Let's Unpack The Big Mystery In 'Firefly Lane' Season 1

by Ani Bundel

From its opening moments, Firefly Lane bills itself as a story about a friendship between two women, Tully and Kate, who meet for the first time at 14 and spend the next 30 years as lifelong BFFs. But the twisted timeline and interpolated eras also hide mysteries. Will their friendship stand the test of time? What does the future hold for these two? The suspense deepens by the end of the second episode, when Kate heads to a funeral with her daughter Marah. But whose funeral is in Firefly Lane Season 1? That's what fans have to discover as the series goes on.

Warning: Spoilers for Firefly Lane Season 1 follow. From the outset, the series takes pains to hide the identity of who died, but the fact is, there are a surprising number of candidates once the story gets going. At first, it seems like Kate is heading to Tully's funeral. Considering some of the health issues Tully experiences, it's not out of the question... until, of course, she shows up to attend to funeral, very much alive.

Kate's husband, Johnny, is also a possibility. For most of the season, he's preparing to head out as a journalist covering the second Iraq War, an obviously dangerous assignment. Even Kate's brother, Sean, seems like he could be the one who passed away. As a closeted gay man in the AIDS era, it would have been a heartbreaking loss.

But in the end, like many of Firefly Lane's reveals, the funeral isn't a tragic end to a dramatic situation. It's just the circle of life.


The funeral, which takes place in 2005, isn't for Tully, Johnny, or Sean. (Although fans will note Johnny, who has been divorced from Kate for two years and ended on his own cliffhanger, is not shown attending the service.) Instead, it's for Kate's father, Bud, who passed away after a life well-lived. Until this point, most of Kate's memories show a father who seemed oblivious of his daughter's troubles or his wife, Margie, having an affair. But as the finale shows, Bud was a good man. He worked hard as an engineer; the aeronautics he helped build went to the moon.

Moreover, Bud loved his wife and family. When push came to shove over her affair, Margie decided to stick it out and Bud was willing to forgive and forget. (He's also, notably, the only one to have realized Sean was gay long before his son came out to anyone the family.)

At the funeral, Kate is sad her father is gone, as are Sean, Marah, and Margie. But as far as funerals go, this is a celebration of a long, mostly happy life, not the gut-punch of one cut short.