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On the first season of Netflix Firefly Lane ended, best friends Kate and Tully stopped speaking, but we weren’t sure why. The show is back for the first half of its second and final season, and, fair warning, you won’t get all the answers to your argument you’re looking for just yet. But you’ll still get plenty of time warps full of ’80s references.

opening shot: The year is 1975. A letter to Tully Hart, who lives in Seattle, from her best friend Kate Mularkey of Firefly Lane. The girls have been living in different cities for five months and miss each other desperately, and as the scene continues, they both exchange letters back and forth to keep each other up to date on their young high school life.

The essentials: While this season’s opening scene shows the younger versions of Kate and Tully committed to their friendship despite their separate lives, we are soon transported to 2005, at a point in time that begins immediately after the season one finale. Kate (Sarah Chalke) tries to be a good hostess at her father’s funeral, but the only thing anyone wants to talk to her about is her falling out with Tully (Katherine Heigl). Kate’s daughter Marah (Yael Yurman) comforts her and reminds her how great a friend Tully was a year earlier when Kate’s ex-husband Johnny was injured by an IED in Iraq while reporting from the war zone there. We jump back to that moment in 2004 when a distraught Kate can’t find her passport or a flight to Germany where Johnny is to receive treatment, so Tully charters a jet for Kate to get there. Once in Germany, Kate sits by Johnny’s bedside, his prognosis unknown, pours out her heart to him while he’s unconscious and tells him she loves him and doesn’t want to break up.

The show jumps back to 1985 to show the early stages of Kate and Johnny’s relationship, which Tully knows about since she’s Kate’s roommate and can hear all the sex behind her wall, but that’s still an office secret or something thinks Kate. The intern who works with the two women, Lottie (India de Beaufort), is essentially a mini-Kate, nerdy and awkward who stares at Johnny from behind her huge glasses, making her crush on him widely known. At one point, she confronts Kate in the office bathroom and reveals that Kate and Johnny’s relationship is in fact public knowledge, and she congratulates Kate for wearing Johnny down enough that he would settle with her. She then says Kate is giving geeks like her hope to nail a hottie like Johnny by calling Kate “the patron saint of mousey wallflowers.” Kate is devastated by Lottie’s sneaky comments, but when she asks Johnny if she really wore him down, he denies it and calls she too good for himbefore seducing her in the office control room.

Over in the Tully flashback world, we see the younger Tully fight with her mother, Cloud (Beau Garrett), and we jump from 1975 to 1985 to see how Cloud ignored and took advantage of Tully, but Cloud does it every Something cruel when Tully asks Kate for comfort, Kate isn’t there for her. She’s either throwing a make-out party or having sex with Johnny in the office control room. This episode makes Tully a giver, giving her love to her mother but not reciprocating it. She gives her friendship to Kate, and Kate is too boy crazy to take care when Tully needs her most. Still, Tully passes on into adulthood when she pays for Kate’s flight to Germany, and while she’s there she buys two keyrings designed to look like German beer mugs and the two women clink their tiny mugs their friendship.

Finally, as the women sit next to Johnny’s bed in a German hospital, he wakes up to explain to them what happened when he was ambushed by Iraqi insurgents, explaining that his colleague Charlie was there, but that he has known Charlie since the did not see the explosion again. Kate is so grateful that Johnny is alive and when Johnny’s colleague Charlie, who is not a man but a stunning woman, enters the hospital room, Kate is confused. Because Charlie is actually Charlotte, who used to be called Lottie. lotte. The mousy ex-intern who lusted after Johnny 20 years ago who turned into a very sexy mouse in 2004. And Charlie and Johnny are more than just colleagues. Kate stares in disbelief.

Sarah Chalke and Katherine Heigl in Firefly Lane
Photo: Netflix

What shows will it remind you of? The strong female friendship between the women of Firefly Lane reminiscent of those in shows like dead to me and a show you’ve probably never heard of indulgence, which aired on VH1 for one season and is now available on Amazon Prime Video, which was so much better than you would expect from a scripted dramedy that aired on VH1 for one season. The drama, the tragedy and the time jump away Firefly Lane are also a perfect replacement when you are missing This is us.

Our opinion: Firefly Lane can be a little sentimental at times, but it’s your classic tragi-comic best friend story in the spirit of beaches and dead to me. In fact, now that the final season of dead to me aired it’s very hard not to compare the two shows, they share many similar themes (mysterious wrecked cars, recurring friendships, looming death) but where this series was darkly funny and bitter, Firefly Lane is more serious in comparison, the nostalgia of the flashbacks creates a deeper sentimentality towards women’s friendship. if dead to me was made for sardonic Gen Xers, Firefly Lane was made for mawkish boomers.

Still, there’s something enjoyable about the show, despite its obvious and generic flaws (Kate is nerdy just because she wears giant glasses!), and the structure of the time jumps and the mystery (I think that word should have quotes, since the ‘mystery ’, which we’re talking about is ‘Why aren’t they talking?’ rather than ‘Where are those bodies in a shipping container coming from?’) is addressed incrementally. The show keeps us waiting for the payoff, but when we get there, so slowly, it feels like it’s all worth it. There are also new characters this season that will surely add to the drama. There’s Charlie, who will obviously worry Kate, as well as Justine (Jolene Purdy), an agent who plans to woo Tully, and Danny (Ignacio Serricchio), a rival reporter whom Tully kissed once and who keeps turning up life unexpected. The biggest complaint fans are likely to have with the season is that since it’s split in two, they can now devour the first nine episodes but will have to wait until 2023 for the rest.

gender and skin: There’s a lot of implied and covert sex that happens off-camera, but it all stays pretty much PG-13.

farewell shot: The big question that episode one still doesn’t answer for us is why Kate is so mad at Tully that she has cut her out of her life to date. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the show’s final scene, which flashes forward six months after Kate and Tully’s trip to see Johnny in the hospital. Police lights flashing, glass shattered, someone’s been in a car accident. We don’t know who, what, where of anything, but before the episode goes black, the camera zooms in on a tiny beer mug keychain dangling from the ignition.

sleeping star: Katherine Heigl as Tully really is the anchor of the show, at least at the start of this season. She’s going through a lot of bullshit: she’s being sued for millions for breaking her talk show contract, but she still gives Kate all her money so she can visit Johnny. She tries to come to terms with the way her mother shaped her, but still tries to be a noble and decent person, the opposite of her absent parent. And she sells it. She’s immensely rich and famous, yet she’s kind and approachable and even vulnerable, which helps us root for her even if Kate has sworn off her.

Most pilot line: “Do you want to see the Madonna movie tonight?” We get it, we’re time-skipping to the 1980s! But more importantly, this movie has a name, it’s called Desperately looking for Susannethrow some respect, folks.

Our appeal: STREAM IT! Firefly Lane can be soapy and cheesy, but it’s a fun ride full of humor and high-stakes relationship drama. Heigl and Chalke invest in their characters and they sell the friendship at the heart of the story which means that the ending (since this is based on a book series I assume you all know that – Spoiler Alert! – someone dies at the end) will pack a real emotional punch.

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