Firefly Lane girls forever -- but forever has, sadly, come to an end. The Kristin Hannah novel-turned-Netflix-series released its final seven episodes a few weeks ago, bringing an end to the story of Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl) and Kate Mularkey's (Sarah Chalke) deeply moving 30-year friendship.
Creator Maggie Friedman told Netflix's Tudum that the last few episodes of Firefly Lane were both difficult to write and difficult for the actresses to film -- and it shows. "The emotion of it was just exhausting," she said. "It really took a lot out of [Chalke and Heigl]. I feel so proud of how they turned out. They're my favorite episodes of the whole series."
After learning the reason behind the major rift that led to the childhood BFFs not speaking for over a year, we finally got to see them making amends after Kate was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even though we get a glimmer of hope when she goes into remission, it's quickly dashed when she finds out that it's returned only weeks before she remarries her ex-husband, Johnny Ryan (Ben Lawson).
Despite how badly Tully -- and fans of the series -- wanted Kate to make a miraculous recovery, she didn't. Kate passes away during a girls' night, right after Tully finally confesses that she's still in love with her ex, Danny (Ignacio Serricchio). "It's almost like she waited until she knew Tully was taken care of, like her work was done," said Friedman, who's written for other hit shows including Witches of East End and Dawson's Creek.
As intense as the emotional rollercoaster of the finale was, it may have distracted you from picking up on some subtle-but-important details that helped tie up the show's many storylines. Here are four things you may have missed in the Firefly Lane finale.
The Straight-From-The-Book Scenes
The Netflix series made a lot of deviations from Hannah's original written story. For example, Kate and Johnny never get divorced in the novel; and Kate's brother, Sean Mularkey (Jason McKinnon), is only a minor -- and heterosexual -- character.
But in the finale, we get a few nods that fans of the novel will recognize. The scene where Tully playfully pushes Kate down a hill in her wheelchair and tells her to pretend she's flying is straight from the book. And the part at the end of the show, when Tully is struggling to go to Kate's funeral and is comforted only by a surprise box that Kate put together paying homage to their friendship, is also a moment from the novel.
"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 [the show and the book]," Friedman said. "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."
The Not-So-Mystery Bride
The wedding in the final episode of the series is probably what has fans talking the most -- mostly because the bride-to-be is a bit of a mystery until the very last second. At first glance, it looks as if Tully is getting married to Johnny, which would be an insane twist of events considering how much she was a part of Johnny and Kate's love story.
But upon closer inspection, you can see the wedding that left everyone guessing is actually that of Kate's daughter, Marah (Yael Yurman), who embraced her sexuality and found love with a doctor.
Friedman said it was important for viewers to see that despite her traumatic childhood and losing her mother, Marah turned out OK. "I love knowing that Marah, even though she had a tumultuous teenagehood, turns out happy and good, and she's getting married."
Tully's Wedding Ring
Tully's relationship status also seems to be left unsaid. Even though both she and Danny confess their love for one another at the end of the series, we never see them make it official. Not that they need to -- Tully does have a penchant for unconventionality, after all. But if you look closely during the scenes with Marah's wedding, you'll notice something extra on Tully's left hand.
Even though she never says out loud that she and Danny are married, the possible wedding band is a subtle indication that they have indeed tied the knot.
The Book Kate Was Writing
With little energy to do much else, Kate spends her final months and weeks writing. What we don't realize until the end is that the novel she's penning is the story of her and Kate. That's right: She was writing Firefly Lane.
Kate gifts the book to Tully in the box she receives before her funeral. It's a beautiful testament to their friendship, something Heigl said she fell "deeply in love with."
"I don't know if it was because I was so deeply in love with Sarah as a human being, and so much of Sarah informed Kate," she said in an interview with Forbes. "I also love Kate and Tully and their relationship. It all felt so overwhelmingly real in a terrifying way because it was so heavy and heartbreaking.
"It was hard to stop the emotion because not every scene is supposed to be a weeping, sobbing, grief-stricken scene, but it was always right there at the forefront. There's just something about these two women, this particular story, Sarah as a human being, and my love for the characters. It felt weirdly real."
It's a bittersweet ending for Firefly Lane, but one that honors the many highs and lows of friendship -- especially the ones that last a lifetime.
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