Firefly Lane: Who is Bud? Is he dead?

The characters Margie and Bud from Firefly Lane.
The characters Margie and Bud from Firefly Lane. Pic credit: Netflix

Firefly Lane is a new original series from Netflix. The series plays through the lives of the devoted best friends Kate Mularkey (Sarah Chalke) and Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl), chronicling their journey from adolescence to adulthood. 

Spoilers for Firefly Lane Season 1 

The ending of the show’s premiering season was quite abrupt. It left its audience with numerous questions.

Most of the questions surrounded the fate of the adored love interest and television producer Johnny Ryan (Ben Lawson), the unexplained friendship split between Kate and Tully, and the brief funeral teased throughout the season — more so towards the end. 

It is revealed that the funeral in Firefly Lane, shown through time jumps, is in honor of the character Bud. This left many viewers wondering: Who is Bud? 

Who is Bud? 

Bud Mularkey is the father of the show’s main character Kate. Throughout the series, he is shown to be a supportive and caring father — although sometimes conservative in his social agenda.

The character doesn’t hold back on his dislike for Tully’s drug-addict mother Cloud, but he offers Kate a key piece of advice that helped strengthen her relationship with Tully. He advised her to not hold Tully responsible for her mother’s mistakes after, in their teenage years, Kate discovers that Tully was lying about Cloud having cancer. 

In another scene, Bud is shown gifting his wife a cleaning apparatus for their anniversary. This gift was much to his wife’s dismay, as well as Kate’s. 

His cause of death isn’t explained at the end of the show; many details aren’t revealed about the funeral in general. However, the character suffered from heart complications prior to the episode’s reveal, having a heart attack during a flashback to Kate’s young adulthood.

Who plays Bud on Firefly Lane? 

The Scottish actor Paul McGillion plays Bud Mularkey in Netflix’s Firefly Lane. McGillion has had a career spanning almost thirty years. On his Twitter, he describes himself as, “Husband. Father. Actor. Cheeky bugger.” 

While not very active on the platform, he has retweeted posts about Firefly Lane from the official Netflix account and Katherine Heigl’s account. 

Prior to Firefly Lane, McGillion played the character Earl Cox in three episodes of The Flash. He also played Dr. Carson Beckett in the series Stargate: Atlantis. 

If the show gets renewed for a second season, Bud’s death doesn’t mean we won’t see McGillion again. A majority of Firefly Lane takes place in flashbacks to earlier days, in the seventies, the eighties, and the early-2000s — all of which are times when Bud is still alive.

Season one of Firefly Lane is available for streaming on Netflix. 

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