The first season of Netflix’s “Outer Banks” left no stone unturned or damp well unexplored in the hunt for $400 million in lost treasure on the North Carolina coast.
The hit series came out guns blazing with a "West Side Story"-style class struggle; boat chases and shootouts (sometimes simultaneously); MTV Award-winning kisses in the rain; creepy historic houses with creepier basements; a volatile blind woman with surprisingly good aim; and a 150-year-old mystery with $400 million in gold waiting for whomever can solve it. By the finale, murder and mayhem had seized upon the fictional Kildare County on the Outer Banks, with both the authorities and a hurricane descending on the Pogues, our rough-and-tumble heroes.
So when it came time to start plotting Season 2 of the series (all 10 episodes are now streaming), co-creators and executive producers Shannon Burke and Jonas and Josh Pate decided it was best to just go big, because they weren’t going home anytime soon.
“At the beginning of the season, it’s like you’re shot out of a cannon,” Burke said. “There’s so much momentum from where we left off. For the first three episodes or so, we are just trying to keep up with the story that has propelled us forward so far and then slowly, we will catch our breath and try to maintain equilibrium and get another story going.”
In other words, fans should buckle in for the new season, because while its captains may know the destination, even they can’t resist the temptation of the wild ride to get there.
When we last saw young lovers John B (Chase Stokes) and Sarah (Madelyn Cline), they were lost at sea and declared dead after their stormy escape, only to be scooped up by a freight ship bound for the Bahamas. That would be an inconvenience if it wasn’t the very place where her duplicitous father Ward (Charles Esten) transported the gold he stole right out from under them.
Meanwhile, for John B and Sarah’s fellow Pogues Kiara (Madison Bailey), JJ (Rudy Pankow) and Pope (Jonathan Daviss) back on the Outer Banks, it would seem the hunt is over, and all they have to show for it is the death of their friends.
But remember that cannon Burke mentioned? Yeah, that’s going to make it hard for anyone to stand still with the gold on the move and plenty of new dangers picking up its scent. The cast and crew spent a few weeks in Barbados to capture John B and Sarah’s search for the gold, a perilous path that is bound to cross paths with a few familiar faces and some new ones.
Even with plenty of spinning plates at the start of the season, the creators knew a bigger question loomed on the horizon: what happens after the treasure hunt is inevitably over?
Luckily, there’s always more treasure to be found – and this season, it’s going to get even more personal for the Pogues.
“That was always the tricky part,” said Jonas, who lives in Wilmington with his family. “It was like passing the baton from the pursuit of the gold, which had kind of ended, into another treasure hunt that was kind of related. We had to work on it for a long time to sort it out, but we got there and it’s a really exciting new adventure.”
How the Pogues stumble into yet another chase is something fans will quickly learn, but they should be warned it comes with a new villain that will give Ward a run for his money.
Elizabeth Mitchell (“Lost”) joins the series as a shadowy Charleston socialite with an eye on the Pogues, but not because she’s also after the gold. Instead, she’s got her sights on something even more valuable, a treasure that required the writers to revisit the history lesson that defined the first season.
In deepening the mystery of former slave Denmark Tanney and the Royal Merchant’s treasure, the story becomes personal for Pope, who attracts the attention of Mitchell’s character – for better or worse.
“We wanted to get the characters more invested (in the history), we wanted to get Pope more invested and we are excited to keep it going,” Josh said.
Guiding the ship into even choppier waters this season challenged the show’s creators more than ever, but their one true north was their cast.
The Pogues, along with their privileged counterparts in the Kooks (Drew Starkey and Austin North), have forged a true friendship offscreen, having spent much of COVID quarantine living together and getting creative to promote the first season virtually. Jonas said the series was crafted as a novel, and its first chapter was written largely before the cast came on board. But for this second chapter, they aren’t just rough outlines anymore.
“When Josh and Shannon were writing this time, it was easier to hear the cast’s voices in their minds,” said Jonas, who also directed six of the new episodes. “The actors have lived in their roles for a year now and they are really friends in real life. The Pogues are literally the Pogues offscreen. ... They are thick as thieves.”
This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: 'Outer Banks' Season 2: Netflix series goes on wild ride