‘Mayflies’ Ending, Explained: Did Tully Prioritize His Final Moments Over Assisted Dying?

“Mayflies” is a 2022 BBC series that revolves around a tale of true friendship and love. Some friendships make a person’s life, while others don’t. This series will drown you in a pool of tears as it shows you that friendships can be beautiful. Tully and Jimmy share the same bond, and Tully has presented a very tough choice for Jimmy to make. “Mayflies” will take you on a painful yet memorable ride that surely highlights all the important lessons that a teenager learns at eighteen. These are the only times when a person undergoes multiple changes to face some life-changing experiences. “Mayflies” begins with a brief introduction of two best friends, Tully and Jimmy, aka Noodles. Jimmy is an established writer, and he’s had his writing published. He is happily married to Iona. Suddenly, he received a text from Tully calling him in for a meeting. The next day they met each other at the caravan, where Jimmy made a painful discovery. After tailing him for a bit, Tully revealed that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had four months to live. Jimmy and Tully argue about Chemotherapy, as Tully is completely against the cancer treatments. Gradually, things get better with time, and with every passing scene, “Mayflies” will demonstrate the beauty of their friendship through little flashbacks. Well, everything comes down to Jimmy, as he is left with no choice but to assist Tully with his final heartbreaking wishes.

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The two shared a heart-to-heart talk near the sea, and Jimmy released his entire frustration on Tully since he had refused Chemotherapy. Well, indeed, treatments were not going to help him right now, and these medications might help him to exceed his time limit. Jimmy wanted to opt for a second opinion, but Tully had different plans. He is ready to end his life. Jimmy lost control over his feelings and sternly advised Tully to give more importance to the people who loved him. Tully agreed to reconsider his plans without any guarantee. Soon, the duo meets Tully’s mother, Barbara, who’s currently in an old age home, taking treatment for her mental illness. Barbara has been a very supportive mother throughout Tully’s entire life, while Jimmy’s parents were the least supportive ones. He stuck around Tully’s family whenever his family gave him a hard time. Tully and Jimmy have been together through thick and thin. They planned a checklist filled with Tully’s plans for what he wanted to do in his final months. Then the topic landed on Anna, Tully’s girlfriend. Soon, the duo made plans for their marriage. It was time to inform Anna, and she didn’t respond well to this plan. She wanted Tully to opt for Chemotherapy, and that was the only way Anna would agree to the marriage. 

Spoilers Ahead

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Did Tully Inform Anna About His Plans For Assisted Death?

Tully failed to understand that Chemotherapy was a good plan for him to spend more time with his beloved Anna. He wanted to end this life without causing pain or trouble to others around him. So, Tully made a shocking revelation: he planned on taking Jimmy to Switzerland for assisted death. Despite all his efforts, Tully is adamant about his decisions and refuses to take consent from Anna. From the very beginning, Tully supported Jimmy with his life decisions and motivated him to live his life the way he wanted. Even though Tully agreed to Chemotherapy, he already signed the petition for assisted death without informing Anna. Time passes, and the two eventually get married in an intimate and minimal style with all their family and friends. Things became hard when the chemo sessions began; the dexamethasone medications were hard to withstand, yet Tully managed to get through them. These treatments extended his life and guaranteed him a few more months. Meanwhile, the treatments even caused him to lose control over his mind; he would frequently use harsh words against Anna. Tully never wanted people to sympathize with him and treat him like a patient. No matter what happened, Tully didn’t change his mind about assisted death and lied about his wife’s approval.

Meanwhile, Jimmy met a woman named Marion who chose assisted death as an option to relieve her husband Colin of his disease. She is shocked to know that Tully didn’t inform Anna about the same and signed the papers. Things got a bit troublesome when Iona overheard their conversations and confronted him to inform Anna. Tully didn’t want her to stop it, and at this point, things were getting worse with his body. Tully underwent a new treatment which included Taxol. This medication prevented his body from making any rapid movements and affected the healthy cells in his body. Moreover, Jimmy will end up in legal trouble if he doesn’t disclose his plans for assisted death. Tully is tired and leaves the house with a suicide note that is dedicated to Anna. He chose to end his life in the sea, but Anna caught up with him and managed to get him back on time. Nonetheless, Iona is gravely upset about the whole situation since Anna is clueless. She chose to move to a new place with extra rooms, which hinted at her interest in having a child. At this point, that is the only way Anna can keep him from having absurd thoughts. Well, Tully is least interested in these plans and accepts death as his future.  

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‘Mayflies’ Ending Explained – Did Tully Prioritize His Final Moments Over Assisted Dying?

The next morning, Tully received a letter and hid it in one of his books without disclosing its content to anyone. The same day, he met Jimmy and said he appreciated his support. Still, Jimmy is adamant about sharing everything with Anna, and Tully promises to do so. The cancer is taking a huge toll on his mental health, as he suffers from terrible nightmares. Moreover, he pressured Jimmy to book the flight tickets to Switzerland, but Jimmy was completely against it. On the other hand, Tully is confident about his decision and makes Jimmy promise to write a book about their friendship. The duo embraced each other in a warm hug, and things felt better at the moment. The next day, Tully lost consciousness and fell to the ground with excessive coughing and pain. He is instantly admitted to the hospital. Things took a chaotic turn when Anna found his appointment letter from Electus Switzerland. Anna is heartbroken and commands him to travel without her since it’s the wrong decision. Jimmy confronted Anna and tried to make her understand that Tully opted for this to protect Anna from all the pain. Meanwhile, Anna wanted him to live instead of giving up.

Despite all the heavy treatments, the disease has progressed and is already visible in his scans. His tumors have increased in size, and at this point, his body will not accept the painful treatments of immunotherapy. It will only harm his immune system rather than cure it. Now, the doctors had no choice but to accept his fate. Tully thanked Anna for loving him through all the problems; he never wanted to leave Anna since she made him the happiest and changed him into a capable person. His final wish is to perform in a rock band at a club, and throughout the entire performance, he hallucinates his older days. He finished the day by visiting their friend Limbo’s grave. Tully spent the entire day crying while he packed his bag for Switzerland. This time Anna joined him in Switzerland along with Jimmy and Iona. Tully spent the entire day eating his favorite foods in fancy restaurants. Finally, the day was here. Tully signed all the documents and agreed to die on the same day. Meanwhile, the four of them were living in a beautiful villa surrounded by greenery. The staff provided him with two tonics that would ensure an assisted death. For the second tonic, Tully had to wait for thirty minutes, and he decided to play football for the time being. “Mayflies” ended on a tragic note; even though Tully’s death was not shown, it is guaranteed that the second tonic fulfilled his wish.

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Final Words 

The series “Mayflies” is a beautiful compilation of past and present and a series that provides all importance to friendship. Even though Tully and Jimmy had different pasts, the two still loved each other in the same way. The decisions were painful, but Jimmy and Anna still chose to support him with his plans for assisted death. Jimmy is a brave person, and throughout his life, he has been known for his independence and strength. Cancer brought painful changes to his life, but Tully managed to surpass all his pain and relieve everything that he had in his mind. Moreover, Tully trusted Jimmy and wanted him to narrate a story about their lives. Tully has a strained relationship with his father, and he always blames himself for being a bad person. When his father suffered from a heart attack, Tully chose to stay in Manchester. Tully’s father always mocked him for his youthful energy and even ended up saying hurtful things to him during his death. Despite everything, Tully had a peaceful and loving life with his best friend and lover by his side. He spent his final days living the best moments of his life and experiencing everything that he loved.


Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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