There is no dearth of women-led crime thrillers and police procedurals out there. But the Veronica Mars-shaped hole left in our hearts in the early aughts was never properly filled. Not even a Hulu revival could do the underrated gem justice, as they dropped it after only one season. Mars (played by Kristen Bell) had a spunk that appealed to the Millennial soul that grew up on Nancy Drew, Secret Seven, and Hardy Boys.
The HBO show, The Flight Attendant, developed by Steve Yockey and based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian, has come very close to filling that space, which is why fans were holding onto their hope that a third season might be released. The first season left quite an impact, hooking people with its exciting storyline and profound character portrayals. Being released in November 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was still going strong and many people were still quarantining at home, the series captured audiences’ interest as a big splashy new series when it felt like there was not a lot of new material.
With the second season’s release, the show – starring Kaley Cuoco, Zosia Mamet, and Deniz Akdeniz in lead roles – seemed to have found its footing better, giving fans exactly what they wanted and even more. Sadly the series will not be returning to Max as the streaming service canceled the series. It is safe to say that fans were not yet done with Cuoco’s trysts with murder, mystery, and mayhem. Here is what the series was about, why it was canceled, and the impact the series has had.
Update January 29, 2024: This article has been updated following the official cancelation of The Flight Attendant, why the series was canceled, and what it means for the fans of the series.
What The Flight Attendant Is All About
Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory fame plays protagonist Cassandra “Cassie” Bowden in The Flight Attendant. Cassie is the titular flight attendant who also happens to be a functional alcoholic. Her reckless, hedonistic lifestyle lands her bang in the middle of an international murder conspiracy when she wakes up in a Bangkok hotel room beside the dead body of Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman), a man she slept with the night before.
Armed with a patchy memory and a penchant for getting into trouble – the latter being a quintessential trait of any good fictional detective – Cassie has to solve the case and clear her name. Her best friend and lawyer to the mobs, Annie Mouradian (Mamet), and her partner, hacker extraordinaire Max Park (Akdeniz), come to her rescue. The trio is engaging to watch as they approach the situation in their own ways while navigating the do-or-die scenarios with their bumbling and sometimes amateurish enthusiasm.
The second season saw the trio shift from the chilly locales of New York City to the sunny lanes of Los Angeles, where Cassie is coming to terms with her newfound sobriety and her dual role of being a CIA operative. Annie is all set to start a fresh new chapter in her career with a clean slate. But of course, life brings more murderous adventures in their path.
At the end of the first season, there was a throwaway line from Annie where she said that Max and she were thinking of opening a private detective agency. And to be honest, that sounded like an amazing idea. Together, the trio has done a tremendous job-solving crime, and playing detectives comes naturally to all of them. A shift away from Cassie always being somehow directly involved in all the crimes could be seen as a refreshing change for the show. Being the prime suspect of your case once is charming as a plot device; twice, it’s a bit ‘eh,’ but thrice would be stretching the trope too thin. Regarding recent events, unfortunately, a possible plot for a third season doesn’t seem to matter anymore.
The Flight Attendant Season 3 Is Canceled
The Flight Attenedant was officially cancelled after only two seasons, and it is needless to say that many fans were still saddened by this news. Even though the series kicked it off as a limited series, its success resulted in a second season. After season 2 concluded in May of 2022, Kaley Cuoco mentioned how she would be happy to wrap things up and move on to another project because “at this moment, the plane has landed.” However, it wasn’t a hard “no,” and she did mention later how it was shortsighted of her to make that statement.
She clarified by saying:
“I think I need a minute. I just kind of feel like we just ended. Some of my favourite shows on TV take some time to come back, and then I get very excited about a new season. I want to make sure that the fans are excited and that we’re not pushing it too hard. I mean, we’ve done so much this season. Even in the eight episodes, we’ve done so much story that I’m thinking, Well, what could we do next? So it’s going to take a lot of thought to make sure if we go back that it’s better than the last two, which is very hard to do. I think the writers and the team did a really beautiful job in tying it up in a pretty bow, but if you had to open the bow, it would be okay.”
Even then, Cuoco was aware that a third season would come with its difficulties and high expectations, but it seemed as though she was convinced that creator Steve Yockey would have had the ability to create something special. There has been quite a long break since the second and last season of The Flight Attendant was released, which is why the cancelation of the series might not be as shocking as it would have been in 2022.
However, even though Cuoco would have been onboard if the show had been renewed for a third season, the disheartening news of the show’s cancelation crushed any future plans for continuing Cassie’s story. Despite its cancelation, The Flight Attendant is still worth watching and won’t leave the audience hanging at the end of the second season since it does properly wrap up the story.
Why Fans Wanted Season 3
Obviously, nobody wants their favorite series to end, and a cancelation is very different than knowing a series will conclude going into it when a show markets itself as a final season. While The Flight Attendant did end its story, it did feel like there were plenty of places to go with the story; it did still feel like there were storylines that could have been continued in season 3. While Annie (Zoe Mamet) and Max (Deniz Akeniz) were married, they are now also very much involved in Cassie’s new double life and could have helped her out more on future cases in the following seasons.
Cassie’s friend Megan (Rose Perez) went into witness protection with her husband and son. While that serves as a sad ending in the context of the series, this likely could have been picked upon in a following season where Cassie needs to save her friend after her past catches up to her. There was also Miranda Croft (Michelle Gomez), one of the series’ standout characters and an international woman of mystery who honestly could have been the focus of her own spin-off but could have had more fun team-ups with Cassie. The Flight Attendant, over sixteen episodes, introduced a fun cast of characters that fans likely would have followed for years.
What Has Kaley Cuoco Been Up To?
After diving head first into immense success due to Cuoco’s world-famous role of Penny in The Big Bang Theory, her portrayal of Cassie in The Flight Attendant certainly marked an important shift in her career. She managed to detach from this famous role and open up a new chapter, in which she has now been trying out different roles in different genres. In the same year in which the second season of The Flight Attendant was released, Cuoco also stepped into the role of Anne in the action movie Man from Toronto, which stars Woody Harrelson and Kevin Hart as the lead characters. After showing that she has the skills to wrap a killer around her fingers, Cuoco moved on to a new project, which brought her back into the land of comedy and romance.
In the 2022 film Meet Cute, she explores the topic of time travel and changing her partner’s past, and is joined by Pete Davidson. About a year later, Cuoco appeared in a comedy series called Based on a True Story, which is built on true crime obsessions and satire and has lovers of stories about crime glued to the TV with its foundation of dark comedy. Between 2019 and 2023, the star of The Flight Attendant also voice-acted for an animation, Harley Quinn, on Max, and, over an impressive number of 47 episodes, she lent her voice to the main character of the series.
Most recently, she stepped into the role of the protagonist Emma Brackett in Role Play. The action rom-com centers on the life of Emma and her husband, Dave, who is played by David Oyelowo. Trying to spice up their marriage and bring some action into their suburban life, they decide to go out and act as though they are meeting for the first time again. However, when they cross paths with an older man who, 24 hours later, unexpectedly ends up dead, the couple finds themselves at the center of a murder investigation. Hints about Emma’s secret life surface and turn her marriage upside down.
Even though The Flight Attendant has come to an end, Kaley Cuoco still has much more to offer and is ready to deliver some captivating performances. Here is a clip of Cuoco’s movie Role Play, which might help you to slowly move on from the cancelation heartbreak and spark a new interest.
Stream The Flight Attendant on Max.