In the third season of Outer Banks, John B reunites with his father, Big John, who was assumed dead. The two embark on an adventure together to find El Dorado, the lost city of gold. Big John is played by Charles Halford.
In the previous seasons of Outer Banks, Big John, John B’s father, was assumed dead. He was looking for the Merchant gold with Wade, who had thrown him off the ship after severely injuring him.
At the end of the second season, it is revealed that Big John is alive. He asks Carla Limbrey to help his son, John B. Carla agrees, on her own terms, and he finally reunites with his son in the third season.
How is Big John alive?
After being thrown off the ship by Wade, Big John survives alone on an island. Just when he thinks he might die, Carlos Singh’s men reach the island, looking for him. They abduct him and take him to Barbados.
Singh found one-half of the signpost, known as the gnomon, of El Dorado, the lost city of gold. He wants Big John to help him reach El Dorado, but Big John manages to escape along with that one-half of the gnomon.
He contacts Carla Limbrey, who is looking for a healing garment, the shroud that cures all maladies. He promises to get her the shroud, which was not found inside the cross, in exchange for her help. Carla agrees, and Big John stays safe for a while.
He admits to Carla that he never contacted his son and told him that he was alive because he did not want to risk John B’s life.
When John B and his friends are brought to Barbados, Big John rings the church bell the way he used to ring bells when John B was younger to call him. John B hears the sound and goes to the church, where he reunites with his father.
The father who errs
Right after their reunion, Big John takes John B to an antiques dealer’s shop, where the gnomon that he stole from Singh is kept safe. He threatens the dealer, who once saved his life, at gunpoint to get the gnome and escapes with John B before Singh catches him.
When they reach Outer Banks, Big John ropes John B in to look for El Dorado with him, but he forbids John B from telling his friends anything about the hunt, which bothers John B because he has to lie to Sarah as well.
While figuring out the location of El Dorado, John B witnesses his father breaking into people’s houses to get what he wants, despite John B’s warnings. Big John gets them involved in dangerous situations where they barely make it out alive.
John B has to see his father kill two smugglers who steal Denmark’s diary from Mr. Sunn’s house. He then justifies his actions and tells John B that he killed them because he did not want to lose John B again.
Big John also tricks Carla. He gives her a fake cloth and claims that it is the shroud that heals all maladies. He makes several questionable choices, including the choice of asking John B to mug an old woman.
John B used to feel that his father was a good father. However, while looking for El Dorado, he sees his father driven crazy by the need to get to the treasure. The search comes at a cost of his morals, and this disillusions John B.
Big John’s obsession with El Dorado
Big John particularly does not trust Sarah because she is Wade’s daughter. He knows that lying to her is upsetting John B, but he still does not allow him to tell her the truth, which causes problems in their relationship.
Even when the three of them walk to Solana, Big John is anything but considerate. His need to get to the treasure takes priority over the comfort of his son and Sarah.
When they translate the instructions to find El Dorado, Big John refuses to tell John B what the last line says in Sarah’s presence. Furthermore, Singh’s men threaten to kill John B if Big John does not tell them everything, but he still refuses to give up the secret.
The father that comes back from the dead is different from the father that lives in the memories of John B. This version of him is solely obsessed with finding the treasure.
Big John’s death
After getting the other gnomon, Big John takes John B to Professor Sowell’s house to translate the inscriptions on it. However, Singh arrives there and abducts Big John, as he lies to Singh that he can read Kalinago.
In Orinoco, John B and Sarah find Big John and help him escape. However, the next time Singh corners them, they do not escape unharmed. Big John gets shot, and he chooses to sit out when John B and Sarah go looking for the lost city.
Singh eventually finds them and threatens to kill John B. However, this time, Big John chooses his son instead of the treasure. He blows up the cave that leads to El Dorado, forever blocking the way to the lost city.
After facing Wade and Singh’s henchman, John B and his friends leave with the gold that John B and Sarah brought with them. Before they could get Big John medical help, he succumbs to his injuries.
John B gets to see a glimpse of the father he loved so much in Big John’s dying moments. He admits that he was not the best dad but John B was the best son any man could hope for. He asks his son to never let Sarah go, finally giving them his blessing.