'The Flight Attendant': Deniz Akdeniz Breaks Down Where Max & Annie Stand After the Big Fight (Exclusive)

The Flight Attendant

Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched the latest episodes of The Flight Attendant season 2.

It all started out so promising. But in classic Flight Attendant style, things went horribly wrong for Cassie's best friend Annie and her (maybe) fiance Max. The couple, who began the season not officially engaged (but let's be real, the diamond stunner indicates they basically are), were brought into the madness of Cassie's world not long after she broke the stunning news that she wasn't just a flight attendant but that she was secretly moonlighting as an asset for the CIA and someone was possibly framing her. With Annie and Max diving headfirst into the nuttiness of Cassie's globe-trotting mystery, they also were faced with some very real relationship issues their non-engagement brought up.

In the latest episodes, which dropped Thursday on HBO Max, Annie and Max had a disastrous visit to his parents' home -- but not before she sly took her engagement ring off, which served as the catalyst for their fight later on about their varying perspectives on marriage and their relationship. When they arrived at Cassie's home later that evening, they had more pressing matters to deal with when they were attacked by their sketchy "neighbors," Esteban and Gabrielle, and held captive -- a concerning note for the couple that just endured relationship hell. Of course, they tell Cassie everything after somehow surviving brief captivity at the hands of the dangerous duo.

"When we got the scripts, the story started off so lovely and everything was so perfect. It was nice to have that moment, a breath of fresh air, as you were reading it. But as it goes on, it wouldn't be Flight Attendant if things didn't start tragically going wrong. And it was nice to see Max in this new phase -- again, a happy phase," Akdeniz, who plays Max, tells ET. "He might not be engaged, but they're still doing well in their own Annie and Max way. And before you know it, they're thrown in the deep end of all the murder and mystery."

Akdeniz admitted to being "surprised" at first that Max popped the question to kick-start the new season. "That was a huge step, considering how much it took for Annie to admit that she loved Max. He had to get hit by a car first!" he says with a laugh. "But to get here now, where they're engaged, is such a great launchpad for them. Now, we'll get into the thick of a lot of the action and the intrigue. That's why this show is so fun. It has such a deep drive into these characters yet still getting into the crazy madness."

In a chat with ET, Akdeniz broke down the biggest developments for Annie and Max, and offers insight into just how they'll survive their nutty new reality.

ET: Before we dig into all that happens, why do you think Max is drawn to Annie? 

Deniz Akdeniz: On paper, they don't really make sense. The way they do things doesn't make sense. It's not very traditional. It's not very orthodox. But, I think it became quite apparent as we started the first season. When we started to play with those themes, Max is able to find the playful side to Annie. And Zosia [Mamet]'s such a treat as well. She's such a powerhouse, so all that stuff fell into place, and I really believe that Max and Annie have this interesting dynamic dance that they actually really enjoy. It keeps it interesting, it keeps it fresh and to each to their own. Every relationship is its own form of weird, and this is their form of weird that they love and they love being a part of. Max is very understanding, of course, and very patient, and it comes from a big place of love. He knows that, deep down, there's a great love for her in that relationship. He's willing to be patient, willing to be understanding to get those baby steps to move forward to new chapters of their life. Like we see, this is a very baby step. She hasn't admitted the engagement, but she's still wearing the ring. So that, in their world, makes a lot of sense. That's her accepting his love. It's a unique relationship built on a lot of patience and understanding, but it's one that just works really well. It's interesting because it's different.

Why do you think they work? What do you think they do for each other?

They're quite a good balance for each other. She has everything together and she is very work-oriented in a very active way, whereas he needs to be more laissez faire and playful. They complement each other and I think they both understand that kind of works for them. They're not the same person. By being complementary, they can move forward in a relationship and they actually enjoy it, and that's where a lot of the banter comes from because they are so complementary. In this season, that dynamic is shifted on its paradigm a little bit as the episodes go on. We have the time to really delve into these relationships with these characters while having all the mayhem and the craziness, but really getting deep into these characters and seeing them push to the limits and how they're going to come out of that, hopefully.

Well, things certainly blow up for Annie and Max after their visit to his parents. What can you say about where they stand because Max finally puts his foot down?

Before meeting the parents, she takes off her ring. Even though she hasn't admitted that's an engagement ring, her accepting that ring and wearing it on the engagement ring finger means she's accepting Max and this new stage of life they are in together, this new chapter. But by taking it off, it throws that all into question. It's a bit of a betrayal. And the way she acts with his family, again, throws another [wrench]. This idea of them moving forward is now turned over on its head. It really puts Max in the position where, for the first time, his patience is really tested because he's given his heart out and he's in a vulnerable [place]. He's very clear about what he wants and to get that in return, it really questions, for the first time, their relationship. Annie doesn't have everything together and her insecurities are taking a hold of her life's trajectory. Max is, for the first time, finding his voice in the relationship, which is something that he hasn't had a chance to do before. He really wants a future, but when things like this keep happening, it really puts a lot uncertainty into it, and that patience and understanding could only go so far.

The Flight Attendant

Max is sometimes too patient. Like, he could have very much been, "Excuse me, I'm out."

I know, but that's a testament to how much fun and how in love they are. The patience and understanding is worth it, but that's why when something as tragic as this happens... And Zosia filming this felt awful the entire time when she was doing it. She's like, "Annie's the worst. What is going on?" And you can't help but feel for Max. For me, it's one of those things that these paradigm shifts have to happen and it's just one of those things where these characters can now grow from these experiences.

You touched on their big fight. Was that difficult for you to film?

It was one of those things that we were excited to explore this new element of the relationship that we haven't really ever touched on, so it was nice. It was exciting to get into it because of that. Yes, halfway through it we're looking around going, "Oh, this is awful. I hope this doesn't ruin anything for them," but you enjoy the process of that. Real people have real problems, and they have moments whether you question whether you are moving forward, "Are they a couple or not?" or what their love means. These big, monumental moments have to happen.

And of course, they don't even make it home safely.

This is the beauty of the show. As we get to dive into these characters, we're going on this rollercoaster of this mystery. These are people that are getting thrown into extraordinary situations, while still having to do life and still having to meet the parents and whatnot. It really makes it more -- putting them in the melting pot of this mystery -- makes all that more interesting, I think. I hope audiences feel the same.

We see those shady neighbors attack Ani and Max and hold them captive, which just makes the aftermath of their ordeal a million times worse. We find out that that they spared them after getting what they needed from Cassie's home. What can you tease for how Ani and Max come back from this experience?

It's a red alert. Threat levels are high. It's going to be a wild ride. You got to keep watching to see if they can even get out of this with the relationship intact or even their lives intact. That's what makes the show so fun, you're always questioning what's coming next.

Is there anything coming up that you're particularly excited about for in the second half of the season that you want people to keep an eye out for?

It's such a rollercoaster. I would say that this mystery is one that keeps you guessing the entire way. We're watching the episodes and I had forgotten what happened. I'm on the edge of my seat watching them as an audience member. This season truly started with a bang, very dramatically. It's there all the way 'til the very end. It's going to keep you on the edge of the seat, guessing what's going to happen. Who's going to make it? Who's not? How are we going to get to the finish line? There's not one moment that sticks out because it's just one rollercoaster that keeps snowballing, getting more intense as it goes.

Episodes 3 and 4 of The Flight Attendant season 2 are now streaming on HBO Max. Subsequent episodes drop weekly.

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