‘Outer Banks’ Season 3 Ending Explained: What Happened?

This story contains spoilers for the Season Three finale of Outer Banks.

You can always count on Outer Banks to keep you guessing, and Season Three was no exception. This go-round, the OBX crew found themselves stranded on a deserted island while looking for John B’s father and El Dorado, the lost city of gold. Their search grew significantly more complicated when outside forces threatened to ruin everything—but you know, is that really anything new for them? After watching ten episodes of car chases, kidnappings, and shootouts, I think it’s safe to say these are the bravest—or perhaps, craziest—kids on TV.

Regardless, after ten intense episodes, the team’s journey finally came to an end, but not without a few twists and turns. If you’re not caught up yet, you might be wondering: did they find the lost gold? More importantly, did everyone make it out alive?! Find out below, as we break down yet another explosive OBX season finale.

John B and Sarah Find El Dorado

In a surprising turn of events, Ward flies Sarah, John B, and the rest of the gang to South America on his private jet. Ward sticks around for the trip too, but more on that later. When they arrive, the group’s primary goal is to find John B’s father, Big John, who’s been kidnapped by Carlos Singh, a bloodthirsty bounty hunter. When they find him, Big John tells his son that he’s discovered the route to the treasure. Then they break free, and take Sarah along for the ride. But before they leave, Singh shoots Big John and threatens to kill them all.

John B and Sarah make it to El Dorado and secure a bag full of gold, but on their way out, Singh shows up and threatens to kill them. In a wild turn of events, Big John whips out a bomb—because, of course, he packed one!—and uses it to kill Singh and destroy the ancient city once and for all.

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Outer Banks 3 | Official Trailer | Netflix

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Ward and Big John Kick The Bucket

After Big John, John B, and Sarah make it out of El Dorado, another plot twist goes down. Ward and one of Singh’s henchmen pop-up out of nowhere. Ward wants to kill Big John—and the henchmen want to kill Sarah. During the standoff, the rest of the OBX squad arrives and try to save their friends, but they’re no match for the henchmen’s gun. Sarah nearly dies, but right before she’s shot, Ward steps in front of her and tackles the gunman. Then, he and the gunman fall off a cliff.

Moments later, the crew notices Big John has lost a ton of blood. They transport him out of the jungle and onto a boat, where he later dies in John B’s arms. After seeing the gold, he tells his son how proud he is and passes away. John B, Sarah, and their friends then make memorials for Big John and Ward and travel back home.

There’s a New Treasure Hunt in the Works, Naturally

At the end of the episode, there’s an 18-month time jump. The OBX crew is being celebrated by their town for solving the mystery and finding El Dorado. But just when you think their story is coming to an end, a man shows up with a proposition. He introduces himself to the group and shows them a mysterious captain’s log from 1718 that belonged to a pirate named Edward Teach, otherwise known as Blackbeard. “I would investigate it myself, but I’m too long in the tooth,” he says. “I need partners, and you all were first on my list.”

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the perfect setup for Season 4. Pogues for life, indeed.

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Associate Staff Writer

Bria McNeal is a Manhattan based journalist who is patiently awaiting B5’s revival. When she’s not writing about all things entertainment, she can be found watching TV or trying to DIY something (likely, at the same time). Her work has appeared in NYLON, Refinery29, InStyle, and her personal newsletter, StirCrazy.  

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