If Pogues versus Kooks was the driving conflict in Outer Banks’ first season, its third season’s first trailer cements just how far our central band of sandy, sunkissed teens straight out of a novel Sarah Dessen might write after an especially affecting screening of National Treasure. Last seen stranded on a deserted island, high school is all but a distant memory for our protagonists now— they have bigger fish to fry.
With season 3 of the Netflix romp less than a month away, the new trailer finds John B. (Chase Stokes) & Co. forging a new life on the island they’ve christened “Poguelandia”— that is, until an even bigger treasure hunt calls them home. Sarah (Madelyn Cline), JJ (Rudy Pankow), Pope (Jonathan Daviss), and Kiara (Madison Bailey) are all back in lead roles this season, with Austin North and Drew Starkey also returning as Topher and Rafe, respectively.
All set to a dramatically-rendered version of The Beach Boys’ “Sloop John B,” this first glimpse at OBX3 sets up a bevy of plot points: the return of John B’s previously-presumed-dead father, a new quest for (naturally) El Dorado, and a mysterious new villain, Carlos Singh (Andy McQueen). Notably, there’s also signs of even more romantic tension between Kiara (Madison Bailey) and JJ (Rudy Pankow), potentially spelling an end to Kiara and Pope’s (Jonathan Daviss) fling.
But Outer Banks isn’t The White Lotus—we come to this place not for realism or thinkpiece material, but for magic, the kind that’s blatantly obvious but still makes you gasp. The best parts of the show— outlandish shenanigans that don’t exactly befall most teens, or anyone—are the best parts of the trailer: car chases and foot races, speedboat escapes and hand-to-hand combat, beach keggers and Wayfarer sunglasses. Every sunset is searing-yellow perfect, and even stranded in the middle of the ocean on an untamed, uncharted island, John B. still somehow finds a windsurfing board. If this is pandering, let it never end.
Outer Banks returns on Netflix on February 23.