Firefly Lane on Netflix leaves viewers on many cliffhangers in its final episode, but the most dramatic of these is exactly what happens to Johnny (played by Ben Lawson) after the convoy he is traveling with in Iraq hits a landmine. Though we do eventually learn that the funeral that has been teased throughout the show is not his, by the end of the 10 episodes viewers do not know whether Johnny is alive or dead.
Though the showrunner has previously hinted that Johnny may make it to Season 2, the book the Netflix show is based on tells us exactly what happens to Johnny after the explosion.
In Kristin Hannah’s book version of Firefly Lane , Johnny makes it out alive, but with some very serious injuries.
This is revealed via an item on Tully’s ( Katherine Heigl) show in which she presents live from outside the hospital where Johnny is being treated. In this segment, Tully says: “John—Johnny to his friends—suffered a serious head trauma in the explosion. A complicated medical procedure was performed on him at an army hospital near Baghdad. Specialists tell me that without this lifesaving surgery on-site, Mr. Ryan would not have survived.”
As she says this, Kate (Sarah Chalke) is inside the hospital at the bedside of an unconscious Johnny, where she warns him: “No more bleeding in the brain allowed, okay? When you need attention just try the old-fashioned ways, like getting mad or kissing me.”
Tully then gives more details of his case: “Mr. Ryan’s prognosis is uncertain. The specialists with whom I spoke said it is a waiting game to see if the swelling in his brain recedes. If it does, he has an excellent chance of survival. If not…”
Luckily, Johnny begins to recover just after this news report, squeezing Kate’s hand. Within a page, he is starting to get better and is ready for a rehabilitation where he can try and regain his mobility.
In the book, the pair eventually get married and Johnny returns to health.
In fact, he ends up outliving Kate, who at the end of the book dies of breast cancer while surrounded by her family.
Of course, the Netflix version of Firefly Lane could choose to go a different way, as they did in the finale by showing Bud’s funeral—a scene not in the novel.
Speaking to Pop Sugar , Lawson said of his character’s fate: “I’ve been around too long to think of things before they happen, but I would love to do a second season , maybe even a third series…I want to see Tully, Kate and Johnny continue to grow together and go through all of these ups and downs, but it goes without saying that I would also like for Johnny to appear not just in flashbacks but in current living form as well.”
Firefly Lane is streaming now on Netflix.
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