Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Outer Banks season 3!

The Pogues’ latest adventure to El Dorado concludes with a giant treasure hunt and massive deaths, as Outer Banks season 3’s ending wraps up major storylines and sets up the future. Nearly two years after the release of the last season, Outer Banks returned to Netflix to build on season 2’s ending. The Pogues’ attempt to return home after a botched attempt to get the Cross of Santo Domingo leads them directly into the middle of the search for the legendary city of El Dorado. It’s a complicated journey that includes the reunion between John B and Big John, blossoming romances among the Pogues, and the Camerons fighting for legacy.

All the storylines build to Outer Banks season 3’s ending set primarily in South America as everyone converges around the presumed site of El Dorado. This does not come without another classic Ward Cameron betrayal, while new villain Carlos Singh dies in pursuit of the gold riches. The tragedies continue as Outer Banks season 3 ends the main quest, one that momentarily looks to be a place that could bring the show’s conclusion. But with season 4 already confirmed, the final scene directly setting up the Pogues’ next treasure hunt is clear. Here is a complete breakdown of Outer Banks season 3’s ending, deaths, and season 4 setup.

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John B & Sarah Find El Dorado & The Pogues Get Honored

Outer Banks Season 3 John B Sarah El Dorado

The entire three seasons treasure hunting journey for John B, Sarah Cameron, and the Pogues pays off with the discovery that El Dorado is real in Outer Banks season 3’s ending. While Big John helps his son and Sarah understand the Gnomon of Solana and find the cave entrance to the city, the two teens take charge from there to find the actual legendary site. This is only done after deciphering the clues and marks the first true victory for the Pogues in their treasure-hunting quest. While they found the Royal Merchant, Denmark Tanny’s gold, and the Cross of Santo Domingo, they lost out on the riches each could bring.

It is only through the events of Outer Banks season 3 finale that the Pogues are able to keep some of the newfound treasure this time. After returning from El Dorado with a bag full of its gold, John B and Sarah find Carlos Singh waiting for them. Thankfully, Big John intervenes and lights a stick of dynamite to blow up the entrance to El Dorado, and it kills Singh in the process of covering up the entrance. While Ward Cameron makes one more play for the gold and one of Singh’s henchmen follows suit shortly thereafter, the Pogues finally get a victory and hold onto the treasure they’ve found.

With their new riches in hand, the Pogues return to Outer Banks and are honored for their discovery 18 months later. Outer Banks season 3 jumps forward a year and a half to show the opening of an exhibit that has the Gnomon of Solana on display, as well as other findings that connect the Royal Merchant, Denmark Tanny, the Cross of Santo Domingo, and El Dorado together. John B, Sarah, Pope, Cleo, Kiara, and JJ all appear to have at least partially made the transition to living the Kooks lifestyle and are now celebrated members of Outer Banks, having united the Figure Eight and The Cut sides.

Big John & Ward Cameron Die (For Real This Time)

Ward Cameron looks at Big John from behind on a boat in Outer Banks

The Outer Banks season 3 ending includes several deaths, but the most notable come when Big John and Ward Cameron die. Big John dies as a result of too much blood loss after one of Singh’s bullets hit him in the side. He stayed alive long enough to help John B and Sarah find El Dorado and even see some of the gold for himself, but he died on the boat ride away from Orinoco. Ward Cameron dies in Outer Banks season 3 after one of Singh’s men threatens to kill Sarah. He charges the man and is shot multiple times in the chest as he tackles him off the edge of a cliff.

Related: Outer Banks: John B Already Has The Healing Shroud – Theory Explained

This is not the first time that Outer Banks has appeared to kill Big John or Ward Cameron. Big John being alive was the big twist in Outer Banks season 2’s ending, while Ward Cameron faked his death midway through the last season. Both of their deaths this time appear to be ones that will stick. Big John is eventually given a tombstone in a tree by the Pogues after he dies in their arms. Meanwhile, it would be inconceivable for Ward to survive the gunshot wounds and fall to still be alive in future seasons.

Everything That Happened During Outer Banks Season 3’s Time Jump

Outer Banks Season 3 Pogues Group JJ Sarah Cleo John B and Pope

One of the surprises to come in the finale was Outer Banks season 3’s time jump that took the story 18 months into the future. It marks the single biggest passage of time in the series by a wide margin, as the entirety of seasons 1-3 took place over the span of a few months otherwise it appeared. The show only offers a few teases of what has happened to the Pogues and other characters since they returned to the Outer Banks. Something that applies universally to the Pogues is that they have money and freedom, unlike anything they have experienced before, as they are now local heroes.

On a more individual level, the Outer Banks season 3 time jump teases a few developments for each character. Kiara is no longer in bad standing with her parents it seems, as she is using her time to save turtles. JJ used his money to buy a charter boat, but it is not confirmed if he and Kiara are still in a relationship. It is mentioned that Pope is preparing to leave for college, confirming that he finished high school. He and Cleo are still in a relationship at this point too. Meanwhile, John B and Sarah are also still together and opened up a successful surf shop.

Outer Banks Sets Up Season 4’s Hunt: Blackbeard’s Treasure

Rudy Pankow in Outer Banks season 3

The celebration of the Pogues ends with a direct tease of Outer Banks season 4’s story revolving around the hunt for Blackbeard’s mythical treasure. An old man approaches the group after the ceremony and asks them to look at some documents he has. They include exhibition notes and a captain’s log from 1718 that belonged to Edward Teach, the name of the legendary pirate Blackbeard. The Pogues are immediately intrigued by the possibility of finding Blackbeard’s legendary treasure, setting up this mission for the group in Outer Banks season 4.

Related: Outer Banks: How The Limbreys Connect To The Real-Life Royal Merchant

Outer Banks season 3’s ending might be the first time that Blackbeard is mentioned in the series, but there are already some connections to the pirate’s real life that exist. He formed a blockade around Charleston, South Carolina, which was prominently featured as a location in Outer Banks season 2. Blackbeard also died in North Carolina after a battle near Ocracoke Island, which is part of the Outer Banks, so he has a direct connection to the area. Now, the search for Blackbeard’s treasure has been set up to be the main plot of Outer Banks season 4, keeping the show centrally located in North Carolina again.

Outer Banks Season 3’s Ending Sets Up Rafe Cameron’s S4 Arc

Outer Banks Season 3 Kiara and Rafe

While Rafe Cameron is missing from the final episode of Outer Banks season 3, the ending does help set up his arc in season 4. He is last seen in the series in the penultimate episode of the season after helping Ward escape Outer Banks with the Pogues. Sheriff Shoupe arrives shortly thereafter and indicates that Rafe needs to tell an incredible story to explain his actions and reports that Ward was spotted. Since Rafe Cameron is not in Outer Banks season 3’s ending, his status is left somewhat unclear. He could be free of any charges levied against him, but there is also the possibility that Rafe was arrested.

Regardless of his exact status after the time jump, Ward Cameron’s death sets up Rafe’s season 4 story. He told the Pogues to keep his father safe, so Ward’s death will undoubtedly put Rafe on a mission for revenge. The eldest Cameron child finally earned Ward’s respect and the keys to the empire by the end, so losing his dad could send Rafe into a downward spiral to get even the Pogues. This could include recruiting Topper to his cause after Sarah lied to him one too many times. Either way, Rafe Cameron is set up to retain his villain status after Outer Banks season 3’s ending.

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