‘Firefly Lane’: Will [Spoiler] Die Like in Kristin Hannah’s Book?

We’re still waiting to find out if Netflix is going to renew Firefly Lane for season 2. The new show — which stars Katherine Heigl and Sarah and Chalke — quickly became one of the most-watched on the streaming service after it dropped on Feb. 3. If you’ve already binged all 10 episodes, you know it ends on a major cliffhanger. And if you’ve read the Kristin Hannah book on which the series is based, you have an inkling of what might be in store for Tully and Kate. 

[Spoilers ahead for Firefly Lane Season 1 and the book Firefly Lane] 

Kate and Tully’s friendship is over at the end of ‘Firefly Lane’ Season 1

Young Tully and Young Kate on bus in Firefly Lane
Ali Skovy as Young Tully and Roan Curtis as Young Kate in Firefly Lane | COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2020

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The first season of Firefly Lane ends with two big questions unresolved. First, what happens to Kate’s (Chalke) husband Johnny after he’s involved in an IED explosion in Iraq? Second, what did Tully do to Kate to make her walk away from their decades-long friendship? 

At the end of episode 10, “Auld Lang Syne,” we finally learn that the funeral that’s been teased throughout season 1 is for Kate’s dad. It takes place in 2005, after a two-year time jump from 2003. Exactly what happened between Tully (Heigl) and Kate in that period isn’t clear, but it’s definitely bad. 

Tully shows up at Bud’s funeral, and her ex-BFF Kate tells her she isn’t welcome. Tully wants to know when Kate will stop punishing her. 

“When I say I couldn’t forgive you for what you did, what do you think that meant?” Kate replies.  

Does the funeral scene foreshadow another major ‘Firefly Lane’ death?

Johnny and Kate standing next to each other in Firefly Lane episode
Ben Lawson as Johnny and Sarah Chalke as Kate in Firefly Lane | COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2020

Both Tully and Kate are alive and well at the end of Firefly Lane Season 1, even if their friendship is apparently dead. But that funeral scene could be just a taste of what’s in store for the pair if the show gets a season 2. 

Showrunner Maggie Friedman has hinted that Johnny survives the explosion in Iraq, telling Entertainment Weekly that she ships Johnny and Kate. So, chances are good he’ll return for future episodes, if they happen. Plus, his character does not die in the original novel. So who is really in jeopardy? 

In Hannah’s novel, Kate is diagnosed with breast cancer and dies in 2006. But before that happens, she and Tully are able to repair their relationship, which was damaged when Kate agreed to appear on Tully’s talk show with her daughter Marah. Kate feels that Tully allowed her to be ambushed and portrayed as a bad mother. As a result, she breaks off contact with her best friend. But when Kate gets sick, it provides the impetus for a reconciliation.    

‘Firefly Lane’ Season 2 could take a different approach than Kristin Hannah’s book 

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Firefly Lane Season 2 would follow the exact same story as the novel. Season 1 already has some differences from the book, and the show’s writers could decide to take things in a different direction. Perhaps Kate will get sick and that will encourage her and Tully to reconcile. But her character may not die. 

Even if Chalke’s character does not survive season 2, it’s possible that Firefly Lane could still continue. Hannah’s 2013 book Fly Away picks up after Kate’s death as Tully deals with the loss of her best friend and Marah tries to adapt to life without her mother. That story could be fertile ground for future seasons of the show.

Firefly Lane is currently streaming on Netflix.