Outer Banks season 3 ending explained: Do the Pogues get the gold?

In Outer Banks season 3, the Pogues find a way out of the Poguelandia, only to get pulled into another hunt for a lost city of gold. The third season is now streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

While the remote island, which they call the Poguelandia, where the Pogues are stuck is a paradise for them, they still seek a way out. A man named Jimmy Portis rescues them in his plane, but the teens realize that he has been hired to take them somewhere.

A struggle results in their plane crashing in Barbados, where Portis was supposed to take them in the first place. While the others make it out safely, Kiara gets captured while trying to save Portis. 

Rafe tries to sell the cross while Wade has still not woken up. Rafe goes to meet a potential client in Barbados and is captured along with Kiara. Their captor is Carlos Singh, and he is after Denmark’s diary.

450 years ago, a Spanish soldier came out of the Orinoco Basin with gold beads. He said he received them from a peaceful indigenous tribe that lived in a city of gold called El Dorado. People have been looking for the city for almost 500 years.

Kiara feigns ignorance about the existence of the diary. Her friends unsuccessfully try to rescue her, but Kiara, with Rafe’s help, manages to escape Singh’s property. She then betrays Rafe and takes his boat to save her friends, but Rafe finds a way to get out of Barbados.

Kiara contacts her friends, and they reach the location of the boat. However, John B hears the church bells ringing the way his father, Big John, used to ring them to call John B. He goes to the church to see if his father is alive and reunites with him. 

John B’s friends are forced to leave for Outer Banks without him when they are cornered by Singh’s men; they reunite with their parents when they reach home safely. John B and Big John leave the island, but not without taking a treasured idol, which is the signpost of El Dorado. 

Big John reveals that San Jose, the ship from which Captain Limbrey stole the cross and the merchant gold, is rumored to have found El Dorado with the help of this idol, which is now divided into two parts.

The Pogues come together in Outer Banks, but Big John does not let John B tell his friends anything about the gold. The copy of Denmark’s diary has been completely ruined, so the two go to Mr. Sunn’s house to find the original. They get the diary, but not without Big John killing two men who were also after it.

Wade wakes up in Guadeloupe and decides to live there with his family forever. He asks Rafe to sell their businesses and properties in Outer Banks, as Wade is a wanted criminal there. He then tells Rafe that he is going to gift the cross to a museum to atone for their sins.

Rafe does not want to do that, so he joins hands with Barry, who steals the cross for him. The Pogues also try to steal it from Rafe, but Bary gets it first. Barry and Rafe melt the cross and sell the gold to make money.

John B and Big John find the location of the other part of the idol. They break into a museum’s archive and steal the other part. The idol has inscriptions in Kalinago, the language of a vanished indigenous people. 

Big John gives a fake cloth to Carla and calls it the shroud that she wanted to get so that he does not have to owe her for everything she has done for him.

John B continues to lie to his friends because of his father and accompanies him to the house of Professor Sowell, who can read Kalinago and who found the Solana, the site of the signboard. 

Professor Sowell is killed by Singh’s men, who are killing every member of the expedition that found Solana. Sowell utters the name of Neville, the last living member, before dying. 

Singh’s men abduct Big John to get him to translate the inscription on the idol. They try to kill John B, but he escapes and goes to Outer Banks.

When Rafe defies Wade and does not sell the businesses, Wade comes to Outer Banks to confront his son. Rafe does not want to leave Outer Banks, but Wade wants him to come and live with the family.

John B had an argument with Sarah before leaving. Having nowhere else to go, she spent time with Topper and ended up cheating on John B with him. She tells John B everything when he returns and apologizes, which causes him to beat up Topper in front of a crowd.

An angry John B reveals everything to JJ, and the two go to find Neville, who tells them the way to Solana. He also tells them that they will have to pass a test to get to the gold.

Pope, along with Cleo, who is living with Pope’s family, finds a letter from Denmark to his daughter that contains a translation key.

Topper wants to press charges against John B, but Sarah stops him and promises to stay back when John B leaves the island. Topper sees her making up with John B and kissing him at night. He burns John B’s house down in anger.

Rafe, unable to kill his father, takes Barry’s advice and asks him to kill Wade, as he is scared that his father might tell others that Rafe killed the sheriff if Rafe continues to defy him. However, he cannot see his father die and rescues him at the last minute.

Wade had met Sarah earlier and had promised to do anything to make amends. She then asked him to lend them his private jet to get to South America to save Big John and find the treasure. JJ asks them to wait, as he goes to rescue Kiara, whose parents have sent her to a wilderness camp.

In order to find a way to South America, JJ and John B had lost Barracuda Mike’s drugs, making him lose a lot of money. Barracuda Mike now corners JJ, who is then forced to promise him a part of the gold if he cooperates with JJ.

John B and the others, along with an injured Wade, who is brought there by Rafe, are forced to leave without JJ when the police come for them. JJ saves Kiara, and the two confess their feelings. The two get to South America with Barracuda Mike’s help.

The friends reach Orinoco and look for a man named Jose, as per Neville’s advice. While John B and Sarah rescue Big John from Singh, the rest of the group reunites. Later, Cleo and Pope confess their feelings for each other and share a kiss.

John B, Sarah, and Big John find Jose but realize that Wade has been following them. They have no choice but to take him with them when Singh’s men reach there. None of them trusts Wade, whose motives are not clear.

John B narrates the story of the Guajiro king, who founded El Dorado. At the time of his death, he did not want to leave his wealth to his sons; he wanted to entrust the gold to the worthy. Those who sought gold will be tested by the Jaguar God.

The one who is good, wise, and lucky might find the city of gold one day. The question is whether the Pogues are worthy and whether they will find the gold unharmed or not.

Outer Banks season 3 ending explained in detail:

Why does Wade betray them?

John B, Sarah, and Big John walk to Solana, the site of the signboard where the idol or the gnomon has to be placed to get the directions to El Dorado. The gnomon is a sort of stick that casts a shadow, which will show the direction when put in the right place at the right time.

Wade decides to stay back and warn them if Singh’s men arrive. However, he betrays them and informs Singh’s men of their location. The other Pogues follow Singh and his men to get to John B and the others.

After walking for hours, John B, Sarah, and Big John find Solana. They put the gnomon in its place, and when the moon reaches its zenith, they translate the instructions with the help of the key that Pope had found.

However, Singh, his men, and Wade reach there. Wade had made a deal with Singh — he would help him reach John B and his father in exchange for Sarah’s safety.

Singh threatens to kill John B if Big John does not tell him everything that he has learned. Big John does not tell them anything, but Sarah saves John B. She refuses to leave with Wade even when they are under attack from Singh’s men and threatens to shoot Wade if he does not leave them alone.

Big John, who refused to trust Sarah all this while, finally accepts her. The three manage to reach safety, but as they continue looking for the gold, they realize Big John has been shot.

Do John B and Sarah find the gold?

Despite Big John’s injury, the three keep looking for the gold. Sarah hears something and leads them to a cave. They find an underwater entrance in the cave. Big John gives them three flares and decides to sit out as John B and Sarah go to look for the gold.

The two go deeper and deeper and eventually come to a dead end. Sarah asks John B to put out a flare and in the darkness, they find their way. They finally find loads of gold that they had been looking for. They decide to take some of it with them in their bags and come back later for more.

Do the Pogues get the gold?

Singh follows the trail of blood left behind by Big John and reaches the cave. He holds Sarah and John B at gunpoint and demands that Big John come out of his hiding place. 

In return, Big John threatens to blow up the cave, sealing the entrance to the city of gold once and for all. Singh thinks Big John is bluffing, but Big John follows through with his threat. The explosion kills Singh, but the other three make it out alive.

The explosion brings Wade, the rest of the group, and Singh’s henchman to their location. Wade wants to kill Big John, but the rest of the group arrives there to stop him. It is Sarah who ends up convincing him not to do it.

However, Singh’s henchman, Ryan, also comes there. He decides to kill Sarah first, as he believes she is responsible for Singh’s death. When he tries to shoot her, Wade sacrifices his life to take Ryan down. 

With both Ryan and Wade dead, the Pogues leave with a bagful of gold that John B and Sarah brought along with them. They try to get Big John medical help, but he tells John B that he is the best son and dies in his arms.

What happens to the Pogues after finding the gold?  

18 months later, the citizens of Outer Banks celebrate John B and his friend’s achievements; they found the gold that no one has been able to find for almost 500 years. 

Now, Kiara is saving turtles, Pope goes back to school, JJ has bought a charter boat, and John B owns a surf shop with Sarah. The group is approached by a man who shows them a manuscript of Captain Edward Teach Blackbeard’s logs and introduces a new quest to them.

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