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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
The Observer

A look into ‘Outer Banks’ season three

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“Outer Banks” (OBX) season three has taken Netflix by storm, garnering over 100 million viewers within its first couple days of release. As a fan myself, I anticipated watching the Pogues and Kooks take the screen again with the ambiance of summer that so many of us are excitedly awaiting. While I wasn’t let down by the action and adventure, there’s something about this season that separates it from the rest, and I can’t decide if I want more or less of it.

The show follows a group of friends, the Pogues, who embark on a journey to find the treasure of El Dorado, diving deep into its rich and dangerous history all whilst clinging to their rebellious and zestful teenage spirit. This season John B., J.J., Pope, Kiara, Sarah and the most recent addition to the group, Cleo, find themselves breaking and entering while in Barbados, dodging bullets during dangerous shootouts, stealing from moving trains and perhaps the scariest of it all, dealing with complicated feelings of love. It’s difficult to summarize the many moving parts, and although it’s refreshing to watch the plot expand from the small Kildare Island we know and love, it’s hard not to feel that it's moving further from what fans were initially drawn to.

When “Outer Banks” first came out, I burned through the episodes. With its sun-kissed color grading, witty characters and beachy setting, it possessed all the qualities of a riveting teenage drama. I’m a sucker for the found-family trope and the bond that we witness with the Pogues, and their rivalry with the Kooks — who live on the richer side of the island — sets up the perfect landscape for heartbreak, betrayal and romance. The characters, for me, are what made it so good. However, the Pogues aren't in OBX for part of season three, and even when they return, much of their attention is focused on the treasure. While the treasure has always been a part of the plot, there were a lot of new characters such as Carlos Singh, this season’s main villain, who felt unnecessary when there are plenty of compelling antagonists already. While he is a large reason why the Pogues are sent on these crazy rescue missions and high-speed chases, it would’ve felt more impactful if characters from the previous seasons were fleshed out more as opposed to being replaced. Although Big John, John B’s father, was alluded to in the previous seasons, he played a major role in the plot. I, along with a lot of fans, found him difficult to like. His importance to the story is there, but his character fell flat. All these additions seemed to take up space that I think most of us would’ve rather seen used on evolving the characters that make the show what it is.

This season wasn’t without its faults, but I did enjoy it. The writers handed us the relationships we pleaded for, gave us a relatively satisfying end and above all else, brought another season back to our screens and recently got renewed for another. In episode seven, Kiara says “we’re all a little messed up.” I think she sums up much of the craze surrounding the continuation of the Pogues’ story. Whether we like it or not, a successful show must expand its horizons, and “Outer Banks” has done exactly that. The characters are growing, the plot is thickening and priorities are different than they were. Who wouldn’t expect things to change after a little gold is involved?

Show: “Outer Banks” Starring: Madelyn Cline, Chase Stokes, Rudy Pankow, Madison Bailey, Jonathan Daviss, Carlacia Grant Favorite episode: “Welcome to Kitty Hawk” If you like: Treasure hunts and love triangles Where to watch: Netflix Shamrocks: 4 out of 5