Treasure hunts, sun-kissed surfers, and murder mysteries? The Outer Banks has it all


Charlie Monson

“We’re the Pogues, and our mission this summer is to have a good time, all the time.” – John B

The internet has been buzzing about Netflix’s new action-packed drama Outer Banks since it’s release on April 15th, 2020, and honestly, it’s well deserved. 

With summer just around the corner, Outer Banks makes me want nothing more than to be at the beach all day, every day; and I don’t think I’m alone on that. Many teens on social media are showing off their Outer Banks style and wanting to make the most of their summers just like the characters in the show.

Speaking of the characters, the show focuses on four teenage friends: John B, JJ, Kiara, and Pope. They all live the island life most of us dream about, out on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. There are two sides to this island, the rich and privileged also known as the Kooks, and the hardworking impoverished known as the Pogues. It’s a classic tale of rich versus poor, and our main characters aren’t exactly living the high life.

John B has been left to his own devices for the summer. His mother left when he was young, and his dad has been missing since his disappearance at sea nine months ago. With no legal guardian around, the Department of Child Services has threatened his summer plans with foster care. Thankfully a visit from Hurricane Agatha keeps the DCS at bay for a little while. 

And this is where the adventure begins. 

Out fishing after the hurricane, the gang stumbles upon a sunken boat. Upon further diving inspection, they find a motel key and decide to find out who owns the boat. After searching the motel room and coming across an empty room with nothing but a safe full of money and a loaded gun, they start to question what to do next. That is until a lowlife marina known as Scooter Grubbs is found dead that same day. 

After investigating, they start to think Scooter was involved in the smuggling of some kind of illegal contraband, which leads them on a wild goose chase to cover their tracks from cops, the Kooks, and other unpleasant outsiders. 

Turns out this was a very small piece to a much larger puzzle, one John B was set on solving; a puzzle he couldn’t solve without the help of Kook princess Sarah Cameron. 

John B and Sarah Cameron become quite the treasure hunting team. (photo via Refinery29 with fair use permission)

You see, John B’s dad was set on finding an old sunken wreck known as the Royal Merchant that was known to have had four hundred million dollars worth of gold aboard. John B decides to continue his dad’s search for the gold with the help of his friends, but kids from the poor side of the island can only get so far. Maps and archives John B needed for his treasure hunt were located in places poor kids aren’t necessarily allowed. This is where rich kid Sarah Cameron comes into play. 

Turns out they have a lot more in common than just wanting to find hidden treasure.

This relationship, however, could have grave consequences considering where each of them comes from. The Kooks don’t like the Pogues and vice versa. While John B and Sarah were out gathering information, we learn that the rest of the Pogue gang isn’t well-liked among the elites.

After being attacked by Kooks Rafe and Topper, Pope has had enough with being treated poorly. With help from mischievous JJ, they decide to retaliate.  Not only adding to the already toxic relationship between the two sides but also creating one heck of a mess for themselves later down the road.

JJ, in my opinion, has the best and strongest story arc among all the other characters. (photo via Forbes with fair use permission)

Besides rivalries, treasure hunts, dramatic teen romance, and mysterious murders, Outer Banks has a huge message for what family means. While some families in the show turn out to be extremely toxic, notably the relationship between JJ and his abusive father, we also see that some families just want what’s best for their kids. And we even see how new families can be made just by the likes of friendship and how far that bond can stretch. Relationships between the characters are constantly being tested, turning best friends against each other at times.

This show starts off slow with just a few surfer friends trying to have a good summer and quickly takes a very serious turn. It’s addictive and fast-paced and gives us a healthy dosage of adventure, something a lot of us have been craving lately. It may be just another teen drama on Netflix, but definitely one you should check out. Trust me, once you start watching, the thrill this show delivers makes it hard to put on pause.