Firefly Lane Season 2 ending explained: Does Kate die?

Daisy Phillipson
Katherine Heigl as Tully and Sarah Chalke as Kate in Firefly Lane Season 2

Tissues at the ready, as we’re here to talk about the final chapter of Firefly Lane – with Season 2 Part 2 now available to watch on Netflix, here’s a breakdown of the ending as we answer the questions: does Kate die and does Tully marry Johnny?

Due to the time-jumping narrative of Firefly Lane, which shows us how Tully and Kate’s friendship has developed through the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘00s, there have been numerous teases of major characters’ fates throughout. 

Season 1 had us fearing Tully’s death after showing us clips of Kate and her daughter Marah at a funeral discussing how much they miss her. However, we later discovered the funeral was actually for Kate’s father. 

But Season 2 Part 2 introduced a new hurdle when Kate learned of a devastating diagnosis. How does this play out in the final chapter of the Netflix series? Read on to find out, but before you do…

Warning: major Firefly Lane spoilers ahead…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYaOfa0uP6c

Firefly Lane ending: Does Kate die?

Yes, sadly Kate dies at the end of Firefly Lane Season 2 following her battle with breast cancer.

It wasn’t the outcome anyone wanted, but the Netflix series stayed true to Kristin Hannah’s books of the same name, on which the show is based. 

Ben Lawson as Johnny, Sarah Chalke as Kate in Firefly Lane Season 2
Johnny initially struggled to come to terms with Kate’s diagnosis

At the end of Season 2 Part 1, which dropped in December 2022, ‘00s Kate learns the heartbreaking news that she has late stage breast cancer, which plays a major part of the story in Part 2. 

As the cancer spreads to her brain, she decides against going through any more grueling treatment and asks Tully – who is hellbent on getting her best friend into clinical trials – to “let go”. She decides to live out her remaining days with her loved ones by her side while also continuing the writing project she’s been working on. 

Earlier this year, Sarah Chalke, who plays Kate, spoke with Deadline about the significance of Firefly Lane’s cancer storyline. “Nobody is not touched by cancer in their family,” she said. “I lost my grandmother and my aunt, lots of crew members have shared their stories with me, so it was quite an emotional, moving experience.”

Does Tully marry Johnny?

No, Tully doesn’t marry Johnny at the end of Firefly Lane.

Despite the tease earlier on in the series suggesting she might tie the knot with her best friend’s husband, we discover in the Season 2 finale that the wedding is, in fact, for Kate’s daughter Marah. 

The heart-wrenching opening scene of the final episode takes us to 2016, as Marah steps out in a wedding gown. Tully appears to be alone with Kate in a room, implying that the cancer treatment worked, and the pair are there together to celebrate Marah’s milestone. 

Jason McKinnon as Sean, Ben Lawson as Johnny, Yael Yurman as Marah, Sam Rahmani as Emily in Firefly Lane Season 2
The wedding was actually for Kate and Johnny’s daughter Marah

However, when someone outside calls for Tully to come downstairs, we realize she’s actually alone, and is just imagining her best friend is there by her side. *sobs*

Earlier on in Part 2, as Kate prepares for the end of her life, she does try to give Tully and Johnny her blessing to get together when she’s gone. But it doesn’t go down well, with both of them at the time in denial about the situation. 

The end scene of the final episode takes viewers to Kate’s funeral, where Johnny tells Tully that he understands she can’t go in – it’s just too painful. He gifts her a box, which she opens to discover Kate’s book, Firefly Lane, alongside a letter. We learn that the premise of the novel is that of the show, telling the story of their friendship throughout the decades – the laughs, the love, the tears, the fights, and everything in between. 

It turns out the book Kate had wanted to finish before her death was an ode to her lifelong friend. 

Katherine Heigl as Tully in Firefly Lane Season 2
Kate gave Tully the most meaningful gift

Underneath the transcript, Tully finds the items Kate had earlier requested from Johnny for her funeral – including an iPod, which includes a note saying “Play me and dance”. Tully gets up and hits the play button to hear their song: Dancing Queen by Abba.

Just like the journey of the “Firefly Lane Girls Forever”, the ending to their tale solicits the full range of emotions – you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be reminded of the eternal power of a true friendship. 

Firefly Lane Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on Netflix. Check out our other Netflix hubs below:

The Night Agent Season 2 | The Gentlemen | Will there be Firefly Lane Season 3? | Sex Education Season 4 | Beef Season 2 | Monster Season 2 | Will there be Ginny and Georgia Season 3? | Black Mirror Season 6 | All the Light We Cannot See | Stranger Things Season 5 | The Witcher Season 3 | Chicken Run 2 | Heartstopper Season 2 | FUBAR | Florida Man Season 2 | Obsession Season 2 | The Sandman Season 2

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