Outer Banks Season 3 Review

Disclaimer: So many spoilers

Outer Banks. It’s a show that’s had its viewers in a chokehold since April of 2020 when its first season was released, in perfect timing might I add, and served as our only source of serotonin as we clawed our way through quarantine. When Season 2 was released the next summer, I can confidently say that none of us escaped its grip.

As someone who wastes away my summers working, Outer Banks was an outlet and a way to live vicariously through these adventurous teens as I sat inside working my nine-to-five.

And although this might not be the case for everyone, Outer Banks once again came in clutch as it was released on February 23, a day that just happened to be a snow day at NDSU. As the snow and wind bared down on campus, Outer Banks lovers relished the opportunity to curl up in bed and binge-watch all ten episodes of Season 3, and thereafter grieve the current weather and crave the summertime.

With that, I bring you an overall review of Season 3 of Outer Banks.

To start off strong, I am going to make a statement that I’m not sure the general public would agree with: I was not a huge fan of Big John. Yes, I understand that he was crucial for the plot of this season and the producers definitely wanted to create a specific image for Big John in order to fit the storyline, but I really disliked him.

Whether it was the manipulation he used on John B. at every turn or when he almost let his so-called “beloved” son die because of some treasure, Big John was overall not it. I can admit that I did cry when he died because who wouldn’t be torn apart when John B. got his dad back from the dead for a literal week before he was gone forever?

Next up, I also hated Kiara’s parents, and I don’t use this word lightly. Don’t get me wrong, they had reason to be concerned about Kiara, but at the same time, in what world was sending her away to a wilderness camp one, going to help her or their relationship with her in any way, and two, going to make her want to listen to them any more than she already did.

I just love how they gave her this entire spiel about how they were going to be better and stop taking away her freedom to then turn around and forcefully send her to a camp.

It also just struck a nerve with me that at the end, you can see them smiling and clapping as Kiara and the rest of the group, the group they told Kiara not to go around, are recognized for finding El Dorado. It just got me so mad that they sent her off to a camp, but as soon as she does something of value with her friends that are, according to them, ruining Kiara and her future, they sit back, clap, and act like they didn’t do anything wrong and believed her the entire time. Side eye.

I never thought I would say this, but Ward Cameron might have made it into the category of characters I enjoyed this season, and I indeed shed many a tear for him. Although he went through a back-and-forth battle between being good and bad, I believe he made a lot of amends before his death.

Whether it was apologizing to Rafe for everything he put him through or sacrificing himself for Sarah, his character arc was one I will never forget. In the end, Ward had the heart of a Pogue, and although the Kook life might have changed him, he returned to his roots and died a hero. 

Sarah Cameron. She’s never been my favorite, and she still isn’t. She might have made things right in the end, but I sincerely will never forgive her for being a manipulative liar. No matter how much I hate Topper, I hate even more that Miss Sarah played with his feelings and therefore contributed to his eventual push over the edge of cooperation and insanity. 

This brings me to Topper. This guy went through it, and I truly believe that deep down, he is a good guy in love with a girl that doesn’t understand her own feelings. Heaven forbid Topper believe that someone could actually love him back.

Now onto the Kook King: Rafe Cameron. Yes, Rafe is a problematic guy, but if you look at it from his standpoint, he is really just in need of some validation from his dad. He so badly wants Ward to recognize him as someone who is useful and worth being loved that he will do anything for it. He might have tried to convince himself that he doesn’t need his father, but we can all see that he does.

Now, as far as romance goes, I absolutely loved Jiara and the Pope and Cleo which I can’t seem to come up with a good couples name for because Cope and Peo aren’t great.

Anyway, it’s been obvious from the start that JJ and Kiara would end up together, so this was really just fulfilling a wish, but Pope and Cleo came out of the left field. I mean, as the season went on, I could tell something was going to happen, but when it finally did, the joy I felt was not of this world.

I hardcore relate to Pope and Cleo in that love really doesn’t work out and being part of the No Love Club is a permanent residency for me, so it made me so happy when they ended up together.

As far as the plot goes, we’ve all seen the TikToks analyzing Season 3 and saying things like, “It was just so far-fetched” or, “The storyline wasn’t believable,” and to those people I say: it is just a show and is meant to be unrealistic.

I also loved all the nit-picky details people thought to point out like how the characters no longer refer to the Outer Banks as so and instead use “OBX” or “Kildare,” or how JJ Maybanks is now being called “Jayj.” I personally didn’t find either of these to be a problem, but I guess this was something that a lot of people struggled with.

Now, what I’m about to say might create the image that I am one of those people I just discussed, but I need to come clean: I was a bit of a hater for most of Season 3. This wasn’t because of the stupid things other people are saying but because it just didn’t match the energy and nostalgia of the last two seasons.

The only thing that changed this for me was the last two episodes.

Up until that point, I found the plot to be a little everywhere and wasn’t a fan of a few of the characters, but now looking back on its entirety, it all makes sense. It was all part of the plan for us to hate some characters and love others and to be a little confused as to the plot because it all worked itself out in the end.

I definitely had some favorite parts and some parts I would be completely fine never experiencing again, but overall, I thought this season was a good balance of teenage drama and treasure hunting, so if you’re looking for something to get you ready for the upcoming summer season, I highly recommend you watch this fun and winding road of an adventure.

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