The Hijacking of Flight 601 – Episode 1 Recap & Review

Leave Her To Heaven

Episode 1 of The Hijacking of Flight 601 starts with a woman in a flight attendant’s uniform looking at her wrist with three dots on it and a gun pointed at her head before the scene alternates to the same woman in her apartment getting ready for work.

Edie, the flight attendant, is scrambling to get out of her apartment and get to work, but her kids are not making it easy as they continue to wreak havoc, and her babysitter is yet to arrive. In the commotion, she accidentally knocks out her youngest’s tooth and has to rush him to the dentist, and she ends up getting late for work.

At the airport, two men are seen in the parking lot where; one of them is holding a cake while the other tapes a gun to his inner thigh. The two men enter the airport separately, and one bumps into another flight attendant, Barbara, rushing to cloak in. In the flight attendant’s room, the supervisor, Manchola, starts weighing the girls since it is 1973, and the weight and looks define a good flight attendant.

Edie calls Barbara and asks her to find someone to cover her flight since she is still at the dentist’s office, but no one is available. Manchola, knowing that it is Edie on the other end despite the use of code, snatches the phone and threatens to fire Edie if the plane takes off without her. Barbara offers to help with boarding and asks her to try to make it on time before the plane takes off.

Inside the plane, Captian Lucena and co-pilot Lequerica finish the pre-boarding checkup and call operations to start onboarding. The flight attendants, led by Barbara, elegantly stride through the airport. The rookie stewardess, Marisol, slips and falls, and Barbara stays back to help her understand the importance of projecting the right image before brushing off a married captain with whom she had a fling. Later, Barbara helps Marisol with boarding, and two suspicious men board this plane before she leaves Marisol to take care of the forty-three passengers.

Edie runs into the airport elsewhere, but she is late, and the plane takes off without her. Another flight attendant attempts to help her catch a connecting plane, but Manchola fires her. She stands her ground and storms into the manager’s office, threatening to expose their illegal smuggling deals if he fires her.

The manager agrees, but soon Manchola storms his office, informing him about the hijacking of Flight 601 with three crew members since the fourth stewardess is sitting in his office. When he realises that the hijacked plane only has the inexperienced stewardess on board, the manager fires Edie. 

Inside the hijacked plane, the hijackers ordered the captains to divert the aircraft to Medellin for refuelling before heading to Cuba. The passengers are in shock, and Marisol is not handling the situation well. When an ageing passenger asks for water for his heart medicine, Marisol passes out from fright when the hijacker orders her to give the passenger some water. Therefore, the Captain asks the co-pilot to send a secret message using the high-frequency channel to operations and ask for an experienced flight attendant to help the passengers and some maps. 

The manager and Manchola head to the stewardess’s breakroom and try to convince the flight attendants still waiting on their flights to help handle the situation on Flight 601. However, they are all unwilling to do so, so Edie takes the opportunity to get her job back. She volunteers to board the plane if she gets re-hired and receives a five-year contract and a raise. Manchola compromises on three years, and the manager agrees to negotiate the salary increase. 

Edie calls her kids and realises that the babysitter didn’t make it. She talks to her oldest son, William, who discovers she is crying. She tells him that her flight has been changed and that she will be out for work overnight. William promises to help her mother care for his brothers as long as she makes it back for his birthday. Edie asks what type of cake he wants for his birthday, and he says it is carrot cake. She promises to be there for his birthday before hanging up and heading out to meet with the plane at Medellin. 

Meanwhile, the hijacker wants the Captain to refuel for thirty minutes, but Captain Lucena holds his ground, saying they need at least one hour to refuel or the plane will go down before they get to Cuba. The Captain agrees to take the hijacker whenever they want to go, but he must ensure the safety of his passengers, so the hijacker agrees to one hour of refuelling time.

Outside, Edie arrives and meets Barbara, who is waiting to go with her to flight 601. She insists on boarding the plane with her, saying that she would like to experience the thrill of being in a hijacked plane. Edie wants her to head back home and take care of her kids since they only have seven meals in the fridge, but Barbara insists on joining her. Barbara and Edie are best friends, and Barbara says she would rather take care of her in the hijacked plane rather than take care of her kids if she dies. Edie and Barbara bravely stride to the plane, and the Captain lets down a ladder.

Once inside, the hijackers are spooked since they never asked for more flight attendants, and Captain Lucena stands his ground, saying he needs an experienced crew to take care of the passengers. The hijacker agrees to let them onboard, but not before threatening the Captain, saying that they are in charge of the plane and will not hesitate to kill him if he does anything without their authorisation. 

Barbara and Edie take Marisol to the back of the plane and take their seats, ready to take off. Inside the cockpit, the hijacker tells the pilots they are not heading to Havana. He hands the co-pilot a paper with coordinates on it, and after Lequerica reads it, he hands over the coordinates to Captain Lucena. 

The Episode Review

The story is loosely based on a true story of a hijacking in 1973, as explained in the opening credits. First, the visuals and costume designers have done a fantastic job giving all the characters, including the passengers, a 1970s look.

The episode introduces a soapy aspect to the series, which will most likely concentrate on the crew members and their personal lives. We have Barbara, who seems to be glimmering through life, but a married pilot entangles her. Then we have Edie, who juggles caring for her kids and catching flights on time. Captain Lucena values the life of the passengers above everything and is daring enough to go against the hijacker’s orders to ensure their safety.

At the same time, the co-pilot seems to want to play it safe following the hijacker’s orders so he can get home to his seven kids. To what extent are these dynamic groups of crew members willing to go to keep the passengers safe? Will they prioritise keeping the passengers safe or following the hijackers’ orders? Who are the hijackers, and what do they want?

Let us find out in the next episode when the hijackers want to take the plane since, according to the pilot’s reaction, the coordinates might not be anywhere near Havana. 


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You can read our full season review for Hijacking of Flight 601 here!

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