Outer Banks is about to head into uncharted territory with season 4. The Netflix show’s third season came to an end with an intense and jaw-dropping final episode. Spoiler alert: not everyone made it out alive.
So, what exactly happened at the end of Outer Banks season 3? What do these twists and turns mean for season 4? Hint: there’s a new treasure hunt ahead. Here is the Outer Banks season 3 ending explained.
Ward & Big John Are Dead
Sadly (or maybe not so sadly), Ward and Big John didn’t make it out of the South American jungle alive. Ward faked his death before, but this time it’s really permanent.
Ward was shot multiple times and sacrificed himself for Sarah after she and John B discovered the El Dorado gold. As he was shot, Ward tackled the man who was going to shoot Sarah, plummeting them both off a cliff and to the ground below. While Ward was never the perfect father, he redeemed himself by saving his daughter.
Both Sarah and John B will be without their parents in season 4. Despite their heartfelt reunion at the beginning of season 3, John B had to say goodbye to his father forever in the season 3 finale.
Like Ward, Big John was a flawed father. He went to great lengths to try and find the El Dorado gold and often put John B in danger. Big John was captured but reunited with John B in South America. In a shootout with Singh, Big John was hit by a bullet. He made it seem like his injury wasn’t severe, but it proved to be fatal.
After finding the gold and Ward’s tragic death, John B and the Pogues tried to get Big John some help. Unfortunately, he continued to bleed out. In his final moments, Big John urged John B to “hold on” to Sarah. “I’ll see you at home, kid,” Big John said to his son before he died.
Outer Banks Season 3 Time Jump
Following the events in South America, Outer Banks jumped forward 18 months, putting the Pogues out of high school. The Pogues were celebrated with a ceremony for discovering the El Dorado gold.
In the nearly 2 years since we last saw the Pogues, they’ve all made major developments in their lives. John B revealed that Kie is “saving turtles,” Pope is “going away to school,” JJ “bought a charter boat,” while he and Sarah have a surf shop.
Who Is Blackbeard?
In the final moments of the season 3 finale, an older man came up to the Pogues with a request. He told them that he needs partners for an upcoming search. He handed Pope a manuscript from 1718 that John B realized was a captain’s log.
The captain of the ship: Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard. John B looked at the other Pogues and said, “Hot damn.” They all realized that a new treasure hunt is on the horizon.
Every North Carolinian is familiar with Blackbeard. Blackbeard became one of the most famous pirates who ever lived. He notoriously sailed the West Indies and the Carolina coasts. Blackboard infamously blocked the Charleston harbor for six days in 1718 with the help of his ship, The Queen Anne’s Revenge.
The legend goes that Blackbeard has buried treasure somewhere, so that’s likely what the Pogues will be attempting to track down. The wreck of Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge was discovered off the coast of North Carolina in the 1990s.
Where Is Rafe At The End Of Season 3?
One notable character who was not in the season 3 finale was fan-favorite Rafe Cameron. Rafe wasn’t seen again after episode 9. While he did put a hit out on his father, he came back and saved Ward. He brought Ward to the airport before Sarah, John B, and the other Pogues took off for South America.
Ward and Rafe had a heartfelt goodbye. Ward told his son that “all of it is yours” and finally gave Rafe the acceptance he’d always wanted from his father. Rafe warned John B that if anything happened to Ward that he would “find” him.
Rafe was left behind as Shoupe and other cops showed up at the airport. “You look like you got a story to tell,” Shoupe said to Rafe.
Outer Banks fans didn’t get to see Rafe’s reaction to his father’s death. While Ward’s death was a sacrifice, Rafe won’t see it that way. Rafe could very easily be the main villain of Outer Banks season 4.
Co-creator Jonas Pate practically confirmed Rafe’s main villain era in an interview with Primetimer. He revealed that there was a Rafe finale scene that set up his villain arc, but it got cut. “It is basically a scene where Rafe very solemnly vows revenge and holds the Pogues accountable for his father’s death,” Jonas said. Bring on the chaos, Rafe.