The Flight Attendant Show Ending Explained Vs. The Book Ending


The Flight Attendant is a show that will have you hooked from the beginning, but the ending is a big shock and is different than the book.

the flight attendant poster

The Flight Attendant is a miniseries on HBO Max that had me hooked from the start. it is a story of murder, smuggling, treason, and addiction — and it will have you in suspense from beginning to end. This miniseries is based on a book, so how do these two The Flight Attendant endings compare to each other? 

In this article I will explain both ending versions of The Flight Attendant — the show and the book. Although they are quite similar, and I have to admit, shocking. Warning, there will be major spoilers so be careful if you have not yet watched the last episode of the series.

the flight attendant

Warning: Spoilers Ahead for The Flight Attendant
HBO Max Show and Book!

the flight attendant

The Flight Attendant Miniseries Ending Explained

The biggest reveal that we get toward the end of the show is that Buckley, the man Cassie has had a few dates with, is Felix, the hired killer. This man killed Alex, an FBI agent who was trailing Cassie, and is now supposed to kill her. When Cassie and Miranda discover this they decide to work together to take down Victor and the whole operation in order to prove Cassie’s innocence.

Annie, Cassie’s lawyer friend, goes to the FBI to give them evidence and then they realize that Buckley was in Bangkok as well, surely tailing Cassie in order to kill her. When Cassie gets off the plane in Rome, Buckley is there waiting for her. But she is about to escape when she goes near him and pretends that he grabbed her and she calls for the police.

Megan finds out she has been stealing proprietary government information and plans and selling it to the North Korean government. She has no choice but to go on the run, or turn herself in, and she chooses to run. She calls her family to say goodbye, and tells there where to find money and the flash drives. 

Miranda is delayed, because she confronts Victor, but she does end up arriving in Rome after Cassie. Cassie meets up with her Italian lover, who helps her get a gun. He takes her to her hotel room to make sure she is safe from Buckley, but when he leaves to get her a coffee, Cassie discovers Miranda seemingly dead in her bathtub, with Buckley waiting to attack her. 

Buckley attacks Cassie’s Italian friend when he gets back, but he is only hurt and does survive. Cassie gets the gun and shoots Buckley, but only in the leg. Then a major shock happens when Shane, who she thought was just a flight attendant, bursts in and shoots Buckley, stopping the attack. 

It turns out Shane has been undercover watching Megan, who has been committing treason. Buckley is taken to the hospital and Shane jokes that he is lucky Cassie has bad aim. Cassie decides she wants to get sober, she makes up with her friend Annie, and returns to her job as a flight attendant. 

The final scene shows Shane telling her that his boss is going to be contacting her about potentially working undercover for the United States government as well. Leaving it open for a possible season two.

the flight attendant book ending

The Flight Attendant Book Ending Explained

HBO Max’s miniseries, The Flight Attendant, is based on the book by Chris Bohjalian. There are some MAJOR differences between the book and the show, including Alex’s killer. In the show, Buckley turns out to be the main killer, as we know. In the book, Elena/Miranda is a Russian spy and the one who killed Alex. She left Cassie alive thinking she was no threat at all due to her alcoholism. 

The Russian government is not very happy that she left a witness and hires someone to kill both Miranda/Elena and Cassie — which is where Buckley comes in. In the book, Cassie also sleeps with Buckley, but it seems to be more of a fling than  we get in the show. Cassie’s friend Megan is also a Russian spy, just like in the miniseries.

Buckley follows Cassie to Rome where he intends to kill her, but she survives. He does attack Enrico, her Italian lover, as well as Miranda/Elena. Enrico survives, Miranda/Elena does not, Just like we are led to believe at first in the show. Buckley doesn’t get taken to the hospital, but instead fakes his own death and defects. 

Another big change is that in the book, Cassie ends up pregnant with Alex’s child. She ends up raising his daughter, who inspires her to become sober. She also starts work as a United States spy, which is hinted at in the very last scene of the miniseries.

Which ending of The Flight Attendant do you like best? Personally, I like the show version most, but I kind of love how different they are.

the flight attendant

About The Flight Attendant

The Flight Attendant is a story of how an entire life can change in one night. A flight attendant (Kaley Cuoco) wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened. The dark comedic thriller is based on the novel of the same name by New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian.

The Flight Attendant comes to HBO Max on November 26th.

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  1. Pingback: Is The Flight Attendant on HBO Max Kid Friendly? Parents Guide

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