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You can't run away from me, I'm in your head!

Alex Sokolov to Cassandra "Cassie" Bowden, "After Dark"

Alex Sokolov, full-name Alexander Sokolov, is a main character on HBO Max's The Flight Attendant. He is portrayed by Michiel Huisman.

He is a charming, wealthy businessman, who runs into some serious bad luck in Bangkok and ends up sticking with Cassandra "Cassie" Bowden longer than expected, haunting her in hallucinations following his murder. Prior to his death, he was the Vice President of Operations at Unisphere Asset Management, a company owned and operated by his family.

History[]

Biography[]

Alex Sokolov was born to Edward Sokolov and Janet Sokolov, powerful businesspeople and the owners of Unisphere Asset Management. He grew up a charming and generous person and eventually became Vice President of Operations at the company. He believed it to be a financial services company operating mainly in hedge funds, entirely unaware of the shady black market money laundering activities that his parents were involved in.

Throughout the Series[]

"In Case of Emergency"[]

Cassie wakes up in bed following an apparent date with him in Bangkok, hungover, panicked and unable to remember the night before. She cleans up the hotel room and leaves Sokolov's corpse in the bed. Afterwards, she tries to get back to the United States, wary of being arrested in Bangkok, but finds that Sokolov keeps appearing to her in hallucinations, questioning her motivations and suggesting she remembers more about what happened than she thinks.

"Rabbits"[]

Cassie recalls Alex telling her that his business associate might show up and if she does, it's not a "weird three-some thing." She recalls the business associate's name as being Miranda. Later, she has another hallucination with Alex, telling him that she has to recall more about Miranda before the FBI slaps her in handcuffs, but the imagined Alex seems more interested in what she's wearing. He points out, however, that he said that Miranda was a "business associate" and she still has his business card in her pocket, so going to his place of business might give her a lead on Miranda. She does just this and based on advice from him in another hallucination, claims to have invested in one of his hedge funds. Things do not go well, however, and she is forced to flee the company. She later has another meeting with the FBI, this time with her lawyer Annie Mouradian present. Annie tries to get her to keep quiet, but the hallucination of Alex spurs her on to mention Miranda to them. Afterwards, she seeks out Sabrina Oznowich, a receptionist at Alex's company, Unisphere, and plies her with drink. Sabrina claims that Alex was dating Miranda, causing Cassie to grill the hallucinatory Alex about the fact that he was dating Miranda when they had their one-night stand in Bangkok. However, when Sabrina then says that she thinks they recently broke it off, Alex comments "There it is, see." Sabrina describes Miranda as being almost like a stalker and the imagined Alex comments that it doesn't sound like Miranda is going to be very helpful. He and Cassie agree that it sounds like she's the one who killed him.

"Funeralia"[]

Cassie learns that a memorial service for Alex will be held at the estate of his family and decides to crash it, hoping to get information out of his parents. Before doing so, she has a hallucination in which Alex mentions being an only child and wishing he had siblings, somebody that his mother Janet could have focused her attention on, that she was controlling and hated his last girlfriend. Cassie drifts through the memorial service, drinking alcohol throughout and Alex chastising her about it in another hallucination. Cassie learns that Alex's last girlfriend was somebody named Fiona, rather than Miranda. She also learns that Alex's family are scary people who hang around in libraries with guns, though the hallucinatory Alex seems non-plussed about it.

"Conspiracy Theories"[]

The hallucinatory Alex urges Cassie to tell Annie the truth about their chats with each other, but she dismisses it as a bad idea. Based on information from a bag of shredded papers she recovered from the Sokolov home, Cassie learns that Alex was on the board of a company called Minute Jets, a subsidiary of Lionfish. Fueled by this new information, she gets herself assigned to the flight crew for one of their flights and discovers they are involved in the transport of equipment for rocket launchers. Meanwhile, the hallucinatory Alex confronts her in flashbacks of her past, serving as her conscience as she begins to realize that she has a skewed and rose-tinted view of her past behavior and the way things were between herself, her father and her brother Davey.

"After Dark"[]

Cassie pushes away the hallucination of Alex in her head, telling him that she's done with him and doesn't want to be with him anymore. She runs through corridors in her mind and tries to escape from him, but encounters him everywhere, even multiples of him mixed in which hallucinations of her past. As she behaves increasingly erratically in real-life, she winds up in jail and again starts having flashbacks of her past. She and the hallucinatory Alex witness a memory of a childhood birthday her brother Davey, a happy moment in which she, her father and her mother watched and cheered as he blew out the candles. Suddenly, the scene changes before her eyes, becoming a much less happy scene in which her father was holding a beer and the two of them smashed into Davey's cake, then Mr. Bowden shoved him to the ground when he tried to stop them. Cassie asks Alex what is going on, why the scene changed, and he tells her that she's seeing what really happened. She protests, saying that he's doing this to her and to stop it, but is eventually forced to acknowledge the reality of her past. She uses her one phone call to call her brother, apologizing for their past and how she and her father treated him.

"Hitchcock Double"[]

Cassie again comes face-to-face to Miranda Croft, who believes that she is the one who murdered Alex. She quickly realizes the truth, however, and the two sit down for a chat. There, Miranda reveals the truth about Alex, that she first met him several weeks before and that she said too much about her work. From what he was saying, he made the connection between her business and that of his family and realized the truth of his family's company that his parents had long hidden from him. He then decided to try to be a hero by hiding a bunch of his clients' money and flying to Bangkok. "That's where you come in," she tells Cassie. As Miranda is telling her all of this, the hallucinatory Alex appears by Cassie, trying to talk to her, but she tells him to shut up, throwing off Miranda.

As they continue to talk, Cassie has another hallucination in which the imagined Alex asks her just what she's doing. She tells him that she's trying to follow his advice and make better choices, but he says that she's day-drinking with a woman who kills people. He tells her that it's not so late and she tells him to keep his negative to himself. The two hatch an initial plan for Miranda to get help from Annie, but Miranda decides that they're not safe unless they flee the country. They take refuge in a church where Miranda waits to meet a contact of hers, Sarah, but first they have to wait for her to finish an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Cassie does not want to be there, but the hallucinatory Alex tells her that she should speak up, that newcomers are encouraged to participate. She tells him that she's not an alcoholic and he replies that she's trying to do every reckless thing she can in one day and somebody has to tell her. She has a breakdown, hallucinating that everyone at the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is Alex. She flees the room to an empty Bible study classroom and again flashes back to the car accident that took her father. She tells Alex that it was all her fault, that he was her "drinking buddy." She ran away and never told anybody about it, just like she's been running away with him. She says that she doesn't want to run anymore and back in the present, she tells Miranda as much. They discuss the money that Alex hid and Cassie realizes that she does in fact know how to find it - that there is a book with account numbers that she took from Alex. They head to Annie's apartment to get the book, but end up being pursued by an assassin who turns out to be Buckley Ware, a guy that Cassie has been dating, and also known as "Feliks." Miranda ends up losing the book to him, but they manage to get away. They then form a plan to lure him to Rome and kill him. Cassie has a hallucination with Alex and he says that they need to talk. As it turns out, Alex has no problem with killing Feliks, though he is critical of Miranda's plan, which makes Cassie into bait. Nevertheless, back in reality, Cassie agrees to the plan.

"Arrivals and Departures"[]

When Cassie gets into an argument with Megan Briscoe, Alex appears and says that she's acting strangely tense. He advises Cassie to focus on her plan. Cassie admits that she's worried about Miranda, who hasn't yet showed up for the flight. She thinks that she might be ghosting her, but Alex says that for all she knows, she might already be dead. Meanwhile, Miranda is busy dealing with her boss, Victor. As she does so, she asks him why he had Alex killed before he got the money, and Victor reveals the truth of things, that Feliks botched the job. He got Alex to admit that he had written down the account numbers in a book, which Alex said that he would find underneath a pillow on the couch. He then killed him, but when he searched for the book it wasn't there. (It having been taken by Cassie, who didn't know its true value.)

Cassie arrives in Rome, and as she goes about her business, she continues to be haunted by the hallucination of the badly bloodied Alex. Finally, having enough, she tells him that she won't remember him like this. She makes the decision to put the past behind her, getting rid of the vodka bottles that have been her "security blanket" and confronting the memory of her father's death in the car crash that has haunted her life. She imagines Alex whole and unbloodied, telling him that while it sounds crazy, she feels like she knows him and is totally in love with him. She admits that maybe she's just in love with the promise of what could have been and he tells her that's probably better than whatever the reality could be, that she's made him at least two inches taller. Having enough, she tells him that it's been enough introspection and they kiss.

Cassie finally manages to take care of the situation, confronting Alex's assassin, Buckley/Feliks head-on. Back in America, she discovers that the page with Alex's account numbers was stolen by Miranda. Nevertheless, she has her job as a flight attendant secured, thanks to some timely intervention by the FBI. As she readies for her next flight, she imagines the hotel room in which Alex died one final time. She goes from room to room, turning off the lights, finally putting the past behind her.

Relationships[]

Cassandra Bowden[]

I'm a guy you met once. Why am I so important?

Alex to Cassie in a hallucination, "Conspiracy Theories"

Alex meets Cassie while sitting in seat 3C on a flight to Bangkok and the two immediately hit it off. They end up having a torrid one-night stand, filled with dining, shopping and a night of great sex. In the morning, Cassie awakes to find Alex dead in the bed next to hers, his body heavily bloodied. Following a hurried consultation with her best friend, Annie, who happens to be a lawyer, she hastily showers to clean the blood off herself and cleans up the room. She then flees, desperate to get back to America. A version of Alex then starts appearing to her in hallucinations, though this Alex seems to nothing more about himself and her than what she does, a representation of her unconscious. He sometimes helps to recall bits of information and make connections that she was struggling to make. He also appears in flashbacks of her past, forcing her to confront the truth about herself, her personality, and her relationship with her family.

Miranda Croft[]

According to Sabrina Oznowich, Alex was dating Miranda Croft and she was apparently stalking him as well. Alex's mother, Janet, however, claims that the two were not dating, though she seems very troubled to hear Miranda's name. Whatever the truth is, the two are definitely entangled with each other in some manner, as Miranda briefly met with both Cassie and Alex during their one-night stand, and she is now in pursuit of Cassie.

Fiona[]

According to Janet, somebody named Fiona was Alex's last girlfriend. Nothing else is known about her.

Janet and Edward Sokolov[]

Alex's parents Janet and Edward doted on him, giving him the best of everything and a good education. His mother considered him to be a generous man, someone far more generous than herself. Nevertheless, it turned out that they were keeping secrets from him, never telling him the truth of their company's shady activities.

Personality[]

Little is known early on of Alex's true personality, as he appears only briefly in flashbacks of Cassie's. He seems to be a fairly charming man, though Cassie questions his reading choice of Crime and Punishment. According to his mother, Janet, he was very generous, more so than she ever was, and she sometimes thought that he was born into the wrong family. His father, Edward, believes Cassie to have been one of his "good-time girls," suggesting he has gone out on one-night stands with many women.

A version of Alex also appears in hallucinations of Cassie's, talking with her. This version of Alex seems flippant and casual. As a figment of Cassie's imagination, he doesn't know anything about his own life beyond what she knows. He often seems as surprised as her when she learns some startling new piece of information about his life. He also has the ability to appear in her flashbacks of her past, something which disturbs her greatly.

Ultimately, it turns out that Alex is something of a "Boy Scout." Although he was a key figure at his parents' company, Unisphere Asset Management, he actually knew nothing of his parents' shady activities at the company, which included engaging in money laundering for some very scary people. Upon learning the truth of his parents' activities, he was horrified and decided to try to be a hero by hiding a bunch of his clients' money and flying to Bangkok.

Appearances[]

Season One

Behind the scenes[]

  • In an interview with Deadline, Alex Sokolov's actor, Michiel Huisman stated that he was attracted to the role in part because he had never done comedy before but had wanted to dip his toes into for a long time. He also found it an interesting challenge to try and tackle a character who is, for the most part, an aspect of Cassie herself. When asked if he would be returning for the second season, he replied that the writers want him to be incredibly vague about that in order to surprise the audience.[1]

Gallery[]

"In Case of Emergency"[]

"Rabbits"[]

References[]

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