‘Firefly Lane’ Creator and Stars Break Down That Cliffhanger Season 2 Part 1 Ending

“I wanted to break a few hearts there at the end,” Maggie Friedman told TheWrap

“Firefly Lane” Season 2 Part 1 marks the beginning of the end of the Netflix series’ adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s best-selling 2008 novel, closing on quite the cliffhanger before we see how the story ends in Part 2 sometime in 2023. And for creator Maggie Friedman, this was the ideal way to close out this adaptation.

“Part of it was that we were able then to make it all at once and write it all at once, rather than have that lag in between seasons, which can be quite a long time,” she told TheWrap of the decision to split Season 2 into two halves. “I knew where I wanted the story to end and what I felt was like [was] a satisfying conclusion to the series. It just felt natural rather than make a Season 2 and then wait however long, to just kind of do it all at once. And so I think this way, we got to tell the whole story, the actors got to sort of be in it the whole way. It was a good way to do it.”

Still, it leaves viewers with a pretty massive cliffhanger ending to “Firefly Lane” Season 2 Part 1.

The first part of the show’s second season explores more of Kate’s and Tully’s past and present, tracing back to and finally unveiling what caused such a hostile Kate to refuse to forgive Tully. 

“You do find out what happened and it’s not immediate, there’s clues and it’s kind of teased out over the first several episodes,” said actress Sarah Chalke, who portrays Kate Mularkey, half of the thick as thieves duo in “Firefly Lane.”

Kate refuses to speak to Tully anymore after she lets Kate and Johnny’s daughter Marah go to a movie that actually turns into a frat party, even though Kate grounded Marah before she spent the night with Tully. Marah calls Tully when things get out of hand and she is left stranded at the party, so Tully rushes to pick her up, but on the drive back to Tully’s apartment, they get T-boned by a driver who ran a red light when theirs had turned green. 

Chalke found the cause of the falling out “hugely” relatable.

“When it happens, I think when people see what it is, I think you really see both sides. I think you really relate with Tully and you really relate with Kate, which is why I loved what Maggie Friedman picked as the conflict,” she said. “When you get attached to two characters, you don’t want to dislike either one of them, and when I read it, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so complex.’ And as a result, you don’t walk away from it having changed your feelings toward one of the characters Your heart just kind of breaks for both of them.”

Tully confronts Kate and attempts to apologize for what she did without the full understanding of what trust she actually broke. Since she doesn’t have children of her own, she can’t fully grasp what she did wrong. Kate finds holes in all of her arguments and takes the opportunity to express her honest feelings about their friendship and how it has worn on her over the years, especially Tully’s assertion that friends don’t have to apologize if they are truly loved by those they hurt, because the love of friendship should be unconditional.

Humbled by having to apologize, Tully puts her heart and soul into it, and while Kate acknowledges how big the effort is, she cannot forgive her best friend.

“I think in a lot of situations and a lot of friendships and a lot of relationships in general it is very difficult for somebody to own when they’ve made a big mistake, and it can be the end of many many relationships, right?,” Katherine Heigl told The Wrap. “Where somebody has done something really wrong or crossed a line or crossed a boundary. And one person is like, ‘Hey, you cannot treat me this way and the other person’s like ‘you’re being impossible,’ and then [they] never speak again because no one’s willing to come forward and say, ‘I’m sorry.’ In this situation we get to see how hard that is for Tully, that she is not somebody who will apologize and she very rarely, if ever, takes any responsibility for a mistake, but this was a very big mistake, and so it was even more heartbreaking to me that it was like an unforgivable mistake that she acknowledges it is, she lays bare her soul, but it’s not it’s still not enough and saying you’re sorry isn’t always going to make it okay. It’s intense.”

The animosity only becomes more agonizing when the two grow apart and then Kate receives some dire news.

“By the end of Season 2 Part 1, you are left with another giant cliffhanger, and I mean, I’m upset about it and I know what happens,” Heigl said. “It is incredibly emotional and it is, I think, only made more compelling because of where they are at in their friendship or lack thereof. I feel like it’s deeply human and relatable.”

The two women head their separate ways with Kate pursuing a creative writing class at the University of Washington and trying to make new friends through that outlet, while Tully reconnects with old flame and competitive colleague Danny Diaz (Ignacio Serricchio).

“I wanted to have a cliffhanger in the middle there because I knew we were going to break it up into two parts,” said Friedman. “I wanted to feel that yearning. I wanted to tell the story of their fight, and how they spend a year apart, and they really have to relearn how to be individuals, not just Kate and Tully. They both change and grow throughout that year, and really kind of pick up the skills that they were relying on each other to have so I wanted to see them kind of grow and change.”

Kate discovers a rash on her breast, which she dismisses as just that — a rash, but then she finds out it’s a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer.

“When Kate gets her diagnosis, I think that’s a moment for her where she realizes, ‘Okay, none of that other shit matters, forget the fight, Tully is is my person and I need her right now,’” Friedman said. “But still, I wanted to feel that yearning of ‘Okay, not yet, though.’ I guess I wanted to break a few hearts there at the end.”


After crossing paths at UW — Kate coming out of her writing class and Tully discussing participating in a documentary about Antarctica — Kate later rushes to Tully’s luxurious penthouse apartment to share the news with her, but Tully has singed onto the Antarctica film project and is in the process of packing up her things. Kate takes the elevator up while Tully takes the elevator down, and they miss each other because there are two elevators. This is all set to Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” Even Kristin Hannah, author of the original source material for the show, is on the edge of her seat for the final installment of the Netflix adaptation.

“What happens in the story, the scenes of this piece are often very different and a lot of the storylines are very different from [my book], so I’m really kind of like everybody else in the world going ‘Okay. I mean, I know how the book ended. I know what they’re focusing on, but I don’t know what their endgame is yet,’” she said. “Which is good, I guess, because I really wanted to watch episode 10 right after I finished 9.”

“Firefly Lane” Season 2 Part 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.