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The Hidden Shane Detail In The Flight Attendant That You Probably Missed

HBO Max's critically beloved murder mystery The Flight Attendant delivered an ending that was as wild as its journey. Still, no twist was as great as that of Cassie's friend and fellow flight attendant, Shane (Griffin Matthews). 

Over eight episodes, Kaley Cuoco's messy yet endearing alcoholic flight attendant Cassie Bowden went from partying with a cute flier to fleeing his murder scene to trying to figure out whether she murdered him, and eventually trying to evade being murdered herself. Between that, there were some more attractive men, an FBI investigation, Korean spy plots, and at least one assassin, which all culminated in a final episode wherein Cassie faced down several friends-turned-foes — except for one. In a massive twist, Shane revealed himself to be a CIA agent when he came to Cassie's aid. Assigned to follow the moves of their colleague, friend, and unknowing North Korean spy Megan (Rosie Perez), Shane's arrival not only saves Cassie's life but sets her up for a potential season two working for the CIA. 

Showrunner Steve Yockey told Thrillist that unlike another one of the show's other character twists — think actor Buckley turned assassin Felix — viewers were given just a small handful of clues about Shane's reveal. "Shane is just a couple of comments that if you go back and watch the show again [you'll notice]," Yockey says. 

Matthews was aware of his character's turn from the very beginning to ensure his performance choices created a throughline — however obvious — to the finale twist. But ultimately, viewers really shouldn't have caught on until their second watch. "The Shane reveal was meant to be a fun capper on the big climax. It wasn't something that people could suss out in advance," Yockey told The New York Times, in a separate interview. 

There are hints throughout the season that point to Shane's true identity and motives

If fans are interested in re-watching the series to see if they can find the clues, Yockey gave a few examples to help them get a head start. Scenes like Shane's back and forth with the FBI and in Rome when he questions Megan about her friend all pointed to the eventual reveal about his true identity. "In the first F.B.I. interview, he spontaneously starts speaking Russian and then asks the F.B.I. all these questions, instead of answering their questions," he told the NYT. "In Rome, he grills Megan about her friend. It seems catty in the moment, but he's actually doing his job."

Yockey revealed that the FBI sequence saw Shane "just peppering them with questions the entire time because he doesn't want to have to lie to them," but there's another line that has a particularly different punch when you watch it the second time around. 

"In episode three, when Cassie and Shane have their big fight leaving the memorial service, she says, 'please don't tell anyone that I brought you here, it's crazy, and I know that it's crazy.' He looks at her and says, 'I'm really good at keeping secrets," he told Thrillist.  

Yockey also shared while speaking to Thrillest that one version of episode seven gave the audience an even bigger clue about Shane's true identity, but ultimately, he opted to keep that card close to his chest. So what happens to Shane (and Cassie) going forward? The Flight Attendant showrunner is staying tight-lipped about his plans but told the outlet that fans should expect Cuoco's character to run into "old friends." 

"I think it would probably be a new adventure for Cassie, but we would see old friends," he said. "I don't know how exactly they would be involved. That feels right." 

With The Flight Attendant recently renewed, it looks like fans will get to see if — and how — Shane and Cassie cross paths again.