Review: The Pogues Raise The Stakes in Season 3

Photo Courtesy of The Brown Daily Herald

Photo Courtesy of The Brown Daily Herald

Mickle Joseph, Copy Editor and Reporter

At the beginning of quarantine, a show revolving around five teenagers – Sarah, John B, Kiara, JJ, and Pope, or more commonly known as the Pogues – and their search for lost merchant gold worth $350 million dropped on Netflix in April of 2020 and quickly made Netflix’s global top 10 weekly list. Outer Banks became one of the most watched shows on the streaming site. The second season raised the stakes with the search for the lost merchant gold and a new addition of a family heirloom, a gold cross belonging to Pope. Season two was well received, setting up high expectations for the third season, making it the most anticipated of 2023. Season three was released on Feb. 23 and it did not disappoint.

Arjun Kesiraju, a sophomore at Briar Woods High School, said that “in [his] opinion, the first two seasons were more of an introduction to the Pogues and how they deal with conflict whereas the third season was the climax of the Pogues’ story, displaying tons of action scenes, plan construction, and emotional development within each of the characters. In other words, the third season is essentially the last piece of the puzzle of all the Pogues’ adventures up to this point whereas the other two seasons simply built up to the third season.” 

Starting off the new season, fans discover that the Pogues and their newest addition, Cleo, have been living on an abandoned island for a month. They are rescued, but quickly find themselves being thrown back into the danger and adventure of the treasure hunt they’ve been following. The third season introduces new characters and a new adventure – El Dorado, the lost city of gold. Carlos Singh, one of the new characters, is on a warpath to find the lost city. It’s a race against time as the Pogues work together with John B’s father to find El Dorado before Mr. Singh. From merchant gold to a gold cross, El Dorado is meant to be the ultimate treasure hunt.

The third season also added a lot more depth to the characters that wasn’t seen before. For example, Rafe, one of the main supporting characters, was previously portrayed as one of the main villains of the show. However in this season, the showrunners decided to do a bit more with his character by blurring the lines between good and evil. Some of the decisions he makes throughout the season will either cause your blood to boil or make you sympathize with him.

In fact, Kesiraju said that “[he] really loved Rafe’s character development and storyline in the third season. The mental challenges he faced and every single action or move he made was [crucial] to the plot of the third season which [he] thoroughly enjoyed watching. In the previous seasons, he was just a dumb junkie who was basically good for nothing; however in the third season, his role in the story was much more significant to the fate of the Pogues. Additionally, all of his actions (aside from being unwise at times) were well thought out which contributed heavily to the content of this season.”

While many fans, including Kesiraju, enjoyed the third season, others had different opinions on it. An article written by Paul Tassi, published by Forbes, said that “the show is not…particularly good any more. Not that Outer Banks was ever some pinnacle of television, but it was a decently fun show, though as we reach season 3 here, that fun has mostly evaporated, and [he’s] not sure [he] even [wants] this show to come back for a fourth season now.” He also said that “Outer Banks jumped the shark the minute they flipped a switch on its new ‘El Dorado’ storyline.”

An article published by AV Club, written by Christina Izzo, said that “The third volume cranks that absurdity up to 11 but instead of leaning wholly into the pulpy fun, it does something worse: It starts taking its messy mythology seriously.”

Many people have divided opinions on the third season, but personally, the season was enjoyable and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. The show is meant to be a fun thing to watch for teenagers, so they can sit back and relax. Some plots may seem absurd, but it’s meant to be a form of entertainment, not something that is deeply analyzed. 

As Kesiraju said, “Overall, the third season was incredibly well planned out from the day one of the show’s start up and included a wonderful resolution to the Pogues’ first adventure.”