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Why Some Fans Hated The Ending Of Flight Attendant Season 1

Season 1 of HBO Max's "The Flight Attendant" took viewers on an eight-episode wild ride filled with espionage, betrayal, lies, and murder. Oh, and alcohol. Lots of alcohol. 

Kayley Cuoco plays protagonist Cassie Bowden, a flight attendant who wakes up in a foreign country next to a viciously murdered man she hardly knows. The first season, which was a multiple Emmy Award nominee in 2021 (via IMDb), follows Cassie as she attempts to unravel the quickly escalating and very deadly mystery. Complicating matters is Cassie's alcoholism, which causes memory recall issues, poor decision making, and tough-to-be-around behavior. 

The show was a certified hit for HBO Max, becoming the top series title on the platform by the season finale in December 2020. Naturally a season two follows and is set to premiere on April 21, with two episodes released weekly after that.

However, some fans took issue with the way the first season wrapped up, taking to Reddit to express their well-founded frustrations. Spoilers for Season 1 ahead.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Cassie's actions and their consequences

Along the bumpy flight path of "The Flight Attendant," more than a few people are killed by skilled hitmen working for a mysterious company that Cassie (Kayley Cuoco) inadvertently puts herself on the radar of. While Cassie never commits any foul play herself, her actions lead to the deaths of two people and the serious injury of several more. Her alcoholism also strains most relationships she has, including her brother and best friend. 

In the series finale, at the close of the central murder mystery conspiracy, Cassie manages to not only make it out alive but receives an offer to become a surveillant for the CIA. She also manages to keep her titular job by the skin of her teeth, and makes the decision to go sober. It's a pretty happy ending for Cassie, allowing her to fare much better than many of the other characters. 

Some fans felt Cassie ending the show better than where she started was too unrealistic. On the subreddit devoted to "The Flight Attendant," u/BeefStewInACan created a thread to air just such thoughts, and many people seemed to agree with them. 

Fans were unconvinced by Cassie's sobriety

In the reddit thread, u/BeefStewInACan wrote, "[Cassie] does literally everything wrong at every opportunity and leaves a trail of bodies in her wake... Everyone else's life is in shambles but she skates away scot-free. Anti-heroes aren't supposed to get happy endings like this."

Comments agreeing with the user point out that this could have simply been a moment of poor adaptation of the source novel by Chris Bohjalian. While the finale does have Cassie confront and decide to fight against her alcoholism, which is a major turning point for her, it came across to some as underdeveloped. "It was washed over that as someone who was drinking mini bottles of straight vodka [Cassie] could just stop. She does say it's hard but it's harder than that," wrote u/rocklikeastone.

"In the real world, making a stupid decision (or multiple stupid decisions) can ruin your life entirely, things don't just magically work out as they appeared to have for Cassie," wrote u/kat_bell123, even thanking the thread for allowing their critique to be seconded. 

Season 2 will focus on Cassie's character development

Season 2 of "The Flight Attendant" premieres in less than a week, and will see the show breaking new ground as it departs from the dramatically different conclusion of the standalone novel. Our theories continue to materialize as we ramp up for the release, but it seems that HBO Max and the shows producers (one of whom is star Kayley Cuoco) took these critiques of the season finale and addressed them in Season 2.

Her alcoholism and struggles with sobriety seem to be more centralized than they were previously, allowing her character to be further developed while still delivering the thrilling spy content promised by the first season's conclusion. "Because Cassie is no longer drinking, the show starts out slower and more controlled... Even when Cassie is investigating how things tie together the emphasis is always on how it ties into Cassie's current quest to become sober," reported Kristen Lopez in an early Season 2 review for IndieWire.

Season 2 of the show has also added new faces, including Sharon Stone. If you've already seen the first season, there's plenty of time to review everything we know and expect to happen in Season 2 before it premieres on April 21. 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).