Outer Banks Season 3 Ending, Explained: Does John B Find El Dorado?

Image Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

Created by Josh Pate, Jonas Pate, and Shannon Burke, Netflix’s ‘Outer Banks’ is set against the backdrop of the eponymous barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and sheds light on the class conflict between the wealthy summer vacationers and residents of Figure Eight, known as the Kooks, and the working-class locals of the Cut, known as the Pogues. The story follows a group of teenagers from both sides of the wealth divide searching for a legendary treasure while dealing with romance, financial disparity, and various teenage problems.

By the end of season 2, John B (Chase Stokes) and his friends have suffered a series of setbacks. Ward Cameron (Charles Esten) takes the San Jose gold beyond their reach, though his actions to accomplish that break him, both physically and mentally. Meanwhile, his son Rafe (Drew Starkey) secures the Cross of Saint Domingo. John B, Sarah (Madelyn Cline), Pope (Jonathan Daviss), JJ (Rudy Pankow), Kiara or Kie (Madison Bailey), and Cleo (Carlacia Grant) become stranded on a remote Caribbean island, which is they name “Poguelandia.”

Season 3 brings a new dangerous antagonist and the search for an even bigger treasure, the mythical El Dorado. John B learns that his father, Big John (Charles Halford), isn’t dead, but their reunion is complicated as Big John instructs his son to keep secrets from his friends. Elsewhere, Ward seeks redemption, and Rafe desires to prove himself. Here is everything you might want to know about the ending of ‘Outer Banks’ season 3. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Outer Banks Season 3 Recap

As season 3 begins, the three pairs of teenagers are having the time of their lives on what is effectively their private island. They have lost both the treasure and the Cross and are stranded, but this is the first time they have gotten the chance to be teenagers in a long while. But nothing lasts forever, and soon they are seemingly rescued and taken to Barbados, where Kie is separated from the others and taken to the estate of Carlos Singh, an immensely wealthy and powerful individual who virtually runs the island. She discovers that Rafe is also there, hoping to sell the Cross.

Carlos reveals that he wants Denmark Tanny’s diary as he believes it contains the location of El Dorado. Meanwhile, Kie and Rafe eventually succeed in escaping Singh’s clutches, and Kie then tricks Rafe and steals his boat to rescue her friends. She even succeeds in getting four of her friends off Barbados. But John B stays behind, having heard the bell of the local church ringing in the tune of what his father once used to call him home.

Image Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

After a tearful union, Big John reveals that he is after El Dorado and convinces his son not to speak about El Dorado to his friends, including Sarah. Although he is surprised to learn that John B is now married to Sarah of all people, he accepts his son’s decision and is happy for him but soon makes it clear that he isn’t ready to trust the daughter of a man who tried to kill him. The father-and-son duo finds one-half of what they learn is the Gnomon of Solana in Barbados. Gnomon is a part of a sundial that casts a shadow. In this context, it is a map showing the route to El Dorado from the Kalinago archeological site of Solana in Venezuela.

Big John and John B find the diary, and the older man is forced to kill two mercenaries from previous seasons to protect his son. They find the second piece of the gnomon and discover that the archeologists who excavated Solana are being systematically killed by Singh, who catches up to the Routledges, abducts Big John, and orders the death of John B. Fortunately, the latter manages to escape and turns to his friends for help.

In the season finale, John B, Sarah, Pope, Cleo, and Ward arrive in Venezuela on Ward’s plane, while JJ flies in a smuggler’s plane after rescuing Kie from the boarding school her parents sent to. It becomes a race against time for the teen protagonists to rescue John B’s father and find El Dorado.

Outer Banks Season 3 Ending: Do John B and the Others find El Dorado?

After John B successfully rescues his father with Sarah’s help, they make their way to Solana. Ward joins them, claiming that he is there to protect his daughter. It turns out that he plans to do so by giving Singh what he wants. While Ward stays behind, claiming that he is too injured to continue, John B, his father, and wife find Solana, insert the gnomon into the temalacatl under the solstice moon, and decipher the coded messages left behind by the Guajiro King, using the notes that Pope wrote down using a family heirloom.

Image Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

The notes serve the purpose of the Rosetta Stone, helping John B, Big John, and Sarah learn about the location of El Dorado, which is the mountains of gold the Guajiro King left behind, intending for a worthy person to find it. When Singh’s men surround the three of them, and Ward makes his intention known, Sarah refuses to listen to her father, finally earning Big John’s trust. They manage to escape and make their way to a cave with markings showing they are on the correct path.

Big John is forced to remain behind because Singh earlier shot him and lets his son and Sarah continue the journey for him. They find El Dorado and its gold mounds and pack as many gold nuggets as possible before returning to the cave entrance, where they find that Singh is waiting for them. Big John is forced to permanently shut the path to El Dorado with an explosion after Singh threatens to kill his son. Ironically, Singh is killed in that explosion while trying desperately to stop it.

Are Ward and Big John Dead?

In season 2, Ward nearly choked Sarah to death in a desperate bid to preserve the life he has built for himself and his family. In season 3, he seeks atonement, despising the man he has become because of his obsession and greed. He is also horrified by the effects his actions have on the lives of his children. He decides to donate the Cross, but Rafe goes behind his back, steals the priceless religious relic with Barry’s help, melts it, and sells it as small nuggets and chunks. Through Barry, he even hires an assassin to go after his father, though he later changes his heart and saves him.

The last time Ward speaks to his son, he tells him he is a good man as he has ultimately made the right choice. Yes, Ward is dead in ‘Outer Banks’ season 3. After Sarah, John B, and Big John come out of the cave, they are confronted by Ward. Right then, Pope, Cleo, Kie, and JJ arrive, tipping the balance against whose actions have caused them much sorrow and pain. Ward redeems himself when one of Singh’s remaining goons appears and tries to shoot Sarah. He grabs the man and leaps over the cliff, gaining atonement through sacrifice.

Big John has virtually destroyed his own life in the pursuit of the treasure. He lost his wife and nearly died. This season, his relationship with his son becomes tumultuous, especially after Big John kills those two mercenaries. But ultimately, he makes the right decision when he chooses his son over access to the treasure. Her gets what he has sought his entire life – El Dorado — succumbs to the bullet wound in the arms of his son.

What is the Name of Blackbeard’s Ship? What Happened to It?

The gold they have managed to get out of El Dorado has made life considerably better for John B and his friends. Eighteen months after their expedition to Venezuela, Kie has restarted her conservation work, while Pope is set to go away for school. JJ has purchased a charter boat, and John B and Sarah have opened a surf shop. Big John and the teenagers are now celebrated figures for their adventures and accomplishments,

Image Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

However, John B feels restless and reflects on how normal their lives have become. This is when a man approaches him and his friends and shows them the captain’s log of Edward Teach, aka the 18th-century pirate Blackbeard. Given the captain’s log is dated to 1718 and the narrative of ‘Outer Banks’ is set in North Carolina, it’s pretty safe to assume that the ship mentioned in this scene is most likely Queen Anne’s Revenge, which Blackbeard ran aground on a sandbar close to Beaufort, North Carolina, on June 10, 1718.

Blackbeard is arguably the most prolific pirate in history. Predictably, there is much speculation about whether he left behind any treasure and what its value would be in today’s money. Some believe that it is buried in multiple places in the Carolinas. Season 4 will likely depict John B and his friends hunting for the truth about the legendary pirate.

Read More: Where Is the Gold from the Royal Merchant Now in Outer Banks?