Tapping The Rudder
Episode 8 of Outer Banks Season 3 starts with Sarah bemoaning her own experiences, justifying why she cheated on John B and betrayed him. She felt alone and since then, has been struggling with her identity over whether she’s really a Pogue or a Kook.
Meanwhile, police show up at John B’s place, wanting to talk. He and JJ hide out and the sheriff eventually leaves, but not before leaving a tracker on their car. At the same time, Ward is still kicking about, this time laying low by the river. He’s taking drastic measures and has decided not to give the company to Rafe after all. In fact, he has a document to confirm it’s being passed over to Rose instead.
Rafe holds his father up at gunpoint, who’s convinced that he won’t shoot. Although Rafe does fire, he doesn’t aim at his dad, instead pointing away before eventually leaving. Naturally, Rafe decides to approach Barry, asking him for help in doing what he couldn’t do himself.
Sarah heads off to see Topper, who’s in the gym and working out. He’s dead-set on getting even. He’s also pressing charges too, but he wants Sarah to testify on his behalf against John B. She agrees to do so, mostly out of pressure, but whether she follows through with this or not is another matter. Sarah is in a bind and she heads off to see Ward, asking him for help.
John B follows JJ’s lead as he manages to bag them a trip to South America. Unfortunately, it includes ferrying drugs, with the pair forced to drive a U-Haul truck up to Elizabeth City to make a drug drop to a house on Prospect. If they can do that, and head back before sundown, then they’ll get their ride to South America.
Immediately on the road the pair end up running from police officers after swerving and acting suspiciously. The pair start wrestling when they’re seemingly alone, just as the sheriff shows up. He’s not there about the train robbery, nor is he about the windshield smashing on the cop car. Instead, he’s there to arrest John B because apparently the assault on Topper is way more important. If that wasn’t enough, the U-Haul truck full of drugs is also found too.
Down on the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela, Singh nears their destination. Big John is still in his custody and he tries to eye up a way to escape. It doesn’t seem possible though.
Pope and Cleo show up too see Kie with the letter from Tanny and its potential links to El Dorado. All those glyphs drawn out are the same ones from the statue and it would seem that it’s all connected. While they work to decipher this, Sarah speaks to Topper and encourages him to drop the charges and wait. With his father in big trouble in South America, Topper is urged to let John B go because he’ll soon be out of his hair. Sarah promises she’ll stay with him too and not leave.
John B is let go without charge, and Sarah speaks to the group, telling them that she’s sorted out a flight over to South America. This comes in the form of Ward’s plane, which he’s agreed to let them use. Sarah is surprised by how the group have embraced her again and despite promising Topper that she’ll be with him, Sarah instead decides to be with John B and starts kissing him. Of course, Topper shows up, off the back of Rafe stirring everything, and sees everything. Angry and betrayed, Topper grabs gasoline and sets the house alight. As the place begins burning, Topper drives off.
The Episode Review
It seems like the treasure hunt and saving Big John are basically afterthoughts at this point given the last 3 episodes have basically devolved into formulaic teen drama. The whole situation involving Topper does Sarah absolutely no favours, who comes off as manipulative and completely to blame for both guys acting the way they are.
The sheriff showing up to arrest John B and not saying anything about the train robbery is another great example of the writers breaking the worldbuilding. It’s poor writing and I keep bringing it up because ironically, this was the one big action set piece that stands out in the whole show.
With a few episodes left, hopefully we’ll get back to the treasure hunting soon but right now, it feels like the story has been stretched out unnecessarily across these 10 episodes.