’re neither comedic foils nor serious villains. Instead they inhabit an interesting middle ground which comes complete with its own challenges. A pointed comment from Kim regarding Van Wight’s white male privilege feels perfectly placed in a show filled with so many empowered women.

There’s another brief appearance by the wonderful T.R. Knight as Cassie’s brother Davey this week. It’s clear there’s something bubbling under the surface in their relationship. His reluctance to commit to the family trip to New York to see Cassie feels like a precursor to something much heavier for their characters.

Verdict

“Rabbits” builds on the foundations of the pilot with a razor sharp focus and wit.

The series stars Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden. Co-starring are co-stars Rosie Perez (Birds of Prey), Zosia Mamet (Girls), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones), Michelle Gomez (Doctor Who), and Colin Woodell (The Purge).


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