Firefly Lane's ending explained—what really happened to Tully and Kate?

That final episode definitely raised a few questions—here's the Firefly Lane ending explained

Firefly Lane cast in bed
(Image credit: Netflix)

Firefly Lane's ending will no doubt have shocked and delighted fans in equal measure as they are left asking themselves some pretty serious questions. 

The series finale of the hit Netflix show certainly knew how to keep us wanting more and though there has not yet been confirmation of a Firefly Lane second season, we’re still keeping our fingers crossed. 

Based on Kristin Hannah’s bestselling novel of the same name, some fans might already be familiar with the Firefly Lane books vs show differences. So even fans of the book might not know how the aftermath of the funeral at the end of Firefly Lane will play out on-screen in a possible season two. 

But when it comes to the ending of Firefly Lane itself, it’s certainly left everyone’s favorite characters in some pretty challenging situations. And if you’re not quite sure about every detail, or think you may have missed some plot points, we have you covered. Here is *that* ending of Firefly Lane explained...

Warning: spoilers ahead!

Who dies at the end of Firefly Lane?

In season one of Firefly Lane, flashforwards had hinted at a funeral in the future, with Kate getting ready and, worryingly, no sign of Tully. Though some fans might have feared that it would turn out to be Tully’s funeral, they were still left sad to discover it was Kate’s father Bud who died. 

His funeral was then made even more dramatic and emotional by the way the two women’s decades-long friendship seems to be at a breaking point.

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What happens at the end of Firefly Lane?

When we leave Tully and Kate, we can’t help feeling nervous about what a potential season two could have in store for them. After watching their close bond grow from childhood to adulthood, and all the drama, tears and laughter that entails, many will have been left heartbroken to see the state of their friendship at the end. 

After turning up to Kate’s father Bud’s funeral, Tully is told in no uncertain terms that she isn’t welcome there. Kate coldly asks her, "When I said that I could never forgive you for what you did, what did you think that meant?" 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Firefly Lane showrunner Maggie Friedman revealed she always knew that Tully and Kate were going to have stopped talking at the end of Firefly Lane. 

“I knew that Tully and Kate were going to be estranged at the end of the season, but I didn’t know how I was going to dramatize that.”

She went on to explain, “I felt like a good cliffhanger for season one is, ‘Oh my God, wait, these Firefly Lane girls forever are suddenly not? What happened?’ I wanted to leave the audience with some big questions.”

After watching the dramatic ending, it’s safe to say she certainly did!

Did Johnny die in Firefly Lane?

The final episode of Firefly Lane shows Kate's husband Johnny being caught up in a huge explosion in Iraq, after becoming a war correspondent. However, it is unclear whether he is just severely injured or if the explosion has actually killed him. 

Because of the non-linear timeframe of Netflix’s Firefly Lane, it’s also not clear *when* exactly this happened. It could have been just after he left Kate in Seattle—or it could be at the same time as Bud’s funeral. 

Ben Lawson, Sarah Chalke, "Firefly Lane" (2020)

(Image credit: Credit: Netflix / The Hollywood Archive via Alamy)

Speaking to Collider, Maggie Friedman spoke about working towards this dramatic event. “We knew all season that we were working toward the cliffhanger with Johnny in Iraq. We had that on the board from Week one,” she said. 

However, she also noted how, given the show’s structure, Johnny’s actor Ben Lawson would still be featured in the series in the ‘80s flashbacks even if Johnny didn't survive the attack.

“So that’s why he’s not worried,” she revealed.

We can’t wait to get some serious answers if Firefly Lane is renewed for another dramatic season!

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!