Outer Banks Season 3 Review: Netflix Show Starting to Lose its Luster


Photo Credit: netflix.com

Nathan Breisinger, Colonial Sports Network Editor-in-Chief

When “Left Hand Free” by alt-J streamed through laptop speakers and televisions while everyone sheltered at home during the pandemic, Netflix had found its latest success with its new original series “Outer Banks.”

Centered around a group of defiant teenagers, “Outer Banks” caught the attention of many with its beach filled nostalgic scenes along with a plot line to keep the audience engaged as the hunt for the treasure was on. Add in the drama between the Pogues, the working class of Kildare County, and the Kooks, the wealthy population, the show is as good as it gets for young adult fiction.

Through the show’s first two seasons, the plot remained fluid as it left viewers wondering what John B , Kiara , JJ and Pope might do next as they were in search of the Royal Merchant’s gold. With the additional antagonist value of Ward and Rafe Cameron along with Sarah Cameron, who was stuck in the middle of two worlds, the storyline carried on and was entertaining.

Fast forward to season three.

What was a solid Netflix series has started to lose its luster. Many subtle hints from the previous two seasons made their appearances in the third installment of the show and even with season four on its way, there is not much to build off of.

Yes, “Outer Banks” is still worth watching, but the unique connection built between the show and the viewer has faded as the drama has played nearly all of its cards.

Let’s start with the first episode of season three, “Poguelandia.” As the new season of the drama got underway, the castaways of John B (Chase Stokes), Kiara (Madison Bailey), JJ (Rudy Pankow), Pope (Jonathan Daviss), Sarah (Madelyn Cline) and the newly added character Cleo (Carlacia Grant) found themselves living on a deserted island. Living amongst themselves in a carefree environment took us back to the early episodes of the show. That sense of freedom for the Pogues was back…but only for about five minutes before they were located by a spotter plane and then we were off.

I think the first episode or two would have been better off if we saw more action from the Pogues’ new proclaimed home where they spent six months as we waited in between seasons.

Shortly after, we begin to be introduced to some new characters and reintroduced some familiar names as well. The newest villain in the quest for the hidden treasure, Carlos Singh (Andy McQueen) makes his entrance along with the long awaited reveal of John B’s dad, Big John (Charles Halford).

After focusing on the Cross of Santo Domingo last season, with Big John now in the picture, the hunt turns towards a bigger prize, the gold city of El Dorado.

There is a long and grueling build up in the show towards the final episode. In previous seasons, each episode was filled with an engaging storyline that helped build up to the end of the season. This time, it is developed through some stories that just do not hit as well as previous seasons.

The biggest story comes from the appearance of Big John. It is the moment John B and a lot of fans were waiting for. Yet, Big John became more of a thorn rather than a character people can get behind. His selfish desire for the gold led to a lot of close calls with him and his son running into Singh’s men across Kildare. Instead of becoming an important piece of the newest season, Big John has become a sore spot in the overall plot.

Another new addition to the show was that of the new villain, Singh. While other antagonists of the show fit in well, Singh’s character does not give off the best villainous energy. Singh relies on his army of men to try and help follow the Pogues to gather important pieces towards the buildup of the hunt towards El Dorado.

While Singh replaces Ward Cameron (Charles Esten) as the main evil that stands in the Pogues’ way, Ward is not too far off. Ward, who is recovering from injuries sustained in season two, resides in Guadeloupe for the time being. With Ward attempting to stay out of all the trouble in season three, Rafe Cameron (Drew Starkey) reels him back in invertedly.

Rafe continues to be one of the best characters in the show through his acting. His edgy, audacious personality leads him to wanting to sell the gold of the Cross of Santo Domingo. While the main plot does not revolve around Rafe, his development continues to be compelling as he is left rather untouched during the season.

As Rafe returned to Figure 8 to look and continue his personal quest, Ward decides to follow. In an interesting character development moment, Ward slowly turns into a character that people can sympathize with. After ruining relationships with Rafe and Sarah, Ward tries to work towards healing those wounds.

However, that was short-lived. Finally, in episode 10, viewers get the action-packed adventure that they were waiting for. Ward returns to his corrupt ways as he follows the Pogues to South America. Singh and his men clash with the Pogues as they search for the gold city.

The final episode encapsulates what the viewers were looking for in the newest season. A mission to find the biggest treasure of all. Romantic relationships unfold in front of our eyes with JJ and Kiara along with Pope and Cleo. The final episode captured every storyline in the best possible way compared to the previous nine episodes.

As predictable as it was, the Pogues came away with the treasure, but some characters did pay the price in the end.

Ultimately, the show certainly has its flaws, and they were a lot more evident this season than in the past. The vibe that the show once gave has started to die off. And if that was not as clear during the season, the ending definitely made that apparent as they were hailed heroes in Kildare as if none of the illegal ventures mattered anymore.

Now, the Pogues await their next adventure with season four which was teased at the end of the show as if they are the world’s premiere treasure hunters.