Warning: contains spoilers for "Outer Banks" Season 2
"Outer Banks" Season 2 just dropped, and if you’re one of the many fans who binged it over the weekend, we’re guessing you’ve got some lingering questions. Like, who is Rafe Cameron (Drew Starkey) going to try to kill next? Or when did Topper Thornton (Austin North) become such a good cook? And do the bad guys always have to win on this show? Also, when will "Outer Banks" Season 3 be released? And, finally, does anyone actually die on this show?
There are some things "Outer Banks" fans know for sure: Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline) didn’t die, despite the worries of many a fan when she got shot; Ward Cameron (Charles Esten) didn’t die either, with the megalomaniacal family patriarch having faked his own death in a manner no one could have ever seen coming; John B. Routledge (Chase Stokes) and the rest of Team Pogue made it to shore, though we wonder about their fresh water situation; and the Cameron family seemingly never loses, proving once and for all that karma either isn’t real or takes a long time to come back around.
Despite the concrete answers we have to the above and the shocking revelation that a certain death that formed the central conceit of the show apparently never actually happened, we still have some whos, some hows, and a lot of whys floating around our heads when it some to the OBX. Here are the biggest unanswered questions in "Outer Banks" Season 2.
So, about that whole Big John reveal …
Fans who’ve seen Season 2 in its entirety know that John B’s father, Big John Routledge (Charles Halford), is still alive. That’s right, the character whose death kicked this entire series into motion has actually been alive the entire time. We may not know where he’s been all along, but we do know that he’s in Barbados at the end of the Season 2 finale, courtesy of the location text that flashes onscreen when Carla Limbrey (Elizabeth Mitchell) goes to visit him.
According to the charming gentleman who lets her in, Big John has been "half dead for a long time," so it’s safe to assume that his road to recovery hasn’t been swift or easy. But we’re still wondering how? As in, how did he survive the head trauma Ward Cameron inflicted on him? As in, how did he manage to swim to safety? As in, how did he manage to get to Barbados, which, according to Google Maps, is about 1,835 miles away from the Outer Banks, as the crow flies? According to Lana Grubbs (CC Castillo), her husband Scooter found Big John’s body — and his compass — on a on a small deserted island off the coast of South Carolina. If Big John wasn’t dead, why would Scooter have said so?
Further, if Big John has been alive the entire time, why hasn’t he been in contact with his son? Why would he reach out to Carla before trying to get in touch with John B.? Sure, he’s half dead, we get it; but maybe get in touch with your son before the crazy lady.
Where is the Cameron family heading?
As we learned in Episode 10, the Cameron family and the Coastal Venture are bound for a place off of Guadeloupe. Google Maps will show you that Guadeloupe is an island group in the southeastearn part of the Caribbean sea, neighbored to the north by the British overseas territory of Montserrat and to the south by the island nation of Dominica. As Ward explains to Sarah, it’s a good thing she did well in French class, because Guadeloupe is a French overseas region, one of many claimed by world superpowers in the age of imperialism. Fun fact from Brittanica: Christopher Columbus landed on Guadeloupe in 1493 and gave the island group its name, though France annexed the island group in 1674.
So, why Guadeloupe? Depending on how much thought and research the "Outer Banks" writers put into selecting the Camerons’ destination, more than likely it comes down to extradition and capital punishment on some level. While the United States and France have had an extradition treaty on the books since its renewal in 1996 (via the United States Department of State), extradition may be denied if the crime for which extradition is requested is punishable by death in the requesting nation but not the requested country. Given that France abolished the death penalty in 2007, if the Camerons were discovered in Guadeloupe, the U.S. would have to promise not to impose the death penalty before France would extradite Rafe for prosecution.
One good thing about Guadeloupe: it’s only about 250 miles away from Barbados, where Big John is located.
What exactly is the deal with the cross?
This season of "Outer Banks" upped the ante, taking a sharp left at Historical Shipwreck Goldsville to head deep into the heart of Indiana Jonestown with a religious relic, the mystical Cross of Santo Domingo, which is conveniently Pope Heyward’s (Jonathan Daviss) birthright. Of course, as Carla Limbrey explains, the cross itself is not magic; it’s simply a vessel for the shroud, and whomever touches the hem of the garment will be healed. While it’s never stated outright in the show, the shroud, as it’s described, seems to be an in-show version of the Shroud of Turin, believed by Catholics to the burial garment of Jesus (via Brittanica). Bad news for Carla: as Rafe so eloquently put it when she opened the cross, only to see moths fly out, "the magic scarf was eaten by bugs."
Or was it? In Carla’s exchange with Big John, he claims to know where it is, meaning it wasn’t going to be in the cross when she opened it anyway. It’s probably for the best that she went ahead and shot Renfield (Jesse C. Boyd) anyway, he was kind of a creep and named after a "Dracula" character who eats bugs.
What remains to be seen is whether or not the shroud will make an appearance in "OBX" Season 3 and whether or not it will indeed have magical healing properties if it does. Jumping the shark might sound like a really cool surfing move but it’s actually a reference point at which a show reaches the point of ridiculousness; a magical shroud in the mix could be that breaking point if the series’ writers go down that path.
Where did Team Pogue wash ashore?
John B. and company managed to get the lifeboat to shore, landing on a seemingly deserted beach that J.J. dubs "Poguelandia." But where exactly are they really? We know the Costal Venture was headed to Guadeloupe from the Outer Banks, but we don’t know exactly how far out to sea the ship was by the time the Pogues escaped on the lifeboat, so speculation as to where they could have landed depends entirely on how far along they were.
If the Coastal Venture was still fairly early in its journey, it’s possible the Pogues landed somewhere in Bermuda. Per USA Geo, the geographic center of the Bermuda Islands is 670 miles in a straight line — or 582 nautical miles — from Nags Head, North Carolina, a town in the Outer Banks. Bermuda is comprised of more than 100 islands, so it’s conceivable that John B. and co. could have washed up on one of them that has a stretch of beach seemingly uninhabited.
Another option, if the Coastal Venture was further south by the time the Pogues departed, is that they landed in the Bahamas. According to the Official Website of the Government of The Bahamas, there are 700 islands and 2,400 cays in the Bahamian islands. Of those, only 30 of the islands are inhabited. Given that "Outer Banks" has already taken viewers to the Bahamas, it could be the safe bet when trying to figure out where the Pogues landed at the end of Season 2.
Why did John B. show mercy on Ward?
Things come to a head aboard the Costal Venture in Episode 10 when Ward Cameron finds his daughter Sarah getting the lifeboat ready so she and her friends can escape with the Cross of Santo Domingo. At that point, Ward realizes his daughter has gone full-Pogue and is 100% against him. So he does what any father who’s been betrayed by his daughter would do: he tries to kill her with his own two hands.
This prompts John B. to do what any boyfriend who sees his girlfriend being strangled by her own father — who also happens to be the man responsible for his own father’s death — would do: he punches Ward. The two continue a close-quarters fist fight, while Sarah gasps for air, and John B. takes control of the fight after landing a looping overhand right. John B. followed that up with three left hooks, at which point Ward cracks his melon on the edge of the boat, a rather fitting injury, considering the one Big John suffered at his hands.
With Ward incapacitated, John B. gets ready to dump him overboard, thus completing the Circle of Life. He looks to Sarah, seemingly getting the go-ahead in her tearful nod, and … just lets Ward fall to the deck. Given the opportunity and seeming approval from Sarah, why wouldn’t John B. take revenge on Ward for his father’s death? What reason, outside of plot armor, would he have for sparing the man who caused him so much pain?
What larger role does Cleo have to play?
When John B. and Sarah are rescued by a ship bound for the Bahamas, they’re thrilled to get another crack at the gold from the Royal Merchant. Spoiler alert: that doesn’t work out for them. But in their attempts to steal the gold back from Ward and Rafe with the ship’s crew, they make a useful ally in Cleo (Carlacia Grant). When their attempts to recover the gold are ultimately unsuccessful — given that Rafe shooting Sarah delayed their departure long enough for the police arrive in the port — Cleo helps the star-crossed duo escape with a boat and they head back to the U.S.
Of course, Cleo reappears as a crew member of the Coastal Venture in the final episode. After beating up Pope, she’s incredulous to hear that her American friends, John B. and Sarah, are actually on the ship. Just like that, the Pogues have another ally on the ship and another unofficial member. Cleo assists in their attempt to take over the ship and get away with the Cross of Santo Domingo, ultimately escaping along with her compatriots.
The question remains as to what Cleo’s future impact will be on the show. As the situation stands at the end of Season 2, she’s a member of Team Pogue and has washed up who-knows-where with the rest of them. Was she vibing with Pope toward the end of the episode? If not, at least J.J. doesn’t have to worry about being a fifth wheel, with the group now comprised of an equal number of guys and gals.
Why didn’t John B. try to overturn the narrative that Ward killed Sheriff Peterkin?
This one is less of a situation that remains to be seen so much as a head-scratching plot hole from "Outer Banks" Season 2. After Ward Cameron faked his death, we see his last will and testament in video form, during which he neatly wraps up the murder of Sheriff Susan Peterkin (Adina Porter) by falsely confessing his guilt, thereby clearing Rafe of suspicion in her death. What doesn’t make sense is why the characters whose testimony SBI Agent Bratcher (Brad James) tells Ward conflicts with his version of events aren’t screaming from the roof tops. John B. and Sarah both know the truth — that Rafe killed the sheriff, not Ward.
As Sheriff Shoupe lays out for Ward when the State Bureau of Investigation raids Tannyhill, Rafe’s fingerprints are on the shell casings found at the scene. Barring any exculpatory physical evidence, they should still proceed with the investigation, regardless of Ward’s false confession. Outside of his statement, the evidence tying Ward to the crime is circumstantial — the fact that the gun belonged to him.
While Ward’s apparent death is a sore spot for John B. and Sarah — with the former relieved and the latter devastated — it doesn’t change the fact that both parties know that Rafe is guilty. The fact that Ward’s video seemingly killed the need for the investigation to continue doesn’t mean they should have gone silent, especially since Ward — the biggest corrupting influence the investigation could have faced — was now gone.
Is Sheriff Schoupe good or corrupt?
Unfortunately there’s no straightforward answer as to whether anyone in the Kildare County Sheriff’s Office is on the side of good or evil on "Outer Banks." Sheriff Susan Peterkin was very clearly in a moral gray area. While Ward Cameron had some undue influence on the sheriff’s department during her tenure — she did give him Big John’s compass, after all — she ultimately came down on the side of law and order first, which is exactly why Rafe killed her near the end of "Outer Banks" Season 1.
Deputy Victor Shoupe (Cullen Moss) is also on shaky moral ground. It’s more than obvious that he’s corrupt and in Ward’s pocket — we assume bribery — and all but dismisses any notion that the Cameron family could ever do any wrong. It’s only through his seeming curiosity when Team Pogue does all the police legwork and tracks down the gun Rafe used to kill Sheriff Peterkin that he accidentally stumbles across the truth.
When Shoupe learns the gun belongs to Ward, he stashes it in his desk rather than immediately processing it into evidence and its unclear as to why. We can assume his hesitation was due to his seeming allegiance with Ward, but given that he reaches out to North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation, it’s possible he’s aware that Ward has other resources in the Kildare County Sheriff’s Department. After all, he did manage to bribe Deputy Plumb (Chelle Ramos) to arrange for John B. to be killed while awaiting trial in jail. Time will tell which side Sheriff Shoupe ultimately falls on.
Is Topper actually changing for the better or still a jerk?
At the beginning of "Outer Banks," Topper very clearly embraced the Kooks vs. Pogues rivalry, even going so far as to pick a fight with J.J. and John B. at the annual bonfire in the very first episode and drop the clever line "John B., don’t make me drown you like your old man." Seriously, what a jerk.
Nevertheless, Topper does show some signs of actual humanity throughout the show’s first season. While it’s clear he’s never going to be a Pogue, his flashes of decency give us hope for him, most notably when he helps John B. and Sarah escape police pursuit at the end of Season 1. But even before that, he tried to steer Rafe clear of Pope before the former assaulted the latter on the golf course and continued to try to deescalate the situation.
In Season 2, of course, Topper saves Sarah from being killed by her psychotic brother. However, even before that he tried to keep J.J. cool at the restaurant and deescalate once more, even going so far as to point out that the investigation into Sheriff Peterkin’s death was still ongoing. When J.J. loses his cool anyway and quits his job at the Island Inn Restaurant, Topper tries to break up the resulting fisticuffs with Kelce (Deion Smith) after J.J. proclaims John B’s innocence.
Despite this seeming progress, Topper goes off on a classist "Pogues are trash" diatribe to Sarah at the bonfire, essentially undoing any good will the character had built with viewers. Will he grow or will he remain a mostly static character?
Will they return to OBX and what will happen?
As we can see, there’s much to be figured out if and when "Outer Banks" releases a potential third season, though most of these discussions have centered around events no longer taking place in the titular location. What, then, would the potential impact be on those who’ve been left behind, should the characters return to the Cut and Figure 8?
Kiara Carrera’s (Madison Bailey) parents make it abundantly clear she was on her last leg; they lay down the law, saying no more Pogue life or else she is bound for that youth ranch for troubled teens. And that was before she snuck out again and stowed away on the Coastal Venture. When last we see Mike and Anna Carrera (Marland Burke and Samantha Soule, respectively), they’re hanging flyers in search of their missing daughter. It looks like Ki has some drama waiting for her upon her potential return home.
Speaking of family drama awaiting in the OBX, Pope’s father, Heyward (E. Roger Mitchell), has been through a lot this season. In addition to his genius son’s antics, he got beaten up by Renfield, after which he grew a sudden interest in the mysterious cross situation and had to remind Pope he didn’t raise him to back down from a fight. Having encouraged his son to pursue the cross, we see Heyward praying in his son’s bedroom during the Episode 10 denouement, following Sheriff Shoupe’s press conference. Given the lack of dialogue, we’re left to assume he’s simply sad that his son is missing, but he may also feel guilty for egging him on.
Contains spoilers for "Outer Banks" Season 2
Netflix’s "Outer Banks" remains one of the platform’s most popular dramas. It’s easy to see why people show up for the eye candy and stay for the mystery and intrigue surrounding its plot. "Outer Banks" takes place on the coast of North Carolina with rival factions known as the Pogues (the poor kids) and the Kooks (the rich ones). The Pogues follow John B. (Chase Stokes), who lost his father when he was still a young boy. When he grows up, he learns of a strange treasure his father left behind for him to find and change his life with. However, other people at the Outer Banks would love to get their hands on those riches, too.
It goes without saying that wherever there are treasures, people are waiting in the shadows, willing to do anything to get their hands on it. John B. and his friends aren’t just risking their reputations; their very lives are at stake. Early on in "Outer Banks" Season 2, Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline) suffers a gunshot wound. It’s the kind of cliffhanger fans of the series have become used to. The question remains: Does she make it out of the scenario okay?
Sarah’s still alive … for now
Sarah’s shooting in Season 2, Episode 2 of "Outer Banks" is an emotional moment. It’s bad enough a character we’ve come to love is in danger, but she’s shot by her brother, Rafe (Drew Starkey). Episode 3 continues the saga by having a shady doctor operate on Sarah, but she flatlines despite the surgeon’s best efforts. John B. loves her too much to give up that easily, and he begins performing CPR, saving her in the process.
So technically, Sarah did die for a little bit, but you can’t get rid of a character that good so quickly. She’s brought back to life and continues going with John B. and the Pogues and the rest of the journey to recover the gold. After her near-death experience, she’s ready to get right back into the saddle of things, fighting alongside John B. while going against the wishes of her family.
It may have been an intense moment for some fans, but others knew a prominent character wasn’t going to die so soon into the show’s run. That was the case with Twitter user @NaseemaVeasey, who wrote, "There was a clip of [Sarah] with the rest of the pogues in the trailer & they wouldn’t kill her in the 3rd episode. Plus it’s 5am I’m TIRED." Sarah’s brush with death may have been resolved quickly, but don’t worry, there are plenty of other surprises throughout "Outer Banks" Season 2 to keep you on the edge of your seat.