“Outer Banks” Season 3 drops the ball

The long-awaited third season of “Outer Banks” just barely falls short of the expectations fans placed on the series following its previous success.


Liz LaHood

Digital illustration of a promotional photo used for the third season of TV series “Outer Banks.”

In April 2020, Netflix series “Outer Banks,” produced by brothers Josh and Jonas Pate, took over social media platforms as teens across the world fell in love with the series’ feel-good atmosphere and lovable characters. Immediately following the season two release in July 2021, fans pleaded for a season renewal. After 573 days, the long-awaited third season of “Outer Banks” was not quite what it was cracked up to be.

Opening on the deserted island the main characters were left stranded on following the season two finale, cleverly dubbed “Poguelandia,” the group is almost immediately rescued from the island and thrown back into the dangerous adventure that encapsulated the previous season. 

Once again, this season  lacked the feel-good atmosphere that drew fans in the first season. The series has now adopted an “Indiana Jones” feel with cheap editing mistakes and various plot holes and abandoned storylines.

Despite the repetitive stunt double sightings in this season, the views were still beachy throughout the show. In contrast to the previous two seasons, the directors opted for an orange hue to display the under-developed countries visited, interrupting the aura previously initiated in the series.

Many fans feared that “Outer Banks” would follow in the path of “Riverdale,” adopting  fantastical and overzealous aspects, but the show has maintained a semi-realistic plot (discounting the treasure hunt, back from the “dead” father and all previous crimes committed by the group being forgotten the moment they returned to the OBX.) 

While I have remained pretty critical of the show thus far, it does not take away my personal love for the series that I believe many fans will hold, despite this season’s harsh differences from the previous two. The directors did a great job of upholding the character integrity, holding them to their values shown throughout the entire show. 

Sarah Cameron was shown in past seasons to be somewhat traumatized as she was turned on by her whole family, and it was not forgotten simply because they escaped. John B, however, lacked empathy for Sarah as he believed her father killed his own dad. 

Kiara maintained her rebellious attitude and rocky relationship with her parents, the latter finally came to head when she is sent to a  “nature therapy” center, added depth to her storyline that was previously lacking. 

JJ struggled returning to the OBX, as all of his close friends had family (or money)  to return to while he was left with nothing but a foreclosed house. His kleptomaniac  character trait became more apparent this season, temporarily causing a rift between hi and Kiara’s friendship. Despite these hardships,  his character still provided the much-needed comic relief within the show, dropping one liners at every opportunity.

 Although the show is not short on lazy editing and plot holes, the loveable characters, exciting storyline and fun scenery provided by the OBX make up for these lacking areas.

There is the occasional cheesy line or stunt double sighting to be found, but these aspects do little to affect the flow of the show, and are difficult to notice unless you are actively looking for them. While many people were fans of the feel-good summer vibes that were present in the first season, the plot certainly continues to keep viewers hooked.