The Netflix series Firefly Lane — based on the books of the same name — is a stunning story about a friendship that spans decades. It's the kind of love that you should see more often in movies and television. Partners come and go, family dances around the peripheral, but the bond that exists between Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl/Alissa Skovbye) and Kate Mularkey (Sarah Chalke/Roan Curtis) bends often but is never broken.
Their different backgrounds never stand in the way of who they are to each other. While Kate's family is relatively "normal" for mid-1970's America, Tully comes from a single parent home where her mother is a struggles with addiction. We know nothing about Tully's biological father until Season 2 finally reveals his identity and it is shocking. Who is Tully's dad in Firefly Lane? We did not see this coming.
Who is Tully's dad in 'Firefly Lane'?
Firefly Lane jumps around three different times in Tully and Kate's lives. We see how they became friends as teenagers in the early 1970s then we jump ahead to the beginning of Tully's broadcasting career in the 1980s with Kate as her producer. From there we fast forward to the early 2000s where Kate and Tully have reached their 40s as well as several forks in their friendship road.
Ever since Kate and Tully met, Kate's family served a surrogates for Tully's. Despite being able to cobble together moments of sobriety, Tully's mother Cloud (Beau Garrett) is either emotionally or physically absent from her daughter's life and refuses to answer any questions about Tully's father. In Season 2, young Tully is living with her grandmother while Cloud is in jail when she stumbles across a photo of her pregnant mother standing next to a man. When she brings the photo to her mother while visiting her, Cloud refuses to say a word.
Tully and Kate go on a mini-adventure to track him down but discover Cloud worked at his restaurant and was already pregnant when she started. The search for her father resumes years later when Tully is at a low point in her career, but in a better place with her mother. She decides to film a series documenting her quest to find her father and when she does, it's quite the reveal.
Tully's dad is Parker Binswanger and he has a complicated background.
In the 1980s while still getting her footing as a reporter, Tully went up against a wealthy man named Benedict Binswanger (Greg Germann) who was running for governor of Washington at the time. His family was well-known and connected, which showed in his smarmy behavior. When dealing with Tully, he was inexplicably insulting which she brushed off as chauvinism. We later learn this man is her uncle and is the sole reason why Tully's mother and father were split apart.
When Cloud and Parker Binswanger met they were immediately smitten — but this is a classic case of "wrong side of the tracks." Once Cloud was pregnant, Benedict paid her father to give Cloud a fake letter from Parker saying he did not want to be with her. In turn, Benedict wrote a fake letter to Parker from Cloud claiming she was going to have an abortion. For years they each thought the other broke their hearts.
When Tully discovered who her father was while filming the documentary, she took her mother along with the camera crew to the restaurant he owned. Parker had long since cut his family out of his life and even changed his last name. Sadly when they got to the restaurant, they were told by Parker's widow that he had died 6 weeks earlier. However, the news wasn't all bad.
When Parker was still alive, his wife read a story about Tully and Cloud and showed her husband who was able to piece together what happened. He had every intention of reaching out to Tully and followed her career with fatherly pride. Unfortunately he never got the chance. One of the most satisfying scenes in Season 2 is when Tully confronts Parker's brother Benedict via a hard slap to the face. Of course it was all caught on camera because come on, she's Tully Hart.
Seasons 1 and 2 of Firefly Lane are currently streaming on Netflix.