Auld Lang Syne
The season 1 finale of Firefly Lane begins in 2005 at the funeral as we finally find out who has passed away. Sean shows up outside and spots Kate smoking. Standing with her, it’s revealed that the funeral is for their Dad.
In the 70’s, we see Kate and her Father outside with a telescope. Margie rocks up with the shopping but it’s clear that tensions are high. In fact, across the road things are even worse as Cloud has the electricity cut and Tully worries about her future.
Tully and Cloud head over to Kate’s but drama continues to bubble up. Unfortunately they spill over in the form of marijuana-smelling Cloud saying her piece and rubbing Bud up the wrong way. He lashes out and directs his anger toward Margie. As it turns out, she’s been having an affair and he’s known all this time. Outside, he asks her to choose but she walks away without giving a definitive answer.
Unfortunately Cloud is arrested for selling drugs later that evening. Because of this, that means Tully is heading back to see her Grandmother. Oh no! Will Kate ever see Tully again? Of course, thanks to the non-linear structure, we already have our answer to this.
In the 80’s, a team meeting at work paves way for Kate and Tully to discuss Johnny and her feelings for their boss. Not long after, Tully heads off to meet Wilson again, determined not to sleep with him but instead make the executive see what a star she is through her credentials.
At his office, Wilson inappropriately cozies up to her and offers double the salary and double the airtime she’s currently receiving. However, before she signs she decides to lay out some ground rules as Wilson starts getting flirty.
Unfortunately Wilson doesn’t listen, telling the girl he wants to sex her up before she heads out on air. His sleazy attitude eventually leads to Tully kicking him in the balls and storming out the office.
Meanwhile, Kate’s date Mark shows up but just before heading out, she learns that her Father has had a heart attack and races off with Johnny. Well, it turns out he’s okay and Johnny eventually heads back over to Kate’s house with her. There, they tentatively kiss as Johnny admits that he missed out on the best thing that could have been.
Tully finally meets her boss again as Wilson apologizes for his attitude before, promising that he’s a family man now. After brief pleasantries, he admits that Tully’s on-air empowering moment lost the faith of their sponsors.
In order to bring them back onboard, Wilson proposes new ideas to make the Girlfriend Hour the best it can be. Tully remains suitably weary over what this means.
Well, she soon finds out as Wilson wants to change the demographic and glam the show up, changing the tone and style to appeal to men rather than women. Of course, this completely goes against the whole idea of the show and Tully is not happy.
Meanwhile, Kate and Travis hook up and kiss at her house but unfortunately Kate calls him Johnny. Oof. As he leaves, Tully rings and Kate convinces her to make amends with Max.
As Tully heads home, Max happens to be there waiting for her. He’s leaving, deciding that he doesn’t fit in her world and apologizes for everything that’s happened between them. As he hugs her goodbye, Max leaves Tully’s world for good. Or, well, until a few scenes later anyway.
This brings Tully over to Kate’s, where she breaks the news to her best friend. Kate suggests they leave it a day to cool off and then suggest meeting at the park, where they both got married.
After lashing out and bloodying her knuckles in frustration, Max shows and helps patch Tully’s knuckles up. As they talk, he calmly reminds her that he lost a baby too and since then, he feels like he’s been chasing Tully around. Remembering what Kate told her before, Tully suggests they meet at the gazebo the follow day.
After a rather awkward moment with Travis at the door, Kate continues to dance around her true feelings as she sleeps with Johnny one last time before he leaves for the Middle East. As she heads over to Tully’s apartment, Kate realizes she still has feelings for him.
Back at the studio, Tully walks out and quits her job after all the changes Wilson has been making. She heads straight for the gazebo but unfortunately Max doesn’t show. Kate’s there though and she walks her away. Together at Kate’s place, Sean shows up and admits that he came out to Julia and she’s kicked him out the house.
In Iraq, Johnny heads out but ends up getting hit by a bomb blast. It’s a pretty shocking moment, one that’s followed up by question marks over whether he’s okay or not.
Back at Kate’s place, Tully proposes that she and Kate work together, with the latter working as a producer. Together, she promises they’ll be a formidable force.
We then return to 2005 and the funeral as Kate refuses to forgive Tully for what she’s done and tells her to leave. As Kate heads inside with Marah, Tully is stuck outside as we leave things on a big cliffhanger for a possible season 2.
The Episode Review
Firefly Lane eventually ends with a whimper rather than a bang, as we’re left with numerous cliffhangers across the different timelines. These perhaps would have been more impactful had this show decided to tell its story in a linear fashion. Instead, they ring hollow.
The 1970’s story has easily been the most interesting but frustratingly, has had the least amount of screen-time. At least, that’s how it’s felt anyway.
The “cliffhanger” with Tully leaving is hardly a cliffhanger given we know she and Kate wind up together in college. The only thing left of course, is joining the dots between the years.
In the 1980’s, we know Tully eventually makes it big while she and Johnny hook up and have a child so a lot of this feels like painting by numbers, with this story sandwiched inconsequently between the present and past.
The 2003timeline at least has some promise, with question marks over Tully and Kate’s fight and what really happened between them.
However, it’s done so on the pretense of a funeral that’s tried to tie this season together with an element of mystery but ultimately falls flat too.
We’ve had very little time with Kate’s Dad so it’s hard to really feel that emotionally invested. Especially on the back of the throwaway “I miss her” line to throw us a red herring early on.
Having said that though, Firefly Lane has some stand-out moments and emotional highs but they’re lost in this jumbled timeline that does the story – and the book – no favours.
Tonally as well the show has been a mishmash of ideas, bizarrely throwing in sitcom comedy to lighten the mood alongside darker moments like miscarriages and rape.
Firefly Lane is not one to remember and unfortunately compared to other soaps in its category, fails to hit the highs it perhaps could have reached with a more linear story.