Firefly Lane season 1, episode 6 recap – what happened in “Dirty Laundry”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: February 3, 2021 (Last updated: December 30, 2023)
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Netflix series Firefly Lane season 1, episode 6 - Dirty Laundry


“Dirty Laundry” delves further into past relationships. And in the present, Kate starts her new single life, and Tully comes to grips that Max is “all in”. There’s plenty of drama afoot as the series keeps dropping clangers.

This recap of Netflix’s Firefly Lane season 1, episode 6, “Dirty Laundry” contains significant spoilers.

As we reach the second half of Firefly Lane, we’ve established the past. However, there’s no deep dive yet into how Kate and Johnny manage to spark a relationship. “Dirty Laundry” gets us closer to that reality, while we get to understand Tully’s first love.

Firefly Lane season 1, episode 6 opens up with Tully having passionate sex with Professor Chad Wiley. Kate is in the next room, covering her ears. Tully tells Wiley that she will never be on camera and that Carol will never leave, referring to her job’s stresses. Wiley asks if she’s considered North Carolina, and suggests that they settle down and have a life together — this feels like a strange spin on the conversation. Afterward, Kate tells Tully that Chad preys on his student, but Tully says she is the aggressor. She then mentions that Chad wants to settle down — Kate reminds her that they keep breaking up. Tully tells Kate that Johnny is returning from his work, and notices Kate putting on a new dress.

Max is ready to support Tully

“Dirty Laundry” sees Tully opening up the idea that she could have a family; she’s stuck between her lifestyle and her past. In the present day, Kate wakes up Tully as she has an appointment with the doctor. Firefly Lane Episode 6 confirms that Max is ready to support Tully through the pregnancy, and she feels like he is too supportive, and wonders if he’s cashing in. Tully’s trust issues shine through here; despite having a man that loves her, she remains doubtful.

Kate and Mutt; their two-week relationship

Before Kate even got her hands on Johnny, it’s made more complicated that she has started a relationship with a coworker. In the 80s, Johnny returns from his work in El Salvador, and Kate cannot wait to see him. He tells Kate that he thought a lot about her on the trip, but then Tully and Kate’s boyfriend Mutt intervenes in the conversation. Johnny had no idea that Kate had found romance in her life. When Johnny asks Mutt about it, he learns they’ve only been together for two weeks, and they haven’t even had sex yet. In a nutshell, it’s not over yet!

Kate’s first period

“Dirty Laundry” flits to the teen years and Kate has her first period. She didn’t know she was experiencing this, making it a cute moment between the BFFs, with Tully supporting her. To help, Tully gives Kate her trousers to wear while she wears a dress. To celebrate the first period, the best friends leave school early.

Johnny is struggling to readjust to normal life

Firefly Lane has never really delved into Johnny’s career much until now — we learn why he is determined to continue as a war correspondent in “Dirty Laundry”. In the past, Johnny struggles with his return to normality and wants to provide coverage on crimes against humanity in El Salvador after a friend of his, Father Ramon, died. In the present day, Johnny prepares for Iraq with a man named Mando. He tells him he’s doing this job again because he felt like he failed to get Ramon’s story out back in the 80s. He wants to get a story out and doesn’t want to fail this time.

Tully visits Max’s family

With Max “all in”, he takes a leap with Tully in “Dirty Laundry”. We are witnessing Tully cross her guarded boundaries.

Max takes Tully out of for a surprise; she meets his family. She’s flustered by the situation but goes through with it anyway. The family owns a cider press. They welcome Tully and play croquet. Later in the night, Max brings up Tully’s mother, but she changes the conversation. She asks Max if he sees the baby as a path to wealth, and it understandably angers him — he claims he doesn’t want money and wants her. Tully asks Max if he’s in love with her. To answer, he kisses her.

In the present, Travis goes to Kate’s house to spend time with her. She forgot she organized this date, so she has to get dressed quickly. Travis reads her article, and he’s impressed by it. As he’s about to kiss her, Kate remembers she hasn’t put stats in her article so heads to the office late at night. In the office, Kate kisses Travis and tells him he is ready.

Kate is worried about Johnny, and Tully is annoyed with him

While Kate is in a relationship with Mutt, you can tell she’s not exactly into him. In the past, Kate asks Johnny about his trip, but he makes a sly comment about her date with Mutt. He seems jealous that she’s found romance. Kate goes on her date with Mutt to a feminist art gallery; Tully and Chad to join. Kate tells Tully that Johnny is acting hurt — Mutt confirms that his friend Ramone died in El Salvador. Tully is not happy though and doesn’t think Johnny has an excuse to act the way he does. Mutt asks Kate if she’d like to go home together, but she finds an excuse not to.

A drunk Johnny exposes his feelings for Kate

And that excuse was to “help a friend’.

In the past, Kate visits Johnny in the office; he laughs at Carol repeatedly falling onset and breaking her leg on a video. He’s very drunk, and he brings up how he was friends with Ramon since kids. He then brings up that no-one wants his story of El Salvador. Johnny then falls over, which gets the pair laughing. Johnny tells Kate that she’s good like Ramon and that he wishes he was good. He blames his friend’s death on himself. He then tells her that when he thought he was going to die, he saw her. Johnny goes in for the kiss, but Kate stops him; she has wanted this moment for a long time, but she wants him to want her when not drunk.

The next day, Johnny wakes up in the office, and Kate tells him that she helped him get on the couch. He doesn’t remember anything and apologizes if he said anything crazy. Kate is devastated. An upset Tully tells Johnny that she quits but then when she learns that Carol is out for a month, Johnny offers her the TV position; she kisses him as Kate enters the room and says “I’m going on air!”.

The ending

As the episode nears the end, Kate and Travis continue hooking up in the office in the present day, but then Kate notices a magazine and is concerned about the interview with Tully. As Tully walks with Max late at night, they see the magazine on a newsstand, and the headline reads “Tully Hart-Less”. It looks like Kimber got juice from the mother Cloud. In the office, Kate reads the interview, and it puts Tully in a bad light; it makes out that she’s a multi-millionaire who put her mother in a trailer park. “Dirty Laundry” brings a turning point in the story; one that hurts Tully, and once again, the BFFs will need each other to fight adversity.

Firefly Lane season 1, episode 6 delves further into past relationships. And in the present, Kate starts her new single life, and Tully comes to grips that Max is “all in”. There’s plenty of drama afoot as the series keeps dropping clangers.

Additional points
  • In the present, Kimber gives Kate an article as a “thank you” for getting her the Tully interview. She tells her to write about women going through career changes and marriages.
  • In the teen past, Tully and Kate keep getting bullied by Marnie and her friends. Marnie calls Tully a sl*t and mentions Pat; this infuriates Kate, and she punches her square in the face.

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