Firefly Lane has an official return date for part two of its second season, and it’s not until June 2023. That means that following a dramatic season two, part one finale, fans will have to wait more than six months to find out what happens next. The series, based on Kristin Hannah’s best-selling book and starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, also debuted a new teaser trailer for part two, and it includes a major shocker. (Warning: don’t read further if you’re not caught up!)
Season two will have 16 episodes and be split over two parts, with the first nine having premiered on Friday, December 2. The final seven episodes will premiere on June 8, 2023, and episode 216 will serve as the series finale.
And what a final seven episodes it will be. In the teaser trailer on Netflix, it’s 10 years later (so approximately 2015), and Johnny—in a tux—appears as if he’s about to get married (unless he’s officiating someone else’s wedding). “How you feeling?” asks Kate’s brother, Sean. Says Johnny: “I’d feel a lot better if the bride would show up. It’s supposed to start any minute.” Cut to Tully, who is in a bridal dressing room putting the finish touches on her makeup, wearing a silk white gown and a huge engagement ring, with a veil hanging on the door behind her. She says, “Hold your horses! It’s not like you can start without me anyway.”
Um, what?! Kate was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in the season two part one finale, and in the book, she passes away, but the series doesn’t always follow the books.
Stay tuned for a must-read interview with showrunner and EP Maggie Friedman this Monday to hear what she has to say about all that and more. And we’ll post the teaser trailer here as soon as it’s available.
Original post: The good news is that the increased episode count gives the show a chance to tie up each story and give fans a proper ending. “It was an ongoing conversation between myself and Netflix,” Friedman tells Glamour of the decision to make season two the last. “Originally, season two was just going to be 10 episodes, but I was talking to one of the Netflix executives who’s been such a great champion of the show and said, ‘I know where the end of the story is. I know exactly what I want it to be. I just want to make sure that we get there and don’t end on a cliffhanger and then something happens and we don’t complete it.’ I wanted to make sure that I got to tell the full story.”
And she did. From there, Netflix came up with the idea of an extended season. “I was thrilled and daunted to have to do that many episodes, but so happy and excited,” Friedman says.
Netflix VP of drama series Jinny Howe tells Glamour that the streamer wanted to honor Friedman’s overall plan for the series. “She wanted to tell the story in the two books. This felt like the most special and best way to deliver the series to the fans of the show while honoring Maggie’s vision at the same time.” Howe goes on to say that viewers will have so much to look forward to over these next 16 episodes. “I’m really excited, and I think it really does deliver. I love the show as well.”
As for the split in seasons, “It’s about the fan and audience experience,” Howe explains. She says the team thought long and hard about how to tell the final season in the most emotional and compelling way. “There were lots of conversations about it being eight episodes in parts ones and two, but it felt that the most powerful way to break the season up was nine episodes first and then seven. When the fans come back for the second batch in 2023, it’s about making sure they’re emotionally invested enough in all of what you’re giving them in the first batch.”
Naturally, this means episode 209 will end on a major cliffhanger before the show returns next year. “Of course, there has to be,” Friedman says with a laugh.
Speaking of cliffhangers, there were plenty of those at the end of season 1, which dropped all 10 episodes in February 2021. The biggest question mark undoubtedly is what could have possibly ended the 30-year friendship between Tully and Kate. Netflix says we’ll learn the answer this season, but first Kate must come to terms with the aftermath of Johnny’s ill-fated trip to Iraq, while Tully faces a lawsuit after quitting her talk show. This leads Tully to search for answers about who she is and where she comes from, given that she has a fractured relationship with her mom, Cloud, and has never met her dad.
Nearly a year and a half ago, in May 2021, Netflix first announced that the drama series would return for a second season. Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, who play lifelong best friends Tully Hart and Kate Mularkey, revealed the news in a video posted to YouTube. “We don’t have all the answers yet, but trust us, it’s going to be worth the wait,” Chalke said at the time. “And we promise all of your questions will be answered.”
According to Friedman, the first episode of season two picks up pretty quickly from the season 1 finale. “The very last thing we saw at the end of season 1 is that Kate and Tully have gotten into a terrible fight and they’re at Kate’s father’s funeral, but we don’t know what are they fighting about. We tease a little bit of what the fight is about, but that’s what we’re working through in season two, is telling the audience, ‘Okay, here’s why they got in this terrible fight. Here’s Kate’s point of view. Here’s Tully’s point of view.’”
Friedman says it was important that the audience understand both Kate’s and Tully’s POV as to why they aren’t on speaking terms. “Hopefully you love both of them,” she says. Meanwhile, Friedman also says we see what happened to Johnny in Iraq very early on and where that’s going. “He suffers some pretty bad injuries. It’s going to be a hard road,” she says.
As for what plays out in the ’70s, young Kate and Tully have been separated now that Tully’s mom, Cloud, is in jail. “We see how that plays out for their teenage selves, who are really missing each other,” says Friedman. Fear not, you will still see the teens together as they eventually get a job at a fast food chain called Burger Planet USA. “That is their summer job, and they’re working with a girl named Lisa Karen, who sort of becomes Kate’s best friend when Tully’s living far away. Then when Tully moves back to town, suddenly it’s like a love triangle but for friends. Also, there are some things from Tully’s traumatic past that end up revisiting them while they’re working at the restaurant, and it presents some tough times for them as well.”
We’ll also see new timelines in the show, which jumps between the ’70s and early ’00s. “We see a bit of the early 1960s when Cloud is pregnant with Tully and when she first has Tully,” Friedman says. We also learn the history of who Tully’s father is, since she doesn’t know anything about him and her mother has never told her. “And we go into 2006 as well,” Friedman teases. “We see the ’90s too, which is really fun.”
So what else do we know about season two? Read on for more.
When will the first part of season 2 premiere?
Friday, December 2, 2022, with episodes 201 through 209.
When will the second half of the final season premiere?
June 8, 2023.
How many episodes will there be in the second and final season?
Season 1 consisted of 10 hour-long episodes, and season two will be 16 episodes, spread over two parts. Each episode will also be about an hour. According to Friedman, “It’s bigger in terms of us getting more ambitious with our stories. We’ve got more characters and go to new places.”
How closely will the final season stick to the book?
Showrunner Maggie Friedman tells Glamour, “There are definitely story points and things that happen that people who have read the book and love the book will be excited to see and will recognize. And then there are places that we went that are very different that have some suspense and things they weren’t expecting. We really tried to walk that line to honor the book and also go in our own direction. It’s a mix.”
Take a look at the season two trailer to get an idea for what’s in store for Tully and Kate.
Which actors will return?
Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, obviously. Roan Curtis, who plays teenage Kate, posted on Instagram, “Ooh baby let’s GOOO!! So excited to be reunited with all these wonderful humans for another season.” And Ali Skovbye, who plays teenage Tully, said, “See you guys soon!”
Beau Garrett—who plays Tully’s mom—echoed a similar sentiment, saying, “Officially excited. Thanks to all of you who watched, supported, tweeted, Instagrammed, messaged and shared. Can’t wait to do this all again.”
But what about Ben Lawson, who plays Kate’s ex-husband, Johnny Ryan? Although Johnny is severely injured in Iraq (he didn’t die, Friedman confirms), it’s clear things aren’t over between him and Kate. Plus, Lawson told us in February 2021 that he has high hopes for Johnny and Kate: “I definitely think Johnny needs Kate. He needs that real, good, kind-hearted, honest person to ground him. I would like to see them together.”
Regardless of what happens to Johnny and Kate in the present, Friedman says, you will see more of them in the ’80s, “watching them falling in love, how their relationship was cemented. And then in the ’00s, the big question mark in season two is: Can these two, who really do love each other and always will, find their way back together? Can they reunite in a way that’s healthy? They’ve already been through so much and did split up.”
There’s also Max (Jon-Michael Ecker), who was involved with Tully. Friedman can’t say much about whether he’ll return but does divulge, “We deal with Tully’s feelings about the aftermath of that relationship. Having lost her pregnancy and having married him, plus that ending when he didn’t show up at the gazebo. What does that mean for her and who is she now? And what does she want going forward? We deal with all those questions.”
Which new characters will we meet?
On September 21, 2021, Netflix announced the addition of four new characters. Says Howe, “I think that it felt very organic to bring some new blood and some new voices into the series, to further complicate some of the existing tensions that we set up in season one.”
They are, per a press release:
India de Beaufort as Charlotte: As we meet Charlotte in 1985 Seattle, she’s a quiet and reserved aspiring journalist with a hopeless crush on Johnny Ryan (Ben Lawson). But over the years she grows into a world-renowned, confident, and sophisticated reporter—a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it.
Greg Germann as Benedict Binswanger: The scion of an influential logging family, Benedict parlays his success in business into a run for governor of Washington State in the 1980s. His outward confidence belies a deep concern for both his own and his family’s reputations—and he is determined to preserve the Binswanger legacy by making sure a long-held secret stays buried.
Jolene Purdy as Justine Jordan: Justine is a sunny, upbeat talent agent with a knack for keeping a positive demeanor even when delivering devastating news. She’s always got a plan and is ready to execute it. An up-and-coming power player in the world of entertainment. Justine Jordan is no-nonsense but always charming, the kind of person everyone wants in their corner—including Tully Hart.
Says Friedman, “She’s amazing. At the beginning of season two, Tully is slapped with a breach of contract lawsuit. She has a noncompete clause, and she can’t get back on TV. In comes Justine, an agent, who says what’s on her mind. Tully’s never heard of her but she wins Tully over very quickly and is going to help her relaunch her career. Jolene is fantastic in the role.”
Ignacio Serricchio as Danny Diaz: Danny is a cocky sportscaster turned reporter who has crackling chemistry with Tully. He’s brash, ambitious, and sexy. Danny and Tully continually trade barbs, but beneath his smug façade lies real vulnerability and passion. Says Friedman, “I had a show called Witches of East End and Ignacio was on that show, and I just think he’s incredible. Danny and Tully have a little bit of a history and they’ve had some flirtation; it’s a real will-they-or-won’t-they kind of sparring situation where they’re flirting but hate each other. He is great and really funny, and they have fantastic chemistry.”
What about the locations and sets in season 2?
Season 1 of Firefly Lane finished shooting right before the start of the pandemic, so when the cast and crew went back for season two, there was a lot of logistics that presented obstacles. For one, Tully’s penthouse is an actual place at a Vancouver high-rise that was not conducive to new COVID protocols. “It had gorgeous views, but tiny elevators we’d all have to cram in to go up to the top with all our equipment,” Friedman says. “We couldn’t do that again this year because of COVID. So we had to get creative about some of it and build sets.”
In season 1, the show filmed at the CBC—the Canadian Broadcasting Company—for the ’80s newsroom scenes, but they couldn’t get back in there because of COVID. As a result, the crew rebuilt the whole newsroom office on a soundstage. “It was actually great,” Friedman says. “It was easier than having to go to all the locations.”
But Kate’s gorgeous seaside mansion is still there in season two—and it’s the same house. “It’s like a character in the show and so important,” Friedman says. “And that view, you can’t build that on a soundstage. That’s a real house on the water. It’s even more spectacular in real life than it is on the show. It’s so beautiful.”
What else do we know about the final season?
Says Friedman, “Kate’s brother, Sean, finally came out to her. What is it like to come out as a middle-aged man? We really deal with that. And Tully deals with finding out where she really comes from and who she is—who is her father and what that side of the family’s all about.”
She continues, “Everything you loved about season 1 is still there and so much more. The episodes are bigger and better and deeper and funnier and more sad. All of the feels that you had in season 1, you’ll get in season two even more so.”
Adds Howe, “Maggie and the team have done a beautiful job drawing you even deeper into this love story between these two women. If you’re lucky enough to have a best friend like this, even though it’s complicated and it’s messy, these are some of the most enduring relationships and some of the most impactful figures in key moments in your life. I think this season really, really captures that well. The way that we are going to wrap up the story is going to be really satisfying. It’s really beautiful and emotional and powerful. We’re very proud of it.”
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour senior West Coast editor, and author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series, which is available here.
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