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Things You Only Notice In The Flight Attendant After Watching It More Than Once

HBO Max has put out plenty of engrossing content since it launched in 2020, with audiences recently loving Kaley Cuoco's "The Flight Attendant." The series follows "The Big Bang Theory" star as Cassie Bowden, an alcoholic flight attendant who wakes up next to the dead body of one of her passengers, Alex Sokolov (Michael Huisman), in a Bangkok hotel after a heavy night drinking. She assumes she's the one who killed him and flees the country, but not before the FBI catches up with her.

"The Flight Attendant" spirals down some truly unpredictable storylines involving the CIA, North Korea, and corporate espionage in a thrilling finale. But ultimately, the crux of the story is Cassie's journey through her alcoholism and an eventual decision to give sobriety a go. However, battling her inner demons isn't so easy when she's also trying to prove her own innocence amidst a global corporate conspiracy. Unfortunately, Cassie's alcoholism doesn't make her the most reliable character when it comes to uncovering the truth, so there are a few things to pick up on in the series when rewatching it. But most importantly, is she making some of it up without realizing?

Is Miranda even real?

Michelle Gomez adds a villainously charming flair to "The Flight Attendant" as Alex's business associate, Miranda Croft, as Cassie initially thinks the shady figure killed Alex before eventually learning that she's working for someone higher up in the Lionfish company. But is it possible that she's actually a figment of Cassie's imagination? Don't worry, we know what you're thinking — there are plenty of moments where other people seemingly notice Miranda's presence in the world. But there's a few arguments to support the theory, mainly her constant disappearing act. 

As Gate of Theories suggested on YouTube, Cassie's reliance on alcohol often causes her to see things that aren't there; just look at all of her conversations with a ghostly version of Sokolov in her head. So it's not impossible that Miranda is an alter-ego created by Cassie to cope with the mental strain of everything going on in the wake of the Bangkok incident, "Fight Club" style. The theory also suggests Cassie unknowingly created MIranda in the FBI interview to deflect any blame that was being put on her for Sokolov's death.

Just look at the incident on the train in Episode 4 when Cassie hurls a shoe at Miranda, causing the shady figure to chase her through the carriages; when Cuoco's frantic heroine finally finds a police officer and pleads with him to help stop the woman chasing her, Miranda is nowhere to be seen. However, this doesn't exactly explain all the scenes in which Miranda interacts with other people independently of Cassie, like when she punches her boss Victor in the face or when she's talking to her secretary Cecilia on the phone. But even the idea of her not being real only adds to Miranda Croft's mysterious allure.

The show uses Dolly Parton to convey Cassie's state of mind

Of all the songs producers of "The Flight Attendant" could've used to add layers of subtext about Cassie's alcoholism or not knowing what she'd been up to in her inebriated state, they surprisingly picked a Dolly Parton track. In Episode 6, Cassie goes to her regular bar with Buckley — before discovering his real identity — and they get very drunk. But when they first get there, the bartender puts on Parton's 1977 classic, "Here You Come Again."

It's not the only time the track appears in the episode, as it plays later on when Cassie finds herself in jail for her drunken antics with Buckley — they tried to steal a mini-mechanical horse ride, obviously. However, during her time in jail, the song's typical cheery tune sounds distorted and all over the place, much like Cassie herself. Clearly, the show is trying to communicate something with the song, mainly how Cassie's reliance on alcohol constantly ruins her life.

That's a sentiment clearly echoed in the lyrics, "Here you come again, just when I've begun to get myself together." But it could also be attributed to the way Cassie's memories of her past and of the Bangkok incident keep resurfacing, as she digs further into Alex's murder. She's having a hard time processing everything going on, alongside feeling guilty over her father's death in a car crash when she was younger. Cassie's reaction to trauma has always been to run from it, which is why she's never wholly dealt with her issues, and the Dolly Parton track puts that across perfectly.

Shane is teased as a CIA agent all the way through

In the final episode, it was eventually revealed that Buckley aka Felix killed Alex on the orders of shady Lionfish boss Victor in an attempt to get the $200 million that the unfortunate businessman had stolen. But before Buckley/Felix could kill the alcoholic flight attendant in the final episode, Cassie's co-worker Shane Evans (Griffin Matthews) burst into the room with a gun, later revealing himself as a CIA agent. Wait, what?

He'd been assigned to keep an eye on Megan Briscoe (Rosie Perez) as she was passing trade secrets to North Korea, but had slowly become embroiled in the Alex Sokolov situation. However, there are a number of clues early on in the series that he's hiding a pretty big secret of his own, particularly in the initial interview with the FBI, when Alex's body is first found in Bangkok. Instead of outright answering all of their questions, he turns his own questions back onto the agents speaking to him — mainly because he doesn't want to lie to them about his life.

And when Shane's in Rome with Megan, he tries to find out more information about who she's been meeting with under the pretense of discussing general gossip, when really he's trying to mine pieces of information about her North Korean contacts. He even tells Cassie later in the series that he's "really good at keeping secrets" — yeah, he wasn't kidding! Showrunner Steve Yockey definitely knew what he was doing with seeding all those little clues to Shane's real identity.

It'll be interesting to see if Cassie winds up working alongside him in the CIA whenever "The Flight Attendant" Season Two eventually arrives on HBO Max.