Outer Banks season 1, episode 1 recap – what happened in the pilot?

April 15, 2020 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
View all


Outer Banks season 1, episode 1 was an okay opening pilot, introducing the audience to John B and his friends on the island.

This recap of Netflix series Outer Banks season 1, episode 1 contains significant spoilers.

Here we go, another YA series for us binge-watchers. Outer Banks season 1, episode 1 gives us the typical view of teens living in the village beach life. It opens up with John B running away from authorities with his friends after dropping a Pabst beer. John B describes how he is part of the Pogues in the Outer Banks — the working class, the neglected. He describes all his friends and discloses that he lives in a sea shack; his father disappeared as part of a shipwreck, his mother left him at 3 and his Uncle T is meant to be his guardian.

It’s clear that John B lives on the outskirts of life.

John B’s social worker raises the fact that he is classed as a minor so that he needs foster care. But he’s in luck, as a hurricane hits so foster care is delayed. Of course, John B decides to surf during the hurricane. Impressive.

The next day, while out on the boat, John B, Pope, Kiara, and JJ find a boat underwater. They investigate and find a motel key. The group missed the dead body floating nearby. Meanwhile, a woman named Lana is looking for her husband Scooter.

By the way, within this friends group, all three of the boys fancy Kiara, which is a little creepy — curious to see where this goes.

John B and JJ check out the motel room and inside they manage to open up a safe with a gun and loads of money inside. The deputy sheriff heads to the motel room looking for Scooter. Pope and Kiara alert them regarding the cops. The deputy sheriff takes some of the money from inside the safe which hints that there’s some corruption happening within the authorities. Luckily, JJ and John B do not get caught.

Word gets around town that Scooter Grubbs is dead and everyone is on high alert to find the boat. John B questions how a marina rat like Scooter Grubbs managed to get a decent boat and have plenty of money — the group of friends suggest there is smuggling going on. John B and co are now considering getting the cargo inside the boat underwater but they have to stay lowkey for now so they decide to host a keg party.

READ: 10 TV Shows like Outer Banks

At the party at the halfway point of Outer Banks season 1, episode 1, Topper and John B have a fight at the party after a confrontation with Sarah Cameron — it’s clear that John B and Sarah have some tension between them and Topper, her boyfriend, senses it. We are treated to a fistfight between two teens. Topper starts drowning John B while mocking that his father also drowned. JJ loses his head and points a gun at Topper to stop him from drowning John B and then starts to shoot in the air to stop the party.

To provide more context to this “tension”; the island has Pogues and Kooks. Kooks are like middle-class teens so obviously the Kooks and Pogues hate each other. Kiara is middle class, but she’s somehow a Pogue, so technically she is an outlier.

John B then narrates that before his father vanished, he told him that he had “found something”. The police visit John B the next day. The officer tells him that they found a body in the marsh yesterday and asks him questions about whether John B has found a boat. The officer threatens him with foster care and juvenile. John B still states he knows nothing about a shipwreck.

Can I add that this part of the story does not make sense — the body of Scooter Grubbs was literally floating yards away from the shipwreck so why is everyone struggling to find the boat? It’s obvious where it is.

After heated arguments between John B and JJ about the night before, JJ tells John B that as teens without money, they have nothing to lose by checking out the shipwreck again.

Outer Banks season 1, episode 1 ends with a search party looking for Scooter’s boat. John B and co also head out. As John B heads down to the shipwrecked boat with limited oxygen, the deputy sheriff who is flagrantly looking corrupt at this point hops on their boat, not knowing that John B is underwater. The deputy states the marsh is closed and they all have to act normal. As John B runs out of oxygen, the deputy sails off in his boat. John B gets to the surface in time. But then another boat follows them with two men inside — we have no idea at this point who these men are but they start shooting at John B and co. They manage to get away.

There’s a lot of moving parts already.

The episode closes with the group of friends opening a bag which John B found on the boat. Inside is a compass which everyone dismisses as valuable, but John B says the compass is his father’s.

Additional Notes

  • After the hurricane, John B and JJ take advantage and go fishing.
  • To burn some time while figuring out how to get the cargo, the friends host a keg party. Kiara is irked that an ex-best friend named Sarah Cameron and Topper turned up. Sarah is part of the Kooks.
  • Kiara insists they hand the money back from the safe.
  • Sarah tries to make peace for the Pogues vs Kooks with John B, but he refuses.

We are fast becoming the number 1 independent website for streaming coverage. Please support Ready Steady Cut today. Secure its future – we need you!
Become a Patron!

For more recaps, reviews and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?

Find where to watch this and more with our Discovery Tool

Explore Now
View all

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.