Firefly Lane ending explained: Everything that happened in the season 2 part 2 finale

It was a total tear jerker

Sarah Chalke as Kate and Katherine Heigl as Tully in Firefly Lane
(Image credit: Netflix/Future)

Well Firefly Lane, it's been an emotional ride and absolutely nobody was ready for that ending - let's break down what happened.

Firefly Lane season 2 part 2 exploded into the Netflix top 10 when it was released on April 27. The series was always destined to have a two season arc, with the final season extended slightly, to allow Kate and Tully's beautiful story to be told in full glorious detail. However, Netflix split the second season into two parts, leaving viewers desperate to find out the fate of their favourite pair of TV friends, and Kate mad at Tully for a mysterious reason after the part 1 finale. Now the reason for their falling out has been revealed, and a resolution found - there were also plenty of viewer tears. Let's take a look at exactly what happened in the Firefly Lane season 2 part 2 finale. 

For those hazy on the details, a Firefly Lane season 2 part 1 recap could be useful. Firefly Lane filmed in some beautiful locations, and we've done some sleuthing to reveal exactly where they can be found - including Kate's house and Tully's apartment.

Firefly Lane ending explained

With a wedding having been teased in previous Firefly Lane flash forwards, the final episode reveals that it's Kate's daughter Marah, who is getting married.

Kate and Tully share how proud they are of Marah to be at this stage in her life, after the struggles she's been through to get there. However, knocking at the door breaks Tully's reverie, and it is revealed the conversation with Kate is imagined - she is actually alone in the room. 

It then becomes evident to viewers that Kate has not survived her cancer, and was sadly not present at her daughter's wedding. After marrying Johnny (again!) in a ceremony officiated by Tully, Kate had collapsed and revealed her cancer had returned. 

Tully had previously done everything in her power to get Kate into an experimental trial, with Danny even stepping in to get Kate into a similar trial that had seen some success. However, a seizure meant the cancer has spread to her brain, and was not only incurable, but rendered Kate ineligible for the trial. On hearing this news, Tully moves into Kate's house, where she, Marah, and Danny prepare to care for Kate until her death.

Kate continues to write her novel, while Tully maintained a denial of her feelings for Danny. One of the last things Kate does for Tully, is implore her to take another look at her relationship with Danny, and the possibilities it could hold. Then a little later in the episode, the moment viewers have been dreading arrives, and Kate heartbreakingly dies from her illness. 

Ben Lawson as Johnny and Yael Yurman as Marah in Firefly Lane

(Image credit: Netflix)

The moment comes when the pair have a girls night in, and Tully tells Kate she's finally followed her advice and confessed her feelings to Danny. Part way through the conversation there's a small pause and the chatter stops for a moment. During this lapse, Kate dies peacefully. 

Tully finds herself unable to go inside the building for Kate's funeral. Johnny tells her this is something Kate anticipated would happen and before he goes inside, he hands Tully a keepsake box full of things to remind her of Kate. 

Among the items is an iPod, and when Tully presses play, Dancing Queen is lined up and ready to go. Staying outside the funeral, placing the iPod headphones in her ears, Tully starts dancing. Through tears and smiles, she dances in the way she used to with her friend, bringing the heart breaking finale to a close. 

Katherine Heigl as Tully in Firefly Lane

(Image credit: Netflix)

Did Tully and Danny get married?

Although previous flash forwards led viewers to believe Tully and Danny get married, all of those moments referred to Marah's wedding.

Earlier in the season, Tully's former boyfriend and work rival Danny turned out to be living in her building. As Danny has a girlfriend in tow, the pair rebuilt their friendship, but keep things platonic. However, things take a turn when Danny's girlfriend tries it on with Tully, resulting in an inevitable breakup with Danny and him free to pursue things with Tully. 

When Kate gets to the end stage of her illness, there's a time where Tully stops contacting Danny altogether. However, as Kate dies just as Tully admits she's spoken to Danny about her feelings, it appears Kate was waiting for this moment - to know Tully would have someone to care for her after she's gone - before passing away. As Danny is seen helping Tully to Kate's funeral, there's an assumption the pair are together, and will stay together. 

Katherine Heigl as Tully, Ignacio Serricchio as Danny in episode 212 of Firefly Lane

(Image credit: Netflix)

Is the ending the same as the book?

Yes, the Firefly Lane ending is the same as the book. This was a deliberate move, as creator Maggie Friedman really wanted to stay true to the source material.

Speaking to Netflix Tudum, Friedman explained the process. She spoke about other places in the show that had moved away from the novels, but expressed the importance of keeping the ending the same, saying "There were places in the series where we felt really good about branching off from the book and creating surprises for the audience who loves both. Ultimately we decided it felt like a good full circle moment to bring it back to the ending of the book and stay true to that element."

Other moments in the finale that were directly taken from the book, include Tully pushing Kate in her wheelchair down a hill, telling her to imagine they're flying. Also, opening the memory box outside the funeral and finding the iPod came straight from the book, with Friedman confirming "that’s all straight out of the book." 

Katherine Heigl as Tully, Sarah Chalke as Kate in episode 216 of Firefly Lane

(Image credit: Diyah Pera/Netflix)

Firefly Lane ending: Fan reaction

Most of the fan reaction to the Firefly Lane ending, centres on how artfully it managed to balance being uplifting and tear jerking.

One Twitter user wrote "#FireflyLane is the beautiful love story of friendship & shows how a soulmate isn’t always a romantic partner. The ending ripped me apart but beautifully told."

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Another agreed, adding "#FireflyLane ending got me like no other. I have never openly sobbed like I did watching this. @KatieHeigl  & Sarah Chalke are amazing. This is a must see!"

Referring to the final moments of the finale, another viewer wrote "Watched the ending of Firefly Lane two nights ago. Tonight was out having the time of my life dancing my heart out on girls night️. Then the band played ‘Dancing Queen’… Nearly broke down there and then." 

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Also in total agreement, another viewer said "Just finished #FireflyLane and I'm trying to recover from a complete breakdown. What a beautiful story and ending. Life is hard, this show captured that and everything in between. Firefly Lane Girls forever...and ever, and ever, and ever."

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Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.