Photo courtesy of Netflix.
Outer Banks debuted its first season on April 15, 2020. It became a huge hit as most of us needed something to do during quarantine. The series was created by Josh Pate, Jonas Pate, and Shannon Burke. A few months after the show’s debut, it was announced the show got renewed for a second season. Season 2 premiered on July 30, 2021. Before we get into season 2, let’s recap what happened in season 1.
In season 1, we are introduced to the world of Outer Banks. We meet the Pogues: John B. Routledge (Chase Stokes), JJ Maybank (Rudy Pankow), Kiara “Kie” Carerra (Madison Bailey), and Pope Heyward (Jonathan Daviss) and the Kooks Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline), Rafe Cameron (Drew Starkey), and Topper (Austin North). The Pogues are working-class locals while the Kooks are wealthy residents.
Season 1’s premise follows John B and his friends as they try to unpack the reasons behind his father’s disappearance. While on their journey to discovery, the Pogues find treasure that’s connected to Big John (Charles Halford), John B’s father. The first half of the season starts off slow and doesn’t build up much tension until the later half of the season.
Season 1 ends with Rafe shooting Sheriff Peterkin (Adina Porter) at the tarmac with John B rescuing Sarah. Ward Cameron (Charles Esten) pins Peterkin’s death on John B which leads him and Sarah to flee into the storm on a boat with everyone presuming that the lovebirds died. The finale was an emotional rollercoaster leaving many of us with unanswered questions.
Season 2 starts right where season 1 left off with a recap of the season. We find John B and Sarah on the boat of the people who rescued them. They are heading to the Bahamas where Ward sent off the gold. Convenient right? The first few episodes have John B and Sarah running for their lives, getting shot, encountering Ward and Rafe, and being blackmailed by Captain Terrence (Terence Rosemore) and Cleo (Carlacia Grant).
Meanwhile, JJ, Kiara, and Pope are reeling with John B and Sarah’s presumed deaths and return to school. They eventually find out the two are alive when John B borrows a cell phone to contact them. The Pogues aren’t reunited with their ringleader and his girlfriend until later on.
Pope gets contacted by a woman named Carla Limbrey (Elizabeth Mitchell) who claims she can clear John B’s name. But she wants something in return. A key that turned out to be in Pope’s family for generations and a golden cross. The cross supposedly contains powers that could heal her.
Season 2 brought us 2 love triangles. The first being John B, Sarah, and Topper. Topper saves Sarah from Rafe as he attempts to kill her by drowning her. The two rekindle their relationship but in a non-romantic way. From the end of season 1, it seemed like John B and Sarah were endgame but season 2 put them through the ringer. With Ward’s presumed death, John B showed no compassion for Sarah which is understandable as the man killed his father but Ward was still Sarah’s father.
The second being Pope, Kiara, and JJ. Pope and Kiara shared a kiss last season which led to rather awkward tension and conversations between them. Ultimately, they decide to remain as friends as their friendship is much more important. It might also be because Kiara and Pope don’t have romantic chemistry or tension. However, Kiara and JJ definitely have something. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, creator Josh Pate teased at a possible relationship, “Teen romance and teen soap are a big part of the show. We wanted to explore the Ki-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. We didn’t want to do it immediately, but we definitely want to do it just because that took us by surprise, like the audience’s reaction to JJ and Kiara and rooting for that romance. So we were immediately open to it, because it seems like an interesting idea to explore but we kind of left it for season 3.” Co-creator Shannon Burke added “We didn’t want to just dismiss Pope and Kiara either, we had built up the whole thing and we wanted to let that play out.” Hold your breath Jiara fans, we may be seeing these two together in season 3 (if Netflix renews the show, update: the show has been renewed for season 3!).
Season 2 was full of heightened emotions, wild action, and romance. There are certain characters that stood out to me this season. For starters, Cline’s performance as Sarah in this season was amazing. Her facial expressions and emotions were on point. Sarah went through a lot this season and Cline did a wonderful job portraying her this season.
Rafe was a particular character that is heavily focused on in season 2. Starkey was incredible. Rafe went on a dark journey and Starkey elevated the character to his full potential. He’s a character you either hate to love or love to hate.
Newcomer Grant shined as Cleo this season. What a wonderful addition to the show. I knew from the beginning that Cleo wasn’t as bad as she appeared to be. Grant did an amazing job bringing her to life. She’s definitely my favorite new character this season.
I fell in love more with JJ this season. Pankow portrays him so well. JJ’s ability to be so soft and then did a 180 and become unhinged is so mesmerizing to watch.
Lastly, Davis’ performance as Pope this season needs to be acknowledged. He was so good and Pope’s storyline was so interesting and caught me by surprise as it was something I didn’t expect.
As far romances go, we could possibly see Pope and Cleo together. We’ll have to wait and see but I felt the tension between them in their first scene together. I would be fine if they just remained friends. As previously I mentioned, there is a high possibility for Kiara and JJ to be explored further. We’ll most likely see more of John B and Sarah.
The season 2 cliffhanger had me screaming with my mouth wide open. This is something I won’t spoil. This is something that I know will be explored. There is a theory that Carla might be John B’s mother which is intriguing.
I do hope Wheezie Cameron (Julia Antonelli) has a bigger role next season because I love her and she saved Sarah and the others so many times in season 2.
I was thoroughly impressed with season 2. Most of the shows I’ve been watching this year have been disappointing as far as second seasons go. It was entertaining, engaging, and emotionally gripping. The acting was even better than last season. Each character went through major development which I enjoyed.
If you haven’t watched season 2 yet, get binge-watching. I stayed up till 2 a.m. to finish it. That’s how good it is.
Outer Banks is available to stream exclusively on Netflix.
Creators: Jonas Pate, Josh Pate, Shannon Burke
Cast: Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline, Madison Bailey, Rudy Pankow, Jonathan Daviss
Producers: Jonas Pate, Josh Pate, Shannon Burke