The season 1 finale of Outer Banks begins with Sarah leading John B to an abandoned house where they hide out until they can reconvene with the group down at the dock in the morning. The plan is to travel down to Mexico but the group is clearly fractured after the way Kiara handled Pope’s feelings the previous night.
With the situation becoming desperate, Agent Bratcher from the SBI arrives to oversee the operation to track down John B. It’s something that clearly rattles Ward too, who feels like everything is crumbling around him. Rose calms him down though and tells him to do what he does best – sell.
John B awakens to find a note written by Sarah talking about the truth. Telling him to stay put, Sarah meanwhile heads down to the shore where she speaks to Bratcher, spilling the truth about what’s happened including Rafe killing the Sheriff and Ward not being wholly truthful.
Ward interjects though and tries to talk Sarah out of what she’s saying but it’s no good, she screams at Bratcher to believe her. Ward takes him aside and explains Sarah is bipolar but before they can finish talking, Sarah slips away and back to John B, warning him about what lies ahead. They head out together on paddle-boards into the middle of the water and try to formulate a plan.
John B gets thinking and tells Sarah to meet him by the dock in an hour. He needs to get the gold from his house first because without it, they have no money and no way out. Unfortunately for him though, Shoupe gets to John B’s house first and finds the black bag with the melted gold bars and map to the treasure. Figuring out that he’s finished what Big John started. Shoupe orders everything to be bagged up and taken down to the station.
John B takes the opportunity to hurry down to the police car while the officers are inside and steals it, driving it away and prompting the manhunt to pick up again.
Rafe and Barry form a dysfunctional team in a bid to track down John B. In order to do so, they follow Kie and JJ on their dirt bikes to a garage housing a powerful speedboat. Pope arrives to save them at the last second, knocking Rafe down to the ground and beating him to a pulp. Looking set to choke him out, Pope lets Rafe go at the last second and tells him to stay off the cut. Barry heads off after this commotion and reminds Rafe that he’s owned now, especially after finding out the secret about Sheriff Peterkin.
The four friends make it down to the dock but unfortunately Sarah doesn’t make it. John B apologises for bringing them down this crazy path but they remind him of Pogue Lyfe and how, given they’re friends, they’re supposed to look out for one another.
After seeing John B off, Pope apologises for his attitude to Kie and they end up kissing. The police, led by Agent Bratcher, quickly scramble up to the dock and take the three kids in for questioning. As they do, Pope holds Kie’s hand.
John B finds Sarah running after her on her side of the island and together they head off, determined to try and get away from the authorities. In order to do so, they follow the North Star together but unfortunately the power comes back on right the way across the island and with it, Sarah and John B end up under the spotlight.
With the threat of jail and Ward getting away with murder, John B and Sarah drive straight into the heart of the storm while Bratcher hands the radio over to Ward, who begs John B to turn the boat around for Sarah’s sake. John B reminds him of the murder and framing him for another and because of that, he’s going to get his revenge. Not long after, the boat capsizes in the water.
Shoupe tells the kids the bad news surrounding John B’s boat and as their families arrive, the three kids weep for the loss of their friends.
Only, John B and Sarah aren’t actually dead. The duo survived the storm and in the distance, they find a freighter. Using the melted gold to reflect the light, they get a signal and manage to hop on-board. As fate would have it, this boat is heading for The Bahamas and that ironically puts them back on the hunt for the treasure again. The game is afoot!
With a cliffhanger ending, lots of unresolved plot points and a questionable romance between Kiara and Pope, the finale to Outer Banks feels like a tale of two halves. On the one hand, there’s certainly a lot of excitement in these final moments and the rivalry between Ward and John B has definitely become personal. The deeper character ties with our Pogues and the rival Kooks is a nice inclusion while Rafe’s arc looks set to take some wild turns going forward.
Having said that though, the idea of Pope and Kiara involved in a romance feels a bit forced. There’s been a few hints through the season but nothing on Kiara’s side to demonstrate this is what she wants. Hopefully this doesn’t change the solid group dynamic going forward as this has easily been the highlight of the whole show. Although the cliffhanger is annoying, there’s enough to suggest Netflix will renew this one for a second season. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long before we get an answer.