The season three finale of Outer Banks was certainly teeming with drama. In the feature-length episode, the search for Big John, the father of John B, finally comes to an end, as does the Pogues’ search for the Venezuelan city of gold, El Dorado. Of course, it’s far from plain sailing.
With shootings, a new storyline and a bunch of deaths, there’s a lot to unpack. So let’s get started: what exactly happened in the Outer Banks season three finale?
But first, a quick recap. In the final episode of season three, John B – played by Chase Stokes – and the gang make it to the Orinoco basin with the help of Ward (Charles Esten). Despite utilising his private jet, John is still deeply suspicious of Ward and, when he’s out of earshot, lays out a plan of action. The plan is to locate a man called Jose in Tres Roca. The gang will then carry on to the archaeological site at Solana.
Ward hears every word, which doesn’t bode well, considering his track record. Meanwhile, JJ and Lie arrive in South America, aided by drug smuggler Barracuda Mike, and also set off for Tres Rocas. They soon catch up with the rest of the gang.
Having successfully freed Big John from captivity, Sarah and John B find themselves on the run from Carlos Singh’s men, who set about searching the village for Big John. Safe from harm, Big John confesses that he can’t translate the Gnomon before revealing the Denmark Tanny Letters with an additional translation key, which changes everything.
They then find Jose at the river, where they discover that Ward has also located the tour guide. With Singh’s men gaining on them, they are forced to take Ward with them. Once at El Tesoro, Ward explains that he’s too weak to hike and suggests that he wait behind to warn them of Singh’s arrival.
Meanwhile, John B and the gang have located the Gnomon idol, which, under the moonlight, unlocks to reveal some new clues. Though Big John knows the answers, because he doesn’t trust his daughter-in-law Sarah, he keeps them to himself However, he does help the gang find El Dorado.
At the very last moment, Singh appears, having received the next clue. It’s then revealed that Ward – surprise, surprise, has been working with Singh all along and has sold out Sarah and John B by revealing their location. Big John sticks to his guns and decides not to translate the secrets of the Gnomon even when John B’s life is on the line. A shootout ensues, at which point Big John is shot but manages to escape.
Ward tries and fails to persuade Sarah to join his side, and Big John finally shares what he’s learned from the Gnomon clues back at the cave. Too injured to carry on, he’s left behind while John B and Sarah make it to El Dorado, which is nothing as they imagined. They collect some hunks of gold and keep moving, by which time Singh has tracked down Big John.
They hand over the gold at gunpoint, but Big John saves the day by tossing a big stick of dynamite at Singh. As Sarah and co make off with the gold, an explosion can be heard ricocheting through the jungle. At the last moment, Singh’s second-in-command Ryan (Lou Ferrigno Jr) steals the gold and, seeking revenge, tries to shoot Sarah. Ward takes the bullet and pushes Ryan off a cliff. Big John sadly bleeds out, and the two are buried side by side.
In the final few minutes, we flash forward eighteen months. Sarah and John B have bought their surf shop, and everyone, including Kie, who is busy saving turtles, seems to have settled down. The arrival of a stranger disrupts this calm and predicts further drama in season four. The old stranger hands them a manuscript containing a new quest. That manuscript? The captain’s log of Blackbeard, the pirate.