I had an incredible time chatting with Outer Banks stars Chase Stokes, Rudy Pankow, Jonathan Daviss, Madelyn Cline, Madison Bailey, Carlacia Grant, Drew Starkey, and Austin North about the new season, which is now streaming on Netflix. The series has also already been renewed for a fourth season. These interviews will include spoilers!
After losing the gold and fleeing the Outer Banks, Season 3 finds the Pogues washed ashore on a desert island that, for a brief moment, seems like an idyllic home. Officially deemed “Poguelandia,” the island’s newest residents spend their days fishing, swimming, and reveling in the carefree lifestyle of their temporary dwelling. But things quickly go south for John B, Sarah, Kiara, Pope, JJ, and Cleo when they find themselves once again caught up in a race for the treasure, quite literally running for their lives. They’re broke and far from home, they can’t trust anyone, Ward and Rafe are hungry for revenge, and there’s a ruthless Caribbean Don who will stop at nothing to find the bounty. Was the treasure ever within their reach? Or was it all a trap to stop them once and for all? Either way, it’s the Pogues against the world – and the only way out is together.
To the delight of fans, Kiara and JJ were this season’s the big romance. There are many scenes that are so good, viewers will be watching them over and over again to notice every small detail.
“There’s a lot of ship moments this season,” Bailey laughed. “I think we start on Poguelandia when he’s like championing her to kill this stingray to feed the family. That was a moment where I was like, ‘oh, that’s sweet.’ He’s getting Kiara out of her comfort zone of killing an animal for the benefit of everybody. She’s logical, but I think we jump right in. I think that’s the first moment, you know? Certainly not the last ship moment for them.”
Friendship is probably the most important thing when it comes to Outer Banks and Pankow’s most meaningful relationship moment is tied to that very sentiment.
“Chase and I really talked a lot about this moment of when John B comes to JJ’s house and is like, ‘Hey dude, I fucked up,’” the actor expressed. “You have to go through a moment with your friend that’s like, ‘I’m sorry,’ and I think, coming clean because nobody ever gets it 100% right. We wanted to portray that as really raw as we can.”
Speaking of relationships, we also get to see John B finally reunite with his father. Unfortunately, the character meets his demise in the final minutes of the season, dying in his son’s arms after they find the gold. It’s heartbreaking to watch him lose his dad for the second time.
“For John B, this season, the totality of the last 30 episodes and having that moment with his father at the end was tough, you know? It’s tough to see somebody that you’ve idolized, especially over the 10 episodes of this season, show a different side to them than what you’re anticipating or what you’ve created in your brain, and to see them go out in the ways that he did was tough,” Stokes voiced. “It was hard and I’ve come to love Charlie, who plays Big John, and he’s sort of like a father figure in my life. So that was a rough day and I’m very thankful for my co-stars cause they were all present for that one and it was a tear-jerker, to say the least because it felt real. That was kind of our send-off to him too.”
Sarah has a pretty rough season as well after her father makes a reappearance. The season finale, in particular, has difficult moments between the two, including when Ward dies to save his daughter’s life.
“I think any of my scenes with Ward this season were a challenge just because there’s been so much built up from the past two seasons, navigating that has been really, really tricky and complex,” Cline told me. “Sarah’s still a human and he’s still her dad, but he’s also evil. So, you know, that is quite a fun mix molotov cocktail, if you will, of emotions.”
The most heartwarming surprise is the bond between Pope and Cleo. Fans noticed some chemistry in the last episodes of season two, but these characters quickly begin to understand each other on a much deeper level. At Pope’s lowest, she is there to anchor him.
“For Pope, I think it’s definitely just characterwise that moment where Cleo kind of talks him down from shooting Rafe. For me, that was kind of the build-up of everything that had happened to him since season one from like the golf course, getting hit with the golf club, and almost murdered by Rafe at least three times now, maybe,” Daviss explained. “It was really cathartic. We shot that scene twice, we had to shoot it twice, but you know, being able to go to that place two times, it really forced me to kind of push myself and I like the way it turned out. I’m happy with the work I gave and yeah, it was just a really, really intense character moment for me.”
The finale includes a beautifully acted love confession from Grant and the end of the No Love Club, leading to the couple’s first kiss.
“I would say for me, not the most challenging, but the one where I really had to find the groove was the Pope and Cleo kiss scene. One, the kiss wasn’t planned, but two, it’s like, I was trying to figure out how do I have her show emotion without showing emotion but wanting to show emotion, and not wanting to show emotion and not being too forward, but being too forward? So, just trying to find the general groove of it, of like, wanting to be with this person so bad, but also, so afraid of rejection and has deep abandonment issues and doesn’t know how to show love, but like, this is the moment, just do it,” the actress shared. “That was like a song and dance with me emotionally and trying to show all of those moments in a really quick scene.”
We see a rather full-circle moment for Rafe after he saves his father from the hit he ordered. Considering he killed Peterkin to protect his father back in season one, yearning for his love and approval, the scene where Ward gives him exactly that is a powerful one for the character.
“Season three was definitely a moment of transformation for Rafe. He’s stepping into different shoes, he has more responsibility, he’s having to think about people that aren’t himself so much, you know? So just to see him kind of behave in that environment is interesting, so maybe he’ll come back to some form of dependence once again with a different perspective,” Starkey commented. “I’m excited to see where it goes.”
Pushed to his breaking point after realizing Sarah has chosen John B over him once again, fans see Topper burn down The Chateau while the Pogues are all still inside.
“There’s a moment where I’m sure people are gonna find out who did it, who done it and I think that this side is not gonna — his mom’s not gonna put up with this, his mom’s been very like, get good grades, go to college and now, Topper is kind of throwing it all away in a sense,” North said. “It could go so many different ways, where he’s just off the rails or he kind of gets it together and finds a way where nobody finds out what he did, and he can just, you know, clean slate.”
We discussed some of the most meaningful relationship moments, challenging scenes, the finale’s time jump, what’s next for their characters, and more.
Watch my interviews with the cast below:
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