One thing Outer Banks fans can always count on is the show’s penchant for outlandish storylines. The fact that the Pogues are still in one piece after two wild seasons is a testament to the teens’ determination, sure, but also to the show’s commitment to the suspension of disbelief. Knowing that the possibilities are basically endless in this Netflix original, here are six Outer Banks Season 3 theories that are sure to have your head spinning.
There’s a lot on the line for the Pogues if they return to the small screen. Whether it’s Pope coping with the loss of a precious family heirloom, John B. still searching for the gold and the truth about his father’s disappearance, or Cleo’s adjustment to life as a Pogue, all of the characters have a lot to grapple with. And while the show hasn’t been officially renewed, based on its popularity, another season feels inevitable. In an interview with TV Line, creator Jonas Pate said that Big John’s (possible) return that was teased in the Season 2 finale could expand the show’s central plot.
“The treasure-hunt aspect of the show is something that we see as important and integral to the show,” Pate said. “And bringing him back, we realized maybe there was a way to [combine] these different treasures that they’re going after into a larger mythology.”
Here are some of the biggest theories fans have after Season 2:
1. Carla Limbrey isn’t just a stranger.
When Carla Limbrey was introduced in Season 2, it was pretty obvious from the get-go that she was going to be an integral character. Not only did she have a ton of information about the Royal Merchant along with evidence that could acquit John B., but she also knew an awful lot about Pope’s family history. Fans soon found out that she worked with both Big John and Ward in the past, but what if there was more to it than that? One theory circulating the fandom is that Limbrey is actually Sarah and Rafe’s mom. Throughout the two seasons, viewers have gotten to know Sarah’s stepmom, Rose, but know nothing about what happened to her biological mother, making this theory a possibility.
Limbrey also revealed she’s had a "long and tortured history," with Ward. Could that mean they had a romantic relationship that eventually soured? If Limbrey was Sarah's mom, it might also explain why she has so much insider knowledge about the Pogues. There’s also the peculiar thing she said to Rafe in the season finale. After Limbrey shot her half-brother, Renfield, she told Rafe, “he’s not one of us,” implying she and Rafe are somehow connected and possibly even related.
2. Big John really is dead.
Season 1 of Outer Banks provided crucial answers about what happened to Big John, only for the very end of Season 2 to throw that all out the window. In Season 1, viewers learned that Big John eventually died after Ward threw him overboard after the two had a disagreement about the treasure. But Season 2’s finale revealed that Big John could potentially be alive. The final scene of the season showed Limbrey in Barbados having a conversation with none other than John B.’s dad.
“I know where [the shroud] is,” Big John said to Limbrey. “I can help you. But you have to help my son.”
Though the conversation seemingly took place in the present day, what if it was actually a flashback? Considering Season 2 revolved around Limbrey looking for the shroud, it’s reasonable to assume she had this conversation with Big John before the events of the season. Also, in Season 1, Lana revealed that her husband Scooter found Big John’s body after his death. So if Big John’s alive, whose body was that?
Either way, this final scene is sure to have a big impact on a potential Season 3.
3. John B.’s bandana is special.
Speaking of the elusive shroud, what if it’s much closer to home than anyone suspects? The piece of cloth Limbrey was after is said to have powerful healing properties, and some fans think it may possibly be John B.’s bandana. In Season 1, the Pogue revealed the bandana he always wears was given to him by his dad. Viewers have noticed the bandana has been present during some super-important moments, like in Season 2 when Sarah essentially came back to life after John B. gave her CPR while wearing the bandana. The same bandana may have also helped John B. heal from his alligator attack as well
However, another Twitter user pointed out that the bandana didn’t save Sheriff Peterkin when John B. placed it on her during her final moments in Season 1, meaning this theory may not completely hold up.
4. Pope and Cleo will date.
Although fans were excited for Pope and Kiara to give their romance a shot, it quickly became evident that the two are better as friends — at least for now. But Season 2 also teased a potential new love interest for Pope: Cleo. During the season finale, Pope meets Cleo, played by OBX newcomer Carlacia Grant, and based on body language and some suggestive eye contact, there was definitely chemistry between the two. In an interview with Elite Daily, Grant kept mum on Cleo and Pope’s future, but it definitely could be a possibility.
5. JJ and Kiara will become more than just friends.
Throughout Season 2, not only did Kiara and JJ spend more alone time together, but also, their friendship reached new heights as Kiara supported JJ through his difficult relationship with his father. Considering JJ is the only Pogue who hasn’t been in a relationship yet, fans are definitely hoping a love story is in the cards for him next season and Kiara seems like the perfect match.
Luckily, Pate is on the same page. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the creator said there’s definitely a chance for romance between these two Pogues. “Teen romance and teen soap are a big part of the show. We wanted to explore the Kie-Pope relationship, but obviously, we’re aware of how the fans feel about JJ and Ki. We wanted to tease that for the third season,” he said.
6. Cleo’s going to have company.
As the newest Pogue, there’s a lot of unknowns for Cleo’s future. But despite being an ocean away from her former home, there’s still a chance her past will catch up to her. In Season 2, Cleo betrayed her former boss, Captain T, in order to help John B. and Sarah. But considering Captain T knows that the gold is still out there, he will most likely go after it, and his former employee too.
Talking to Elite Daily, Grant says she thinks her character may run into her former friends. “It’s every man for themselves. But Cleo had to do what she had to do, so I anticipate maybe they would want to come after her,” she says.
Fans will have to wait a while to find out whether any of these theories take shape. But in the meanwhile, they can rewatch Season 1 and 2 on Netflix right now and dig for more clues as to how a potential Season 3 may go.