REVIEW: ‘The Flight Attendant,’ Season 2 Episode 8 – “Backwards and Forwards”

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The Flight Attendant Episode 8

Just as quickly as it arrived, The Flight Attendant Episode 8 finale, “Backwards and Forwards,” is here, marking the end of the season. Cassie chews off more than she bargained for as she uncovers the identity of the person trying to frame her. Then, just when you think it’s all over, Cassie puts herself right back in danger as the finale keeps you hooked until the very end.

The Flight Attendant is based on the novel by Christopher A. Bohjalian and developed for TV by Steve Yockey. The series follows the particularly messy life of a flight attendant, Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco). A year in, Cassie is now sober, still working for the CIA, and she’s found some balance in life. That is until she witnesses someone trying to frame her, and that carefully constructed framework crumbles around her.

After the explosive events of the prior episode, Cassie is confronted by Benjamin, who she suspects is the one trying to frame her. While trying to escape, she is cornered on the Ferris wheel by her doppelganger, Grace (Mae Martin). As Cassie pleads for her life, she convinces Grace that she has options and can be free, and in a shocking split-second moment, Grace agrees, placing a gun to her own head and pulling the trigger.

Episode 8 immediately follows these events with Cassie in a state of catatonic shock. With everything she’s survived in the last two weeks, this event seemingly pulls her over the edge, and it all becomes far too much to deal with. As she regains her awareness and believes she’s safe, the CIA informs her that there have been two doppelgangers the whole time, and there’s still a risk to her life. The situation forces the killer to the surface, who finally confronts Cassie revealing their devious plan.

I love the frantic nature of this show and the chaotic pace that accompanies it, but I found the unveiling of the villain a little too obvious. Compared with Season 1, it lacked that dramatic punch, resulting in something foreshadowed from the beginning.

Where the main plot felt conspicuous, the show did land us with a completely unexpected subplot that was notably more surprising and was more faithful to the tone of the series. I’d love to go more in detail, but there’s no easy way to discuss it without wandering into spoiler territory.

The mystery and the suspense of the show serve as the foundation, but Cassie’s path of self-discovery and emotional reckoning is what gives the story its real weight. With the trauma she recently survived, our protagonist finds herself pulled into the deep reaches of her mind palace, confronted by all of her alter-egos. As Cassie attempts to escape yet another killer, she must rely on these alt-personalities to help her survive.

Cuoco’s performance throughout this series adds gravity to the story, as she fully immerses herself into the role of Cassie. Not only that, but you have to applaud her for her taking on four additional characters as the various alt-ego Cassies. Cuoco taps into a woman whose life is built on trauma and is desperately trying to pull things together later in life, chasing a semblance of balance. The emotional impact hits with such an impact and this season more than delivered on those moments.

Overall, The Flight Attendant Episode 8 was a little wobbly as far as finales go. The main plot wasn’t quite the shock and awe moment and felt quite predictable, but it did redeem itself with an unforeseen subplot that takes the reigns, driving Cassie straight into the path of danger once again in a startling fashion. Kaley Cuoco nails her role as Cassie once more, and I hope she and the crew have more stories left in the tank!

The Flight Attendant Episode 8 is available now exclusively on HBO Max.


The Flight Attendant Season 2, Episode 8 - "Backwards and Forwards"
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

The Flight Attendant Episode 8 was a little wobbly as far as finales go. The main plot wasn’t quite the shock and awe moment and felt quite predictable, but it did redeem itself with an unforeseen subplot that takes the reigns, driving Cassie straight into the path of danger once again in a startling fashion.