Outer Banks – Season 3 Episode 10 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Secret of the Gnomon

Episode 10 of Outer Banks season 3 starts with John B’s plane making its way to the Orinoco Basin. The group look over their map, determining their next course of action. As for Big John, he’s desperately translating but he’s only got a few hours to prove his worth to an increasingly impatient Carlos Singh. In that time, John B and the others touch down at the airport but Sarah refuses to let her dad be part of their grand adventure.

John B and Kie touch down not long after, but they’re a couple of hours out from the landing zone. For now, the attention is with John B and the group, who need to try and find their river guide, Jose. As they begin asking around at the bars, they overhear a commotion upstairs which happens to be Big John. Cor, what a massive bit of luck that John B and the others happen to be outside the exact window!

As fireworks are set off inside the house, it’s enough of a distraction for Big John to get the jump on his captors. After being reunited, they flee through the streets and are forced to escape from Singh and his goons. When they finally catch a break, Big John looks over the documents that Pope has found and realizes they’re legit; it could be their ticket to unlocking the treasure.

Does Big John lead the group to the monument?

Down on the river, the group finally find Jose… but they also happen to find Ward too. Tensions are high between everyone but given Singh is in the market, determined to find them, they’re forced to think quickly. The group all scramble onboard together and leave before it’s too late.

The group make their way to El Tesoro, where they intend to hold up for the night before pressing on in the morning. John B points out that Sarah is part of their treasure hunt too but Big John refuses to entertain that notion, pointing out he doesn’t trust anyone with the name of Cameron.

The group have a full day’s walk so Ward decides to hang about in El Tesoro with his flare gun, given chis bad leg. However, the night before he was messing about with ringing someone in secret and turning on the navigation on his phone, so we’ll have to wait and see what his true intentions are.

Sarah, Big John and John B manage to hike up to the top of a large hill, overlooking the beautiful expanse below. More importantly though, there’s also the four columns in the distance, which is precisely where they’re aiming to go.

Well, when they get there they notice a pedestal where they need to input the statue. They do just that, and given they do it right as the full moon is about to come out, they’re just in time.

What do the glyphs say?

The glyphs begin marking one by one, allowing them to decipher a message about the wealth of the earth, darkness, seeker and patience. All these different glyphs are showing the location to El Dorado but the Secret of the Gnomon is going to stay that way for a while.

Big John refuses to reveal what the message says, which perhaps is just as well given Singh arrives with his goons. It turns out this was Ward’s doing. He’s made a deal with Carlos Singh to let himself and Sarah go safe and sound while Singh gets the treasure of El Dorado in return. Big John refuses to let it go, claiming the treasure is up in his mind, and he’s not about to give it to this crook.

A gunfight does inevitably break out, with Sarah turning on her father and refusing to follow him. It’s enough for Big John to begin trusting her as he flees with her and John B into the woods.

Meanwhile, back up the river and further behind, JJ and his group manage to evade a bunch of soldiers as they close in on John B and the others. This is worth noting, as our protagonists find a big cave. It looks like a dead-end but Big John is convinced they’re onto something here. And that something is inside the water. Once there, and finally alone, Big John reveals what that final part of the message was from before. “The true and patient seeker needs not light to see.” So what does this mean? I’m sure we’ll find out.

Is the treasure of El Dorado found?

Big John stays behind, given he’s been shot, as Sarah and John B grab some flares and dive underwater. Big John’s trail of blood is enough for Singh to track them down. As he closes in on their location, John B and Sarah track down another clue, this time by shutting off the flares and watching as a hole in the cave opens up.

The pair are next faced with a large chasm they need to try and jump over, and the pair just about make it in one piece. It couldn’t have happened any faster either, given Singh enters the cave. John B and Sarah find the treasure of El Dorado after all and marvel at the sight of all that gold.

When John B and Sarah return with their treasure, Singh is there waiting for them. Big John lights some dynamite and decides to blow the treasure sky high, sacrificing the greatest treasure for the love of his son. The explosion causes a cave in, trapping Singh but miraculously saving Sarah, Big John and John B, who make it out in one piece without a scratch. Ward suddenly arrives though and holds a gun up at them.

How is Ward stopped?

Deux ex machina strikes again though as JJ and his group show up and surround Ward. Sarah talks him down but out of the woods steps Ryan, the man working for Singh. Ward sacrifices himself to save the others launching off a cliff and crashing to the ground below, taking Ryan with him and taking several bullets to the gut for good measure. Is Ward really dead though? I doubt it.

Anyway, the group make it to safety but Big John bleeds out. As he loses consciousness, he tells John B that he’s the best son a dad could ask for. As he passes away, John B leaves him a lump of gold, promising to see him back home. They bury the guy and pay their respects, while Sarah does the same for Ward…although there’s still time for him to claw his way up ala. Evil Dead style!

How does Outer Banks season 3 end?

We then cut forward 18 months later as Pogues and Kooks join together in celebration as they close the chapter and solve the El Dorado mystery. A suited man happens to be there looking over the collection though, and he takes them aside. He’s found a manuscript and needs partners to help him translate and uncover the big mystery. And who does it belong to? Edward Teach aka. Blackbeard.

The Episode Review

“And somehow… Ward returned.” Does anyone really believe that Ward Cameron is actually dead? There’s been several fake-outs now and while his character hasn’t done very much this season, in the end he sacrifices himself to save Sarah and John B.

This extended episode focuses almost exclusively on the treasure hunt, and I can’t help but feel that if the rest of the season had gone this, we could have had a really exciting treasure hunt. Instead, Singh’s threat fizzles out completely given he just dies inside a cave without much aplomb. While it’s a suitable death for him, he basically took a leave of absence for half the season before this occurred.

Where this show excels is in its action and set pieces, both of which are sandwiched between humdrum teen drama and plot contrivances galore.

In the end, the conclusion hints that season 4 is turning its attention to Blackbeard’s treasure, and given we know the show has already been renewed, we thankfully don’t have an agonizing wait to see if this ends inconclusively. Despite those gripes though, there’s enough here to enjoy, rounding things out with a decent enough finale to what’s otherwise been a rather perfunctory season of ups and downs.

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You can read our full season review for Outer Banks season 3 here!

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