Firefly Lane Timeline, Explained

Netflix’s ‘Firefly Lane‘ is a TV series revolving around the lives of Tully and Kate, who have been friends since their teenage years. The show portrays how the two best friends sort out different kinds of problems in life while sticking together and helping each other out, no matter the cost. Set between the 1970s to the early 2000s, the story portrays numerous nuances of Tully and Kate’s lives, including friendships, relationships, traumas, careers, and more.

Overall, the show is a perfect emotional drama that depicts the pros and cons of having a best friend for over 3 decades. During this period, the narrative is split across various years, and the events from each of those years are interspersed with each other. Thus, the chronology of events and the overall timeline might be slightly tricky to follow. But fret not, for we’ve dissected the complete timeline and simplified it for you. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Firefly Lane Timeline Explained

‘Firefly Lane’ majorly takes place between 1974 and 2005. Besides this, a few events occur before 1974 and after 2005. Tully and Kate’s journey can be categorized into three phases. The first phase is between 1974 and 1982, wherein Tully and Kate complete their last three years of high school, finish college, and join KPOC. The second phase is between 1982 and 2003, wherein the two best friends make their careers, get in and out of relationships, and form long-lasting bonds. The third phase is between 2003 and 2005, when the ladies are going through mid-life issues and challenges. We’ve broken down all these events and chronologically laid them out for you.


Dorothy Hart and Parker Binswanger likely meet in 1959/1960. The two meet at a bookstore, form a special bond, and soon Dorothy gets pregnant but doesn’t tell Parker. The two decide to run away, but Parker’s family finds them every time they do so. One day, they decide to give it one final shot, but Parker’s brother, Benedict Binswanger, pays off Dorothy’s father. Dorothy’s father gives a fake letter to Parker, telling how his daughter has changed her mind. Dorothy’s father gives her a fake letter saying it’s from Parker.

Since the two lovers do not know, they unwittingly get separated. Parker goes to a European college to study poetry, and Dororthy raises Tully. However, Dorothy goes to the Binswanger house multiple times but doesn’t get an answer from anyone other than the house help. One day, Benedict invites her in and pays her regularly to prevent her from spoiling the family name.


1974 is the year when Tully and Kate first meet and become friends after Tully moves into a house with her mother, Dorothy, at Firefly Lane. Although initially Kate and Tully don’t seem to gel, they soon become best friends. It happens after Pat, a guy from school, rapes Tully. Tully has nowhere to go or confide in, so when she sees Kate, she pours her heart out. After this, the two start hanging out together. Meanwhile, Tully discovers Sean is gay and decides to keep his secret.

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However, Kate and Tully have a small fight because the latter lies to the former. When Tully and Kate first meet, Tully lies that her mom has cancer. Tully hides the truth because she doesn’t want to be judged. Later, Tully tries to tell the truth, but she never gets the chance. Unfortunately, Kate finds out on her own and stops talking to her best friend. What bothers Kate is not Tully’s lie but her mother’s affair, which she learns about just a few moments before learning Tully’s truth. As the story progresses, even Kate’s father, Bud, realizes his wife, Margie, is having an affair. When he gives her the option of choosing one, Margie decides to stay with him.

Kate and Tully soon patch up after the former gets her book back from Tully. When Kate opens the books, she sees drawings of her house and horse. Instantly Kate realizes how much she means to Tully, and the two patch up again. But things turn dark for Tully when her mother Dorothy is imprisoned for consuming drugs. The two friends split because the police hand over Tully to her grandmother, who lives in another town.


The story picks up 5 months later, in 1975 when Tully is living with her gran and writing to Kate to share life updates. On the one hand, Tully is still traumatized due to the incident with Pat; on the other hand, Kate is dying to kiss someone. As Tully goes through some drawers, she finds a picture of Dorothy and another man. Tully thinks the man could be her father, so she embarks upon a journey to find him, and Kate tags along. When Tully and Kate reach the place in the picture, they meet the man, but he isn’t Tully’s father. Following this, the two eat at a restaurant but realize they do not have money. As the situation becomes tenser, the two start arguing and blaming each other. Eventually, Tully declares their friendship is over, and the two girls go their separate ways.


Tully and Kate’s paths cross after a year when Dorothy gets out of jail. The mother and daughter move back into their house at Firefly Lane, and Tully starts going to school again. When she enters the class, she discovers Kate has a new best friend, Lisa Karen. After everything is said and done, the two eventually patch up and become best friends again, which bothers Lisa-Karen. Meanwhile, Dorothy tries to be better by trying different food items and avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. She even meets a priest called Dennis to understand to tread a different path and have a better relationship with Tully.

But, one night, Dennis gets aggressive and violent with Tully, and Dorothy rescues her. As the story progresses, people mock her and put her down. At a party, some man tries to impose himself on her, and when he doesn’t get his way, he calls her a few untoward things. Dorothy spirals and gets back into drinking and smoking again. Meanwhile, Kate helps Tully join the film club, making Lisa even more jealous of the two girls. At a film screening for the club, Eugene, Tully, and Kate’s classmate asks the former out. However, Tully knows Kate is into the guy, so she tells him to ask Kate out instead. Later, when Kate and Eugene kiss, he tells her about what happened, which breaks Kate’s confidence.

Kate and Tully argue about Eugene but, after a while, patch up. On the other hand, Tully realizes she hasn’t grown out of her trauma. When she tries to kiss a nice guy, she panics and walks away. As Tully walks toward her home, she sees Sean. Sean talks about how he and Robbie are not together, and Tully says she cannot sleep with someone else. While Tully wants to feel safe while sleeping with someone else, Sean wants to try and be like the other guys. So, the two decide to have sex once and see what that feels like. As they do, Lisa Karen catches them but silently walks away. Later, she uses it to make Tully and Kate fight, but it doesn’t work after a point.

Following this, the two get a summer job at Burger Planet USA, where they learn Lisa is the manager. She is harsh on both of them because Kate stops beings Lisa’s friend after the former patches up with Tully. During their time there, Tully runs into Pat again, and this time he is with another girl. At first, Tully panics but later tells his girlfriend, who dismisses Tully as a psycho. However, after some time, Tully sees Pat and his girlfriend fight, and the latter leaves. Pat confronts Tully about the incident, but Tully gathers the courage to call him out for his actions.

The AV club meets at school before the summer ends, and Eugene asks Kate why the two stopped talking after the kiss. Kate doesn’t give an articulate answer but tells him she doesn’t want to date him. Everyone from the AV club decides to get into the pool and have some fun before school begins again. When Tully and Kate return to school, they find out their pictures at the pool have been leaked and hence get suspended. Eugene apologizes but says he didn’t intend to leak the photographs. He showed the pictures to someone else at school, and that person leaked them.

One day, after these things, Tully gets a call that a parole officer will check the house to see if Dorothy is doing okay. Tully and Kate somehow clean the house while hiding all the drugs. Dorothy cleans herself up, and the parole officer leaves home pretty satisfied. Later, Dorothy returns to her usual behavior, and Tully realizes that her mother will never stop being an addict.


The story resumes when Tully and Kate are in college, studying journalism. Tully realizes that her professor Chad Wiley isn’t giving her enough chances to talk in class. He also gives Tully a C on her assignment, so she confronts the professor. Chad explains the flaws in her ways in an objective manner and gives her a second chance. While Kate goes to the family for the weekend, Tully redoes her assignment. As she is practicing, Chad enters the room and helps her out. But soon, the two start kissing, and Chad walks away, realizing he mustn’t be doing this.

So, Tully decides to join Kate’s family, where the two girls fight again. This time, it’s about Kate wanting to do something alone without being too tied to Tully. Kate also informs Tully that she has applied for a semester program in London and didn’t know how to tell Tully. The latter gets defensive and says that Kate can do whatever she wants.


After college, the story picks up two years later at KPOC, a news channel where Tully works. Tully gets Kate a job at the place, and the latter has a crush on their boss, Johnny. From day one, Kate takes an affinity toward Johnny and tries to impress him in every way possible. Kate brings order to the chaos at KPOC, which impresses Johnny. However, Kate also realizes that Johnny might be into Tully, so she stops pursuing him. In fact, Johnny and Tully almost kiss one night while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

We see Sean, now a navy officer, visit Kate and Tully at the KPOC office. Sean confesses to Tully that he’s in love with a fisherman who is 32 years old and thinks it will work out. Sean tries to come out to Kate but feels overwhelmed about how she and their parents would react, so he decides against it. Meanwhile, Kate and Tully try to get a good story with the mayor but their senior, Carol, takes it away.

Although Tully feels disheartened, she doesn’t lose her spirit and keeps going. When everyone goes to the bar to get over the incident, Kate tries to pursue Johnny but watches him the way he looks at Tully and second-guesses herself. Just then, we see Chad reunite with Tully, and the two start kissing. Johnny and Kate see this and feel very differently about Chad and Tully.


In 1984, Tully and Kate’s jobs didn’t get any better because they did not get any promotion in the last two years. Tully and Chad go back and forth with their relationship, and Kate is with Mutt. Johnny returns from El Salvador, where he covers real news, and in the process, he sees a friend get shot. When everyone regroups, it becomes awkward because Johnny realizes he likes Kate, but the latter is Mutt. Kate still has feelings for Johnny, but she can’t leave Mutt and decide to be with him. When this mesh finally unwinds, we see that Kate and Johnny are together.

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In the year, we also see Sean get married to a woman named Julia. When Tully asks him why he’s doing so despite his sexual orientation, Sean says that the fisherman he was in love with died. Thus, marrying Julia is the only way for him to find happiness. Sean and Kate’s bond evolves during his wedding too. Although the two fight, they both understand and make peace with their bond.

Tully also gets her big break in the news after she covers a robbery at a general store. She gets shot but heals soon enough, and people start talking about her work. Due to this, Wilson King from KLET, a rival news channel, meets with Tully for a potential job offer. However, he demands that she sleep with him and later tries to impose himself on her. As Wilson becomes aggressive, Tully kicks him and leaves his office without looking back.


Kate and Tully start covering live news in different places, including protests, governor elections, and more. But Danny from a rival news channel follows her wherever she goes someplace. Danny and Tully sleep with each other once, and later, Danny joins the KPOC channel. The two become physical partners but also competitors. One of the significant news coverage topics involves Benedict Binswanger, who is running for governor. At a conference, the man insults her when Tully asks a valid question about the environmental impact of his logging business. Tully feels unsettled but also gets an off vibe from the governor candidate. So, Danny and Tully try to get something on the man.

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Tully gets a tip-off from someone close to Benedict, so she and Danny go to meet her. As it turns out, the person is the house help who used to work at the Binswanger house and had met Dorothy several years ago. She reveals that Benedict bribed politicians, paid off injured workers, sent his brother away, and gave money to keep a woman quiet about her baby. The maid also talks about knowing Tully since she was a baby. Although Tully doesn’t understand all this, the house help refers to the incidents that occurred in 1959/1960. Soon, we learn that the maid is senile due to her age. Danny and Tully ignore what she says because it isn’t credible enough for a journalist.

Danny and Tully find out about PJ Pelican, a restaurant on Orcas Island. Tully finds some connection between the restaurant and Benedict Binswanger and hopes to find something at the place. But when they reach there, they only meet a waiter who says the owner is not around. When they ask him about Benedict, he doesn’t seem interested in answering any questions. Before Tully leaves, the waiter gives an aloe vera plant to her and says that if she ever returns, the oysters will be on the house.

After finding nothing on Benedict Binswanger, Danny and Tully compete to become the weekend anchor at KPOC. While the two continue their physical relationship, they audition for the role and stay ruthlessly competitive. Soon, Danny informs Tully that he is going to New York for another job, which is why he dropped out of the race. Tully gets the job and becomes the weekend anchor. However, the rating dips, so she practices and learns to improve.

Meanwhile, Kate and Johnny’s relationship progresses but soon hits a few bumps. Kate wants a marriage and babies, whereas Johnny doesn’t want that. So the two break up, and Kate starts going out with another person, Theo. Soon, Kate and Tully learn that Johnny is still not over the former and wonder how to figure out the entire situation. Amidst this, Tully confesses that she misses Danny and calls him from a phone at a bar. Danny picks up the phone, but Tully doesn’t get the courage to talk to him, so she cuts the call.

As things progress between Kate and Theo, the latter asks if Kate wants to go on a Europe trip with him. At first, she declines because she has a job to maintain. But Kate gets fired because she covers up for Tully’s mistake. Kate realizes she has the opportunity to go with Theo and even agrees. But Kate cannot get over Johnny and is in two minds about the whole thing. Tully urges her to go for the trip, and just after she leaves the apartment, Johnny reaches the place confessing his love for Kate.


While we do not know if Kate goes for the trip, we know that in 1989, Johnny and Kate are having a baby. Tully feels scared that she might lose her best friend, so she tries to stay as close to Kate as possible. Tully also gets Kate and Johnny a pet dog to give the baby company when it is born. At the baby shower, Kate gets cold feet and goes to a bar with Tully to calm herself. Tully informs that she has a job at WNBC, New York, but wonders if she should go. Tully’s biggest insecurity is her loneliness; without Kate, she feels empty.

So, Tully doesn’t feel like going to New York, despite it being an incredible job for her. At the bar, Kate’s water breaks, and the two best friends rush to the hospital. After the baby is delivered, Tully lets Kate, Johnny, and their child have a moment, but she also feels more alone than ever. When Johnny comes to her to express his feelings about his new family, Tully realizes she must leave.


The story continues in 1993 when Tully works at WNBC in New York. She hasn’t spoken much to Kate over the last year and feels lonely. Meanwhile, Kate feels happy about her family but wants to work and return to her career. When Kate and Tully meet in New York, their catchup is heartwarming. But the most important thing this year is Tully’s confrontation with Benedict Binswanger. At first, Benedict plays nice, but soon, he shows his true colors and leaves Tully unsettled. The feeling is similar to how she felt when Benedict put her down.


The show’s present time begins in 2003. Tully works on her own show called ‘The Girlfriend Hour,’ and Kate is trying to get a new job after about 12 years. She becomes the editor’s assistant at ‘Seattle Digest’ after promising the editor an interview with Tully Hart. Kate’s daughter, Marah, is 14 years old and has teenage problems. But, most importantly, Kate and Johnny are separated and on their way to getting a divorce.

Over the year, Kate and Johnny discuss what they want to do, fight, and even catch each other in awkward positions. At first, Johnny believes Kate cheated on him, and that’s why the two are separate. However, later, he understands that Kate was never disloyal, and things just got too complicated for both of them. Although the two have feelings for each other, Johnny realizes he wants to do something for himself. So, Johnny decides to go to Iraq to cover the war. Unfortunately, he gets into a blast and is shifted to Germany for his treatment.

While Kate and Johnny’s story unfolds, Tully faces her own problems. First, Tully tells people that her mother, Dorothy passed away when she was 15. But soon, the editor of Seattle Digest investigates and learns that Dorothy is still alive and publishes a maligning article about Tully Hart. When Tully confronts her mother, she says that the editor twisted her words and she didn’t say anything bad about her daughter. Dorothy is now sober and works as a waitress at a café. Tully starts interacting more with her mother, and though their relationship is unstable, they stay in touch.

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Tully also initiates a physical relationship with a man named Max but always pushes him away. Soon, she realizes she is pregnant, and it is Max’s baby. After contemplating for a while, she decides to marry him on a whim and chooses to be happy. But the happiness lasts for very little time, as she suffers from a miscarriage and, once again, pushes Max away. She tries to reconcile with him, but he doesn’t return this time. To make things worse, Wilson King buys the network on which Tully’s show is broadcasted. Wilson tries to bully Tully, but she decides to leave the show and the network.


Johnny returns home from Germany, but as his physical wounds heal, he realizes that he has PTSD and needs to get therapy. Kate, who still has feelings for Johnny, is conflicted because of multiple factors, such as Calvin, Charlie, and more. But the two decide to talk their way through things, and once they confess their feelings, they get back together. Kate and Johnny begin to have honest conversations about everything, which leads them to become more mature.

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On the other hand, Tully gets news that Wilson King is suing her for breaking the contract. Tully hires a new agent who helps her blog on a website, which becomes an instant hit. Tully realizes how she has a problem with men and how she almost always judges them. To resolve these complex emotions and trauma Tully decides to make a docu-special about finding her father. Tully learns of Dorothy and Parker’s story when she sets out on this part. Tully also learns Benedict Binswanger is her uncle who knew her well but ignored her all these years. But most importantly, Tully discovers that the waiter she met at PJ Pelican was her father, Parker. Parker never knew he had a daughter, and after he came to know, his health worsened, and the man died of a stroke.

After learning about her father, Tully continues to feel lonely. One day she bumps into Danny, who has moved back to Seattle and is Tully’s neighbor. The two talk and she learns that he has a girlfriend, but there’s some correction between them. Danny tells how he does think about her from time to time but doesn’t try to cheat on his girlfriend and stays friends with Tully.

But, Tully and Kate have a huge fallout after the former gets into a car accident while Marah is with her. Kate doesn’t forgive her for all this and stops talking to her almost immediately. After trying to call multiple times, Tully finally gets to talk to Kate, but she doesn’t budge. Later, when Kate’s father, Bud, passes away, Tully tries to attend the funeral, but Kate orders her to leave. (Although in 2003, the show reads, “Two Years Later,” and portrays Bud’s funeral, the funeral occurs in 2004, as we see in season 2, part 1.)


The show smoothly transitions into the next year, where Kate builds her family bonds and starts taking creative writing lessons. Johnny and Kate get much closer and wonder if they want to marry. Although Kate is scared that history might repeat itself, Johnny feels optimistic. Finally, Johnny officially proposes to Kate, and she says yes. Meanwhile, Kate also misses her best friend, Tully but is stubborn about not talking to her. So, Kate tries to make new friends but doesn’t form the same bond as she did with Tully.

After the funeral, Tully returns to her childhood home and rebuilds it. Tully relives all the memories and also feels cathartic after renovating the house. At Thanksgiving, she invites Danny, his girlfriend, and Dorothy to the house. Tully gifts the house to Dorothy because it’s the place they grew up in. Danny asks if Tully wants to get back into journalism and says that there’s a documentary filmmaker who could use Tully’s help. When Tully meets the man, he says she has to spend several months in Antarctica for the documentary. While she’s having the conversation, she crosses paths with Kate and almost instantly says yes to the filmmaker.

When Danny says that Tully should not make a decision impulsively, Tully says she’s not doing so. Meanwhile, Kate realizes she has breast cancer and goes to Tully’s place to meet her. But Kate misses Tully just by a second, and the latter leaves for the airport to go to Antarctica.


Johnny and Sean are standing in a house, and the latter asks the former if he’s ready for the big day. Johnny nervously replies that the wedding will start any minute and the bride is nowhere to be seen. Following this, we see Tully get ready in front of a mirror while she wears a silky white robe. As she checks her makeup, someone knocks on her door, and she says that there’s no hurry because the day can’t begin without her anyway. While this might mean that Tully is finally getting married, it can be a diversion, and Marah is likely getting married. After all, Johnny is nervous and might only behave that way if his daughter is getting married.

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