Spoilers ahead for Outer Banks seasons 1 and 2.
Outer Banks loves to seal each season with a (ridiculous, yet undeniably delightful) bang. Dramatic cliffhangers have long earned teen dramas their pedigree, and the Netflix fan favorite following a crew of young misfits chasing riches along the North Carolina coast doesn’t reinvent the wheel. If you’ve ever watched a teen soap, you know the drill: Set aside your misgivings. Buy into the asinine. Only then can the real fun begin.
Season 1 accomplished the fireworks in its finale, in which orphaned fugitive John B Routledge’s wild attempt to evade police capture led him to crash his boat directly into a tropical storm. But he and his rich-girl flame, Sarah Cameron, were soon revealed to have survived the wreck—and not only were they alive and well, they were rescued by a boat that just so happened to be headed to Nassau, where $400 million in gold awaited them.
But wait—season 2 ups the ante by a hair-raising degree. There are car chases! Heists! A stolen ambulance! Boat explosions! Alligator attacks! A dubious doctor and his even more dubious approach to stitching up bullet wounds! Allergic reactions to wasp stings! Sewer floods! A murder in the pouring rain! Don’t think too much about whether any of it makes sense—just soak it in. By the time the second season ricochets to a close, it’s impossible to remember all that’s happened, but you’ll be too drunk on adrenaline to care. And after that major reveal in the final seconds of the finale, all you can do is clap dumbly for an encore.
Rest assured, an encore there almost certainly will be. As you wrest your brain back from your OBX acid trip, here’s a look toward the future—and everything we know about the Pogues’ next chapter.
Is a third season confirmed?
Netflix has not yet announced whether Outer Banks is officially renewed, but given the show’s popularity and that season 2 cliffhanger, it’s all but guaranteed to happen soon. We got season 1 in April 2020 and season 2 in July 2021, so we might expect close to the same schedule for season 3 in 2022. Creator and showrunner Jonas Pate has previously revealed that he envisions four or five seasons of the show in total.
“Ever since we started, we always viewed it as something that was probably like a four-season, maybe five-season show, but definitely four seasons,” he told Entertainment Weekly in April 2020. “We’ve sort of long-arced it out pretty far. I’m just hoping that we get a chance to actually tell those stories.”
He also revealed that “before [season 1] even came out, Netflix had greenlit us to write some [season 2] scripts,” which means the same could have happened for season 3.
When will it be released?
Outer Banks debuted its first season in April 2020, right as Americans were settling into lockdown. Season 2 dropped in July 2021, even with the COVID-19 pandemic shaking up typical production timelines. It’s likely that, barring any delays, the show would shoot to release its third season along the same timeline next year—perhaps in early summer.
What will season 3 be about?
Netflix hasn’t announced any official plot details yet, but it’s safe to assume the third season will continue the treasure hunt of the first and second. That $400 million in gold is still nestled in the Bahamas, and now there’s a bejeweled cross in the mix as well!
Ward Cameron, Sarah’s villainous father, is injured but alive, having officially passed the baton to his increasingly erratic son, Rafe, who no doubt will be gunning for revenge against John B and his crew. Meanwhile, John B and Sarah are once again sort of married (?), and Cleo from Nassau has joined the Pogues, shipwrecked (presumably without food or water?) on an island in the Caribbean. We can expect season 3 to feature their journey home, as well as their big plan for stealing back the cross and the gold. But most important will be the presumed reunion between John B and his long-thought-deceased father, who apparently knows something about the sacred garment the frightening Limbrey seeks to heal her mysterious disease.
Does any of this make much sense? Of course not! And, frankly, that’s the best part of a show like Outer Banks. Nothing matters more than friendship in a world where every near-death experience is survivable.
How do these wild plot points set up season 3?
Jonas told TV Line that bringing Big John back wasn’t a sure thing, but they went ahead and took the opportunity to do it.
“We knew we had that card. We didn’t know that we would play it for sure, but around the sixth or seventh episode, when we were writing this year, we started to realize maybe we could do that,” he said. He added that all the action in episode 10 of season 2 was meant to function as a distraction to leave audiences “really on the wrong foot.”
Josh chimed in: “We started to get excited about what we could do in a potential Season 3 if he were back.”
What has the cast said about season 3?
In an interview with ELLE, season 2 newcomer Carlacia Grant revealed she has plenty of plans for Cleo in season 3—including a romance.
“I’m really interested in seeing this whole Cleo and Pope thing happen, if it does happen,” she said. “And I would love to see more of Cleo’s backstory. I, personally, really want to see more of her, more of where she came from. And I want her to be more bad-ass, definitely more bad-ass.”
Asked if she thinks Cleo will enjoy living with the Pogues in North Carolina, she said, “I think she’s going to have a few hiccups. I think not being able to carry a knife on her waist might be [a struggle].” More seriously, Grant added, “I think she will learn to adapt, but I know she’s going to have hiccups because—how is the Outer Banks going to take to her? She does talk with an accent. She is used to doing things her own way. There’s going to be some things that maybe Kiara and Sarah and the Pogues are going to be like, ‘Yo, you can’t do that.’”
This post will be updated.
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