3 ways Outer Banks season 3 exceeded expectations (and 2 ways it disappointed)

Outer Banks. (L to R) Madelyn Cline as Sarah Cameron, Rudy Pankow as JJ in episode 302 of Outer Banks. Cr. Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix © 2023
Outer Banks. (L to R) Madelyn Cline as Sarah Cameron, Rudy Pankow as JJ in episode 302 of Outer Banks. Cr. Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix © 2023 /

It’s safe to assume that the moment Outer Banks season 3 premiered on Netflix, tried and true Pogues started binge-watching the episodes as soon as they could. After all, we waited long enough for the next chapter of the globe-trotting treasure adventure.

In the new season, John B and his friends make do on Poguelandia, but once they’re saved from their temporary desert island home, it’s off to the races as they face off against Rafe and Carlos Singh. Their heart-pounding gold hunt has them in search of El Dorado.

But did every moment in OBX3 hit the mark? Did some of the twists and turns actually miss the mark? While Outer Banks will always have be enthralling entertainment and blow us away, there will also be things (or people!) that grind our gears.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead from Outer Banks season 3!

The best and worst of Outer Banks season 3

Let’s discuss the three of the best Outer Banks season 3 moments that exceeded expectations, and two of the season’s worst moments that sadly disappointed.

Best: Sarah was the hero of the season

Who found El Dorado? Big John? Nope. John B? Kind of, but not really. Sarah Cameron? Ding, ding, ding! She really did the thing in Outer Banks season 3. Throughout the season, Sarah came into her own as a woman, an individual, and a Pogue. Big John naïvely underestimated her and didn’t trust her. But who outsmarted the supposed treasure hunter? Yeah, that’s right, a former Kook Princess. Take that! Sarah was by far the best character of the season (even with her unfortunate side mission with Topper) and the hero they needed to bring home the gold.

Worst: Big John’s introduction

As a character, Big John was pretty lousy. The season 2 finale reveal that John B’s presumed dead father wasn’t dead left huge expectations for season 3. Who wasn’t excited to meet the man who kick started the whole arc of the series, who John B looks up to so much? Well, Big John was just another selfish Outer Banks father. Not as villainous as Ward, and not abusive like JJ’s dad, Big John was just kind of a sucky guy and a selfish father. You can’t always hope for heroes in Outer Banks, but John B deserved an all-around better reunion with his old man.

Best: The season-ending cliffhanger

If you thought the Pogues were finished with their adventures just because they found El Dorado, you’re so wrong. While being honored for their achievements in finding the gold, a man approaches the treasure hunting teens with a new task: finding Blackbeard’s treasure. The cliffhanger perfectly sets up Outer Banks season 4 and the next high-stakes adventure awaiting the Pogues. Let’s just hope Rafe doesn’t catch wind of this one…

Worst: Ward getting (slight) redemption

Let’s not get it twisted: Ward was the worst until the bitter end. But before his death, the series seemingly gave the Outer Banks villain a bit of a redemption arc. Ward meets his maker by throwing himself into one of Singh’s men who intended to kill Sarah and her friends. One selfless act does not a full redemption make! Ward didn’t earn absolution, and no one wanted to see it happen. However, credit where credit is due. We’re not meant to change our minds about Ward, but Sarah truly needed that moment of closure with her father.

Best: JJ and Kie getting together

“Jiara” shippers finally had their moment! After hoping and praying that JJ and Kiara would become a couple since probably the first season, the star-crossed Pogues became an item in season 3. Their shared bond became even closer in the third season, with the biggest moment for the pair being JJ breaking Kie out of Kitty Hawk. The chemistry between the characters, combined with their similarities and differences, was so much fun to watch. Hopefully, Jiara sails smoothly right into their next adventure in Outer Banks season 4.

What were your favorite and least favorite moments from Outer Banks season 3? Share your picks in the comments, and watch Outer Banks only on Netflix!

Next. Outer Banks season 3 recap guide: All 10 episodes explained. dark