‘Outer Banks’ stars break down that big JJ and Kiara moment and more from season 3
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Outer Banks season 3, episodes 6-9.
All that glitters is not gold in Outer Banks season 3.
After the Pogues failed to steal back the Cross of Santo Domingo in episode 5, things continued to get worse for them. John B (Chase Stokes), Sarah (Madelyn Cline), Kiara (Madison Bailey), JJ (Rudy Pankow), Pope (Jonathan Daviss), and Cleo (Carlacia Grant) hit a few different low points in the next four episodes, from relationship issues to fights with family… and one of the Pogues even considers murder. Remember when these teens were just concerned with partying on Kildare Island after a hurricane?! Things sure have changed since those early season 1 days.
Continuing EW’s On Set video series (watch the videos for episodes 1-5 here), the cast joined creators Josh Pate, Jonas Pate, and Shannon Burke to break down the major moments in episodes 6 through 9. From John B and Sarah’s big fight (and everything that happened after as a result), to JJ’s big rescue mission to save Kiara (and everything that happened between them after that), to Rafe’s (Drew Starkey) unforgivable actions, EW is bringing fans behind-the-scenes of Outer Banks season 3 with a closer look into what it was like filming all those big moments and where all the characters go from here.
Once you watch each episode, check back here to watch each spoiler-filled video below.
Outer Banks. Madelyn Cline as Sarah Cameron in episode 306 of Outer Banks. Cr. Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix © 2023
Madelyn Cline as Sarah Cameron
| Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix
Episode 6: “The Dark Forest”
Episode 6 begins with John B still reeling after Big John (Charles Halford) killed two of Singh’s (Andy McQueen) men right in front of him. He’s starting to realize that treasure hunting isn’t all victory parades and gold loot — it has real life-or-death consequences, and it’s bringing out the worst in his father. He also doesn’t agree with Big John’s rule that he can’t tell the rest of the Pogues the truth about what they discovered about El Dorado. It’s clear JJ, Sarah, Kiara, Pope, and Cleo can tell John B is lying to them, and it causes a huge fight between Sarah and John B. After their fight, Sarah can’t find another place to stay until she runs into Topper (Austin North). They spend the day together, partying with her old friends, and she ultimately cheats on John B by kissing Topper.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Pogues try and fail to put their lives back together at home after their months away in Poguelandia — Pope quits school after he learns he can’t get back into all his old classes and would likely have to repeat a year; JJ can’t get a job and has no way to make money; and Kiara’s parents no longer trust her and put her on lockdown. When Pope learns that Rafe melted down the Cross of Santo Domingo, he breaks down and almost shoots Rafe until Cleo manages to talk him out of committing murder.
The episode ends with multiple major cliffhangers: Singh kidnaps Big John and brings him to South America to hunt for El Dorado; John B makes up with JJ by telling him the whole truth about El Dorado and they decide to go to South America to rescue Big John; and Rafe refuses to follow Ward’s (Charles Esten) orders, so Ward returns to the Outer Banks in the final scene. Check out what the cast and creators had to say about everything that went down in episode 6 in the video above.
Episode 7: “Happy Anniversary”
After Sarah cheats on John B with Topper, she goes through an existential crisis in episode 7, wondering if she’s really the Kook princess everyone thinks she is or if she’s the Pogue she truly wants to be. The episode focuses on that journey, swapping in Sarah as the narrator instead of John B. We get to see flashbacks to when Sarah first met Topper, as well amazing scenes with Sarah and Kiara bonding over their respective boy problems that show how much these two have repaired their friendship after their issues in seasons 1-2. But things only get worse for Sarah when Ward tricks her into meeting with him face-to-face, resulting in one of the most emotional moments yet for her.
Elsewhere, Ward confronts Rafe about the Cross, and is horrified when Rafe brags about how he melted it down. Rafe ends up pushing Ward up against a wall and threatens him to leave town… or else. Rafe gets the idea that he needs to get rid of his dad for good, and starts to think about putting out a hit on Ward.
As for the rest of the Pogues, Pope and Cleo discover a big clue that puts them back on the path towards finding El Dorado while Kiara has to attend her parents’ anniversary party. And what’s a big Kook party without some major drama? Kiara and JJ get into a fight, and she blurts out “I love you” to him, which throws him off, and he doesn’t say it back. John B finally tells Sarah the truth about his dad and El Dorado, so she confesses what happened with Topper. John B immediately breaks up with her and attacks Topper, continually punching him in the face even after he’s knocked out. John B and JJ get kicked out of the party while Sarah and Kiara look on in horror.
Watch the cast and creators break down that shocking ending in the video below:
Episode 8: “Tapping the Rudder”
After all the drama of episode 7, episode 8 begins with a nostalgic look back at Sarah and John B’s relationship and everything that’s led them to this moment. Sarah’s feeling the pressure to help John B now that she knows what happened to his dad, so she forms a plan to save him. John B learns that Topper is pressing charges, and he’s wanted by the cops for assault, so JJ makes a deal with Barracuda Mike (Justin Matthew Smith) that involves them driving a truck full of drugs in exchange for a ride down to South America. Of course, John B and JJ immediately mess up the plan, lose the truck to the cops, and John B gets arrested.
Thankfully, Sarah’s plan goes perfectly. She goes full Pogue by manipulating Topper into holding off on pressing charges for one day, getting John B released from jail, and making a deal with her father to use their private jet to get all the Pogues down to South America. John B and Sarah make up. Topper discovers that Sarah lied to him, so he gets his revenge by burning down the Chateau. Meanwhile, Rafe decides to put that hit on Ward.
Episode 9: “Welcome to Kitty Hawk”
Episode 9 begins the next morning as the Pogues look at the burnt wreckage of the Chateau. They all have one hour to square everything at home before leaving for South America. Cleo helps convince Pope’s parents to let him go, Sarah and John B pack whatever they can, and JJ packs a bag while escaping a very angry Barracuda Mike, who’s looking for revenge for the lost drugs. Kiara hits a major snag, however, when she tries to say goodbye to her parents only to discover they enrolled her against her wishes at Kitty Hawk, an outdoor camp for troubled teens. Kitty Hawk security guards essentially kidnap her and take her away as her parents ignore her desperate pleas.
When Kiara doesn’t show up at the private airstrip, JJ knows something’s wrong. He borrows John B’s car to see what’s going on, and is disgusted when he finds out what her parents did. He mounts a one-man rescue mission to break Kiara out of Kitty Hawk, and actually convinces Barracuda Mike to help him in exchange for some of the El Dorado gold. When JJ finally finds her, he apologizes for everything that happened with the money clip and finally says “I love you” back to her. They kiss in front of the entire cabin of cheering girls, and Barracuda Mike gives them a ride in a plane down to South America.
Kiara and JJ finally kiss!
| Credit: Netflix
Topper catches Sarah at the airstrip before the Pogues can leave, and confronts her about all her lies, revealing he’s the one who burned down the Chateau. He lets them all go, but then formally presses charges against John B. Rafe tries to call off the hit on Ward, but it’s too late, so he goes to fight off the hitman himself. Ward gets spotted by a local during the ensuing fight, and when he gets injured, Rafe helps get him to the airstrip. He convinces the Pogues to take Ward with them down to South America.
Be sure to come back to EW in the coming days to watch more spoiler-filled On Set videos, where the cast and creators break down the season 3 finale and tease season 4.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.