The thing I like about The Flight Attendant is that it is deeply committed to being nutty as hell. The first season was wild, for sure, all the way through. Kaley Cuoco’s character, the titular flight attendant, woke up next to a dead guy in the series premiere and we were on a rocket ship from there. There were spies and assassins and visions of both the dead guy and gigantic rabbits, sometimes together. By the end of the season (I swear this next part is all true), Kaley Cuoco had been recruited to work for the CIA by a second flight attendant who was undercover to investigate a third flight attendant — played by Rosie Perez, which we’ll come back to — for kind of accidentally selling aerospace secrets to the North Korean government. It was a really good time.
The second season has, somehow, against truly staggering odds, kept up this frenetic pace. It might have even surpassed it. Kaley Cuoco’s character is now working for the CIA, kind of, while also getting sober, kind of, but also all of these other things have happened:
- A car exploded in Berlin and Kaley Cuoco is the prime suspect because the person who did it was impersonating her
- She thought the impostor was a different coworker because that lady was acting all suspicious but it turned out that was just smuggling fentanyl lollipops, as one does
- There is a weird couple with matching bleach blond hair and leather outfits who is running around doing crimes and menacing her friends
- Her best friend is now kind of engaged to a computer hacker with incredible abs who got hit by a car and almost died but is fine now
- She slept with her CIA handler, who might be up to no good, which is all being investigated by Cheryl Hines from Curb Your Enthusiasm, who is also on this show now
Also, and I suppose I could provide context for this if I wanted to, which I do not even a little… this happened.
It’s a great show. I really think more people should watch it. It’s the biggest mess you’ll ever see, which I mean in the best way possible. The other week there was this devastating scene with one character and her mother, just like five minutes of raw and painful emotion, and then suddenly North Korean agents were storming the house and everyone got away by shoving a lit Roman candle into the gas tank of an abandoned truck and fleeing through the flames. All of these are spoilers, in the most technical sense of the word, but I assure you that knowing it all will not take away from your enjoyment at all. There’s so much more I haven’t mentioned. Again, perfect television show.
All of which is great. I could go on for an hour. And I might, if you come over with a pizza later. But right now we need to discuss Rosie Perez. Her character, I mean. But also Rosie herself, because Rosie Perez rules. She plays a lady named Megan who, as I mentioned earlier, accidentally sold aerospace secrets to the North Koreans. How does one accidentally sell aerospace secrets to the North Koreans? Glad you asked. Turns out she was bored in her marriage to some doof who works for an aerospace company, so she wanted some excitement, so she pulled files off his laptop and gave them to some mysterious man who approached her and whoooops the files were government contracts and the mysterious man was a North Korean spy. You’ve seen it a million times.
Anyway, cut to season two, where all of this is happening:
- She opens the season living in hiding in Iceland with a black market tuna smuggler played by Margaret Cho
- She picks a bunch of mushrooms from a forest, which we later see her mashing up into a fine dust/paste
- You guessed it, they are poisonous hallucinogenic mushrooms
- She is running around dosing people with them to keep her secret and/or investigate other secrets
- Her cover gets blown and she comes back to America using the pseudonym “Hildegard Bouffant”
- She goes hunting for a lockbox she hid in her friend’s strip club, but the friend sold the contents of the room to some strange lady, so Rosie and her stripper friend track her down to a weird trailer in the woods and, yup, you guessed it again, dose the woman with mushroom paste and steal back the lockbox while the woman has a full-on mental collapse on the woods
Again, these are all true things that happened. The woman started season one as a bored housewife who worked for an airline and she is now running around with strippers and tuna smugglers and slipping poisonous mushrooms to people as part of a plan to evade both a slew of North Korean spies — one of whom was named, I promise, “Hawk” — and the CIA, who wants to arrest her and now employs her dear friend. Also, she is wearing an incredible number of floppy hats while doing it like she’s Carmen Sandiego or something.
I repeat: incredible. I kind of need to know what the hat budget is for this show. It’s got to be obscene. Like, it would not surprise me for a second if another show gets canceled after one season because a rogue wardrobe coordinator got a little loose with the HBO Max corporate card. It’s basically this tweet but with “hats for Rosie Perez” instead of candles.
someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. my family is dying
— wint (@dril) September 29, 2013
It dawns on me as I’m getting ready to wrap this up that I really glossed over the thing where a woman wanted by both the CIA and North Korean spies managed to fly from Iceland to America without getting caught. It says a lot about this show that I consider this to be information worthy of a back burner, especially when you consider how it happened, which I will once again lay out via bullet point:
- She and Kaley Cuoco worked with one of the assassins from season one — who originally wanted to kill them but is now their friend, sort of — to get out
- They stole a speedboat
- They took the stolen speedboat to a helicopter
- They took the helicopter to a private jet, which they flew across the Atlantic.
Also, and I don’t know why I feel like this is important to share but I feel deeply in my bones that I must, the helicopter they took the stolen speedboat to was just, like, waiting for them on a cliff.
So that’s what’s going on with Rosie Perez in The Flight Attendant. I mean, mostly. There’s still so much more I haven’t spelled out. We can talk about it when you bring over that pizza later.