Johnny Ryan’s life was left hanging in the balance at the end of Firefly Lane’s first season. Johnny left for an assignment in Iraq during the Iraq War and a surprise explosion has everyone wondering whether or not Johnny’s dead or alive. HollywoodLife chatted EXCLUSIVELY with Ben Lawson about all things Firefly Lane, including Johnny’s fate.
“That’s obviously up to the powers that be, but I’ve read the book [by Kristin Hannah]. If they were to follow the story of the book, then you know Johnny’s going to live to fight another day. But then they’ve deviated from the book a little bit so far, so I don’t know what they’ve got planned,” Johnny told HollywoodLife.
Iraq wasn’t Johnny’s first foray into danger. Johnny went on assignment in El Salvador in the 1980s and witnessed Father Ramon’s murder. In the 2000s, Johnny is itching to do something more meaningful with his career. Ben weighed in on Johnny’s mindset for going to Iraq. “I think it’s in his DNA,” Ben said. “I think he’s born to be on the frontlines of the story. He’s a kind of war correspondent who ends up through various life choices and the way his career worked out, he ends up in this loveless job in Tacoma, Washington, where he meets the girls. That kind of takes him on this other journey into Tully’s show as we see later on in the 2000s. Through that whole time spanning 20 years, he’s made concessions and compromises. He just reaches a point in his life where he’s like, I had this perfect life, but I never really saw that thing through that is my passion. It’s kind of fun to play with that restlessness as an actor.”
Ben acknowledged that Father Ramon’s story not getting picked up has been this “unfulfilled hole in his life. I think him going to Iraq is probably as much to make peace with that in his life as it has to do with anything professionally. The Salvadoran war story is a great example of being trapped between what he wants to do and the real story, and then being in this lightweight newsroom and them having no interest. That frustration is something he kind of carries through his whole life.”
Even though Kate didn’t approve of Johnny going to Iraq, it didn’t change her feelings for him. It was made very clear before Johnny left that Johnny and Kate still have so much love for each other. “I certainly think that Kate is the endgame for Johnny. She’s kind of what he needs and what he wants. If he could get out of his own way they would have a great life together. But he sort of has this other thing that’s obviously pulling him in this direction that Kate’s not interested in. I don’t know what Sarah [Chalke] would say about this. I think Johnny needs Kate, for sure. I don’t know if she’d say that Kate needs Johnny as much.”
On top of Johnny’s life being in jeopardy, the end of the season revealed that Kate and Tully are no longer friends because of a huge falling out. The reason for their feud has yet to be revealed, but Ben has his own theory. “I think if my assumption is correct, it’s going to be about Marah. I think that’s probably it,” Ben told HollywoodLife. When asked whether the reason could be about Johnny, he said, “It’s such a strong female show, I don’t think anyone wants to see the male rip the friends apart. So I think that it’s going to be something to do with Marah.” Firefly Lane is now streaming on Netflix.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.