Watch out! This post contains spoilers.
Netflix’s new soapy drama Firefly Lane is here and already has people chatting about the twisty plot lines of the show. Adapted from Kristin Hannah’s book series of the same time, the show volleys between the 1970s and the 2000s, focusing on two best friends Tully and Kate who are polar opposites of each other but bonded in their love and fierce protectiveness for the other. As adults, Kate has settled down with a family and is now trying to break into the job sector again while Tully is a well-known television personality who is lonely and still reckoning with the trauma from her childhood and adolescence.
When Tully starts hooking up with a man named Max and discovers she’s pregnant, it throws her for a loop and sends her spiraling down the abyss of her own strained relationship with her mother. In episode six and seven, she tries to reconcile her abandonment and commitment issues with her cautious excitement of having a family. She goes for an ultrasound with Kate, and by the end of episode seven, realizes she wants to have the baby. “I’m gonna need a shit ton of help,” she says to Kate during a raw moment on the roof of her childhood home.
She marries Max in episode eight, and just as she’s getting ready for their wedding night in the bathroom, she finds out she’s bleeding and later has a miscarriage. Episode nine finds her waking from a traumatic nightmare where her child is snatched from her. Still trying to come to terms with it, Tully goes to work and ends up going off script during a live broadcast of her talk show where she asks the audience if anyone has had a miscarriage. “I’m still bleeding, and it sucks. But I don’t want to be ashamed. I don’t want to try to hide it,” she says emotionally. She gives the women in the audience an opportunity to share their experiences and hugs them afterward.
She uses her platform to channel her grief and that of many women who have often been shamed into staying quiet about their struggles. When her producer tries to cut to commercial to give her a chance to recover, she makes him keep the cameras rolling. In doing so (and ignoring her sponsors in the process) and being honest about her grief, Tully shines a light on mental health and miscarriages, two topics that have often been stigmatized. Even as Tully lashes out at Max (and herself) privately, the show gives her space to grieve and deal with her emotions and past.
Through the last episode, we see Tully still trying to grapple with her heartbreak and how it’s led to the end of her marriage. Even though season one ends on a cliffhanger, we hope if and when renewed, season two will bring more answers for Tully and continue to be an open space for new conversations about difficult and honest experiences.
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