Firefly Lane Season 1 Episode 6 was all over the place.
I couldn’t quite figure out the vibe of the episode as parts of it offered commentary on the entrance to womanhood and the beauty of periods, and the other half found Johnny Ryan going down a dark path as a war reporter who was fighting for quality journalism.
And the two just didn’t mesh all that well.
The episode kicked off with Tully and Chad having a wild time in bed, and the good news is that they waited to be together until she was no longer his student. The bad news? They’re still completely dysfunctional. The series doesn’t allow us to care about Chad as much as they say Tully cared about him because, for audiences, he’s just a blip on the radar. However, it’s yet another moment where we see Tully run away from commitment and something more serious because after Chad asks her to move to North Carolina to start a family, they break up immediately after.
More surprising is the fact that Kate and Mutt are dating! Who saw that one coming? Of course, this doesn’t mean much because Kate’s feelings for Johnny are still very much alive and well. I mean, she even gets a new dress to welcome him home after his trip to El Salvador.
In my previous reviews of the series, I said that I was waiting for the moment that it “clicks” for Johnny and Kate that they are into each other, and we almost got that with this episode.
However, when it happened, Johnny wasn’t exactly in the right headspace. Kate ended her date with Mutt early — at a feminist exhibition praising a woman’s period — to check in on Johnny, whose friend, Father Ramon, was murdered right in front of him by the military.
When she returned to the office later that night, Johnny was obliterated after being rejected by every form of media while pitching the story. Turns out, the problem with journalism isn’t exactly new. These days, the focus is on stories that will get you pageviews, but back then, it was all about ratings and newspaper sales.
Johnny’s desire to get the truth out is important, but as I said before, too dark and ill-fitting in the context of this show.
Especially since it’s followed by Johnny drunkenly professing his love to Kate as he informs her that when the military pointed a gun at him and he thought he was going to die, he saw her face.
He then tries to make his move on Kate, and while it’s everything she’s always wanted, she doesn’t give into it. We know Kate’s a “good girl,” but this proves just how good. Denying the man you’re in love with takes so much self-control. But it’s also awesome of her. She doesn’t want to cheat on Mutt, plus, she wants to know that Johnny’s feelings are real and true. Is he acting this way because he’s drunk or does he really mean it?
She informs him that if drunk mind really speaks sober heart, he’ll make his move the next day.
Sadly, the next day, Johnny has absolutely no recollection of what happened and doesn’t even remember she was there. So, they vow never to speak of it again, and you can feel Kate’s soul being completely crushed by the realization that she got her hopes up for nothing. Well, at least nothing for right now.
In the present, we see both Kate and Tully be a little bolder with their romantic endeavors.
Kate embraces her feelings for Travis when she proposes a date night. It’s an awkward call, especially her “keep it moist” sign-off, but hey, at least Kate has always stayed true to her dorky-self even well into adulthood.
She also forgets about the date she proposed because she’s so invested in writing her first piece for Kimber Watts. It’s nice to see Kate do something for herself, especially since Travis reads the piece and tells her that it’s actually really good. They even have a hot little makeout session on her desk when she goes to get her binder after-hours, but sadly, it’s interrupted by a harsh reality check that Kimber publishes a smear piece about Tully after Kate pulled all those strings for her to arrange the interview.
I guess this is where the whole bad journalism theme ties in because Kimber’s piece is a scathing piece hoping to expose the real Tully Hart, a heart-less millionaire who pretends her mother is dead and allows her to live in a trailer park and work an overnight shift at the diner.
The optics are not good on it, and part of me is kind of impressed with Kimber’s go-getter attitude. It’s also the wake-up call that Tully might actually need. Her mom was terrible for most of her life, yes, but she’s carried that pain around with her forever, especially by making it this huge secret that has weighed over. Maybe what she really needs is to face the woman who caused her so much pain, even inadvertently into adulthood, and this is the push she needs.
Of course, it’s not fair to get blasted in such a way publicly as Kimber’s piece doesn’t show both sides. It’s easy to paint Tully as a monster based on the little details like her mom lives in a trailer park and works a minimum wage job, but our lives are a byproduct of a series of choices. Cloud’s choices led her to this moment.
Tully was emotionally abandoned by her mother her whole life, and if she felt that the healthiest thing to do was cease all contact, well, that doesn’t make her a monster either.
It’ll be interesting to see this pan out and to see which road Tully takes.
It’s unfortunate timing because, as I said, Tully and Kate were being pretty bold. Instead of avoiding her pregnancy in typical Tully fashion, she agreed to spend a day with Max and met his whole family! They played croquet, she bantered with his siblings, and she saw how sickeningly in love his parents still were. It’s the kind of family she’s always wanted.
And Max even called her out on her bullshit when he questioned why she had to mess up every intimate moment by trying to push him away.
We know Tully has a tendency of sabotaging the good things in her life, but asking Max what he wanted from her and suggesting he was looking for a meal ticket was a low blow. I’d be more upset if I was him.
Hopefully, Tully realizes that she needs to let her guard down and let someone in eventually. However, with the expose about her past, she may revert to putting up all the walls once again.
With all this happening in the episode, the flashbacks about Kate getting her period seem almost futile, but they do showcase that Tully and Kate have each other’s backs no matter what.
Tully gave Kate her pants when she stained her white once and then told the bully Marnie that they belonged to her. And when Marnie attacked Tully’s character and called her out for being easy, Kate decked her in the face.
Whenever these two faced adversaries, they were there for each other no matter what. And that translates into the present-day when they are bullied by some woman half their age hoping to make a name for herself in the industry.
Kate might need a job, but she’ll never put that job about her friendship with Tully.
Also, high school Tully truly had all the best comebacks. How did Marnie think stuffing her locker with free tampons was a bad thing? Those things are expensive!
- For someone who hates guns, Johnny has really good aim.
- Kimber continues to underestimate Kate and only gave her the article to distract her rather than acknowledging that she might actually be a good writer who is worth giving a shot.
- Carol falling off the crate while apple picking was so ridiculous. Could she not grab the closer apple? But, at least we now know how Johnny gave Tully her big break.
- Kate having underwear stuck to her shirt is honestly the most Kate thing to happen to her. She’s such a lovable klutz.
- Johnny’s inability to tell the story of war last time is what is inspiring him to go to Iraq now. He hopes that he can have another shot at telling the world what’s happening and exposing the truth. And this helps us understand why he’s so set of “having to do this.” If he communicated this to Kate in the previous episode, she may have understood his position better.
- I love that Kate told Travis that she watched her mom wither away because of other people’s expectations and she wasn’t going to set that example for her own daughter. Boss momma!