On July 30, 2021, Outer Banks season 2 dropped on Netflix and promptly climbed to the top of Netflix's most-watched titles. As of now, Netflix has not yet announced a third-season renewal of its hit show about treasure-hunting teenagers—but that's a very big yet. Considering the success of Outer Banks' breakout first season and its continued popularity amid the release of the second—not to mention, the massive, loyal fan base the show boasts (Pogues for life!)—it's likely only a matter of time before Outer Banks is renewed for a third season by Netflix.
When will Outer Banks be renewed for a season 3?
That said, you shouldn't expect a season 3 renewal right away. Netflix tends to wait at least a couple of months between dropping a new season of a show and announcing that show's renewal.
But the Outer Banks crew is prepared: They've been planning for the show to last five or more seasons. When asked how many seasons of Outer Banks he wanted, co-creator and executive producer Jonas Pate told Decider, "My answer is, as long as we can keep making it good and we’re still excited. That’s the number. Definitely more than three."
When would season 3 of Outer Banks be released?
Good news: If Outer Banks is renewed for a third season, the teen drama would likely come back quickly. Netflix announced a second season in July 2020, and Season 2 dropped just a year later, even in spite the show being filmed in a foreign country during a pandemic. Unless the show faces pandemic-related delays, season 3, if renewed, would likely come out in late summer/early fall 2022.
What would Outer Banks Season 3 be about?
Spoilers ahead. The Season 2 finale of Outer Banks left many loose threads that the show needs to address in Season 3. For one, the Pogues ended up on a deserted island after escaping the Camerons' ship sans treasure. The friends are in arguably the worst state they've been in during the show, and the farthest away from the OBX. Despite that, Outer Banks co-creators and showrunners Jonas Pate, Josh Pate, and Shannon Burke told Entertainment Weekly that the resourceful crew are not going to give up going after the gold. "They've been knocked down, and they are not knocked out," Burke said.
The Pogues certainly have a lot to deal with once they make it off the island. Though Ward and Rafe Cameron got away with both the Royal Merchant gold and the Cross of Santo Domingo, the Pogues have the loyalty of Ward's daughter Sarah (who has kind of married John B). One of the last scenes of the Season 2 finale showed Rafe promising his father that he'll find Sarah and bring her back to the family. Considering Rafe's murderous tendencies, another confrontation between him and the Pogues is going to get messy.
There's also the huge reveal that John B's dad, Big John, is still alive, and has teamed up with the show's newest villain, Limbrey. We don't really know what Big John has in mind, besides having Limbrey "help" his son in exchange for the shroud. However, Big John is the reason the Pogues started treasure-hunting in the first place, and most of John B's motivation has been to avenge his dead dad. Once the Pogues learn about John B, it'll be a game changer for the whole series.
What have the cast and crew said about Season 3?
Some of the Outer Banks cast and crew have shared their theories on what Season 3 may bring. Josh Pate told EW that Big John's return will be a huge part of it: "John B's relationship with his dad is a huge theme and having his dad back around and eventually they're going to meet back up and John B has to reconcile his idealized version of his dead dad with the reality of his alive dad. It gives us a lot of thematic father-son stuff to work with."
For Chase Stokes, who plays John B, the Big John twist and the revelation that he might have left his son voluntarily will be a big part of John B's journey. Stokes told TV Line, "It was his choice to go out and leave his son, and what does that look like? What does it look like when a kid comes face-to-face with a parent who’s left and chose to put him in these circumstances and has no idea what has happened in the meantime?"
Beyond the central John B drama, Season 2 also shone a light on Pope, who discovers he has a familial connection to the Cross of Santo Domingo. According to Decider, the Outer Banks creative team wants to give each Pogue their own major, season-long arc in upcoming seasons. Josh Pate told Decider, "We can’t shine a light on everybody all the time, that’s just not in our bandwidth. We knew this was going to be a Pope-heavy season. And hopefully, if we keep going, they’ll be other characters who kind of get the spotlight to come forward if we get future seasons.”
Though there are a bunch of treasure hunt-related cliffhangers set up, the Outer Banks showrunners told Entertainment Weekly that romance is going to be a larger part of Season 3, with the show embracing its teen-romance side. Josh Pate says, "That was one thing we really loved about season 1 that's less of an element of season 2 that we really want to get back to. That was the plan, kind of architecting the characters towards opening up some romances in season 3."
One new romance that the finale briefly hinted is between Pope and the newest Pogue, Cleo. Carlacia Grant, who plays Cleo, told Elite Daily that Cleo's transition to the Pogue life from growing up in the Bahamas won't be easy. “I think it’s going to be very hard for her in the beginning. She's not going to be able to walk around with a knife in her hand, which will make her uncomfortable. Will she go to school? ... And the accent. Is that gonna cause issues for her? There are so many ways this can go.”
Kiara and JJ may also get together next season, with Josh Pate telling Entertainment Weekly that the creative team was "immediately open" to the two Pogues getting together, though they "kind of left it" for Season 3. Madison Bailey, who plays Kiara, told Cosmopolitan that the two could work as a couple. "We’re both feisty, we’re both always down for the crazy ideas. There’s just something these two characters have inherently in common that could work," she said.
However, Kiara and JJ's relationship may not be all smooth sailing. Rudy Pankow, who plays JJ, gave Cosmopolitan some insight into how his character would handle it. "I think, if anything, that will maybe even make him more lost, like he’d be more questionable with what he’s trying to do if he’s in a relationship," Pankow said.
As for the newlyweds John B and Sarah, Madelyn Cline, who plays Sarah, told Entertainment Tonight that she's excited for the teens to get to know each other more. "[I]t'd be really fun in season 3, if we get one, to see them actually start to truly get to know each other in a very real sense. They're married, but they actually kind of don't know a whole lot about each other. I feel like that would be really fun. They've obviously been through a lot together."
In addition to making it work with her sort-of husband John B, Cline told ELLE that she wants Sarah to come into her own among her new Pogue family. "I want to see her and John B have to kind of hash out what just happened. I want to see her personal relationships with her chosen family develop. Maybe we could get some backstory on her and Kie’s friendship. Maybe see her try to go to Pogue high school. Maybe see her try to get a job."