Outer Banks Season 3 Review – Less charm, more farcical plot contrivances

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3/5


When Outer Banks dropped back in 2020, it brought with it a fresh perspective on the teen adventure genre. Bringing the adventure feel of The Famous Five and combining it with likable characters and a compelling treasure hunt, made this an instant hit on Netflix. And it’s easy to see why! However, there comes a time though when the party ends and season 3 feels like the last notes of the final song before everything gets shut off and you go home.

Season 3 picks up where we left off from before, with our kids stranded on a desert island but away from Sarah’s father Ward, who’s still out looking for her. When the teens do inevitably get picked up, they stumble into another treasure hunt, this time taking them to the tropics of Barbados and eventually South America. Along the way, new antagonist Carlos Singh comes to the foreground, a man desperate to find the treasure of El Dorado and who will do anything it takes to make that happen.

Naturally, John B and the other kids find themselves mixed up in this but in a way that’s rather contrived, with writing that struggles to balance the cast to give them something meaningful to do. There’s a whole subplot involving Pope heading off and researching his family lineage, in an arc that’s almost the same as season 2’s. And then you have Kie, whose arc involves being the right-hand woman to JJ and trying to appease her parents.

In many ways, season 3 epitomizes the best and worst parts of this show. The beginning and end of the series sandwich the exciting treasure hunting and bombastic action set pieces around formulaic teen drama and a tepid love triangle. All the tropes show up here, including the lazy “withholding information unnecessarily so the plot can happen” and the dreaded love triangle.

The problem with season 3 though comes solely down to its writing, which swings between enjoyably daft to lazily contrived. There are several instances of deus ex machina that crop up too, while there’s a whole thread involving a train robbery that’s massive news… for 3 minutes afterwards before it’s completely forgotten. The inconsistency with the way the police and Carlos Singh’s men are used in this show is one of the biggest problems with this season and once you notice it, it’s hard to ignore.

The character writing fares a little better and thankfully the chemistry between the cast is still here in abundance. Carlos Singh had the potential to be a great antagonist but he goes missing for large stretches of this season and in the end, his threat peters out. Visually though, the season looks fantastic and some of the drone shots, showing off gorgeous picturesque locales, is a definite stand out.

Promise peters out into mediocrity and eventually farcical contrivances, making Outer Banks season 3 its worst outing yet. It’s such a shame too because there are stand-out moments here and the series remains a solid binge watch. If you can switch your brain off and not question anything that’s happening you should have a good time but those after something a little more adventurous, or at least on-par with earlier seasons, will be left disappointed with this distinctly average outing.

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  • Verdict - 5/10

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