‘Outer Banks’ Season 3: Release Date, First Photos & Everything We Know So Far

'OBX' season 3 is headed our way in just a few weeks! From the release date to the brand-new photos, here's everything we know so far.

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Party it up, Pogues! Outer Banks is back for a third season. The first season 3 teaser was released on September 24 during Netflix’s TUDUM event. In honor of the new year, Netflix has announced the release date for season 3 and revealed all-new photos of our favorite Pogues.

The Netflix series became THE show of 2020 after its epic debut on April 15, 2020. The quarantine hit proved it wasn’t just a one-hit-wonder when the show returned for season 2 in July 2021. From the cast’s celebratory video to release date news, HollywoodLife has all the latest updates about Outer Banks season 3. Buckle up, it’s going to be quite the ride, especially after that game-changing twist that John B’s dad is still alive!

Outer Banks
The key art for ‘Outer Banks’ season 3. (Netflix)

Outer Banks Season 3 Release Date

Outer Banks season 3 will be released on February 23, 2023. All 10 episodes will be available to watch on Netflix at launch.

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.

Outer Banks
The Pogues in ‘Outer Banks’ season 3. (Netflix)

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.

Rafe Ward
Rafe and Ward in ‘Outer Banks’ season 3. (Netflix)

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, 2021. 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, 2021, 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.

Filming got underway in February 2022 and wrapped in September 2022. The cast filmed the season in Barbados and the Charleston, South Carolina, area.

Netflix posted a photo of the cast when production kicked off in February 2022. “Wouldn’t wanna be stranded with anyone else. OBX3 is now in production,” the caption read.

Outer Banks 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.

John B
John B. and Sarah in ‘Outer Banks’ season 3. (Netflix)

“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!

What Will Season 3 Be About?

The official synopsis for season 3 reads: “After losing the gold and fleeing the Outer Banks, season 3 finds the Pogues washed ashore on a desert island that, for a brief moment, seems like an idyllic home. Officially deemed ‘Poguelandia,’ the island’s newest residents spend their days fishing, swimming, and reveling in the carefree lifestyle of their temporary dwelling. But things quickly go south for John B, Sarah, Kiara, Pope, JJ, and Cleo when they find themselves once again caught up in a race for the treasure, quite literally running for their lives. They’re broke and far from home, they can’t trust anyone, Ward and Rafe are hungry for revenge, and there’s a ruthless Caribbean Don who will stop at nothing to find the bounty. Was the treasure ever within their reach? Or was it all a trap to stop them once and for all? Either way, it’s the Pogues against the world – and the only way out is together.”

JJ and Kiara in ‘Outer Banks’ season 3. (Netflix)

Creators/executive producers Jonas Pate, Josh Pate, and Shannon Burke revealed to TUDUM.com that “the stakes are ramping up. The Pogues realize that their adventures in the first two seasons were merely the prelude to the granddaddy of all treasure hunts.”

The trio continued, “The cast have been fast friends in real life pretty much from the very beginning, and it’s been so gratifying to see those connections deepen over the years we’ve worked on the show. They are truly Pogues for Life.”

The Outer Banks EPs have laid the groundwork for future seasons already, and there are ample storylines to explore. Jonas told TVLine in July 2021 that the Outer Banks EPs didn’t have a “master plan” for season 3 just yet. Josh 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.”

Chase Stokes told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY in April 2022 that season 3 will be “even more of a wild ride” than the previous 2 seasons. “These characters have been put through insane circumstances in the last 20 episodes, so I can say it’s just going to continue on that trend. A lot of epiphanies, a lot of growth for all of these kids. They’re kind of forced to, especially with where it was left off being stuck on a deserted island. It’s gonna be a fun one, that’s for sure!”

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 told TVLine.

Carlacia Grant revealed to HollywoodLife that many questions that fans have will be “explained” in season 3. “I feel like with season 3, we’re really tying in those two seasons and everything that has been teased. It’s really bringing everything together,” she added.

Elizabeth Mitchell would love to see Carla Limbrey make a return in season 3. “I would love to do it again. I mean, there’s something fun about joining an established show where everybody has already made it amazing because that means you get to come in and play. I would love to join them anytime,” she told HollywoodLife.

She also weighed in on those shroud theories. “Wouldn’t that be completely amazing? It would make sense. I have to say the Pogues are extremely gifted with the way they walk through life. Maybe they’ve been walking around with the shroud all along,” Elizabeth said in our interview.

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 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.”