Does Kate die in 'Firefly Lane'? An update on the character

Season two is here, but fans are worried: does Kate die in 'Firefly Lane'? Here's what we know about the character's fate

Sarah Chalke in Firefly Lane - Production Still Image. Does Kate die in Firefly Lane?
(Image credit: DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX)

Does Kate die in Firefly Lane? After premiering its first batch of episodes at the end of 2022, Firefly Lane season 2 has brought with it concerns about one of our favorite characters' fate.

We had many questions following that season one Firefly Lane ending—including "exactly what did Tully do to Kate to cause the lifelong friends to become estranged?" and, oh yeah, "does Johnny die in Firefly Lane?!" 

But if you've already finished the first half of the second season, you'll know that there's now a huge question mark attached to one of the series' leading ladies, Kate Mularkey (portrayed by Sarah Chalke as an adult and Roan Curtis in Kate's younger years.)

We already know the answer to the question "does Tully die in Firefly Lane?" but what becomes of her BFF Kate in season 2? Here's what we know so far.

*Warning: spoilers for season 2 ahead*

Does Kate die in 'Firefly Lane'?

No, Kate Mularkey does not die in Firefly Lane season 2...yet.

However, we don't know the status of the character in Firefly Lane season 2 part 2 just yet. Netflix only dropped the first nine episodes of the second and final season on December 2, 2022, but the culmination of the series won't hit until June 8, 2023, when the last seven episodes of Firefly Lane premiere.

Things weren't looking too great for the mom-of-one during the mid-season finale: along with dealing with the pain of her estrangement from Tully as well as the death of her father Bud, she gets the news that she has aggressive breast cancer, after discovering a spreading rash on her chest. 

"I wish I had better news," her doctor begins. "The rash on your breast is actually a very rare and very aggressive form of cancer known as inflammatory breast cancer, stage 3."

In the final moments of season 2 part 1, Kate is seen leaving the doctor's office and tearfully wandering around the city. She eventually ends up at Tully's apartment building in an attempt to reconcile with her old friend, but Tully has already left for a months-long trek to Antarctica for work—which Kate isn't yet aware of. We last see Kate sobbing as she bangs on Tully's door.

Firefly Lane - Production Still Image

(Image credit: DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX)

What happens to Kate in 'Firefly Lane' the book?

Yes, sadly, Kate does die following a breast-cancer battle in the Firefly Lane books by Kristin Hannah, on which the Netflix series is based. 

Before Kate succumbs to the late-stage disease, Tully comes home early from Antarctica to be by her best friend's side and support her through her cancer journey. While we're hoping that that won't be Kate's fate in the TV show, we're also crossing our fingers that Tully makes it home to support her bestie during her illness.

Fly Away, the 2013 book sequel to Firefly Lane, deals with Tully, Johnny, Marah and Cloud's grief after Kate's passing. Before her death, Kate asks Tully to take care of Johnny and her children (in the show, the couple only has Marah, but in the book, they share three kids), which she agrees to do. However, Tully suffers a terrible car accident that leaves her hanging between life and death, during which she is spiritually reunited with Kate who helps to guide her on her journey. 

"I know you'll be thinking that I left you, but it's not true. All you have to do is remember Firefly Lane, and you'll find me. There will always be a TullyandKate," Kate writes in an emotional note left for Tully before she died. 

We'll have to wait and see if the show will follow the Fly Away storyline when the final portion of season 2 comes out on Netflix. In the meantime, stock up on Kleenex! 

And if you're wondering about a potential Firefly Lane season 3, we've also got some sad news—there won't be a third season, as the second part of season 2 will be the very last episodes of the drama. 

The first part of Firefly Lane season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.