Round three, Pogues! Outer Banks will be returning for a third season. The Netflix series became THE show of 2020 after its epic debut. The quarantine hit proved it wasn’t just a one-hit-wonder when the show returned for season 2 in July 2021. Now it’s confirmed that our beloved crew will be back for another adventure.
From the cast’s celebratory video to a possible release date, HollywoodLife has all the latest updates about Outer Banks season 3. Buckle up, it’s going to be quite the ride!
The Show So Far
Outer Banks takes place in, you guessed it, the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The show follows John B and his group of friends, a.k.a. the Pogues, who end up on the treasure hunt of their lives when they go on a search for John B’s missing father. The Pogues end up finding $400 million worth of gold. Along the way, John B falls in love with Sarah Cameron, the daughter of the very wealthy and very powerful Ward Cameron.
Season 1 ended with the Pogues, Ward, Rafe, Topper, and more thinking John B and Sarah perished in a tropical storm. John B had been on the run after being framed for killing Sheriff Peterkin. Rafe was the one to kill Peterkin, and Ward helped cover up his son’s crime. John B and Sarah’s boat did crash in the storm, but they survived and were picked up on a boat bound for the Bahamas.
Season 2 found John B and Sarah still on the run when they reached the Bahamas. Sarah nearly lost her life after being shot by Rafe. John B and Sarah eventually reunited with the other Pogues, and the hunt for the gold continued. Pope really took center stage in the second season as he learned that he is related to Denmark Tanney, the only person to survive The Royal Merchant shipwreck. The Pogues met Carla Limbrey, a Charleston socialite dead-set on getting her hands on the Cross of Santo Domingo’s healing shroud, which was on The Royal Merchant.
When it looked like Ward and Rafe would finally have to pay for their crimes, Ward blew himself up on his boat. Well, it appeared he did. Ward actually faked his death. The Pogues ended up on a boat taking Ward and his family out of the country. John B had an intense confrontation with Ward that left Ward gravely injured.
The Pogues, along with Cleo, left behind the Cross of Santo Domingo with Rafe and escaped on a lifeboat. They ended up on a deserted island nearby they declared “Poguelandia.” The final moments of season 2 featured Carla Limbrey in Barbados to meet up with none other than… John B’s dad!
Aside from the treasure hunt news, Pope and Kiara got together in season 1 and split mutually in the second season. In the season 2 finale, JJ was knocked overboard during a fight, and Kiara jumped in to save him. After this near-death experience, things seemed to really shift for Kiara and JJ. They also talked about going on a surf trip together.
Earlier in the season, JJ decided to help out his father one last time, even though his dad didn’t deserve it. He helped his dad get out of town before he could get sent back to jail.
John B and Sarah got married while in the Bahamas, but their relationship took a turn after Ward’s apparent death. While Sarah was devastated by the explosion, John B looked pleased to see Ward die. Thankfully, these two reconciled by the end of the season.
‘Outer Banks’ Season 3
Netflix confirmed Outer Banks will return for season 3 on December 7. The cast came together for an epic announcement video when the third season was officially revealed.
The show’s second season launched on July 30 and quickly rose to the top of Netflix’s most-watched rankings. The teen drama was the most-viewed show on Nielsen’s list, with 1,160 million views from August 9 through August 15, according to IndieWire.
Season 3 Cast
Outer Banks season 3 will star the core Pogues — Chase Stokes as John B, Madelyn Cline as Sarah, Madison Bailey as Kiara, Jonathan Daviss as Pope, and Rudy Pankow as JJ. Cleo, the newest Pogue played by Carlacia Grant, has been upped to a series regular for season 3.
Rafe was still serving up trouble at the end of season 2, and breakout star Drew Starkey is back as a series regular as well. Charles Esten and Austin North, a.k.a. Ward and Topper, will return as series regulars, too.
Season 2 ended with a major cliffhanger: Big John is alive. Charles Halford and Elizabeth Mitchell’s Carla Limbrey have unfinished business and a third season would provide them with ample time to take care of it all. The official season 3 announcement didn’t specify if Halford and Mitchell will return.
Season 3 Theories
There are plenty of theories fans have come up with that could be explored in season 3. One of the most popular theories to come out of season 2 is that the healing shroud Carla Limbrey is looking for is hiding in plain sight. The shroud is actually the bandana that John B wears around his neck, according to one Reddit theory.
“Remember when John B got bitten by a crocodile and tied his necktie around his leg. I have a feeling that the necktie was part of the shroud because if the legend is true, his leg really did get healed because after a while he was fine to run, walk and even jump over walls,” the theory read.
Another major theory is Carla Limbrey’s possible familial connection to one of the cast members. TikTok user zbennettt posted a theory saying Carla is actually John B’s mom. However, the evidence isn’t really there. But Carla could be a relative of John B’s and possibly his aunt. As HollywoodLife wrote back in August, John B’s mom may have been Carla’s sister.
This isn’t a theory, but more of a note fans have made while watching (and rewatching) the series. Some fans, especially on TikTok, have noticed the clear chemistry between Kiara and Rafe. JJ had a visceral reaction in season 1 when Rafe said, “Tell Kiara she looks pretty hot for a Pogue.” There was also that moment at the movie screening in the first season. Could something have happened between them in the past? Time will tell!
‘Outer Banks’ Cast & Crew Reaction
The Outer Banks EPs have laid the groundwork for future seasons already, and there are ample storylines to explore. Jonas Pate told TVLine in July 2021 that the Outer Banks EPs don’t have a “master plan” for season 3 just yet. Josh Pate also explained exactly what Big John’s return means for the show.
“The treasure-hunt aspect of the show is something that we see as important and integral to the show,” Josh said. “And bringing him back, we realized maybe there was a way to [combine] these different treasures that they’re going after into a larger mythology.” He added, “We thought that Big John’s return would be a way we could excavate some of that.”
For all the Jiara shippers out there, season 3 will likely be the season of JJ and Kiara. “Teen romance and teen soap are a big part of the show,” Josh told Entertainment Weekly. “We wanted to explore the Ki-Pope relationship but obviously, we’re aware of how the fans feel about JJ and Ki. We wanted to tease that for the third season. We didn’t want to do it immediately, but we definitely want to do it just because that took us by surprise, like the audience’s reaction to JJ and Kiara and rooting for that romance. So we were immediately open to it, because it seems like an interesting idea to explore but we kind of left it for season 3.”
With Big John back in the picture, that could provide some major father-son drama in season 3. “It was his choice to go out and leave his son, and what does that look like? What does it look like when a kid comes face-to-face with a parent who’s left and chose to put him in these circumstances and has no idea what has happened in the meantime?” Chase Stokes told TVLine.
The showrunners definitely want to dive into more romance in season 3, similar to the first season. “That was one thing we really loved about season 1 that’s less of an element of season 2 that we really want to get back to,” Josh told EW. “That was the plan, kind of architecting the characters towards opening up some romances in season 3.” Shannon Burke added, “In general, we were basically shot out of a canon in season 2. And we want to have a little more room for like our teen drama and teen romances in season 3, just as a general principle.”